Mortality rates are often calculated by aggregated three years’ worth of data, due to the small numbers involved. The information on this page is shown as aggregated data for 2014-2016, unless otherwise stated.


  • Across the district there are around 3,300 deaths each year, roughly equating to 1% of the population of 337,000 residents of Wakefield district.
  • Infant mortality is low in the district, with rates being similar to the national average: Wakefield has less than 3.2 deaths per 1,000 live births compared to the national average of around 4 per 1,000 live births.
  • The rate of deaths in Wakefield was greater in the most deprived areas, compared with the least deprived areas of the district.
  • The biggest cause of death within Wakefield is cancer.
  • Wakefield East has the highest mortality rate overall (regardless of age), compared with other wards.
  • In Wakefield, males are at a higher risk of dying prematurely from heart disease, compared to females under the age of 75.

The Population

Cohort: the population for Wakefield District is recorded as having 337,094 residents
(as per Healthier Lives PHE website).

Death is something that happens to us all at some stage in our lives; in some cases this can be unpredicted and/or accidental, whilst other times it can be clinically predicted due to a severe illness, or just generally based on old age. There are many different underlying causes of mortality, which are identified with the use of International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD10) codes. More information on ICD10 codes can be found via the World Health Organisation Website here

As mentioned in the Headlines, Wakefield’s biggest cause of death is cancer, with a standardised rate of around 295 of 100,000 persons.

When reviewing Dementia as the underlying cause of death; the mortality rate in Wakefield has been increasing over recent years. In 2010-12 the rate of mortality was 103 per 100,000, which has risen to 122 per 100,000 by 2014-16.

Mortality rates vary across Wakefield District. The ward with the highest mortality rate is Wakefield East (1,714 per 100,000), which is significantly higher than the district average (1,072 per 100,000), whereas it is significantly lower within Wakefield South ward (799 per 100,000), where we see the lowest mortality rate.

Higher rates of mortality are strongly correlated with deprivation, with the areas experiencing the highest amount of deprivation also showing the highest rate of mortality. In Wakefield, Deprivation Decile 1 (The most deprived areas) has a mortality rate of 1,483 deaths per 100,000, compared with Deprivation Decile 10 (The least deprived areas) which has 946 deaths per 100,000. The rates of both of these deciles are statistically significantly different to the district mortality rate of 1,072 per 100,000.


  • Premature Deaths

Premature deaths are defined as people under 75 years of age at time of death, regardless of the cause.

Nationally, Wakefield district was ranked the 113th worst of 150 Local Authorities (LAs) across the country for overall premature deaths, with a rate of 396 per 100,000 (2014-16). The lowest was Rutland with 238 per 100,000, and the highest was Blackpool resulting in 546 per 100,000.

Wakefield district was also ranked 11th of 15 similar LAs for overall premature deaths. The LAs compared to Wakefield were in the same Socioeconomic deprivation bracket; categorised within decile 4, which is classed as “more deprived” – deprivation covers a broad range of issues and refers to unmet needs caused by a lack of resources of all kinds, not just financial.


Wakefield district is the 120th worst LA of 150 for lung cancer deaths, with around 74 per 100,000 (all ages).
Wakefield district was ranked 110th out of 150 LA’s for premature deaths (under 75s) due to breast cancer, with a rate of 22 per 100,000.
Interestingly, Wakefield was rated better than average for premature colorectal cancer deaths, ranking 62nd out of 150 LAs with roughly 12 per 100,000.
Premature cancer deaths within the Wakefield district ranks 105th of 150 LA’s, with a rate of 150 per 100,000.
More information on the different types of cancer can be found on our cancer page.

Heart Disease and Stroke

Wakefield District has a higher than average premature mortality rate for heart disease: 55 per 100,000, ranking Wakefield the 134th worst out of 150 LAs in England.
Stroke deaths in the Wakefield district ranked the 130th worst LA out of 149, resulting in the region of 19 deaths per 100,000 under 75 years of age.
More information on heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular disease can be found on our cardiovascular disease page.


Comparison to Other Local Authorities

Comparing Wakefield to other LA’s and England.
The below demonstrates the current position in Wakefield in relation to our Yorkshire and Humber neighbours across several of the key mortality indicators. Wakefield is currently significantly worse than the England average for many disease measures (those indicators coloured red).
You can click on the “trends” option below to explore the trends in the various measures.

Source: Public Health England


All of the major disease groups are covered by premature mortality statistics. The rates are standardised for the population within an area for age and gender. This creates the comparative rates that allow Wakefield to be compared with the national average. The area fairs poorly against this benchmark for most of the disease mortality indicators, demonstrating that people in the area are more likely to die aged under 75 years from most of the major diseases including; cardiovascular, cancer, respiratory and liver diseases.



Disease groups consisting of: cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), dementia, influenza (flu) and pneumonia and cardio vascular disease (CVD) including heart disease and stroke, form the biggest killers within the dashboards.
Dying younger in the district is associated with deprivation; those areas that are more deprived have greater rates of mortality when standardised. This is consistent across diseases such as cardiovascular, heart, cancer and liver disease. In addition males fair worse in terms of mortality rates, dying younger than females in a similarly deprived area.
The charts below demonstrate the standardised rates for premature mortality in Wakefield, from the major disease groups. The rates are calculated separately for males and females, demonstrating the differences between the genders for disease burden.

Mortality Bar Chart

The bar chart shows the differences in mortality rates for disease type. This can be used to explore geographical differences by looking at the rates in different wards, and to look at the differences between males and females. The bar chart dashboard can also be used to demonstrate that deaths show a high correlation with areas of deprivation. This can be seen by selecting “decile” on the options to the right of the dashboard.

Mortality Trend Chart

The line chart below shows the mortality rates and respective trends by decile, disease group and ward, over 3-yearly periods. The directly standardised rate (DSR) for decile and ward shows a comparison against the District DSR. This data can also be filtered by gender and age group by selecting the options to the right of the dashboard.

Mortality Ward Map

The map below shows the mortality rates by ward, covering the Wakefield District. the data has been aggregated into 3-years, due to sample sizes. Optional filters include year, gender and age group which can be selected to the right of the map.



Infant Mortality Profiles

End of Life Profiles

Links to other pages:

  • More information on infant mortality can be found on our infant mortality page.
  • More information on life expectancy can be found on our life expectancy page.
  • More information on the segment tool, can be found on the Fingertips page.

A fact sheet on the Wakefield premature mortality rankings for 2014-2016 can be found here