Comparisons of all-cause mortality between European countries and regions – ONS

“While England did not have the highest peak mortality, it did have the longest continuous period of excess mortality of any country compared, resulting in England having the highest levels of excess mortality in Europe for the period as a whole.”

www.ons.gov.uk 

1. Things you need to know about this release

There has been considerable interest in international comparisons of mortality during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The best way of comparing the mortality impact internationally is by looking at all-cause mortality rates by local area, region and country compared with the five-year average. All-cause mortality avoids the problem of different countries recording COVID-19 deaths in different ways, and also takes into account the indirect impact of the pandemic, such as deaths from other causes that might be related to delayed access to healthcare.

2. Main points

  • Within countries there has been considerable variation in mortality; in the UK, every local authority area (NUTS3) experienced excess mortality during the peak weeks of excess mortality (week ending 3 April to week ending 8 May 2020), while other Western European countries experienced more geographically localised excess mortality.
  • Analysis of Weeks 8 to 24 (week ending 21 February to week ending 12 June) at local authority level (NUTS3) across Europe shows that the highest rates of excess mortality were in areas in Central Spain and Northern Italy; Bergamo (Northern Italy) had the highest peak excess mortality of 847.7% (week ending 20 March) compared with the highest in the UK, Brent at 357.5% (week ending 17 April).
  • Looking at major cities, the highest peak excess mortality was in Madrid at 432.7% (week ending 27 March) while in the UK, Birmingham had the highest peak excess mortality of any major British city at 249.7% (week ending 17 April).
  • Of the four nations of the UK, England had the highest peak excess mortality (107.6% in week ending 17 April).
  • England saw the second highest national peak of excess mortality during Weeks 8 to 24 (week ending 21 February to week ending 12 June), compared with 21 European countries, with only Spain seeing a higher peak; at the equivalent of local authority level, areas of Central Spain and Northern Italy saw the highest peaks of excess mortality and exceeded any parts of the UK.
  • While England did not have the highest peak mortality, it did have the longest continuous period of excess mortality of any country compared, resulting in England having the highest levels of excess mortality in Europe for the period as a whole.
  • This article looks at all-cause mortality as a comparable international indicator of the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and does not specifically analyse deaths involving COVID-19; deaths are shown for the UK countries by date of registration.

[Much more to read on the web-site www.ons.gov.uk ]

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