UK deaths for this year have exceeded 2019 levels by more than 70,000, despite a slight decrease in recent weeks, the Continuous Mortality Investigation (CMI) has found.
The CMI's latest update reveals that there were 8% more deaths in England and Wales between 5 December and 11 December 2020 (week 50) than there were during the corresponding week last year.
The increase in deaths when compared to 2019 levels – based on data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) – was 12% in weeks 49 and 48, and 13% in weeks 47 and 46.
Moreover, the number of deaths with COVID-19 mentioned on the death certificate has decreased from 3,040 in week 48, to 2,835 in week 49, and to 2,756 in week 50.
Overall, the CMI estimates that there have been around 70,300 'excess' UK deaths between the start of the pandemic and 11 December.
“The CMI’s analysis of ONS data shows that there have been over 70,000 excess deaths," said Cobus Daneel, chair of the CMI Mortality Projections Committee. “About 10,000 of these have occurred in the second wave.”
Owned by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, the CMI has been publishing analysis of the UK's mortality rate during the coronavirus crisis through its mortality monitor.
It estimates that the cumulative mortality improvement in England and Wales for this year was -12.3% on 11 December, compared to +0.1% on 20 March.
This comes after it revealed earlier this month that it would place no weight on 2020 data when it releases its next model for projecting UK mortality rates.
This is due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on death rates, which have been well outside the range of year-on-year changes seen over the past four decades.
While 2020 data will affect actuarial calculations, the CMI said that this is likely to be an outlier, and not indicative of the future path that mortality rates will follow.
“Once the model has been released, users will be able to adjust various model parameters to reflect their views,” Daneel said. “This will allow them to place partial or full weight on the 2020 data if they wish.”
Image credit: iStock
Author: Chris Seekings