Covid became the 9th leading cause of death in England last month with virus behind one in 40 deaths

Covid became the 9th leading cause of death in England last month with virus behind nearly one in 40 fatalities (after rising from 26th biggest killer in June)

  • Covid was responsible for 2.4 per cent (969) of the 40,467 deaths in England in July
  • The virus jumped from the 26th biggest killer in June to ninth place by July, behind nearly one in 40 deaths
  • Some 31 deaths per day were caused by Covid, compared to 142 for top killers dementia and Alzheimer’s


Covid was the ninth leading cause of death in England in July, official figures revealed today.

The virus accounted for nearly one in 40 deaths in the country last month (2.4 per cent), according to data from the Office for National Statistics.

Covid jumped from England’s 26th to ninth biggest killer in the space of one month, when the virus was behind just 0.9 per cent of deaths – fewer than one in 100.

But the proportion of deaths caused by the virus still low. During the peak of the second wave in January, the virus accounted for 37.4 per cent of all deaths in England.

In July, Covid causes 969 of the 40,467 fatalities recorded. This equates to an average of 31 deaths per day throughout July.

But this month, average Covid deaths have reached 100 a day across the UK after a small but sustained uptake in cases and fatalities, linked with the more infectious Indian Delta variant and easing restrictions. 

Dementia and Alzheimer’s, heart disease and lung disease continue to be the top three causes of deaths in England, collectively responsible for more than a quarter of deaths in July. 

In addition to the 969 deaths in England last month where Covid was the underlying cause, a further 192 people died with Covid, according to the ONS.

This means the virus was mentioned on a total of 1,161 death certificates in the country last month.  

The ONS calculated that 20.5 deaths per 100,000 people were due to the virus in July. One month earlier, Covid caused just 7.5 fatalities per 100,000 individuals.

The North of England continued to be the region with the highest Covid deaths rates in July, recording 50.1 per 100,000 people – nearly double the national average. 

Overall, the number of fatalities recorded in England in July was 7.6 per cent higher than the five year average, with 2,864 more deaths recorded compared to the same month in 2015 to 2019.

Meanwhile, figures for Wales reveal Covid was the 22nd leading cause of death last month, accounting for 1.2 per cent of all deaths.

This equated to 11.6 deaths per 100,000 people. One month earlier, deaths from the virus were so low in the country that this number couldn’t be calculated. 

The five year average provides an indicator of the number of deaths expected each month. The ONS excluded 2020 from the five year average, because of the pandemic’s impact on last year’s figures. 


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