The annual number of deaths has remained relatively steady since 1901.
There were peaks in the number of deaths both the First and Second World Wars.
The peak of 690,000 in 1918 represented the highest annual number of deaths ever recorded, these were both to losses during the First World War and the influenza epidemic which followed in.
Between 1971 and 2004 the death rate for all males fell by 21%, while the death rate for all females fell by 9%.
Reasons for the fall in the death rate
Improvements in medical knowledge, medicine and healthcare
Welfare measures from local and national government
Improvements in health and safety at work
Better diet and living standards
Increased life expectancy