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Final data on the number of deaths that occurred in England and Wales ...
Final data on the number of deaths that occurred in England and Wales

during 2002 and on estimated excess mortality during the 2001/2002

winter are published today by the Office for National Statistics. Provisional estimates for excess mortality during the 2002/2003 winter are also released.

Key statistics on deaths that occurred in 2002 are:

- The total number of deaths was 533,594, a crude rate of 1,020

deaths per 100,000 population.

- There were 253,187 male deaths, an age-standardised rate (which

allows for variations in the age-structure of the population) of

809 deaths per 100,000, compared with 280,407 female deaths, an

age-standardised rate of 555 deaths per 100,000 population. This

compares with 820 per 100,000 for males and 555 per 100,000 for

females in 2001.

- There were 3,129 infant deaths in 2002, compared with 3,240 in

2001. The infant mortality rate fell to 5.2 deaths per 1,000 live

births - down from 5.4 in 2001 and 5.6 in 2000. This follows a

slight rise from 5.7 to 5.8 between 1998 and 1999. This is the

lowest rate ever recorded for England and Wales, and continues the

long-term fall in the infant mortality rate.

Key statistics on excess winter mortality are:

- There were estimated to be 27,230 excess deaths in the winter of

2001/2002 (December-March), based on a comparison with the

non-winter period (August-November 2001, April-July 2002).

- In the winter of 2002/2003 there were approximately 24,000 excess


- The figure for 2002/2003 is the lowest since the winter of

1997/1998, when there were estimated to be 22,900 excess deaths.

This is the third consecutive winter where excess winter mortality

has been estimated to be below 30,000. Higher levels of excess

winter mortality were seen in the winters of 1998/1999 and

1999/2000, which had estimated excess winter deaths of 46,840 and

48,440 respectively.


1. Excess winter mortality is defined as deaths occurring in

December-March minus the average of the deaths occurring in the

preceding August to November and the following April to July.

Provisional excess winter mortality figures are to the nearest 100.

The methodology used to estimate winter deaths in 2002/03 is

available on request.

2. Historical trends in excess winter mortality and data for regions

are available on the National Statistics website.

3. National Statistics are produced to high professional standards

set out in the National Statistics Code of Practice. They undergo

regular quality assurance reviews to ensure that they meet customer

needs. They are produced free from any political interference.

Crown copyright 2003.

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