National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future

Death statistics which are available from other websites

Death statistics which are available from other websites

Statistics for Scotland, and for areas within Scotland

The National Records of Scotland (NRS) publishes the numbers of deaths for Local Authority areas and Health Board areas in the Vital Events Reference Tables, which are available on this website. For example, Table 6.3 provides the numbers of deaths in each Local Authority area, and in each Health Board area, broken down by the cause of death (showing over 60 different groups and sub-groups of causes of death).

NRS does not publish the numbers of deaths for geographical areas which are smaller than Local Authorities. However, some such information is available from other official web sites, which present information on deaths (produced from data which NRS supplied to those bodies) alongside other statistics for areas within Scotland. 

Other official web sites may also make available (for Scotland as a whole, or for areas within Scotland) figures which are on a different basis from those published by NRS - for example, they may provide age-sex-standardised rates which they produced using the European Standard Population.

The main sites concerned are listed below, with notes on the kinds of figures for deaths that they provided at the time that this note was written (the details of what is available may have changed subsequently, of course). 

Scottish Neighbourhood Statistics (SNS)

Scottish Neighnorhood Statistics data include the following statistics:

  • deaths for each datazone, by sex. Two sets of figures are provided: first, by calendar year of registration (for calendar year 2001 onwards); second, by mid-year to mid-year period of occurrence (1 July to 30 June), with the second year being used as the 'data year' (for the 'mid-2001 to mid-2002' period onwards, shown as 'data year' 2002 onwards)
  • deaths (all ages); deaths aged under 75 (all causes); deaths aged under 75 from Coronary Heart Disease; deaths aged under 75 from Cancer; deaths aged under 75 from Strokes. Separate figures are provided for males and for females. The geographies for which these statistics are available varies: in most cases, they are available for Local Authorities, Scottish Parliament Constituencies and Wards.
  • stillbirths, perinatal deaths and infant deaths - for most years, these are available for Local Authorities and Scottish Parliament Constituencies.     

Scottish Public Health Observatory (ScotPHO) - Comparative Health – CHP Profiles

ScotPHO provides a range of health-related statistics for Health Boards, Community Health Partnerships, Intermediate Geography Zones, and areas which were defined locally by some of the Health Boards. The following deaths data are included:

  • overall mortality;
  • 'early' deaths (i.e. deaths aged under 75) from Heart Disease, from Cancer, and from Stroke;
  • alcohol-related deaths;
  • deaths from suicide.

NB: these figures are based on ScotPHO's definitions (which are set out in a document available from that web site), which may differ from those which are used by NRS. 

Information Services Division (ISD) of NHS Scotland

Information Services Division provides a wide range of health-related statistics, including many tables on deaths from particular causes, such as cancer, coronary heart disease and stroke. An 'A-Z Index' shows the range of topics for which information (but not necessarily statistics) is available from the site. 

Because the level of detail provided can vary between topics, it is not feasible to describe here what is available for each topic. However, as an example, in the case of Coronary Heart Disease, ISD's web site has tables which include the numbers of deaths, and crude and age-sex-standardised mortality rates, broken down by age-group and sex, for Health Board and Local Authority areas. 

Statistics for other parts of the United Kingdom (UK)

Further information for the rest of the UK can be found via the following links:

England & Wales

(Office for National Statistics website)

Northern Ireland 

(Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency website)


Figures for England & Wales and/or Northern Ireland may not always be on exactly the same basis as NRS's figures for Scotland: there can be differences in the coverage of what at first sight appear to be the same statistics.


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