This page contains data and analysis published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) from 31 August to 4 September 2020. Go to our live page for the most up-to-date insights on COVID-19.


2 September 2020

Analysis of deaths not involving COVID-19

Fewer deaths from causes not related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) have been recorded between 8 May and 10 July 2020 than the average for deaths at this time of year.

There were 6% fewer non-COVID-19 deaths than average in that time, which represents 5,658 fewer recorded in England and Wales.

This follows the period of 7 March to 1 May 2020, where there were 15% more non-COVID-19 fatalities than expected.

Non-COVID-19 weekly death registrations have been below or similar to the five-year average since Week 19 in 2020, having previously been above average between Weeks 13 and 18

Weekly total death registrations and non-COVID-19 death registrations in 2020 for England and Wales, compared to with the five-year average for equivalent weeks up to Week 28

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Notes:
  1. Figures include deaths of non-residents.
  2. Based on date a death was registered rather than occurred.
  3. All figures for 2020 are provisional.
  4. The ICD-10 definitions for COVID-19 are U07.1 and U07.2.5. Individual weeks may not sum to the year-to-date analysis as previous weeks have been recalculated in order to have the most up-to-date figures.
  5. The number of deaths registered in Weeks 19, 20, 22 and 23 were impacted by the early and late May Bank Holidays (Friday 8 May 2020 in Week 19 and Monday 25 May 2020 in Week 22); the impact of the early May Bank Holiday was analysed in our weekly death registrations bulletin for Week 20.

There was a 37% increase in non-COVID-19 deaths in private homes between 8 May and 10 July 2020 compared with average levels, whereas registrations for non-COVID-19 deaths that occurred in care homes have decreased since peaking in mid-April, returning to pre-coronavirus levels.

Registrations for deaths in hospitals from non-COVID-19-related causes also remain below average levels, by 30%.

Higher numbers of deaths in early March to early May 2020 and lower levels observed in more recent weeks could be attributed to people who may have otherwise died in the later weeks dying a few weeks earlier.


1 September 2020

Effect of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on suicide unclear

Provisional data show there were 2,107 deaths by suicide registered in England between January and June 2020. However, only one-fifth of these (21.6%) had a date of death that was also in 2020. This is because of the length of time it can take to hold an inquest into these deaths. As a result of this delay, we cannot yet be sure of the number of suicides that occurred during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

According to the data, there were 10.3 deaths by suicide per 100,000 people in Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2020 , and 6.9 deaths by suicide per 100,000 people in Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2020. The number of suicide registrations in Quarter 2 is 30% lower than the average number of registrations for the same period between 2015 and 2019, and is the lowest number of any quarter since 2001.

However, these numbers should be interpreted with caution. It is likely that the lower number of suicides registered in this period reflects the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on coroner services in England and Wales, such as delays to inquests caused by services adapting to social distancing measures. It is unlikely that this decrease represents a genuine reduction in the number of suicides.

The earliest date we will be able to more fully report on provisional data on suicide deaths during the coronavirus pandemic will be in 2021.

Related

  • Quarterly suicide death registrations in England

    Provisional rate and number of suicide deaths registered in England per quarter. Includes 2001 to 2019 registrations and provisional data for Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) and Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2020.

  • Analysis of death registrations not involving coronavirus (COVID-19), England and Wales

    Exploration of trends in non-COVID-19 deaths since 2 May 2020, how they compare with the five-year average, and how the nature of deaths from 2 May to 10 July may have changed from previous years when total numbers of non-COVID-19 deaths have returned to more expected levels.