04-05-2021 by 
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More people die in England and Wales during the winter than in the summer and respiratory diseases is the most common cause of these winter deaths. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) produce annual figures showing the numbers of these 'Excess Winter Deaths' which compares the number of deaths that occured during the winter period (defined as December to March) with the average number of deaths occurring in the preceding August to November and the following April to July. The calculation used is:

EWD = winter deaths - average non-winter deaths

In 2018/19 there were 270 Excess Winter Deaths in North Yorkshire. 

The ONS also calculates the 'Excess Winter Mortality Index' which shows the percentage of extra deaths that occurred in the winter.

It is interesting to compare the Excess Winter Mortality Index between the districts within North Yorkshire in 2018/19:

Local Authority  EWMI     % fuel poor households (2019)
Craven 16.1 15.4%
Hambleton 18.7 14.2%
Harrogate 6.9 12.9%
Richmondshire 6.5 16.3%
Ryedale 10.7 16.1%
Scarborough 21.4 16.8%
Selby 11.2 13.2%


The highest EWMI is in Selby District where 21.4% more deaths occurred during the winter period, this is in comparison to the lowest Index in Richmondshire where 6.5% more deaths occurred during the winter. The figure for England in 2018/19 was 14.6%. Fuel poverty figures are provided for comparison. As can be seen in the graphics below, there is a lot of fluctuation in figures between different districts in different years.

What do the visualisations below show?

Figure 1 shows the numbers of Excess Winter Deaths for North Yorkshire over time whilst Figure 2 compares EWDs by local authority district for 2017/18 and 2018/19, showing a clear decease in 2018/19.

NB: Data was not available for the following years/LAs so the data may be slightly skewed in these years: 1992/93 (Richmondshire), 1994/95 (Richmondshire), 2003/04 (Richmondshire), 2006/07 (Richmondshire), 2009/10 (Craven), 2010/11 (Craven), 2013/14 (Scarborough)