The pandemic's mortality impact in England and Wales: 63,000 more deaths and a year off life-expectancy

Elevated mortality due to the pandemic significantly reduced life expectancy in 2020

An estimated 62,750 excess deaths resulted in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic in England and Wales, according to demographic experts at Oxford’s Leverhulme Centre for Demographic Science - who reveal life expectancy was cut for men and women by -1.3 and -1.0 years respectively.

In a recently-published paper, the Leverhulme team calculate more people died in 2020 by comparing the number of deaths from all causes in 2020 with mortality trends from the past decade. This approach helps understand the overall mortality impact of the pandemic. Using data on registered deaths in 2020, the team was able to compute life expectancy for that year and compare it with past levels in England and Wales.

The magnitude of these losses in life expectancy are especially significant given that over the course of the 20th century we saw increases in life expectancy in England and Wales of nearly three years every decade.

Ridhi Kashyap, study author

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