National Records of Scotland

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Births, Deaths and Other Vital Events - Quarterly Figures

Births, Deaths and Other Vital Events - Quarterly Figures


Provisional figures for vital events registered in Scotland in the first quarter of 2018


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Official Print Publication

Web Only 

13 June 2018

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First Quarter 2018

This release presents provisional figures for vital events which were registered in Scotland in the period from 1 January 2018 to 31 March 2018, inclusive. The tables and chart (available below) provide statistics of births, stillbirths, marriages, civil partnerships and deaths, including:

  • quarterly figures for Scotland for each of the past ten years;
  • the totals for each Local Authority and NHS Board area for the latest quarter; and
  • more detailed analyses of the numbers of deaths (for example cross-classified by sex, cause and NHS Board area) for the latest quarter.

 Main Points

  • The statistics show 12,713 births, 17,771 deaths and 3,462 marriages were registered between January and March.
  • At 12,713, the number of births registered was 539 (4.1 per cent) fewer than in the same period of 2017 and the lowest quarter one total since 2002. The total number of quarter one births fell to a low of 12,374 in 2002. It then rose to around 15,106 in 2008 before falling in more recent years.
  • At 17,771, the number of deaths registered was 2,060 (13.1 per cent) more than in the same period of 2017. In the first half of the last decade the number of deaths in the first quarter continued the previous downward trend, falling from 15,073 in 2008 to a recent low of 13,959 in 2014. Since then, numbers have been increasing and 2018 has the highest first quarter total since 1986.
  • Compared with the first quarter of 2017:
  • Deaths from respiratory system diseases rose by 35.8 per cent  to 2,855 and within this group there was a large increase in the number of influenza deaths (by 360% from 72 to 331);
  • Deaths from cerebrovascular disease rose by 11.1 per cent to 1,220;
  • The number of deaths from coronary heart disease rose by 5.4 per cent to 1,916;
  • There were 4,119 deaths from cancer (an increase of 1.3 per cent);
  • There was an increase of 22.5 per cent in the number of deaths from Alzheimer’s Disease (795);
  • The number of deaths from dementia rose by 15.0 per cent to 1,416.
  • Over the longer term, deaths from coronary heart disease and cerebrovascular disease have decreased considerably whilst the number of deaths from cancer and respiratory disease has risen slightly.  There has been a relatively large increase in the number of deaths from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease with such deaths now accounting for more than 10 per cent of all deaths compared to 5 per cent a decade ago.
  • The provisional figures also show there were 3,462 marriages in total, 116 fewer than during the first quarter of 2017 (a fall of 3.2 per cent).
  • There were 130 same-sex marriages, a fall of 15 (10.3 per cent) compared with the same period of 2017. Twenty-two (16.9 per cent) of the same sex marriages registered in the first quarter were changes from civil partnerships.
  • There were 14 civil partnerships (10 male and 4 female), four more than during the first quarter of 2017.

Statistical Service in Scotland

 Tables and Chart

The tables and chart below have been made available as Excel spreadsheets and can be viewed in Comma Separated Value (CSV) or Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Format (PDF).

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All Tables

Births, deaths and other vital events - first quarter 2018
(Excel    CSV)


More detailed commentary on the final Vital Events statistics for calendar years as a whole (including some comparisons of the figures for different years, for parts of Scotland and for some other countries) can be found in the following area of our website:


This is a quarterly publication. The dates of future publications will be announced in our Future Publications page.

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