The second half of 2022 had the highest mortality rate in twelve years, including the two previous years of the pandemic, according to analysis from the Continuous Mortality Investigation (CMI) conducted by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA).
Overall the CMI noted the UK had suffered around 155,300 more deaths from all causes than expected from the start of the pandemic to 6 January 2023. Of these, 72,900 occurred in 2020, 47,500 in 2021, and 31,000 in 2022.
The analysis revealed the second half of 2022 had 26,300 excess deaths, compared to 4,700 in the first half of 2022.
And while excess mortality in the second half of the year did not hit the peaks of the first six months of 2020 and 2021, it was persistent – leading to more excess deaths in the second half of 2022 than in the second half of any year since 2010.
The research also showed mortality for 2022 as a whole was 4.5% higher than 2019, but 7.8% lower than in 2020 and 2.2% lower than in 2021.
There was a marked difference in how mortality rates in 2022 compared to 2019 at different ages, with younger adults more severly hit.
Rates ranged from 2.5% higher for ages 75-84 to 7.8% higher for ages 20-44.
Cobus Daneel, chairman of the CMI Mortality Projections Committee, said: “Although weekly excess mortality in the second half of 2022 wasn’t nearly as high as the peaks earlier in the pandemic, it was persistent.
“This led to more excess deaths in the second half of 2022 than in the second half of any year since 2010.
“Excess mortality has been particularly high recently with more than 7,000 excess deaths over the three weeks to 6 January 2023.”
The CMI’s mortality monitor is based on provisional England & Wales deaths data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) for 2022.
Data for the first week of 2023 can be affected by public holidays around the turn of the year, however, deaths registered in England and Wales in the first week of the year were 3,437 higher than if mortality rates had been the same as week one of 2019; equivalent to 30% more deaths than expected.