Premature death

Graphs on this page:

Supporting information:

Key points

  • The rate of premature death has declined by a sixth over the last decade.  This is a similar rate of decline to that of the rest of Great Britain.
  • Although the rate of premature death among men (240 per 100,000) is much higher than it is for women (145 per 100,000), the rate of improvement has been similar in both cases.
  • For both men and women, the rate of premature death in Wales is similar that for the rest of Great Britain.
  • The rate of premature death is highest in Merthyr Tydfil.
  • The rate of premature death for men is higher than the rate for women in every local authority area.  Where rates are high, they tend to be high for both men and women, and vice versa.

Definitions and data sources

Premature death is arguably the simplest, most accessible indicator for ill-health, being a summary measure of all major health problems which result in death.

The first graph shows the number of deaths of those aged under 65 per 100,000 people aged under 65, with separate statistics for men and women. For comparison purposes, the equivalent data for Great Britain excluding Wales is also shown.

The second graph and map show how the rate of premature deaths varies by local authority. To improve statistical reliability, the data is averaged over the latest three years.

The data source for both graphs is Mortality Statistics Division, ONS for England and Wales and the General Register Office for Scotland (the data is not publicly available). The data is standardised to the total European population by age and sex.

Overall adequacy of the indicator: medium. The data on death rates is sourced from administrative data and represents counts of all deaths but does not directly relate to issues of poverty and social exclusion.