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Release: Excess Winter Mortality in England and Wales, 2014/15 (Provisional) and 2013/14 (Final)

Released: 25 November 2015


Rosie Amery

Life Events and Population Sources

Telephone: +44 (0)1633 456554

Categories: Health and Social Care, Health of the Population, Deaths, Population, Causes of Death, Mortality Rates, Seasonal Mortality

Frequency of release: Annually

Language: English

Geographical coverage: England and Wales

Geographical breakdown: Local Authority

  • An estimated 43,900 excess winter deaths occurred in England and Wales in 2014/15; the highest number since 1999/00, with 27% more people dying in the winter months compared with the non-winter months.

  • The majority of deaths occurred among people aged 75 and over; there were an estimated 36,300 excess winter deaths in this age group in 2014/15, compared with 7,700 in people aged under 75.

  • There were more excess winter deaths in females than in males in 2014/15, as in previous years. Male excess winter deaths increased from 7,210 to 18,400, and female deaths from 10,250 to 25,500 between 2013/14 and 2014/15.

  • Respiratory diseases were the underlying cause of death in more than a third of all excess winter deaths in 2014/15.

  • The excess winter mortality index was highest in the South West in 2014/15 and joint lowest in Yorkshire and The Humber, and Wales.

About this bulletin

In common with other countries, in England and Wales more people die in the winter than in the summer. This statistical bulletin presents provisional figures of excess winter deaths (also referred to as excess winter mortality – EWM) in England and Wales for the winter period 2014/15, and final figures for the winter period 2013/14. Historical trends from 1950/51 onwards are also presented for comparison. Figures are presented by sex, age, area and cause of death. Figures on temperature and influenza incidence are also provided to add context to the mortality figures.

Additional information

Information about the underlying mortality data, including details on how the data is collected and coded, data quality and legislation are available in the Mortality metadata (2.46 Mb Pdf) and Quality and Methodology Information for Mortality Statistics in England and Wales (222.3 Kb Pdf) .

Further ONS releases based on death registrations

Mortality Statistics: Deaths registered in England and Wales (Series DR) is an annual publication containing a range of detailed reference tables, including the number of deaths by cause of death, sex and five-year age group.

The 20th Century Mortality Files are a record of mortality in England and Wales from 1901 to 2000, while the 21st Century Mortality Files are a record of mortality in England and Wales from 2001 onwards.

Weekly death figures provide provisional counts of the number of deaths registered in England and Wales in the latest eight weeks for which data are available. Monthly death figures provide provisional counts of the number of deaths registered by area of usual residence for England and Wales and final monthly counts for previous years.

These figures will not agree with the figures contained in the excess winter mortality release, as they are provisional and based on the date a death was registered rather than when it occurred – figures contained in the excess winter mortality release are based on death occurrences.

UK data

UK excess winter mortality figures are not available as ONS only hold mortality data for England and Wales. Differences in the death registration systems and methods used to calculate winter mortality between the countries of the UK mean it is not possible to produce UK figures.

National Records of Scotland (NRS) produce an annual winter mortality report, which is available on their website.

Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) produce figures on excess winter mortality which are available on their website.


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