Anglo-Jewish deaths from coronavirus three to four times higher than percentage of Jews in the UK population

Recorded Jewish deaths from coronavirus represented nearly 1.8 per cent of those in Britain as a whole

April 27, 2020 11:20


The death toll within British Jewry from coronavirus reached 300 last week, a month after the first Jewish fatalities from the disease were reported.

Many synagogue members will be aware of its impact from the higher than usual number of shivah notices appearing in their community.

But how the death rate within the Jewish community compares with the country as a whole is not so easy to work out. The regular statistics published by the Board of Deputies, taken from death certificates which record coronavirus as a cause, are more broadly based than the government’s daily figures, which include only deaths in hospital.

However, the weekly data from the Office of National Statistics covers deaths in care homes and in the community.

According to the latest ONS figures, 10,335 people had died in England and Wales from coronavirus by the week ending April 10.

The Board of Deputies recorded 152 Jewish deaths by April 7, rising to 209 five days later, so for April 10, one can estimate the number of deaths to be around 185.

So around two weeks ago, Jewish deaths represented just under 1.8 per cent of deaths in England and Wales.

But since Jews represent only around 0.5 per cent of the population, that would make the Jewish death rate three to four times higher than the national average.

The Board figures are based on reports from London’s four biggest Orthodox burial boards, Orthodox burial societies in Manchester and two national non-Orthodox societies.

But they do not include one or two large synagogues as well as other regional communities, so the true toll is likely to be higher.


April 27, 2020 11:20

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