Muslims more likely to die of coronavirus in England: UK stats

Muslim men in England and Wales have the highest death rates from COVID-19 of all religious groups, the UK Office for National Statistics (ONS) data says.

Looking at deaths up to the middle of May, the mortality rate among Muslim men was 198.9 deaths per 100,000 people, and 98.2 deaths per 100,000 for women, figures released by the ONS on Friday showed.

The Office for National Statistics is the executive office of the UK Statistics Authority, a non-ministerial department that reports directly to the UK Parliament.

“When taking age into account and using the Christian religion as the reference category (as the largest population), those who identified as Muslim at the time of the 2011 Census are 2.5 (males) and 1.9 (females) times at greater risk of a COVID-19-related death than those of Christian religion,” Ben Humberstone, Deputy Director for Health Analysis and Life Events at Office for National Statistics said.

He added that the Muslims had the greatest risk relative to the Christian population of the same age, although Jews, Hindus, Sikhs, and Buddhists also showed a higher risk than the Christian religion.

ONS findings should be an opportunity for the UK government to find solutions to the disproportionate number of Muslim deaths, said Harun Khan, the secretary-general of the Muslim Council of Britain in a statement.

Blacks are at greater risk than Whites

ONS has previously found that those from some Black and minority ethnic backgrounds were at greater risk of coronavirus-related death than those from a White ethnic group.

Looking at deaths up to the middle of April, and taking into account age, ONS concluded that Black males and females were at around four times more risk of death involving COVID-19 than those from a White ethnic group. When taking other socio-demographic characteristics into account, it came down to around two times greater risk. It was a similar picture for people from Bangladeshi and Pakistani ethnic groups. 

Their latest analysis of deaths up to the middle of May shows that Black males are at 3.3 times greater risk of death involving COVID-19 than White males of the same age, while Black females are 2.4 times at greater risk than their White counterparts of the same age.