National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future

2017

Winter Mortality in Scotland – 2016/17

Tuesday, 17 Oct 2017
Demography news release image

New figures released today by National Records of Scotland (NRS) show that a total of 20,930 deaths were registered across Scotland from December 2016 to March 2017, compared with 20,509 in the previous winter (2015/16). 

The seasonal difference was 2,720 for winter 2016/17, slightly lower than the corresponding figure of 2,850 for winter 2015/16.  

The seasonal increase of 2,720 in winter 2016/17 was smaller than in most of the 65 previous winters, but it was still above the level seen in five of the previous ten winters. NRS statistics show that mortality can fluctuate markedly from winter to winter: occasionally one year will have an unusually large figure, like the 4,060 for winter 2014/15.   

Commenting on these statistics, Tim Ellis, Chief Executive of NRS, said:

"There are always more deaths in the winter in Scotland than in any other season, but the long-term trend since the early 1950s has clearly been downward. However, the five-year moving average (which smoothes out much of the year-to-year fluctuation) has not changed much since the early 2000s.

"There is no single cause of additional deaths in winter. Very few are caused by hypothermia and only a small proportion directly by influenza. The underlying causes of most of the additional deaths include respiratory and circulatory diseases (such as pneumonia, coronary heart disease and stroke), dementia, and Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and other degenerative diseases.”

The full publication Winter Mortality in Scotland 2016/17 can be found on this website.

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Life Expectancy for Scotland 2014-16

Wednesday, 27 Sep 2017
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Latest life expectancy statistics for Scotland were published today by National Records of Scotland as part of the National Life Tables, using estimates of the population and the number of deaths.

Tim Ellis, the Registrar General of Scotland, said:

“The statistics published today show life expectancy has steadily improved over the past three decades, increasing by 8.0 years for males and 5.9 years for females, and the gap between male and female life expectancy has also decreased. Most recently (2014-16), a baby girl born in Scotland could expect to live for 81.2 years and a baby boy could expect to live until he was 77.1 years. Whilst it is good news that people in Scotland are living longer, recent trends show the increase in life expectancy has been slowing in Scotland as well as the rest of the UK.”

Life expectancy at birth

  • Life expectancy for those born in 2014-2016 was 77.1 years for males and 81.2 years for females.
  • Over the past 35 years life expectancy in Scotland has increased by 8.0 years for males and 5.9 years for females.
  • Female life expectancy has remained higher than male life expectancy throughout the last 35 years. However, the gap between them has decreased from 6.2 years for people born in 1980-1982 to 4.1 years for people born in 2014-2016
  • The 2014-based population projections for Scotland project that life expectancy will continue to increase, reaching 82.3 years for males and 85.0 years for females by 2039.

Recent changes in life expectancy         

  • Between 2013-2015 and 2014-2016 life expectancy remained virtually unchanged. Life expectancy at birth increased by 0.01 years for females and decreased by 0.02 years for males.
  • There was also very little change between the 2012-2014 and 2013-2015 life expectancy estimates, indicating that life expectancy is stalling in Scotland.

Scotland’s life expectancy compared to the rest of the UK

Life expectancy at birth in Scotland is 2.1 years lower than the UK figure for males (79.2 years) and 1.7 years lower than the UK figure for females (82.9).

The full publication Life Tables for Scotland 2014-2016 including the National life tables can be found on this website.

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Number of Scottish Centenarians at near record level

Wednesday, 27 Sep 2017
Demography news release image

Figures published today by the National Records of Scotland estimate that in 2016 there were 910 centenarians living in Scotland, an increase of 57% from the estimate of 580 in 2006.

The male centenarian population more than doubled (from 50 in 2006 to 120 in 2016), while the female population increased by 49% (from 530 in 2006 to 790 in 2016).

There are many more women who live for over 100 years than men, reflecting the longer life expectancy of females. In 2016, there were 790 female centenarians (87% of all centenarians) compared with 120 men aged 100 or over.

The ratio of male to female centenarians has increased to 15 men per 100 women in 2016 compared to 9 men per 100 women in 2006. This indicates that the gap between men and women’s life expectancy has decreased.

Since 2006, the number of centenarians relative to the rest of the population has increased from 1.1 to 1.7 centenarians for every 10,000 people in the total population in 2016.

The number of people aged 90 to 99 increased from 28,430 in 2006 to 40,160 in 2016, an increase of 41%.

The number of men aged 90 to 99 increased from 6,570 to 11,900 between 2006 and 2016, an increase of 81%. The number of females aged 90 to 99 increased from 21,860 to 28,260 during the same period, an increase of 29%.

Centenarians make up a larger proportion of the population at UK level (2.27 per 10,000 population) than in Scotland (1.7 per 10,000 population). Between 2006 and 2016 the percentage increase in the number of centenarians in Scotland (57%) was slightly lower than in the UK as a whole (60%).

The full publication Centenarians in Scotland 2006 to 2016 is found on this website.

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Publication of Public Records (Scotland) Act 2011 Annual Report for 2017

Wednesday, 13 Sep 2017
Picture showing the cover page of the Keeper's Annual Report 2017

The Keeper’s Annual Report for 2017, published under the Public Records (Scotland) Act 2011, has been laid in the Scottish Parliament.  It reflects the fourth year of activity since the Act was implemented in January 2013.

The 2017 report can be viewed on this website. The main aim of the Act is to improve the quality of record keeping in approximately 250 named Scottish public authorities. It requires authorities to submit records management plans to the Keeper for agreement.

This year we reached a significant milestone when we issued the 200 th invitation to a public authority to submit a records management plan. We will therefore achieve our 5 year target of inviting all authorities to submit a plan by 2018.

The Act remains central to a long-term process of improving the standard of record keeping within the Scottish public sector. We continue to build on the lessons learned and engage widely

with authorities to promote the benefits of the Act and a wider understanding of it. Plans agreed show that good practice is being followed and the Act continues to build trust and promote a new culture around record keeping.

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Births, deaths & other vital events, 2017 Q2

Wednesday, 13 Sep 2017
Demography news release

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%) 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%) 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% to 1,590 and deaths from cerebrovascular disease fell by 4.8% to 916. There were 3,831 deaths from cancer (a decrease of 0.8%). Deaths from respiratory system diseases rose by 2.8% to 1,642 compared with quarter two of 2016. There was an increase of 33.4% 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 – refer to note 2 below for more details.

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% of all deaths compared to 5% a decade ago.

Full publication, Births, deaths and other vital events - quarterly figures, including figures for NHS Boards and local authority areas.

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Drug-related deaths in Scotland in 2016

Tuesday, 15 Aug 2017
Demograpgy news release image

A total of 867 drug-related deaths were registered in Scotland in 2016, according to statistics published today by the National Records of Scotland. This is the largest number in a series which starts at 1996, 161 (23%) more than in 2015, and more than double the figure for 2006 (which was 421).

The statistics also show that:

  • Males accounted for 68% of the drug-related deaths in 2016.
  • In 2016, there were 327 drug-related deaths of people aged 35-44 (38% of all drug-related deaths), 213 deaths of 45-54 year olds (25%) and 199 drug-related deaths in the 25-34 age-group (23%).
  • The NHS Board areas which accounted for most of the 867 drug-related deaths in 2016 were:
    • Greater Glasgow & Clyde – 257 (30%);
    • Lothian – 128 (15%);
    • Lanarkshire – 113 (13%); and
    • Ayrshire & Arran – 85 (10%). 
  • Of the 867 drug-related deaths in 2016, opiates or opioids were implicated in, or potentially contributed to, 765 deaths (88% of the total), including heroin and/or morphine in the case of 473 deaths (55%) and methadone in the case of 362 deaths (42%). Benzodiazepines (for example diazepam and etizolam) were implicated in, or potentially contributed to, 426 deaths (49%). These figures are higher than in any previous year.
  • Scotland’s figures imply a drug-death rate (relative to the number of people aged 15 to 64) higher than those reported for all the EU countries (though there are issues of coding, coverage and under-reporting in some countries – refer to Annex G of the publication, which provides information about drug-death rates for other countries), and a drug-death rate (per head of population) that is roughly two and a half times that of the UK as a whole.
  • Annex E of the publication provides information about deaths which involved so-called New Psychoactive Substances (NPSs), including their definition for the purposes of these figures. On that basis, in 2016:
    • There were 286 deaths in which NPSs were implicated, or potentially contributed to, the cause of death – but just four of them were believed to have been caused by NPSs alone;
    • Almost all (281) of those deaths are included in the 867 drug-related deaths referred to earlier (they are counted under that definition either because the person had also taken a controlled substance or because the NPS itself was one).

The full publication Drug-related deaths in Scotland in 2016 is available on this website.

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Famous Scots from the Past

Monday, 31 Jul 2017
Photo of vial of arsenic poison

Treasured artefacts displayed together for the first time.

A new National Records of Scotland exhibition will provide an insight into the fascinating lives of four of Scotland’s most renowned historical figures over the next month.

Poison bottles from an infamous Victorian murder trial; a childhood letter sent by Mary Queen of Scots; documents from construction of the Forth Bridge and the Parish Register entry for Robert Burns’ irregular marriage are just some of the items to be displayed at General Register House from tomorrow as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.   

The never-before exhibited treasures from the national archive include:

  • No Bells for the Bard – The irregular marriage of Robert Burns and Jean Armour, 1788; 
  • Correspondence of a Queen – The earliest letter written by a young Mary, Queen of Scots, around 1550; 
  • The Man Who Built the Bridge – Photographs and documents from the construction of the Forth Bridge, Sir William Arrol’s world-famous project, 1880s; and 
  • The Trial That Scandalised Scotland – Poison bottles, love-letters and other productions from the shocking murder trial of Glasgow socialite Madeleine Smith, 1857. 

Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, said:

"These items offer an insight into the personal lives of some of the great characters of Scotland’s past, and tell us more about our rich history and heritage. The exhibition is a fascinating contribution to the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology."

Tim Ellis, Chief Executive, NRS, said: "This exhibition is an excellent opportunity to view just part of the wealth of historical materials held by National Records of Scotland, specially selected by our archivists to intrigue both first-time visitors and regular customers."

Notes to Editors

Famous Scots from the Past will run from 1 August to 1 September at General Register House, 2 Princes Street, Edinburgh – Fringe Venue 502.

Media contact: Ross Truslove, Tel. 0131 535 1382.

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Scotland’s Population - Registrar General publishes annual review of demographic trends

Wednesday, 2 Aug 2017
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National Records of Scotland (NRS) today published Scotland’s Population 2016 – the Registrar General’s Annual Review of Demographic Trends, including a summary infographic booklet.

The Annual Review has been published every year since 1855 and paints a picture of a changing Scotland. It highlights demographic data published over the year including about population, life expectancy, migration, households and housing.

Tim Ellis, the Registrar General of Scotland, said:

“Scotland’s population has grown 5% over the last decade to a record 5.4 million. The majority of this growth has been due to migration, as natural change (births minus deaths) has not contributed significantly to Scotland’s population growth.

"In the year to 30 June 2016, around 32,000 more people came to Scotland than left. Of these, 23,000 people were from overseas and 9,000 people were from the rest of the UK. More than half of those who came to Scotland from the rest of the UK or overseas are between 18 and 32 years old.

“Scotland’s population has continued to age over the past decade, with the greatest increases in the population in the older age groups. Over the next 25 years, there is a projected increase of 28% in the number of pensioners in Scotland, compared to an increase of just 1% in the number of people of working age. This has implications for funding allocations, tax revenues, pensions, education, health and social care provision.”

The report also includes new data about births, adoptions, deaths, marriages and civil partnerships registered in Scotland in 2016. It shows:

  • 54,488 births were registered in Scotland in 2016, 1.1% fewer births than in 2015 and the lowest annual total since 2005.
  • The average age of mothers has increased to 30.3 compared with 26.0 in 1975. The average age of fathers has increased from 28.4 in 1975 to 32.9 in 2016.
  • 56,728 deaths were registered in Scotland in 2016, 1.5% fewer than in 2015.
  • Deaths from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease have more than doubled since 2000 and have now overtaken deaths from cerebrovascular disease. This is partly because people are living longer, and fewer people are dying from other conditions such as circulatory diseases. However, the single biggest cause of death is still cancer, which has risen by 6% between 2000 and 2016.
  • There were 29,229 marriages registered in Scotland in 2016. Of these, 998 were same-sex marriages.

The following have been released today:

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Births, deaths & other vital events, 2017 Q1

Wednesday, 14 Jun 2017
Demography news release image

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

The statistics show 13,279 births, 15,711 deaths and 3,578 marriages were registered between January and March.

At 13,279, the number of births registered was 28 (0.2 per cent) fewer than in the same period of 2016 and the lowest quarter one total since 2003. The total number of quarter one births fell to a low of around 12,400 in 2002. It then rose to around 15,100 in 2008 and has been below 14,000 since 2013.

At 15,711, the number of deaths registered was 223 (1.4 per cent) more than in the same period of 2016. Over the past decade the number of deaths in the first quarter fell from 15,820 in 2007 to a recent low of 13,959 in 2014. Quarter 1 of 2015 had an unusually high number of deaths (16,425) and although the 2016 and 2017 figures have decreased from this level, they still represent higher than average (for the decade) first quarter totals at 15,488 and 15,711 respectively.

Compared with the first quarter of 2016, the number of deaths from respiratory system disease fell by 10.4 per cent to 2,090 and deaths from cerebrovascular disease fell by 3.8 per cent to 1,100. Deaths from coronary heart disease fell by 1.5 per cent to 1,786 and there were 4,133 deaths from cancer (an increase of 1.9 per cent). There was an increase of 30.9 per cent in the number of deaths from Alzheimer’s Disease (648) and the number of deaths from dementia rose by 17.9 per cent to 1,229 (although part of this increase will be due to the change in cause of death coding software – refer to the paragraph starting From January 2017 below for more details).

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.

The provisional figures also show there were 3,578 marriages in total, 66 more than during the first quarter of 2016 (a rise of 1.9 per cent).

There were 144 same-sex marriages, a fall of 11 (7.1 per cent) compared with the same period of 2016. Twenty one (14.6 per cent) of the same sex marriages registered in the first quarter were changes from civil partnerships.

There were 10 civil partnerships (four male and six female), two fewer than during the first quarter of 2016.

The full publication, Births, deaths and other vital events - quarterly figures, including figures for NHS Boards and local authority areas, is available  on this website.

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 this website.

Figures are provisional as NRS may receive further information (e.g. from Procurators Fiscal following their investigations into certain deaths) which may lead to the figures being revised. 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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Scotland’s Household numbers continue to rise

Wednesday, 14 Jun 2017
Demography news release image

The number of households in Scotland has continued to increase to 2.45 million in 2016, according to figures published today by National Records of Scotland (NRS) in 'Estimates of Households and Dwellings in Scotland, 2016'. Households are single people or groups of people living together.

Over the last ten years the number of households in Scotland has grown by around 157,000 (seven per cent). The number of households has increased in every council area over the last ten years, with the greatest relative increases occurring in Orkney Islands and Highland. The growth in households is partly due to the rising population, but also because people are increasingly living alone, or with fewer other people. Households consisting of only one person are now the most common type in Scotland. Over a third of households are single person households, and nearly 900,000 people are living alone (Scottish Household Survey 2015, figure below).

Image showing the change in the make up of households as described above

Tim Ellis, the Chief Executive of National Records of Scotland, said:

“The average household in Scotland has been getting smaller for several decades. This is partly due to changes in the way we live, and partly because the number of older people in the population has been rising. Older people are more likely to live alone, so as the number of older people has increased, the average size of households has decreased. However, the fall in household sizes appears to have slowed since the economic downturn in 2007. This may be due to factors such as decreased house building and more young adults living with their parents instead of forming their own households.”

According to the estimates published today, there were 2.58 million dwellings in Scotland in 2016. Three per cent (79,100 dwellings) were empty, and a further one per cent (26,100 dwellings) were second homes. Empty and second homes are concentrated in different parts of the country. For example, remote rural areas have a higher percentage of empty and second homes than urban areas.

The full publication Estimates of Households and Dwellings in Scotland, 2016 is available on this website.

An infographic and data visualisation are available for this publication on this website.

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