Tens of thousands more Brits were dying than expected and experts aren’t quite sure why that is.
From May to December last year, there were 32,441 excess deaths in England and Wales, excluding deaths from Covid.
Excess deaths are defined as the number of people who died above the five-year average – worked out excluding 2020 due to how Covid spiked death figures that year.
This means that over 32,000 Brits would’ve been expected to be alive, but died according to Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures across this period.
These shocking figures raised a number of important questions about what is happening to the country’s populations, how it’s changing, and why so many more people are dying.
Ever since the Covid pandemic, excess deaths have fluctuated wildly month on month, tumbling well below the five-year average or spiking far above it.
The spikes in excess deaths can be attributed to a number of causes, but it isn’t clear what’s driving these spikes or causing these drop-offs.
Similarly, earlier in 2022, excess deaths dipped well below average levels, with one expert group speculating to the Mirror that a ‘mortality displacement’ effect might explain why so many deaths are bunched up in the space of several months, being passed on from the months prior.