National Records of Scotland

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2015 Improvements to Vital Events Statistics

2015 Improvements to Vital Events Statistics

2015 improvements to the statistical information available, on this web site, about births, stillbirths, adoptions, marriages, civil partnerships and deaths

This note describes the main improvements, made in 2015, to the statistical information about ‘Vital Events’ (this is births, stillbirths, adoptions, marriages, civil partnerships and deaths) which is available on this web site (and also on the Scottish Neighbourhood Statistics web site). It does not mention a number of ‘minor’ improvements.

Births and Deaths and other Vital Events – Preliminary Annual figures (published 11 March 2015)

  • Following the introduction of same-sex marriages in December 2014, two of the tables which include numbers of marriages were expanded to provide separate figures for ‘opposite sex’ and ‘same sex’ marriages.

Births and Deaths and other Vital Events – Quarterly figures (With Effect From (WEF) 11 March 2015)

  • Following the introduction of same-sex marriages in December 2014, the two tables which include numbers of marriages were expanded to provide separate figures for ‘opposite sex’ and ‘same sex’ marriages.

Babies’ First Names (published 11 March 2015)

The amount of information available was expanded greatly, with the publication of:

  • for each year back to 1974, a list (in rank order) of all the first forenames that were given to babies whose births were registered in that year.
  • a new web section on how the top names have changed over the years, which includes commentary and tables on (for each sex):
    • the top names in each year,
    • the Top Ten names at five yearly intervals, 
    • the top names in each decade, first forenames,

and advice on how to get more information about the rise/fall in popularity of any of the top names

  • summary files (in Comma Separated Value format) of records of:
    • all first forenames given in each year in a particular period and.
    • the ‘Top 100’ names for all the years for which the data are available.

Weekly and Monthly Data on Births and Deaths (WEF 17 June 2015)

  • With effect from June 2015, these figures are released each month, and cover the period up to the end of the previous month. For example:
    • weekly and monthly figures going up to the end of May 2015 were released in June 2015; and
    • figures up to the end of June 2015 were released in July 2015.

This means that such figures are now available months earlier than before, as they used to be released each quarter, and covered the period up to the end of the latest quarter in the quarterly statistics. For example, the weekly and monthly figures up to the end of June 2014 were released in September 2014, along with the statistics for the second quarter of 2014.

  • The following extra breakdowns of the monthly figures are provided:
    • deaths by council (WEF 17 June 2015) and 
    • births by council and NHS Board (WEF 17 December 2015).

Vital Events Reference Tables (published 20 August 2015)

  • Following the introduction of same-sex marriages in December 2014, a new table was added to provide the number for each sex cross-classified by the marital status of the two parties.
  • Three tables were expanded to provide separate figures for ‘opposite sex’ and ‘same sex’ marriages.
  • A new marital status (‘former civil partner’) was included in tables which show a breakdown of marriages by marital status..

Drug-related Deaths in Scotland in 2014 (published 25 August 2015)

  • Two new tables and an Annex were added, to provide a consistent series of the number of drug-related deaths, based upon the classification of each drug at the end of the latest year which is covered by each edition of the publication.
  • Five tables were expanded – all now provide figures for four more types of drug.
  • Another table was expanded to show ten more drugs, or groups of drugs.
  • Minor improvements were made to three other tables.

Babies’ First Names (published 17 December 2015)

  • The Main Points were expanded and 
  • two new paragraphs and two new tables provide information about the increases in the numbers of different first forenames that are given to babies, and of babies whose first forename is ‘unique’ (within the year, for the child’s sex).

Infographics and data visualisations

‘Infographics’ (this is pictorial charts) and ‘data visualisations’ (this is interactive charts) on the topics listed below were added to the ‘Infographics and Visualisations’ page of this website.

  • Infographics on births and deaths in 2014 and on marriages and civil partnerships in 2014 – 11 March 2015.
  • Data visualisations on the top 20 boys’ names and the top 20 girls’ names for 2002 to 2014 - 11 March 2015 (updated 17 December to include 2015 data).
  • Data visualisations on causes of death for 2002 to 2014 and on age-specific birth rates for 1973 to 2014 – 20 August 2015
  • Infographic on the numbers of babies who were given names which one might associate with certain (e.g.) films or celebrities – 17 December 2015