The Covid-19 toll, 2021

Elaborate tables, daily updated, purport to show the progress of the Covid-19 pandemic around the world. They have always been confusing, and by March 2020 it was already apparent that they did not give an accurate picture of the problems being faced. They depend on diagnoses; diagnosis has never been an exact science, and from the beginning it has been plain that the majority of serious cases of the disease are associated with other potentially lethal conditions. It seems that in those countries so badly affected that mortality from Covid-19 could be expected to show up in overall counts of deaths, there was generally significant underestimation of its effects, at least to begin with.

In the UK, the Office of National Statistics has for some years been providing numbers of deaths registered each week, in two tables, one divided by sex and age of the deceased, and one divided by region. It is therefore possible to compare the 2020-2021 figures with those of previous years. Below I give the 2021 figures so far available, together with the ratios of these to the averages over 2015-2019. See covid19.2020.htm for the corresponding table for 2020.

For comparison with other European countries see the last reference below.


Deaths in England and Wales in 2021, divided by week of registration, sex and age
     compared with averages over previous five years and coronavirus deaths declared for UK

Week ending
        8.1      22.1       5.2      19.2     Total to date  

Numbers of deaths in 2021, and ratios of these to average over the five years 2015-2019
     (ratios left blank if difference not significant)
Males
   <1    27   31   24   37   29   29   21         198     <1 
  /av                                    
  1-14    6    8    7   10    7    7   10          55    1-14
  /av                            0.5             0.67
 15-44  187  229  259  250  231  265  223        1644   15-44
  /av   1.4  1.2  1.3  1.2       1.4             1.23
 45-64 1201 1289 1350 1331 1238 1199 1108        8716   45-64
  /av   1.6  1.5  1.6  1.6  1.6  1.5  1.4        1.54
 65-74 1613 1775 1741 1788 1603 1500 1346       11366   65-74
  /av   1.5  1.4  1.5  1.6  1.5  1.4  1.2        1.42
 75-84 2877 2837 2965 2786 2674 2406 2137       18682   75-84
  /av   1.6  1.4  1.5  1.5  1.5  1.4  1.2        1.45
   85+ 3011 3038 3194 3125 2865 2440 2182       19855     85+
  /av   1.6  1.4  1.5  1.5  1.5  1.3  1.2        1.42

Females
   <1    25   21   24   22   11   28   15         146     <1 
  /av                       0.5       0.6
  1-14    6    1   10    9   10    8   10          54    1-14
  /av        0.1                         
 15-44  116  158  157  150  145  147  124         997   15-44
  /av   1.3  1.5  1.5  1.5  1.3  1.3             1.34
 45-64  777  812  852  812  777  727  725        5482   45-64
  /av   1.4  1.4  1.5  1.5  1.4  1.4  1.3        1.42
 65-74 1232 1169 1226 1146 1087  974  966        7800   65-74
  /av   1.5  1.3  1.4  1.4  1.4  1.2  1.3        1.35
 75-84 2392 2447 2359 2484 2233 1980 1814       15709   75-84
  /av   1.4  1.3  1.3  1.5  1.4  1.3  1.2        1.33
   85+ 4281 4227 4508 4498 4282 3644 3128       28568     85+
  /av   1.3  1.1  1.3  1.3  1.3  1.2  1.1        1.23

Regions (North East, North West, Yorkshire & Humberside, East Midlands, West Midlands, East, London, South East, South West, Wales)
NE      858  797  836  752  742  763  677        5425  NE    
  /av   1.3  1.1  1.2  1.1  1.1  1.2  1.1        1.16
NW     2090 2112 2202 2191 2162 2002 1920       14679  NW    
  /av   1.2  1.2  1.3  1.3  1.4  1.3  1.2        1.26
Y & H  1640 1408 1426 1485 1326 1274 1261        9820  Y & H 
  /av   1.3       1.1  1.2  1.1  1.1  1.1        1.13
E Mid  1414 1402 1496 1403 1406 1456 1244        9821  E Mid 
  /av   1.3  1.2  1.4  1.3  1.4  1.4  1.3        1.32
W Mid  1785 1820 1925 1926 1886 1670 1592       12604  W Mid 
  /av   1.3  1.3  1.4  1.5  1.5  1.3  1.3        1.38
East   2082 2240 2267 2350 2166 1866 1581       14552  East  
  /av   1.5  1.5  1.6  1.7  1.6  1.4  1.3        1.52
London 2138 2346 2417 2302 1922 1545 1367       14037  London
  /av   1.8  1.9  2.1  2.0  1.7  1.4  1.3        1.74
SE     2950 3127 3328 3271 2941 2446 2047       20110  SE    
  /av   1.5  1.5  1.6  1.7  1.6  1.3  1.2        1.49
SW     1570 1593 1670 1775 1708 1550 1306       11172  SW    
  /av   1.1  1.1  1.2  1.4  1.3  1.2  1.1        1.20
Wales  1198 1170 1077  974  903  760  787        6869  Wales 
  /av   1.5  1.4  1.4  1.2  1.2       1.1        1.26

Total
      17751180421867618448171921535413809      119272        
  /av  1.46 1.31 1.41 1.45 1.41 1.29 1.19        1.36

Excess of English and Welsh deaths
       5553 4221 5464 5689 4991 3434 2184
Covid-19 deaths declared
       6057 7245 8422 8433 7320 5691 4079

References:
https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/datasets/weeklyprovisionalfiguresondeathsregisteredinenglandandwales
https://github.com/CSSEGISandData/COVID-19/blob/master/csse_covid_19_data/csse_covid_19_time_series/time_series_covid19_deaths_global.csv
See also
https://www.euromomo.eu/graphs-and-maps/
https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/covid19/excess_deaths.htm
https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/articles/comparisonsofallcausemortalitybetweeneuropeancountriesandregions/januarytojune2020
https://www.conass.org.br/indicadores-de-obitos-por-causas-naturais/

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2.3.21