CSO v GRO Death Numbers

I recently came across a number of posts querying the numbers that are published on this site. The posts read as follows

  1. “The Central Statistics Office records 35,477 deaths registered in 2022 in Ireland. And 33,055 in 2021. So that chart cannot be accurate”
  2. “How can there be more deaths on RIP than recorded by CSO?
    I think the person writing on the blog site has made errors”
  3. “One reason for higher numbers in RIP is that often there are double entries such as when the person died but came from a different county. Also some people who died abroad might appear there also if the non Irish undertaker contacts RIP. Also Irish people may be brought home for their funerals so the deaths will be registered abroad but the funeral details posted in RIP. Inquests here seem to take a minimum of 6 mths so does that mean that the death cannot be registered until such time as a cause of death is determined?”

So no 1 & 2 are basically saying that the CSO data is accurate and these figures are a true picture of actual deaths. The CSO data is based on the “Date of Registration” NOT the “Date of Occurrence”. The General Register Office Data, however, is based on the actual “Death Date” or “Date of Occurrence”. 

The table below shows that, for example, in 2021, the number of deaths that were ‘registered’ was 34,030 however only 27,671 only related to 202while the remaining 6,369 (highlighted in light green) deaths related to prior years.  

The number of deaths that ‘occurred’ in 2021 based on the GRO was 34,439. 27,671 were registered in correct year, 2021 while 6,768 (highlighted in blue) were registered in 2022. And we know from the above table that up to a 1000 deaths can be registered in subsequent years which would bring the figure much closer to the 36,072 deaths as per RIP data. 

So where did the CSO figure of 33,055 for 2021 come from?? Well the CSO published the annual figures about 6 months into the subsequent year, so only 5,384 of the 6,768 occurred in 2021, were registered by June 2022.

And to future reiterate the correlation between the GRO Total Occurrence Deaths and RIP Data, the 5 year average of 2015 to 2019 is 31,462 (32,020+31,913+31,198+31,363+30,816) while the 5 year average of RIP data for the same years was 31,415 which is minimal difference.

Query No 3 relates to duplicates and foreign deaths. All duplicates are removed as when a death is published on RIP.ie, it is given a unique number. So even if the death is registered 5 times in 5 different counties, it is only counted in one county. Now the county that it is counted in, is random. If John Doe died in Dublin, but used to live in Meath, the death will only be counted once but it might be counted in Meath rather than Dublin.  

With respected to deaths that take place in foreign countries, these are being counted in Ireland but the number of occurrences of these are insignificant to be a major factor.

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