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Tue Jan 12, 2021, 10:40 AM

Covid: 2020 saw most excess deaths in UK since World War Two

There were close to 697,000 deaths in the UK in 2020 - nearly 91,000 more than would be expected based on the average in the previous five years.

This represents an increase of 15% - making it the largest rise in excess deaths for more than 75 years.

When the age and size of the population is taken into account, 2020 saw the worst death rates since the 2000s.
The data is only available until November - so the impact of deaths in December have not yet been taken into account - but it shows the death rate at that stage was at its highest in England since 2008.


(The covid death rate has doubled since the end of November from 6.77 to 13.78 - https://ourworldindata.org/coronavirus )

In absolute terms:

2020 was deadliest year in a century in England and Wales, says ONS

More than 608,000 deaths were recorded in the calendar year, with 81,653 attributable to coronavirus, according to new figures released by the Office for National Statistics. The toll pushes deaths to the highest in a century, second only to the all-time record of 611,861, in the worst year of the flu pandemic.

Excess deaths, the number of fatalities above the five-year average, rose to almost 91,000 across the UK in 2020 – the highest on record since the second world war.

The latest data also shows Covid deaths have returned to levels not seen since the first wave. Almost one-third of all deaths registered in the week to 1 January had Covid recorded on the death certificate, the highest proportion of coronavirus deaths since the week ending 1 May.

“When considering recorded UK deaths against other countries, the UK is performing very badly with a death rate of 1,201 per million population. This is the ninth worst death rate in the world, ahead of even the US [1,130 deaths per million],” said Dr Michael Head, senior research fellow in global health at the University of Southampton.


What is also noticeable is that the population-adjusted death rate reached a low around 2010, and after that crept up to 2019, without any pandemic. The Tories, of course, have been in power since 2010.


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