National Records of Scotland

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Mortality rate in July lower than average

Mortality rate in July lower than average

Thursday, 31 Aug 2023
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The mortality rate for July 2023 was lower than the five-year average for this time of year despite the number of deaths being 2% above average, according to provisional data from the National Records of Scotland. 

The age-standardised mortality rate (ASMR) was 997 deaths per hundred thousand people, 4% below average which is considered statistically significant. The ASMR measure takes into account the size and age-structure of the population. 

The number of deaths was 4,736 which was 2% higher than the average for the month of July 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, Daniel Burns, said: 

“The rate of deaths in the population was lower than average levels for July. The number of deaths in July was 2% above the five year average but this does not 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.

“Our data shows that ischaemic heart disease was the most common cause of death in July, 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”.

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

These figures are provisional and are subject to change.


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]