Fundraising news, ideas and inspiration for professional charity fundraisers

Death rate rise will see extra £650m in Gifts in Wills over next five years

Death rate rise will see extra £650m in Gifts in Wills over next five years

New death projections from the Office for National Statistics published at the end of October will mean £650 million more in legacy income for UK charities over the next five years, according to analysis by Legacy Foresight.

This is an uplift of 4%, with Legacy Foresight predicting that bequests, or gifts to charities in Wills, should grow by an extra 26,000 in the five-year period, with an average value of £25,000.

According to the ONS’s figures, life expectancy increases have slowed considerably for both men and women since 2011, which in turn will drive up the projected number of deaths. Its latest forecasts predict that over the five years to 2024, 3.1 million people will die, compared to the 3.0 million anticipated in its last projections, produced in 2017.

This is 123,000 more deaths than the previous estimation, and in legacy terms suggests that over the next five years, the number of charitable is likely to be almost 4.1% higher than previously expected.

Meg Abdy, Development Director at Legacy Foresight, commented:

“Death rates are one of key factors that determine the number and size of bequests charities can expect to receive. In the short to medium term these new projections will boost charity income, especially among larger charities.

“It’s important to remember that although improvements in life expectancy are not as optimistic as previously thought, people will still live longer on average than they do today. By 2050 1.5 million people will be aged 90 or over. This may be lower than the 1.8 million predicted back in 2016, but it’s still more than double the 600,000 we see today.”

Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via

Get free email updates

Keep up to date with fundraising news, ideas and inspiration with a weekly or daily email. [Privacy]

* We do not share your email or personal details.
" />