England had the highest levels of excess mortality in Europe across the first half of 2020, new analysis by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed today.
The country experienced the longest continuous period of excess deaths as well as the highest levels, a comparison of 23 European countries found.
By the week ending May 29, England had a relative cumulative age-standardised mortality rate of 7.55% – meaning it was 7.55% higher than the average mortality rate between 2015 and 2019.
Spain ranked second at 6.65%, followed by Scotland (5.11%), Belgium (3.89%) and Wales (2.78%).
England still had the highest cumulative excess deaths rate two weeks later, by the week ending June 12, though at this point there was only data available on 17 other countries to compare it with.
From February 14 to the week ending June 12, England experienced the second highest peak of excess deaths, after Spain, out of 21 countries with data available.
This chart shows the difference in mortality rates from the average in York from week 1 (ending 3 January 2020) to week 24 (ending 12 June).
Over the weeks examined by the ONS, York’s excess deaths ranged from 56% lower than average – in the week ending 17 January – to a peak of 110% higher than average, in the week ending 8 May.
On average over the period, York had 15.3% more deaths than usual.
In the UK, Birmingham was the city with the highest peak excess mortality (249.7% in the week ending April 17), followed by London (226.7% in the week ending April 17) and Manchester (198.4% in the week ending April 17).
York’s figure for the same week was 104.9% excess mortality.
To check the excess deaths for areas in the UK and Europe, search in the interactive ONS graphic, below.