More deaths than births in UK for the first time in almost 50 years - ONS data

6 July 2021, 11:59 | Updated: 6 July 2021, 12:14

The UK saw more deaths than births for the first time since 1976.
The UK saw more deaths than births for the first time since 1976. Picture: PA

By Emma Soteriou

There have been more deaths than births for the first time in almost 50 years, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has said.

A total of 689,629 deaths were registered in 2020, overtaking the 683,191 live births recorded across the UK.

The natural change - the difference between the two - was a negative figure of 6,438.

This marks the first time deaths had outnumbered births since 1976, provisional figures showed.

Read more: Covid-19: WHO warns of new wave in Europe unless people 'remain disciplined'

Read more: What did Boris Johnson announce about July 19? Key points the PM outlined

It was only the second time this had occurred since the beginning of the 20th century.

Coronavirus was the reason behind the peak in deaths, with numbers reaching higher than any year since World War One.

However, since vaccines were rolled out across the country, the chain between infection and death has begun to break.

Chief executive of NHS Providers, Chris Hopson, previously said: "We know vaccines are breaking the chain between infection rates, hospital admissions and death. But we also know two doses are better than one, particularly in our fight against the Delta (Indian) variant."

That said, the UK population still saw an increase between 2019 and 2020.

Latest figures from the ONS showed that there was a 0.4 per cent rise in the British population to 67.1 million as of mid-2020.

The continued growth in population may be connected to migration, as more people entered the UK than left.