The number of excess winter deaths in 2017 to 2018 was the highest recorded since winter 1975 to 1976, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.
There were an estimated 50,100 deaths above expected levels in England and Wales, the statistics agency announced on Friday.
Just one day during the last winter period – 25 March– did not record deaths higher than the five-year average, the ONS added.
Statisticians blamed the strength of flu last year, combined with lower effectiveness of the flu jab.
Nick Stripe, who works in health analysis and life events, for the Office for National Statistics, said: “The number of excess winter deaths in England and Wales in 2017 to 2018 was the highest recorded since the winter of 1975 to 1976.”
He added: “It is likely that last winter’s increase was due to the predominant strain of flu, the effectiveness of the influenza vaccine and below-average winter temperatures.”
Stripe said “peaks like these are not unusual,” with more than eight such spikes during the last 40 years.
The winter between 1975 and 1976 saw 58,100 additional deaths than expected.