Coronavirus in Scotland: Death rate twice as high in poorest areas


People in the most-deprived areas of Scotland are more than twice as likely to die with Covid-19 than those in the least deprived areas, new data reveals.

The latest weekly figures from the National Record of Scotland show additional analysis of the impact of deprivation on mortality.

It shows that the death rate among people living in the 20% most-deprived areas is 86.5 per 100,000.

In the least-deprived fifth of Scottish areas the figure is just 38.2.

Deaths by area of deprivation

Source: National Records of Scotland

Death rates from all causes are normally higher in the most-deprived areas but the statistics show that phenomenon is even worse when it comes to Covid-19.

The National Records of Scotland figures show that Inverclyde, which includes Greenock and Port Glasgow, had the highest rate of any council area, with 13.2 coronavirus deaths per 10,000 of the population. That is double the average for the whole of Scotland, which is 5.72.

Death rates by council area

The 10 worst-hit councils

CouncilCovid-19 deaths per 10,000
West Dunbartonshire14
East Dunbartonshire13
Dundee City11
East Renfrewshire10
Glasgow City10
South Ayrshire10
South Lanarkshire10
Source: National Records of Scotland

The latest NRS analysis shows that men in the most-deprived areas are even more badly affected. The death rate for men in the poorest areas is 109.2 per 100,000 compared with 43.2 in the least-deprived areas. For women the figure is 70.2 per 100,000 in the poorest areas and 32.9 in the richest.

Jim McCormick, associate director for Scotland at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said: "It can never be right that someone's life chances are so profoundly affected by where they live or how much money their family has.

"It's crucial that all aspects of the spread of this virus are carefully examined, but we know that people in areas with higher deprivation scores are less likely to have jobs where they can work from home.

"This means they may have to face a very significant drop in income or keep going to work, facing greater risks of catching virus. They are also more likely to live in overcrowded homes, increasing the risk for whole families. "

Death rates by council area

CouncilDeaths per 10,000Total deaths
Aberdeen City3.4378
Argyll and Bute6.7258
City of Edinburgh6.19321
Dumfries and Galloway3.0946
Dundee City8.34124
East Ayrshire5.0161
East Dunbartonshire8.1288
East Lothian6.7171
East Renfrewshire8.278
Glasgow City8.14510
Na h-Eileanan Siar00
North Ayrshire5.5475
North Lanarkshire6.17210
Orkney Islands0.92
Perth and Kinross3.5754
Scottish Borders4.1648
Shetland Islands3.047
South Ayrshire7.4684
South Lanarkshire7.08226
West Dunbartonshire11.1199
West Lothian3.5765
Source: National Record of Scotland

The areas are based on the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation - a measure considering seven criteria including income and health.

The analysis also looked at urban and rural areas, showing a large difference in Covid-19 death rates.

In large urban areas the death rate from Covid-19 was 76.8 per 100,000 people whereas in remote rural areas it was just 17.9.

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