Births, deaths & other vital events, 2017 Q2

Provisional figures for vital events registered in Scotland during the second quarter of 2017 were published today by National Records of Scotland.

The statistics show 12,964 births, 13,788 deaths and 8,017 marriages were registered between April and June.

At 12,964, the number of births registered was 966 (6.9 per cent) fewer than in the same period of 2016 and the lowest quarter two total since 2003.

At 13,788, the number of deaths registered was 322 (2.4 per cent) more than in the same period of 2016.

Compared with the second quarter of 2016, the number of deaths from coronary heart disease fell by 5.3 per cent to 1,590  and deaths from cerebrovascular disease fell by 4.8 per cent to 916. There were 3,831 deaths from cancer (a decrease of 0.8 per cent).  Deaths from respiratory system diseases rose by 2.8 per cent  to 1,642 compared with quarter two of 2016.  There was an increase of 33.4 per cent in the number of deaths from Alzheimer’s Disease (570) and the number of deaths from dementia rose by 16.9 per cent to 936 (although part of this increase will be due to the change in cause of death coding software).

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 around 10 per cent of all deaths compared to 5 per cent a decade ago.


  1. Full publication, Births, deaths and other vital events - quarterly figures, including figures for NHS Boards and local authority areas.
  1. From January 2017, NRS has introduced new software for coding the cause of death. The impact on the figures is relatively minor but has led to an increase in deaths coded to dementia and Alzheimer’s and a decrease in deaths coded to respiratory diseases.  It should be noted that deaths from dementia and Alzheimer’s were rising before the new software was introduced, but the impact of the software change further increases deaths from these causes.   More information can be found in the paper ‘The Impact of the Implementation of IRIS Software for ICD-10 Cause of Death Coding on Mortality Statistics in Scotland’ on the NRS website.
  1. Figures are provisional and might be subject to further revision. Figures for a specific year are finalised when the annual vital events reference tables are published in August of the following year.
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