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Information Note on the Publication of Mortality Figures using Public Data Sources

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CSO publication, 02

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) has looked at alternative sources of information to publish more timely mortality statistics during the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic highlighted the need for timely information on death rates.  As people currently have up to three months to officially register a death in Ireland, and registration of a death may be further delayed where the death has been referred to a Coroner for investigation or inquiry, the CSO looked at alternative sources of documenting deaths as Official data is not available to publish in a more timely fashion. For more detail on this, please see: 

The CSO therefore undertook an analysis of death notices published on and found a strong correlation between these notices which are generally posted within three days of a death, and official mortality statistics, once the notices had been analysed and ‘cleaned’ to take account of duplicates or dual postings, deaths of Northern Ireland citizens, expatriate deaths etc.

Two initial publications were issued – in July and November 2020 - and a longer time series was then published at the end of April 2021:

To now better support users in their analysis of recent mortality statistics, data from this analysis are being made available using PxStat. The data includes the weekly and daily number of death notices from (to 27 June 2021) and also includes, for comparison purposes, the average number of weekly registered deaths (by date of occurrence) in Ireland over the period 2016 to 2019. While the quality of these data is being periodically assessed by the CSO, users can note that the number of official deaths registered for 2020 represented almost 98.3% of the number of death notices captured from for the comparable period. It should be noted that the death notices data are based on deaths from all causes, and analysis including the Underlying Cause of Death will be published in due course in the Official statistics based on death registration information.

For any news outlets interested in learning how to use the CSO’s new PX-Stat system to better understand the stories behind the statistics and pull graphs directly into web articles, the CSO can be contacted to set up a webinar for your staff. Please contact for more details.