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NISRA | Analysis of Covid-19 related deaths: March – August 2020

The Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) has today published a quarterly Covid-19 bulletin reflecting Covid-19 related deaths that occurred (based on the date of death) in Northern Ireland between 1st March and 31st August 2020.

The statistics show that Covid-19 related deaths (875) accounted for 10.9% of all deaths in Northern Ireland over the six-month period.

Age-standardised mortality rates (ASMRs) are used to directly compare mortality rates for different groups, including males with females, or regions, using the age structure of a standard population. The Covid-19 related ASMR for March to August was 55.2 per 100,000 persons.

Males had a significantly higher rate of death linked to Covid-19: the ASMR for males was 69.9 deaths per 100,000 of the male population compared with 45.8 deaths per 100,000 females.

Monthly Covid-19 ASMRs per 100,000 were highest in April (36.7 for males and 23.4 for females) and lowest in August (1.9 for males and 0.6 for females).

Belfast Local Government District (LGD) had the highest Covid-19 related ASMR with 90.0 deaths per 100,000, followed by the neighbouring Antrim and Newtownabbey LGD at 73.1 (per 100,000).  

Fermanagh and Omagh had the lowest Covid-19 related ASMR of 17.2 (per 100,000), followed by the neighbouring Derry and Strabane with an ASMR of 27.0 (per 100,000). For Assembly Areas, Belfast West (113.7), Belfast North (93.5) and Belfast East (90.8) had the highest Covid-19 related ASMRs per 100,000 while South Down had the lowest ASMR (19.9).

Adjusting for differing age structures within the population, Covid-19 related ASMRs were highest for the 20% most deprived areas at 66.0 deaths per 100,000 population, followed by the 20% least deprived areas at 60.4 deaths. This compares with an ASMR of 55.2 per 100,000 persons for Northern Ireland as a whole.

The highest Covid-19 related ASMR was found in urban areas (66.9 deaths per 100,000 population). This was significantly higher than ASMRs in areas categorised as mixed urban/rural (43.3 deaths per 100,000 population) and rural (36.3 deaths per 100,000 population).

Proportions of Covid-19 related deaths in Northern Ireland by Country of birth are in line with proportions from the Northern Ireland Census in 2011 and show that 90.3% of Covid-19 related deaths were of people born in Northern Ireland.

One hundred and two of the 875 (11.7%) Covid-19 related deaths were persons of working age (aged 20-69), of which the largest group (40 persons; 39.2%) were in the skilled trades, elementary occupations or process, plant and machine operative occupational groups.

Statistics on weekly deaths registered in Northern Ireland can be found at:

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