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: 9 December 2020National Statistics Icon
Next update: March 2021

PDF icon

(PDF 402 KB)


List of data tables icon

Data and Charts

(Excel     CSV)

 News Release Icon

News Release


PDF icon


Key Points

  • There were 21,309 births and 13,295 deaths registered in Scotland between 1 July and 30 September 2020.
  • In mid-March registration offices closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and registration of births was postponed. Birth registration restarted in late June and most of the postponed registrations have now taken place. The number of birth registrations in each quarter of 2020 does not reflect the actual number of births in each quarter. Once all postponed registrations have been processed we will provide more meaningful statistics for the period of postponement.
  • 13,295, the number of deaths in 2020 quarter three is 1.2 per cent higher than the quarter three average over the previous five years – an excess of 158 deaths.
  • Expressed as a rate, there were 9.7 deaths per 1,000 population.
  • The age-standardised mortality rate for the four-quarter period ending in 2020 quarter 3 was 0.8 per cent lower than the previous four-quarter period (ending 2020 quarter 2). This rate takes into account the growing and ageing population and is therefore the best indicator of the direction of the mortality trend.  
  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) was the underlying cause of 60 deaths during quarter three.
  • Compared with the quarter three average over the previous five years, 2015-2019:
    • The number of cancer deaths was unchanged at 4,007;
    • The number of deaths from coronary heart disease rose by 1.8 per cent to 1,519;
    • The number of deaths from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease fell by 4.7 per cent to 1,246;
    • Deaths from respiratory diseases fell by 21.0 per cent to 1,060;
    • There were 880 deaths from cerebrovascular disease (an increase of 0.2 per cent).  
  • There were 3,789 marriages, compared with an average of 10,647 third quarter marriages for the previous five years. Registration offices closed in mid-March 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.
  • There were 116 same-sex marriages, compared with an average of 384 for the previous five years.
  • There was 22 civil partnerships registered in the quarter, compared to an average of 21 in the third quarter for the previous five years.

Contact Us

Please get in touch if you need any further information, or have any suggestions for improvement.

Statistics Customer Services telephone: (0131) 314 4299
E-mail: [email protected]

For media enquiries, please contact [email protected]

All statistical publications