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National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future

Births, Deaths and Other Vital Events - Quarterly Figures

Births, Deaths and Other Vital Events - Quarterly Figures

Last update: 15 June 2021National Statistics Icon
Next update: September 2021

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Key Points

  • There were 11,509 births and 17,371 deaths registered in Scotland between 1 January and 31 March 2021.
  • At 17,371, the number of deaths in 2021 quarter one is 8.2 per cent higher than the quarter one average over the previous five years – an excess of 1,324 deaths.
  • Expressed as a rate, there were 12.9 deaths per 1,000 population in quarter one of 2021.
  • The age-standardised mortality rate for the four-quarter period ending in 2021 quarter 1 was 1.9 per cent higher than the previous four-quarter period (ending 2020 quarter 4). This rate takes into account the growing and ageing population and is therefore the best indicator of the direction of the mortality trend.  
  • Over the last year the age-standardised mortality rate has increased by 10%.
  • Compared with the quarter one average over the previous five years:
    • The number of cancer deaths fell by 3.9 per cent to 3,961;
    • The number of deaths from coronary heart disease fell by 3.0 per cent to 1,767;
    • The number of deaths from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease fell by 19.9 per cent to 1,470;
    • Deaths from respiratory diseases fell by 42.4 per cent to 1,293;
    • There were 1,002 deaths from cerebrovascular disease (a decrease of 8.7 per cent.)
  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) was the underlying cause of 2,779 deaths during quarter one.
  • There were 1,402 marriages compared with an average of 3,355 first quarter marriages for the previous five years. Registration offices closed in mid-March 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and most marriages and civil partnerships could not take place. Ceremonies have been able to take place on a restricted basis since late June 2020.
  • There were 57 same-sex marriages, compared with a five-year average of 136 for quarter one.
  • There were 12 civil partnerships registered in the first quarter, compared to an average of 14 in the first quarter for the previous five years.

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