“The top 10 killers in the UK”

Comparison of usual causes of death - and the Coronavirus

© Brexit Facts4EU.Org - full-size clickable version is below

Tomorrow we will be bringing readers a shocking report about the EU. Today we present another simple chart which attempts to give some more context to the Coronavirus crisis.

In our fifth year readers still come to us for perspectives on Brexit. Our articles continue to be backed by reliable, official facts, presented in a punchy and accessible way. We remain the most prolific publisher of Brexit facts in the world.

For over two months we have also published our research in the same way on the Coronavirus crisis, as this is the topic which has dominated the public discourse in the United Kingdom and across the European Union.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org Summary

The top 10 killers in England and Wales (and in the UK as a whole)

  • Total deaths in 2018 in England and Wales were 541,589
  • The top three killers each year are cancer, dementia/alzheimers, and heart disease - totalling 271,830 deaths in 2018
  • 19,093 deaths have so far been linked to Coronavirus in 2020, although cause of death is not certain in all (see below)
  • That's currently 7% of the expected total of deaths from all causes, although of course this will end up being higher
  • First academic study on increased cancer deaths due to focus on Coronavirus suggests nearly 20,000 extra will die this year
    • © Brexit Facts4EU.Org - click to enlarge

What is included in these figures?

The figures for our chart above come from the ONS and are for England and Wales only. All data apart from the Coronavirus bar at the top is for 2018 - the last full year for which detailed figures are available - and shows the top 10 causes of deaths that year.

The Coronavirus figure showing registered deaths of 19,083 also comes from the ONS and was released yesterday, 28 Apr 2020, as part of their normal weekly output. These deaths (for England and Wales only) include deaths in hospitals, care homes, at home, and anywhere else. They are correct up to week ending 17 April.

But just which figures really ARE correct?

It is important to stress that there is considerable uncertainty around these figures. The table we used from the ONS spreadsheet is described as "Weekly provisional figures on deaths registered where coronavirus (COVID-19) was mentioned on the death certificate in England and Wales".

What does "mentioned on the death certificate" mean? Here is what the ONS says:

“A doctor can certify the involvement of COVID-19 based on symptoms and clinical findings – a positive test result is not required.”

“The numbers of deaths involving COVID-19: that is, where COVID-19 or suspected COVID-19 was mentioned anywhere on the death certificate, including in combination with other health conditions. If a death certificate mentions COVID-19 it will not always be the main cause of death, but may be a contributory factor.”

The Office for National Statistics, 28 Apr 2020


We hope some further perspective on the Coronavirus crisis has been useful for readers.

[ Sources: Office for National Statistics ] Politicians and journalists can contact us for details, as ever.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org, Wed 29 Apr 2020

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