National Records of Scotland

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Marriage numbers in quarter 1 increase by 21%

Marriage numbers in quarter 1 increase by 21%

Tuesday, 14 Jun 2022
demography news release image

There was a 21% rise in the number of marriages in the first quarter of this year, according to new figures from the National Records of Scotland.

The Quarter 1 Vital Events report shows there were 3,666 marriages. This was 21% more than the five year average number of marriages for quarter one.

The report also highlights that the number of births is continuing to decrease and the number of deaths has also fallen slightly in comparison with the five year average. 

Julie Ramsay, Vital Events statistician, said:

“21% more people got married in Scotland between January and March this year than is usual for that time of year. The number of marriages continues to increase after restrictions on marriages, which were first put in place in quarter 2 of 2020, were eased.

“There were 129 same-sex marriages, a small increase on the five year average of 123. 118 civil partnerships were registered, 96 involving mixed-sex couples.

“There were 22 same-sex civil partnerships – eight more than the average of 14.”

“There were slightly fewer deaths than the recent average for the time of year.”

The publication ‘Births, Deaths and Other Vital Events - 1st Quarter 2022’ is available on the NRS website.


Key figures from the report:

  • There were 12,129 births registered in Scotland between 1 January and 31 March 2022. This is 4.3% lower than the quarter one average of 12,676.
  • There were 48 stillbirths (3.9 per 1000 live and still births), 10% fewer than the quarter one average.
  • There were 43 infant deaths (3.5 per 1000 live births), 7% lower than the quarter one average.
  • At 16,179, the number of deaths in quarter one of 2022 is 0.9% lower than the quarter one average of 16,329.
  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) was the underlying cause of 939 deaths during quarter one and there were no deaths where the underlying cause was adverse effects of a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • The age-standardised mortality rate for the four-quarter period ending in 2022 quarter one was 2.3% lower than the previous four-quarter period ending quarter four of 2021. This rate takes into account the growing and ageing population and is therefore the best indicator of the direction of the mortality trend. 
  • There were 129 same-sex marriages, compared with a five-year average of 123.
  • Since June 2021 mixed-sex couples have been able to form a civil partnership. Of the 118 civil partnerships registered in the first quarter of 2022, 96 involved mixed-sex couples.
  • There were 22 same-sex civil partnerships, an increase of eight from the average of 14.

2. The full publication ‘Births, deaths and other vital events, first quarter 2022’ is available on the NRS website. The report provides figures for vital events which were registered in Scotland in the period 1 January – 31 March 2022. The data includes statistics on births, stillbirths, marriages, civil partnerships and deaths, including:

  • Quarterly figures for Scotland for each of the past 10 years
  • The totals for each Local Authority and NHS Board area for the latest quarter
  • More details analyses of the numbers of deaths for the latest quarter

3. Figures are provisional and might be subject to further revision. Figures for 2022 will be finalised when the annual vital events reference tables are published in summer 2023.

4. Comparisons are usually made by comparing the current year to the average of the previous five years.  For 2022, standard practice would be to compare against the 2017-2021 average.  However, as the 2020 figures were severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic – marriages were much lower than usual, deaths were higher, and registration of births was delayed – comparing 2022 figure to the 2017-2021 average would not give a true reflection of how the latest quarter’s figures compare to the average.  Comparisons have therefore been made against the average of the five years 2016-2019 plus 2021.

5. National Records of Scotland (NRS) is a non-ministerial department of the Scottish Government. It is responsible for producing statistics on Scotland’s population. General information about NRS’s statistics can be found in the About our Statistics section of its website.

Media enquiries should be directed to: 
Donna Green – 07775 027 380
NRS Communications
Email: [email protected]

Further information about the statistics is available from:

NRS Customer Services
Email: [email protected]