This is why more people die on January 6 than on any other day

This Sunday is officially Britain's Death Day.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 4th January 2019, 10:28 am
Updated Wednesday, 9th January 2019, 1:37 pm
Death rates spike on January 6
Death rates spike on January 6

More people expire on January 6 than on any other day of the year - with a quarter more deaths than the daily average.

The trend has been evident every year between 2005 and 2017, with an average of 1,732 deaths on January 6 compared to the regular daily rate of 1,387.

The research was carried out by funeral price comparison site Beyond using data compiled by the Office for National Statistics.

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The spike has been attributed to several factors, including cold weather, elderly morale and poor mental health.

The weather

The winter months already have a far higher death rate as elderly and vulnerable people succumb to infections exacerbated by cold weather. Immune systems are at their lowest ebb and those in poor health are at risk of sudden decline. In July, deaths are 13 per cent lower every day than the year-round average.

Elderly morale

Many elderly or sick people target milestone events that they want to stay alive for - such as Christmas. Many find the thought of the festive period surrounded by loved ones sustains them, but experience a slump in morale in January which hastens their decline.


Mental health charities and crisis helpline the Samaritans report spikes in calls during the post-Christmas period. The return to work, stress caused by family conflict during the holidays and financial pressures related to December spending are all reasons people reach out for help. Psychologists refer to the post-Christmas mental dip as the 'broken promise effect'.

The Samaritans are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year: If you need a response immediately, it’s best to call free on 116 123.