There were 529,655 deaths registered in England and Wales in 2015. This is the largest annual percentage increase since the 6.3 percent rise recorded between 1967 and 1968.
The number of deaths has increased each year since 2011, with the exception of a 1.1 percent fall in 2014. The number of deaths is affected by the size and age structure of the population.
As people are tending to live longer, leading to the population increasing in both size and age over time, the number of deaths is expected to increase.
In 2015, mortality rates for respiratory diseases (including flu) increased notably for both males and females.
Elizabeth McLaren, Vital Statistics Outputs Branch, Office for National Statistics said: “The first three months of the year contributed most to the increased number of deaths registered in England and Wales in 2015. Over 24,000 more deaths were registered between January and March 2015 compared with the same period in 2014.
“This period saw a peak in flu cases which resulted in a notable increase in mortality rates for respiratory diseases for both sexes.”