Births, Deaths and other Vital Events

Preliminary figures for 2016 released.

Provisional figures for births, deaths, adoptions, marriages and civil partnerships registered during 2016 are published today by the National Records of Scotland.

The statistics show that 54,488 births, 56,728 deaths and 29,229 marriages were registered in 2016.

54,488 births were registered in the year – 612 (1.1%) fewer than in 2015. This is the lowest number of births recorded since 2005 and continues the general decline in number of births since the most recent peak of 60,041 in 2008.

At 56,728, the number of deaths registered in 2016 was 851 (1.5%) lower than in 2015. This is the second highest number of deaths recorded since 2003 (2015 was highest) although due to the growing population, the death rate (10.6 deaths per 1,000 population) is lower than it was in 2008 (10.7).

Deaths from cancer fell by 1.3% to 15,890, deaths from coronary heart disease fell by 6.9% to 6,651, and there were 4,143 deaths from cerebrovascular disease (a fall of 3.7%). There was a 5.2% decrease (to 7,271) in deaths from respiratory diseases. Deaths from dementia fell by 9.0% to 3,603 and deaths from Alzheimer’s Disease rose by 10.5% to 1,963.

The number of marriages fell by 462 compared to 2015 and levels remain historically low. Of the 29,229 marriages registered in 2016, 999 involved same sex couples and, of the same sex marriages, 174 were changes from previous civil partnerships.

There were 70 civil partnerships (42 male and 28 female), six more than in 2015.


Notes To Editors

  1. The full publication, including figures for NHS Boards and local authority areas, is available from the National Records of Scotland website.
  2. In recent years, the annual number of deaths had been below 55,000, compared to levels of around 60,000 to 65,000 from the mid-1940s to the mid-1990s, and larger numbers before then.
  3. The publication is accompanied by two infographics.


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