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How do we die? The latest death rates Print E-mail
Written by Robert Smith   
Monday, 02 November 2009

 The latest mortality statistics give us a unique insight into how people in England and Wales die. 

The annual mortality statistics published by the Office for National Statistics provide vital clues for health experts - and those who specialise in the prevention of accidents.

It's part of a package of data released at the end of last week, which also showed us that pilots and aircrew suffer from significantly higher rates of skin cancer than other professions.

It gives us a real picture of risk. We may worry about swine flu, for instance - but the big killers of heart disease and cancer are much more significant in terms of public health.

At the same time, why is it that roughly the same number of people die each year in falls or traffic accidents? We've summarised both the totals and the deaths from external causes - those not killed by diseases - at the bottom of this page.

At the moment, the data is only officially available as a pdf - the ONS will not release the excel spreadsheets for another four weeks. So, this is the only place you can download the data in a useable format until then. The spreadsheet link below has incredible detail - although summarised from the enormous ONS document - on how each type of mortality breaks down.

The NHS has visualised previous years' data already with its atlas of risk. Can you do something better?

Download the full data

DATA: download the full list as a spreadsheet Guardian News & Media Limited 2009



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