National Records of Scotland

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Vital events registered in 2019 Decrease in births and rise in deaths

Vital events registered in 2019 Decrease in births and rise in deaths

Tuesday, 23 Jun 2020
Demography news release image

8,245 more deaths than births were registered in Scotland in 2019, according to figures released today by National Records of Scotland.

This is the fifth year running where there have been more deaths than births registered in Scotland.

49,863 births were registered, this is the lowest annual total since records began in 1855.

58,108 deaths were registered, which shows a decrease of 0.7 per cent on the number in 2018, but represents the second highest annual total since 2003. 

The age-standardised mortality rate, which takes account of the changing population structure, was 1,107.6 per 100,000 people in 2019, a decrease of 3 per cent on 2018.  Historically, age-standardised mortality rates have fallen consistently over time but there has been little change since 2014.  The rate among males (1,275.0 per 100,000) is higher than among females (971.2 per 100,000).

Pete Whitehouse, Director of Statistical Services, said: 

“The latest figures maintain the recent trends with births continuing to fall and little change in the death rate. The age-standardised death rate, which takes account of the growing and ageing population, had been decreasing steadily over recent decades, but has changed very little since 2014.”

There were 26,007 marriages in 2019, the lowest number ever recorded.  Of these, 912 were same sex marriages.

There were 83 civil partnerships registered, 50 involving male couples and 33 involving female couples.

There were 174 stillbirths in 2019, a rate of 3.5 for every thousand live and still births.  This was the lowest stillbirth rate ever recorded.

The publication Vital Events Reference Tables 2019 and an Infographic are available on this website.