National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future

Mortality rate falls by 5% in October

Mortality rate falls by 5% in October

Thursday, 30 Nov 2023
demography news release image

The mortality rate for October 2023 was 5% lower than average for this time of year according to new figures from National Records of Scotland.

The NRS monthly mortality report shows there were 5,164 deaths in Scotland in October, similar to the five year average for this month. This measure does not take into account the growing population and changes to the age structure. 

NRS Vital Events Statistician Beth Watson said: 

“The mortality rate in October was 5% lower than the five year average for this month. Age-standardised mortality rates are an effective measure for comparing changes over time, as they take into account changes in the population which is growing and also becoming older over time, with fewer children and more people in older age groups.”

The data shows that ischaemic heart disease was the most common cause of death in October, accounting for 11% of all deaths. It was the most common cause of death for men, although for women the most common cause was Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia.

Due to public holidays the monthly mortality figures for November will be published in late January, along with the report for December.


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:
Susie Rose
NRS Communications
Tel: 07500 463452
Email: [email protected] 

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