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       5.3      19.3       2.4      16.4      30.4     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   39   29   40   21   32   22   23   24   26   19         473     <1 
  /av                                      1.5                                          0.6
  1-14    6    8    7   10    7    7   10    5    5    8    6    6    8    7   12    3    5         120    1-14
  /av                            0.5            0.4                                0.2             0.65
 15-44  187  229  259  250  231  265  223  198  245  219  195  201  192  180  211  203  170        3658   15-44
  /av   1.4  1.2  1.3  1.2       1.4            1.4                           1.2                  1.15
 45-64 1201 1289 1350 1331 1238 1199 1108  999  943  941  900  823  660  711  867  872  777       17209   45-64
  /av   1.6  1.5  1.6  1.6  1.6  1.5  1.4  1.3  1.2  1.2  1.2  1.1            1.2  1.2             1.31
 65-74 1613 1775 1741 1788 1603 1500 1346 1240 1174 1078 1052 1006  775  897 1005  954  983       21530   65-74
  /av   1.5  1.4  1.5  1.6  1.5  1.4  1.2  1.2  1.1                 0.8  0.9                       1.19
 75-84 2877 2837 2965 2786 2674 2406 2137 1937 1756 1651 1528 1498 1227 1413 1595 1489 1512       34288   75-84
  /av   1.6  1.4  1.5  1.5  1.5  1.4  1.2  1.1  1.1       0.9  0.9  0.8  0.9       0.9             1.18
   85+ 3011 3038 3194 3125 2865 2440 2182 2002 1787 1639 1557 1545 1246 1345 1535 1456 1543       35510     85+
  /av   1.6  1.4  1.5  1.5  1.5  1.3  1.2  1.1       0.9  0.9       0.8  0.8  0.9  0.9             1.16

Females
   <1    25   21   24   22   11   28   15   25   23   24   26   24   16   21   18   24   16         363     <1 
  /av                       0.5       0.6                                                  
  1-14    6    1   10    9   10    8   10   10    6    9   13   11    4    4    2    3    6         122    1-14
  /av        0.1                                                              0.2  0.4             0.79
 15-44  116  158  157  150  145  147  124  113  111  115  110  119   96  112  125  128  120        2146   15-44
  /av   1.3  1.5  1.5  1.5  1.3  1.3                           1.2                                 1.21
 45-64  777  812  852  812  777  727  725  634  598  585  554  522  446  482  529  516  491       10839   45-64
  /av   1.4  1.4  1.5  1.5  1.4  1.4  1.3  1.2  1.2  1.1                                           1.22
 65-74 1232 1169 1226 1146 1087  974  966  913  819  751  736  680  590  617  766  721  673       15066   65-74
  /av   1.5  1.3  1.4  1.4  1.4  1.2  1.3  1.2                      0.8  0.9                       1.15
 75-84 2392 2447 2359 2484 2233 1980 1814 1573 1486 1448 1359 1274 1079 1194 1396 1292 1255       29065   75-84
  /av   1.4  1.3  1.3  1.5  1.4  1.3  1.2                 0.9  0.9  0.8  0.9       0.9  0.9        1.11
   85+ 4281 4227 4508 4498 4282 3644 3128 2926 2610 2479 2254 2304 1840 2092 2353 2254 2122       51802     85+
  /av   1.3  1.1  1.3  1.3  1.3  1.2  1.1       0.9  0.8  0.8  0.9  0.7  0.8  0.9  0.9  0.8        1.03

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  614  581  593  523  505  449  504  544  509  501       10748  NE    
  /av   1.3  1.1  1.2  1.1  1.1  1.2  1.1                           0.9                 0.9        1.05
NW     2090 2112 2202 2191 2162 2002 1920 1659 1564 1472 1457 1365 1125 1229 1351 1345 1281       28527  NW    
  /av   1.2  1.2  1.3  1.3  1.4  1.3  1.2  1.1                      0.9  0.9  0.9       0.9        1.10
Y & H  1640 1408 1426 1485 1326 1274 1261 1196 1100 1037 1031 1016  848  930 1004 1001  943       19926  Y & H 
  /av   1.3       1.1  1.2  1.1  1.1  1.1            0.9            0.9  0.9                       1.04
E Mid  1414 1402 1496 1403 1406 1456 1244 1092 1091  999  891  929  655  850  944  849  814       18935  E Mid 
  /av   1.3  1.2  1.4  1.3  1.4  1.4  1.3  1.1  1.2                 0.8                            1.14
W Mid  1785 1820 1925 1926 1886 1670 1592 1401 1250 1182 1101 1075  881  888 1073 1057  982       23494  W Mid 
  /av   1.3  1.3  1.4  1.5  1.5  1.3  1.3  1.2                      0.9  0.8                       1.16
East   2082 2240 2267 2350 2166 1866 1581 1403 1309 1225 1029  988  841  950 1153 1054 1062       25566  East  
  /av   1.5  1.5  1.6  1.7  1.6  1.4  1.3  1.1  1.1       0.9  0.9  0.8  0.8            0.9        1.20
London 2138 2346 2417 2302 1922 1545 1367 1261 1093  976  917  914  741  816  970  986  908       23619  London
  /av   1.8  1.9  2.1  2.0  1.7  1.4  1.3  1.2       0.9  0.9  0.9  0.8  0.8            0.9        1.31
SE     2950 3127 3328 3271 2941 2446 2047 1988 1703 1632 1609 1538 1301 1374 1634 1469 1519       35877  SE    
  /av   1.5  1.5  1.6  1.7  1.6  1.3  1.2  1.1       0.9       0.9  0.9  0.9       0.9             1.20
SW     1570 1593 1670 1775 1708 1550 1306 1230 1191 1161 1115 1051  865  971 1109 1042 1084       21991  SW    
  /av   1.1  1.1  1.2  1.4  1.3  1.2  1.1            0.9  0.9  0.9  0.8  0.9                       1.05
Wales  1198 1170 1077  974  903  760  787  759  689  685  621  651  483  576  644  616  582       13175  Wales 
  /av   1.5  1.4  1.4  1.2  1.2       1.1                 0.8       0.7  0.8            0.9        1.07

Total
      177511804218676184481719215354138091261411592109871031110045 8201 909810438 9941 9692      222191        
  /av  1.46 1.31 1.41 1.45 1.41 1.29 1.19 1.09 1.04 0.96 0.92 0.95 0.81 0.88      0.95 0.93        1.14

Excess of English and Welsh deaths
       5553 4221 5464 5689 4991 3434 2184 1071  413 -501 -892 -521-1920-1205  -79 -548 -764
Covid-19 deaths declared
       6057 7245 8422 8433 7320 5691 4079 2914 2105 1501  963  719  400  379  362  260  205

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/
https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/coronavirus-excess-deaths-tracker
https://ourworldindata.org/excess-mortality-covid

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11.5.21