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Health of Scotland’s population - Mortality Rates

Mortality Rates

Mortality rates from Scotland's leading causes of death- including cancer, coronary heart disease (CHD), respiratory conditions and stroke- are declining long term following lifestyle improvements and improved health care.

The overall mortality rate has dropped by 25%, from 1,560 per 100,000 in 1994 to 1,177 per 100,000 in 2015. This reflects a cumulative decline in cancer (15%, to 320 per 100,000), CHD (63%, to 146 per 100,000), respiratory conditions (19%, to 160 per 100,000) and cerebrovasuclar (including stroke) mortality (58%, to 90 per 100,000) between 1994 and 2015. 

The chart below illustrates mortality rates since 1994 for these conditions.

Death rates 1994 to 2015
















View chart data

Rates for other leading causes of death have also reduced, including accidents (by 18%) and probable suicide (by 26%).  Alcohol deaths are higher than in 1994, but have declined by more than a third (34%) since peaking in 2003.

Source: National Records of Scotland (NRS)

Note: Rates were calculated using the 2013 European Standard Population (ESP2013).

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