People in most deprived areas of England twice as likely to die of coronavirus

·3-min read
A triage nurse waits for patients in the Emergency Department at Frimley Park Hospital in Surrey. Picture date: 22/5/2020.
Data from the Office for National Statistics shows that the most deprived areas of England have coronavirus death rates twice as high as the least deprived areas. (PA Images)

The coronavirus death rate in the most deprived areas of England is more than double that in the least deprived areas, new data shows.

Figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) found there were 46,687 deaths involving coronavirus in England and Wales between 1 March and 31 May 2020, representing a quarter of all deaths in this time period.

Overall, this means there were 81.2 deaths involving COVID-19 per 100,000 people in England and Wales.

In England, the death rate for the least deprived area was 58.8 deaths per 100,000 population. The death rate in the most deprived area was more than twice that, with 128.3 deaths per 100,000 population.

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The figures show that death rates were higher in cities than in rural areas.

Sarah Caul, head of mortality analysis for the ONS, said: “People living in more deprived areas have continued to experience COVID-19 mortality rates more than double those living in less deprived areas.

“General mortality rates are normally higher in more deprived areas, but COVID-19 appears to be increasing this effect.”

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The area with the highest COVID-19 death rate in England and Wales between 1 March and 31 May was the London borough of Brent, with a rate of 210.9 deaths per 100,000 people, followed by four more London boroughs – Newham (196.8 deaths per 100,000 people), Hackney (182.9 deaths per 100,000 people), Harrow (178.0 deaths per 100,000 people) and Haringey (177.9 deaths per 100,000 people).

In May, the death rate in London had slowed, the figures show, and the region with the highest mortality rate was the North East.

The South West region had the lowest mortality rate overall and during each of the last three months.

A separate ONS report released on Friday showed that coronavirus infection rates continue to decline in England.

An average of 33,000 people in England had coronavirus at any given time between 25 May and 7 June, according to the figures, not including those in hospitals or care homes.

The previous infection study estimated 53,000 people in England had COVID-19 any one time between 17-30 May on average.

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