National Records of Scotland

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Vital Events Reference Tables 2016

Vital Events Reference Tables 2016

2 August 2017

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These tables give the numbers of Vital Events for 2016. They provide the same kinds of information as was contained in the pre-2001 Registrar General's Annual Reviews (available on this website), plus additional details that have been added in recent years. The tables are grouped into seven sections: Summary; Adoptions and re-registrations; Births; Stillbirths and infant deaths; Deaths; Deaths by cause; and Marriages and Civil Partnerships. In almost all cases, the tables give the numbers of vital events which were registered in Scotland in the calendar year. Some tables also provide figures for earlier years, and/or annual averages for 5-year periods. Most of the figures are for Scotland as a whole, but some tables provide statistics for each Local Authority and each NHS Board area.

There are no figures for Divorces and Dissolutions of Civil Partnerships in these Reference Tables, because the Scottish Government is now the only publisher of new statistics of Divorces and Dissolutions for Scotland. More information about the publication of such statistics is available within the Vital Events Divorces and Dissolutions section of this website.

Almost all the tables which contain population-based rates (e.g. birth rates, fertility rates and death rates) for earlier years were replaced on 19 February 2014 by versions giving revised rates for the years from 2002 to 2011 which were calculated using the 'rebased' mid-year population estimates. More information about this is available from the Births and Deaths Rates: breaks in series circa 2011 section on this website.

Detailed commentary on the 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 on this website within:


This is an annual publication. National Records of Scotland (NRS) collects the underlying data on a daily basis, as and when each event is registered. These are the final statistics for the latest year, and as such are all new (although provisional versions of some of them appeared in the ‘Preliminary Annual Figures’ publication, which has now been superseded). The previously-published final figures for earlier years are very rarely revised.

Information about (e.g.) the sources, methods, definitions and reliability of these statistics is available from this website's pages on Vital Events - General Background Information, Births - Background information, Marriages and Civil Partnerships - Background Information, and Deaths - Background Information.

These figures are directly comparable with those for other parts of the United Kingdom (UK), there are no significant differences across the UK in how Vital Events data are collected and processed.

Statistics of deaths for the calendar year as a whole are (or were) used in some Scottish Government targets, such as reductions in the numbers of suicides and in the age-standardised death rates, of people under 75, from ischaemic (coronary) heart disease, cerebrovascular disease (stroke) and cancer: Scottish Government reports (or used to report) on progress towards such targets. The numbers of births and deaths are used to update estimates of life expectancy and the size of the population, for which there are also government targets. More generally, Vital Events statistical data are used for research into, and to develop and monitor policies on, a wide range of topics, including: fertility; stillbirths and infant deaths; alcohol- and drug- related deaths; suicides; deaths from healthcare associated infections; the effectiveness of cancer screening programmes; cancer survival rates; hospital standardised mortality rates; and the arrangements for certifying deaths.

Click on the section below for more information on relevant statistics

Vital Events Reference Tables 2016 - All Tables (Excel 1 MB)

Notes and Definitions (Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Format (PDF)) (140 KB)

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This is an annual publication.

The dates of future publications will be announced on our Future Publications page.

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