Below are the full country-by-country breakdowns of the African figures broken out of the FCO’s recent “British Behaviour Abroad” report. As explained in previous posts, the original published report contained very broad-brush data. I wanted to have the real figures, so have been pestering the press office for the last few weeks. To their credit, after initial reservations, the FCO had a change of heart and I eventually received all my requests.
I haven’t included suicides (there were 104 of those, worldwide).
As consular assistance isn’t a legal requirement, the figures below are likely to be slightly weighted towards unknown causes and accidents and away from natural causes in which friends and family might organise repatriation themselves, especially in the case of residents. For the same reason, there’s probably some under-reprorting of deaths by natural causes, especially from countries with large British resident communities.
It’s perhaps surprising and reassuring that so many African countries (26) recorded no British deaths at all over the cause of the year – and these naturally tend to be the countries with the fewest visitors – but it is worth bearing in mind that deaths occurring in countries with no British consular representation might be reported via the British embassy in a neighbouring country.
I don’t think the apparent variations in the table below in the numbers of deaths compared with the number of visitors and residents (Zambia, for example, seems to have a high rate) are statistically significant: they’re just too small. But maybe a statistician could offer a bit of further analysis.
The overall “death rate” of Brits in Africa, just under 0.01%, is around a hundred times lower than the 0.9% UK annual mortality rate – in line with what you’d expect from short average stays and the fact that most people are healthy when they travel.
Okay, I’m done with this series of posts. I think it establishes that the risks of travel in Africa are not out of line with the risks of travelling (or indeed just staying at home and not travelling) anywhere. And, at the very least, getting all these previously unpublished figures from the FCO exposes the very small true number of Britons who lose their lives – most it would seem in the usual sad, accidental or inevitable way that people generally go, and not through some horrific attack.
As ever, feedback is welcome.
Abbreviations: sorry about the need for this, couldn’t figure out how to fit the table across the WordPress layout.
Vis.: British visits
Res.: British residents
<: less than
|Central African Republic||0||0||0||0||0||2,000||<100|
|São T. & Prin.||0||0||0||0||0||<1,000||<100|
*Source for visitor numbers estimates: World Tourism Organisation
*Source for local British residents: BBC