Around half a million people, less than one per cent of the total population, died in England and Wales in 2009. The vast majority of deaths occurred at older ages, with almost eight out of ten men and nearly nine out of ten women dying at 65 or above.
One in every 1000 deaths were children aged one to four years. In this age group the leading cause of death was congenital anomalies; conditions present from birth.
External causes of death such as land transport accidents and suicide were the leading causes of death between five and 34. There were more than twice as many deaths among young males than young females, demonstrating the susceptibility of young males to death by external causes.
From 35 onwards, the leading causes of death are chronic diseases and conditions. Coronary heart disease, breast cancer and lung cancer were among the leading causes of death.
For 80 and above coronary heart disease and stroke were the leading causes of death for both men and women.