ENGLAND had the worst excess death rate in Europe during the first half of 2020, new figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have shown.

The ONS report says that during the first six months of the year England had the “longest continuous period of excess mortality of any country compared, resulting in England having the highest levels of excess mortality in Europe for the period as a whole”.

This chart shows the excess death figures across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland over the first six months of the year. Scotland is represented by the yellow line.

The National:

The study on excess deaths in Europe also found that Spain had the highest peak level of excess deaths, while England had the second-highest peak.

On a local authority basis, the highest rates of excess deaths were found to be in central Spain and Northern Italy. In terms of cities, Madrid had the highest peak level of excess deaths.

The report compares data from 29 European countries and treats the UK’s four nations separately.

Edward Morgan, health analysis and life events at the ONS, said: “While none of the four UK nations had a peak mortality level as high as Spain or the worst-hit local areas of Spain and Italy, excess mortality was geographically widespread throughout the UK during the pandemic, whereas it was more geographically localised in most countries of Western Europe.

“Combined with the relatively slow downward ‘tail’ of the pandemic in the UK, this meant that by the end of May, England had seen the highest overall relative excess mortality out of all the European countries compared.”