National Records of Scotland

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Mortality rate 4% higher than average for March

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Mortality rate 4% higher than average for March

Thursday, 20 Apr 2023
demography news release image

The mortality rate for March 2023 was 4% higher than the five year average for this time of year, according to new analysis from the National Records of Scotland. 

The age-standardised mortality rate was 1,199 deaths per hundred thousand people. This takes into account the size and age-structure of the population. 

The number of deaths was 5,646 which was 10% higher than the average for the month of March over the last five years. This measure does not take into account how the population has grown larger and older over the years.

Vital Events Statistician with NRS, Julie Ramsay, said: 

“Deaths increased to higher than average levels during March after being at relatively normal levels during February.

Our data shows that ischaemic heart disease was found to be the most common cause of all deaths in March. It was also the most common cause of death for men, however for women the most common cause was Alzheimer’s Disease or other types of dementia”. 

The full report Monthly Mortality Analysis, Scotland, March 2023 can be found on the NRS website.


The Monthly Mortality report provides headline figures every month, with much more information available in our downloadable datasets. These datasets all have interactive charts built in, to aid users in exploring the latest trends.

The data in this report is based on the date a death occurred, other analysis can be based on the date a death was registered.

The five year average does not include 2020 due to the unusual pattern of deaths in the first year of the pandemic. An explanation for this methodology agreed with statistics bodies across the UK is available on our website. 

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

Further information about the statistics is available from:
NRS Customer Services
Email: [email protected]