National Records of Scotland

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Mortality rate similar to average for August

Mortality rate similar to average for August

Thursday, 28 Sep 2023
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The mortality rate for August 2023 was similar to average for this time of year despite the number of deaths being 4% above average, according to new figures from National Records of Scotland.

The NRS monthly mortality report shows there were 4,782 deaths in Scotland in August, an increase of 4% 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: 

“While the number of deaths in August was higher than the five year average for this month the mortality rate was similar. It was 2% lower but this difference is not considered statistically significant. The rate takes 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 August, 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 full report Monthly Mortality Analysis, Scotland, August 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]