National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future

2014 Improvements to Vital Events Statistics

2014 Improvements to Vital Events Statistics

This note describes the main improvements, made in 2014, to the statistical information about ‘vital events’ (births, stillbirths, adoptions, marriages, civil partnerships and deaths) which is available on the NRS web site (and also on what was, at the time, the Scottish Neighbourhood Statistics website). It does not mention a number of ‘minor’ improvements.

Vital Events Reference Tables for 2012 (revised 19 February 2014)

Various tables which provide time-series of population-based birth, marriage or death rates were revised to use the rebased mid-year population estimates, for 2002 onwards, which take account of the results of the 2011 Census and were published on 17 December 2013. The rates for the years that were shown in the versions of the tables that were published in August 2013 were revised accordingly.

In addition, several tables were expanded to cover more years than before:

  • Table 3.5 - now also provides figures for all women for 1992 to 1995 and 1997. In addition, it no longer gives ‘married women’ and ‘unmarried women’ rates for years for which the ‘marital status’ population estimates are out-of-date (following the rebasing of the mid-year population estimates in the light of the results of the Census).
  • Table 5.1(b) - now also provides figures for 2001 to 2003.
  • Table 6.6 - now also provides figures for 2000 to 2002 and the 2010-12 average.
  • Table 6.7 - now also provides figures for 2000 to 2010 and the 2010-12 average.
  • Tables 6.8 and 6.9 - now also provide figures for the 2010-12 average. 

Births and Deaths Time-Series Tables (published 19 February 2014)

In total, 42 new two-way tables (which are described below) were added. They provide time-series of various birth rates, fertility rates, deaths rates and standardised mortality ratios that had hitherto appeared only in ‘single year’ Reference Tables. All the figures for the relevant years were produced using the rebased mid-year population estimates.

  • Birth rates (‘crude’, and ‘standardised’ using the age/sex-specific rates for Scotland as a whole) by Council area, 1991 to 2012.
  • Birth rates (‘crude’, and ‘standardised’ using the age/sex-specific rates for Scotland as a whole) by NHS Board area, 1991 to 2012.
  • Fertility rates (for six age-groups), General Fertility Rate, and approximate Total Fertility Rate by Council area, 1991 to 2012.
  • Fertility rates (for six age-groups), General Fertility Rate, and approximate Total Fertility Rate by NHS Board area, 1991 to 2012.
  • Death rates (‘crude’, and ‘standardised’ using the age/sex-specific rates for Scotland as a whole) by Council area, 1991 to 2012.
  • Death rates (‘crude’, and ‘standardised’ using the age/sex-specific rates for Scotland as a whole) by NHS Board area, 1991 to 2012.
  • Standardised mortality ratios (for deaths from all causes and from eight specific causes) by Council area, 2000 to 2012.
  • Standardised mortality ratios (for deaths from all causes and from eight specific causes) by NHS Board area, 2000 to 2012. 

Vital Events Reference Tables (published 14 August 2014)

Table 6.13 – the methodology for calculating years of life lost was updated to bring it into line with that used by the Office for National Statistics.

Drug-related Deaths in Scotland in 2013  (published 14 August 2014) 

  • Annex E was expanded, and Tables NPS1 to NPS3 were added to provide more information about deaths involving so-called New Psychoactive Substances (Table NPS2 contains figures that were previously included in the lower part of Table Z).
  • Table 7 was expanded to include columns for ‘any other drug’ and ‘all drugs’. 

Age-Standardised Death Rates (published 14 August 2014)

The methodology was updated to use the 2013 European Standard Population (previously the 1976 version was used). Additional material was also added to the website in advance of publication detailing the scale of the impact and the reasons for making the change.

Births, Deaths and other Vital Events – 3rd Quarter 2014 (published 10 December 2014)

An infographic was introduced to accompany this publication.   

Babies’ First Names (published 18 December 2014)

An interactive data visualisation and infographic were introduced to accompany this publication.

Most Common Surnames [in Birth, Marriage and Death registers] (published 18 December 2014)

A new Web section, this provides information on the surnames that occurred most often in Scotland’s Birth, Marriage and Death registers, for various years back to 1975. There is a separate list for each of the years concerned, and a ‘CSV’ file which contains summary records which cover each of the years for which those lists have been produced.

Information about Vital Events statistics

A new web section Numbers of previous live and stillbirths was added to ‘Births – Background Information’ on 14 August 2014. This provides a 10-page note (including tables and chart) on the main points from the first year’s results of collecting from all mothers, when live births are registered, their numbers of previous live births. It also covers briefly mothers’ previous numbers of stillbirths, and the equivalent numbers collected when all stillbirths are registered. An Annex provides some background about the change that was made at the start of 2013.

Scottish Neighbourhood Statistics (SNS) (now decommisioned and replaced with statistics.gov.scot)

  • Age standardised rates have been updated to 2013 European Standard Population.
  • The metadata for the existing indicators has been improved and simplified.