National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future

2018 Improvements to Vital Events Statistics

2018 Improvements to Vital Events Statistics

2018 improvements to the statistical information available, on the NRS web site, about births, stillbirths, adoptions, marriages, civil partnerships and deaths

This note describes the main improvements, made in 2018, to the statistical information about “Vital Events” (i.e. births, stillbirths, adoptions, marriages, civil partnerships and deaths) which is available on the NRS web site (and also on the “statistics.gov.scot” web site).  It does not mention a number of "minor" improvements.

Alcohol-related deaths (old National Statistics definition)     (published 27 June 2018)

  • Table 1 was expanded to provide the average age at death, for Persons, Males and Females

Alcohol-specific deaths (new National Statistics definition)     (published 27 June 2018)

  • Tables 3, 3M and 3F were expanded to provide the average age at death, for Persons, Males and Females

Avoidable mortality     (published 27 June 2018)

  • a new time-series Table 9 gives the number of deaths by sex, by underlying cause and by whether they are counted as ‘preventable’, ‘amendable’ or both

Dementia and Alzheimer’s deaths     (published 27 June 2018)

A new web section, this includes:

  • comments on the main points from the figures;
  • four tables and a chart, giving the numbers of such deaths broken down by sex, by age-group, by local authority area and by health board area, plus (for Scotland as a whole) age-standardised death rates by sex and death rates per 1,000 population for certain age-groups
  • a note on the definition of the statistics and on the effect on the figures of changes to the coding software that NRS uses

Vital Events Reference Tables     (published 27 June 2018)

The following improvements were made:

  • the publication date was brought forward by approximately 5 weeks.  As a result, the publication of the preliminary annual estimates was dropped.
  • the methodology used to produce the total fertility rates (TFRs) in table 3.16 was improved. Previously this table included approximate TFRs which were based on five year age groups and were not fully consistent with the TFRs used in other tables such as 3.04. The methodology now calculates TFRs for administrative areas based on single years of age and the tables are now consistent.
  • Table 6.14 was expanded to provide figures for alcohol-related deaths (old NS definition), alcohol-specific deaths (new NS definition), accidents (using both the old and the new coding rules) and probable suicides (again, using both old and new coding rules)
  • Table 6.15 was added, giving figures on leading causes of death by sex and age group.

Volatile Substance Abuse and Helium deaths     (published 27 June 2018)

A new web section, this includes:

  • comments on the main points from the figures;
  • two tables, giving the numbers of such deaths broken down by sex, by age-group, by whether an abusable volatile substance or helium was implicated in the death, and by whether the death was also counted as drug-related (in terms of two definitions), for 2000 to 2017
  • a ‘Background’ note, which covers topics such as the definition of the statistics and why some of the deaths are also counted as ‘drug-related’

"Drug-related Deaths in Scotland in 2017"       (published 3 July 2018)

  • two new extra tables (SUB1 and SUB2: as “extra” tables, they are not part of the publication itself, but are available via the “home page” for this edition) list the names of all the drugs and other substances which were reported as being present in the body for drug-related deaths on the basis of NRS’s standard definition and on the basis of the Office for National Statistics (ONS) ‘wide’ definition, for 2000 to 2017

Winter Mortality in Scotland     (published 16 October 2018)

  • an extra indicator of the level of influenza activity was added to Table 2 and in a new chart in Figure 3.
  • an Infographic Summary was added: three charts and some key points from the figures.

Alcohol-specific deaths     (published 16 October 2018)

  • the Main Points, tables and chart have been expanded to include figures for each year from 1979 to 1999, and the accompanying pages which describe (e.g.) the basis of the statistics etc have been expanded to include (e.g.) a list of the “ICD-9” codes that were used to produce the figures.

Babies’ First Names, 2018     (published 18 December 2018)

  • an Infographic Summary was added: some charts and some key points from the figures.