National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future

Births, Deaths and other Vital Events in Scotland: Preliminary figures for 2016 released

The NRS Catalogue is currently affected by an issue that is intermittently creating error messages for users. We are working to resolve this as quickly as possible, and we apologise for the inconvenience.

Births, Deaths and other Vital Events in Scotland: Preliminary figures for 2016 released

Wednesday, 8 Mar 2017
Demographics news release image

Provisional figures for births, deaths, adoptions, marriages and civil partnerships registered during 2016 are published today by the National Records of Scotland. 

The statistics show that 54,488 births, 56,728 deaths and 29,229 marriages were registered in 2016.

54,488 births were registered in the year – 612 (1.1 per cent) fewer than in 2015. This is the lowest number of births recorded since 2005 and continues the general decline in number of births since the most recent peak of 60,041 in 2008.

At 56,728, the number of deaths registered in 2016 was 851 (1.5 per cent) lower than in 2015. This is the second highest number of deaths recorded since 2003 (2015 was highest) although due to the growing population, the death rate (10.6 deaths per 1,000 population) is lower than it was in 2008 (10.7).

Deaths from cancer fell by 1.3 per cent to 15,890, deaths from coronary heart disease fell by 6.9 per cent to 6,651, and there were 4,143 deaths from cerebrovascular disease (a fall of 3.7 per cent). There was a 5.2 per cent decrease (to 7,271) in deaths from respiratory diseases. Deaths from dementia fell by 9.0 per cent to 3,603 and deaths from Alzheimer’s Disease rose by 10.5 per cent to 1,963.

The number of marriages fell by 462 compared to 2015 and levels remain historically low. Of the 29,229 marriages registered in 2016, 999 involved same sex couples and, of the same sex marriages, 174 were changes from previous civil partnerships.

There were 70 civil partnerships (42 male and 28 female), six more than in 2015.

The full publication 2016 Births, Deaths and Other Vital Events - Preliminary Annual Figures is available on this website.

Infographics Births and deaths Scotland, 2016 and Marriages and civil partnerships Scotland, 2016 accompany this publication and are also available on this website.