Excess Winter Deaths
In common with other countries, in England and Wales more people die in the winter than in the summer. Excess Winter Mortality (EWM) = winter deaths - average non-winter deaths, where the winter period is defined as December to March.
So that comparisons can be made between sexes, age groups and different areas, the Excess Winter Mortality Index index is produced. This is calculated as the number of excess winter deaths divided by the average non-winter deaths:
EWM Index = (EWM / average non-winter deaths) x 100
Key Facts for Somerset
Excess Winter Mortality can vary considerably from year to year. In Somerset, as in England generally, 2013/14 experienced unusually low EWM while 2014/15 saw the highest total for 19 years (see chart 1 below).
Chart 1 Trends in Excess Winter Mortality, Somerset
The Excess Winter Mortality (EWM) Index for Somerset in the past decade follows a similar trend (see Chart 2).
Chart 2 Trends in Excess Winter Mortality Index, Somerset
In 2014-15, South Somerset had a higher EWM Index than the regional and national figures (see Chart 3). However, District figures are prone to wide variations from year to year.
Chart 3 Excess Winter Mortality Index, District comparisons
Note: UCl denotes Upper Confidence limit; LCl Lower Confidence limit