Deaths. Big surprises are revealed.

19 January 2021 By Paul Martin

At last we know the true death toll of the pandemic that ravaged England through one very turbulent year.

And there are some big surprises.

One is that the proportion of excess deaths in the BAME ethnic groups (Black, Asian, Middle Eastern and Other) appears to be not significantly different to the proportional excess among the majority (White) community.

The second is that there were ‘only’ seventy two thousand more deaths in England through the year.

Number of deaths registered by week, England and Wales, 28 December 2019 to 1 January 2021

There were close to 697,000 deaths the United Kingdom in 2020 – nearly 85,000 more than would be expected based on the average in the previous five years.

This represents an increase of 14%.

But when the age and size of the population is taken into account, it became evident that there had in fact been worse rates of excess deaths within the last two decades.

This measure – known as age-standardised mortality – takes into account population growth and age.

Yet the figure quoted each day on the media is the number of Covid-related deaths, to be precise: those who died from any cause within days of having a Covid-positive test.

That number is actually higher than the total excess deaths during the year.

Which means that many of those listed as Covid-related deaths were in fact dying from other diseases or causes, but also had Covid.

Cumulative deaths since 21 March 2020, by date of registration, England.
Cumulative excess deaths (A) and the ratio of registered deaths to expected deaths (B) by age group, females, England.

Weekly excess deaths by date of registration, England.‎