England Has Highest Coronavirus Excess Death Rate In Europe, Official Data Shows

by : Julia Banim on : 30 Jul 2020 10:18
England Has Highest Coronavirus Excess Death Rate In Europe, Official Data ShowsPA

England has suffered the highest coronavirus excess death rate in Europe, according to newly released data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

According to the ONS, England had the ‘longest continuous’ period of excess mortality out of 21 European countries during the outbreak, as well the second-highest peak death rate of any European nation. Only Spain saw a higher peak.


These factors combined have resulted in ‘England having the highest levels of excess mortality in Europe for the period as a whole’.

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These new figures reveal that England had the highest rates of excess mortality in Europe during the first half of 2020, and also endured the highest excess mortality levels out of the four UK nations (107.6% in week ending April 17).

England had the second highest national peak of excess mortality during weeks eight to 24 of the pandemic – week ending February 21 to week ending June 12.


Significantly, England’s outbreak was also more broadly spread than rates recorded in other European nations, where outbreaks were contained within concentrated areas.

Every local authority area saw excess mortality during the peak excess mortality weeks – week ending April 3 to week ending May 8 – whereas in other Western European countries, excess mortality was more geographically localised.

Edward Morgan, Health Analysis and Life Events at the Office for National Statistics, said:


Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the first half of 2020 saw extraordinary increases in mortality rates across countries in Western Europe above the 2015 to 2019 average.

The highest peak excess mortality at national level was in Spain, with some local areas in Northern Italy and Central Spain having excess mortality levels as high as 847.7% of the average.

While none of the UK’s four nations reached a peak mortality level as high as Spain or the worst-hit local areas of Spain and Italy, Morgan continued, excess mortality was geographically widespread throughout the UK during the pandemic, whereas it was more geographically localised in most countries of Western Europe.

Morgan commented, ‘Combined with the relatively slow downward ‘tail’ of the pandemic in the UK, this meant that by the end of May, England had seen the highest overall relative excess mortality out of all the European countries compared.’

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In terms of major British cities, Birmingham had the highest peak excess mortality, seeing 249.7% during the week ending April 17.

These findings present provisional analysis of European all-cause mortality patterns for the first half of the year.

This analysis will reportedly allow experts to examine the impact of the coronavirus pandemic whilst including excess deaths from the ‘wider impacts of coronavirus on healthcare systems and society’, as well as deaths directly related to the virus.

It’s okay to not panic about everything going on in the world right now. LADbible and UNILAD’s aim with our campaign, Cutting Through, is to provide our community with facts and stories from the people who are either qualified to comment or have experienced first-hand the situation we’re facing. For more information from the World Health Organization, click here.

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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: Health, Coronavirus, Deaths, england, Europe, Now


Office for National Statistics (ONS)
  1. Office for National Statistics (ONS)

    Comparisons of all-cause mortality between European countries and regions: January to June 2020