National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future

Mortality rate falls by 6% in September

Mortality rate falls by 6% in September

Thursday, 26 Oct 2023
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The mortality rate for September 2023 was 6% 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 4,692 deaths in Scotland in September, a decrease of 1% on the five year average for this month. This measure does not take into account the growing population and changes to the age structure. 

Vital Events Statistician with NRS, Daniel Burns, said: 

“The mortality rate in September was 6% lower than the five year average for this month, which is considered a statistically significant difference. Age-standardised mortality rates are a better 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 September, accounting for 10% 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.


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]