Standardised mortality ratios (SMRs) allow for useful comparisons to be made against a national average, as the results take into account differing age structures in the populations of local areas.
Local authorities find these ratios useful to gauge how deaths in their area compare with England and Wales as a whole in a given year.
The North East had the highest SMR among the regions of England in 2014, with mortality levels 14 percentage points above the national level.
Mortality levels were lowest in London, at 9 percentage points below the national level.
In 2014, the local authority in England with the highest SMR was Middlesbrough (37 percentage points above the national level)
A found poem by Richard Marshall, illustrated by William Blake.
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