Jewish males are twice at risk of dying from Covid-19 than Christian men, new figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show.
The report looking at the breakdown of deaths according to religion also revealed the overall death rate from coronavirus in England and Wales was higher among people who identify as Muslims, Jews, Hindus or Sikh than Christians, or those with no stated religion.
The ONS said that a “substantial part of the difference in mortality” between religious groups is explained by “the different circumstances in which members of these groups are known to live; for example, living in areas with higher levels of socio-economic deprivation and differences in ethnic makeup”.
But Nick Stripe, Head of Life Events at the UK’s official statistics body, added: “However, after adjusting for the above, Jewish males are at twice the risk of Christian males, and Jewish women are also at higher risk.’’
The figures, published on Friday, showed that those who identified as Jewish at the time of the 2011 Census showed an increased risk of a death involving Covid-19 compared with the Christian population.
Jewish males had a mortality rate of 187.9 deaths per 100,000, which was roughly twice the risk of Christian males (92.6 deaths per 100,000).
For Jewish females, the rate was 94.3 deaths per 100,000, compared with 54.6 deaths per 100,000 for Christian females.
The report looked at deaths from the virus between March 2 and May 15 in England and Wales.
At the time there had been 453 deaths of people identifying as Jewish in the census.
Among Jews aged below 64, there had been 16 deaths, while 252 had occurred among men over the age of 65.
Seven women under the of 64 had died from coronavirus, and 178 women over the age of 65.
Males identifying as Muslims had the highest rates of death involving Covid-19, which was statistically significantly higher than that of all groups other than the Jewish religious group.
For males aged 65 years and over, those identifying as Jewish and Muslim had an elevated Covid-19-related death rate compared to all other religious groups, at 795 deaths per 100,000 and 755 deaths per 100,000 respectively.
For females aged 65 years and over, those who identified as Hindu, Muslim or Jewish had a higher rate of death involving the virus compared to all other religious groups.
But the report said that those of Christian and Jewish religious affiliation have an older population than other religious groups, and figures had to be adjusted to take this into account.
By contrast, those identifying as having “no religion” – based on responses in the 2011 Census – had the lowest rate of death involving Covid-19, with 80.7 deaths per 100,000 males and 47.9 deaths per 100,000 females.