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Coronavirus: Death

Question for Cabinet Office

UIN HL12082, tabled on 12 January 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many people aged (1) below 50, (2) 50 to 59, (3) 60 to 69, (4) 70 to 79, and (5) over 80, years, had died as a result of COVID-19 as of 31 December 2020; and how many in each age group had a serious underlying health condition.

Answered on

26 January 2021

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have therefore asked the Authority to respond.

19 January 2021

Dear Lord West,

As National Statistician and Chief Executive of the UK Statistics Authority, I am responding to your Parliamentary Question asking how many people aged (1) below 50, (2) 50 to 59, (3) 60 to 69, (4) 70 to 79, and (5) over 80 years, have died as a result of COVID-19 as of 31 December 2020; and how many in each age group had a serious underlying health condition (HL12082).

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is responsible for publishing numbers of deaths registered in England and Wales. As part of the ‘Deaths registered weekly in England and Wales’ publication[1], we produce the number of deaths involving COVID-19 by age group. Table 1 below shows the number of deaths due to COVID-19 registered in England and Wales between 28 December 2019 and 1 January 2021, the relevant period used in our regular mortality reports, for the age bands below 50, 50-59, 60-69, 70-79, and 80 years and over.

The mortality statistics produced by the ONS are based on the information recorded when a death is certified and registered. A doctor will only record a health condition on the death certificate if it was in the sequence of events leading to death, or was a contributory factor in the death; the death certificate does not list all health conditions the person suffered from. Therefore, we can say in how many deaths a particular condition was involved (i.e. mentioned on the death certificate) but not how many deaths in total were of individuals suffering from such conditions. Similarly, where several conditions are mentioned on the death certificate, we cannot necessarily say whether each one was ‘serious’ in itself. For example, a chronic condition such as diabetes might have contributed to the death in combination with COVID-19, but be unlikely to have caused death on its own.

Information on deaths involving COVID-19 and pre-existing health conditions was published in July for the period 1 March to 30 June 2020 [2]. Table 2 shows the number of deaths involving COVID-19 occurring in England and Wales between 1 March and 30 June 2020, registered up to 4 July 2020, for the age bands below 50, 50-59, 60-69, 70-79, and 80 years and over, divided into those did or did not have one or more pre-existing conditions mentioned on the death certificate. The analysis of pre-existing conditions in the deaths involving COVID-19 is planned to be updated in the next six weeks.

Yours sincerely,

Professor Sir Ian Diamond

Table 1. Deaths due to COVID-19 registered between 28 December 2019 and 1 January 2021, England and Wales[3],[4],[5],[6]

Age band

Deaths

Below 50 years

1,499

50 to 59 years

3,470

60 to 69 years

7,837

70 to 79 years

18,699

80 years and over

49,325

Source: ONS

Table 2. Deaths involving COVID-19 by whether a pre-existing condition was mentioned on the death certificate, deaths occurring 1 March to 30 June 2020, England and Wales[7],[8],[9],[10]

Age band

One or more pre-existing condition

No pre-existing condition

Below 50 years

807

192

50 to 59 years

1,950

350

60 to 69 years

4,333

523

70 to 79 years

10,394

926

80 years and over

28,375

2,485

Source: ONS

[1]https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/deathsregisteredweeklyinenglandandwalesprovisional/latest

[2]https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/deathsinvolvingcovid19englandandwales/deathsoccurringinjune2020

[3] Includes deaths registered between 28 December 2019 and 1 January 2021. These figures represent death registrations, there can be a delay between the date a death occurred and the date a death was registered. More information can be found in our impact of registration delays release.

[4] Does not include deaths where age is either missing or not yet fully coded.

[5] Does not include deaths of those resident outside England and Wales or those records where the place of residence is either missing or not yet fully coded.

[6] All figures for 2020 and 2021 are provisional.

[7] Includes deaths occurring between 1 March and 30 June 2020, registered up to 4 July 2020.

[8] Based on all deaths involving COVID-19 (ICD-10 codes U07.1 and U07.2) not only deaths ‘due to’ COVID-19 (i.e. where COVID-19 was the underlying cause of death).

[9] Includes deaths of non-residents.

[10] All figures for 2020 and 2021 are provisional.

Answered by

Cabinet Office