Registered deaths in 2019
As a Statistical Ambassador, journalists ask for analysis and help with their articles. There was a suspicion that deaths in 2019 might show an early presence of COVID-19.
This article considers that suggestion for registered deaths in England and Wales.
We should recognise the seasonal pattern in death registrations. There are more deaths registered in winter months than in summer.
The figures show when the registrations happen, not when the deaths occurred. Public holidays could affect numbers registered in those weeks.
In England and Wales, there are two major trends.
First, the ONS found reductions in mortality rates have stalled. The age-standard mortality rate in 2018 was like the earlier part of the decade.
Under those two trends, we would generally see increased numbers of registered deaths.
This is what has happened if we look at weeks 41 to 52 in each year. Note that 2015 has a reporting week 53, ending on 1st January 2016.
There has been a general increase in registered deaths through the decade.
For those aged 45 and over, the elevation in registered deaths is within expectations.
The increased deaths were moderate. In England and Wales, we have a stalling mortality rate and a bigger population. That increase is in line with established trends.