Does the UK have highest Covid death toll in Europe?

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Royal London Hospital, January 2021

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Angela Rayner, deputy leader of the Labour Party, told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme: “We have the highest death toll in Europe.”

That is correct but does not take into account population size. Some smaller countries have reported higher rates of deaths per 100,000 people.

The UK did have the worst figures across most measures in the first wave of coronavirus, but has since been overtaken by countries that had worse winters.

As the table below shows, the UK has the fifth largest number of recorded coronavirus deaths in the world at the time of writing, behind the US, Brazil, India and Mexico.


data in detail

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*Deaths per 100,000 people

US 587,253 179.5 32,968,323
Brazil 449,068 214.4 16,083,258
India 303,720 22.5 26,752,447
Mexico 221,647 175.6 2,396,604
UK 127,721 190.2 4,462,538
Italy 125,225 206.5 4,192,183
Russia 116,497 79.9 4,944,129
France 108,596 167.1 5,603,666
Germany 87,429 105.2 3,657,667
Colombia 84,724 170.6 3,232,456
Spain 79,620 170.5 3,636,453
Iran 78,597 96.1 2,832,518
Argentina 74,063 167.0 3,539,484
Poland 72,928 192.3 2,865,622
Peru 68,053 212.7 1,925,289
South Africa 55,802 96.6 1,635,465
Ukraine 51,421 116.2 2,241,231
Indonesia 49,328 18.4 1,775,220
Turkey 46,268 56.2 5,186,487
Czech Republic 30,028 281.5 1,658,092
Romania 29,941 153.5 1,075,543
Hungary 29,560 304.5 802,346
Chile 28,518 152.3 1,329,918
Canada 25,206 68.0 1,366,475
Belgium 24,842 216.4 1,048,881
Pakistan 20,308 9.6 903,599
Ecuador 20,193 118.2 418,851
Philippines 19,951 18.7 1,179,812
Netherlands 17,561 102.9 1,627,841
Bulgaria 17,496 248.1 416,646
Portugal 17,017 165.9 845,224
Iraq 16,190 42.1 1,167,940
Egypt 14,721 15.0 253,835
Sweden 14,366 144.1 1,058,341
Bolivia 13,965 123.0 349,653
Bangladesh 12,376 7.7 789,080
Slovakia 12,292 225.4 388,835
Japan 12,275 9.6 720,122
Tunisia 12,236 105.8 335,345
Greece 11,772 111.9 389,804
Switzerland 10,776 126.4 687,353
Austria 10,546 118.6 641,380
Jordan 9,295 93.3 726,432
Morocco 9,122 25.3 517,023
Bosnia and Herzegovina 9,108 274.0 203,150
Paraguay 8,360 120.2 332,971
Guatemala 8,000 46.4 247,454
Croatia 7,903 190.1 353,986
Lebanon 7,677 111.9 538,518
Saudi Arabia 7,249 21.5 440,914
Serbia 6,777 97.1 709,939
Israel 6,404 76.4 839,336
Nepal 6,346 22.6 513,241
Panama 6,331 151.6 374,121
Honduras 6,146 64.1 232,672
Moldova 6,075 149.9 254,676
North Macedonia 5,311 255.0 155,063
Ireland 4,941 102.5 254,870
Azerbaijan 4,860 48.8 332,454
China 4,846 0.3 102,873
Georgia 4,639 115.9 337,961
Armenia 4,394 148.9 221,982
Slovenia 4,353 209.5 251,690
Lithuania 4,195 149.8 271,130
Ethiopia 4,076 3.7 269,194
Uruguay 3,871 112.2 265,098
Costa Rica 3,765 75.3 299,219
Dominican Republic 3,606 33.9 283,729
Palestinian Territories 3,459 71.1 305,201
Kazakhstan 3,428 18.7 429,720
Algeria 3,418 8.1 126,860
Myanmar 3,216 6.0 143,234
Libya 3,111 46.6 183,311
Kenya 3,059 6.0 168,432
Afghanistan 2,802 7.5 65,728
Belarus 2,771 29.3 386,025
Sudan 2,568 6.1 34,889
Venezuela 2,513 8.7 223,345
Denmark 2,508 43.6 273,494
Albania 2,444 84.8 132,209
Latvia 2,326 120.6 130,945
Oman 2,265 46.9 210,364
Malaysia 2,248 7.1 512,091
Kosovo 2,244 121.6 106,770
El Salvador 2,220 34.6 72,220
Nigeria 2,067 1.1 166,019
South Korea 1,934 3.8 136,467
Kyrgyzstan 1,757 27.9 102,702
Kuwait 1,734 41.9 299,215
Syria 1,734 10.2 24,117
United Arab Emirates 1,651 17.1 556,107
Zimbabwe 1,586 11.0 38,682
Montenegro 1,574 250.7 99,248
Yemen 1,307 4.6 6,658
Zambia 1,268 7.3 93,201
Estonia 1,240 93.7 128,592
Cameroon 1,239 4.9 77,733
Sri Lanka 1,210 5.7 164,201
Malawi 1,153 6.4 34,284
Senegal 1,132 7.1 41,090
Finland 932 16.9 91,526
Jamaica 917 31.2 47,959
Australia 910 3.7 30,021
Cuba 877 7.7 133,053
Mozambique 831 2.8 70,590
Bahrain 820 52.2 218,047
Luxembourg 810 134.1 69,545
Madagascar 800 3.0 40,876
Botswana 784 34.8 51,620
Ghana 783 2.6 93,620
Norway 781 14.6 122,414
DR Congo 779 0.9 30,863
Thailand 776 1.1 129,500
Somalia 767 5.1 14,632
Namibia 765 31.2 52,946
Angola 725 2.4 32,441
Uzbekistan 680 2.1 98,657
Eswatini 672 59.1 18,551
Qatar 544 19.6 215,443
Mali 514 2.7 14,241
Mauritania 458 10.4 19,149
Malta 417 94.9 30,504
Trinidad and Tobago 375 27.0 20,017
Guyana 359 46.1 16,130
Uganda 356 0.8 43,734
Cyprus 354 29.8 71,911
Rwanda 349 2.8 26,688
Lesotho 326 15.5 10,822
Belize 323 84.3 12,764
Ivory Coast 298 1.2 46,942
Haiti 280 2.5 13,735
Cape Verde 256 47.1 29,334
Guadeloupe 255 63.8 16,517
Mongolia 253 8.0 53,100
Suriname 249 43.2 13,111
Bahamas 222 57.6 11,396
Niger 192 0.9 5,383
Nicaragua 185 2.9 7,193
Cambodia 179 1.1 25,761
Réunion 176 19.9 23,566
Gambia 175 7.7 5,968
Chad 173 1.1 4,924
Mayotte 171 65.9 20,176
Burkina Faso 165 0.8 13,415
Guinea 158 1.3 22,988
Papua New Guinea 154 1.8 14,910
Djibouti 153 16.0 11,493
Congo 150 2.9 11,476
Gabon 147 6.9 24,107
Comoros 146 17.5 3,872
French Polynesia 141 50.8 18,844
Maldives 129 25.0 55,924
Andorra 127 164.9 13,569
Togo 125 1.6 13,374
Curaçao 122 75.0 12,271
South Sudan 115 1.0 10,652
Equatorial Guinea 113 8.6 8,436
French Guiana 112 39.6 22,780
Aruba 107 101.1 10,917
Benin 101 0.9 8,025
Central African Republic 97 2.1 7,079
Gibraltar 94 278.8 4,288
Martinique 93 24.8 11,789
Tajikistan 90 1.0 13,308
San Marino 90 266.4 5,087
Channel Islands 86 50.4 4,059
Liberia 85 1.8 2,142
Sierra Leone 79 1.0 4,121
Saint Lucia 77 42.3 4,945
Guinea-Bissau 68 3.6 3,751
Liechtenstein 58 153.0 3,000
Barbados 47 16.4 3,995
Vietnam 43 0.0 5,308
Antigua and Barbuda 42 43.6 1,257
Sao Tome and Principe 37 17.5 2,338
Seychelles 35 36.0 9,764
Singapore 32 0.6 61,824
Monaco 32 82.7 2,501
Bermuda 32 51.0 2,488
Iceland 29 8.6 6,555
Isle of Man 29 34.5 1,591
Saint Martin 27 72.5 2,366
New Zealand 26 0.5 2,668
Taiwan 23 0.1 4,322
Tanzania 21 0.0 509
Turks and Caicos Islands 17 45.1 2,408
Mauritius 17 1.3 1,293
Eritrea 14 0.4 3,932
Timor-Leste 13 1.0 5,637
Diamond Princess cruise ship 13 712
St Vincent and the Grenadines 12 10.9 1,973
Burundi 6 0.1 4,494
Fiji 4 0.5 235
Brunei 3 0.7 236
Laos 2 0.0 1,801
Cayman Islands 2 3.1 574
MS Zaandam cruise ship 2 9
Bhutan 1 0.1 1,394
Saint Barthelemy 1 10.2 1,005
Faroe Islands 1 2.1 676
British Virgin Islands 1 3.4 248
Grenada 1 0.9 161
Montserrat 1 20.0 20
Vanuatu 1 0.3 4
Dominica 0 0.0 184
New Caledonia 0 0.0 125
Anguilla 0 0.0 109
Falkland Islands 0 0.0 63
Saint Kitts and Nevis 0 0.0 52
Greenland 0 0.0 34
Vatican 0 0.0 27
Saint Pierre and Miquelon 0 0.0 25
Solomon Islands 0 0.0 20
Marshall Islands 0 0.0 4
Samoa 0 0.0 3
Micronesia 0 0.0 1

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This information is regularly updated but may not reflect the latest totals for each country.

** The past data for new cases is a three day rolling average. Due to revisions in the number of cases, an average cannot be calculated for this date.

Source: Johns Hopkins University, national public health agencies and UN population data

Figures last updated: 24 May 2021, 09:39 BST

Note: This table, from the BBC’s global tracker, will be updated over time and so its figures will not match those in the article in weeks to come.

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The UK’s current toll of nearly 128,000 deaths is just ahead of Italy’s 125,000, but Italy has a smaller population.

If you re-order the table by deaths per 100,000 people instead of total deaths Italy looks about 5% worse than the UK.

And smaller countries such as Hungary and the Czech Republic have much worse death rates per 100,000 people.

Statisticians warn against using reported deaths alone to compare countries.

Not all countries report deaths in the same way and so more reported deaths could mean better reporting systems or more testing as well as more deaths.

And so experts also advise looking at the total number of deaths, and may attribute any sharp rises to the pandemic.

Poland saw a very sharp rise in deaths in their winter wave but only some of the rise was captured in their official reported Covid deaths (the red area in the chart below).

Graphic: Different second waves

By most measures of deaths the UK had one of the worst, if not the worst, first waves of the pandemic in Europe.

So when Ms Rayner also said in the same interview “we had the highest death toll in Europe”, she was correct whether you are using the total number of deaths or other measures.

By the end of December, the UK was no longer at the top of the list compiled by official statisticians that takes account of population size or reporting.

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Source Link: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/57268471

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