National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future

Rise in marriages akin to post-war booms

Rise in marriages akin to post-war booms

Thursday, 20 Jul 2023
Demography news release

2022 saw a large increase in couples tying the knot, comparable to the post-war booms of 1919 and 1945, according to figures released by National Records of Scotland. 

There were 30,033 marriages in Scotland in 2022, 24% higher than in 2021 and the highest number since 2012. Aside from the 103% rise in 2021 mainly due to COVID restrictions in relation to weddings in 2020, the only comparable year on year rises were in the post-war years (28% in 1919 and 31% in 1945).

In the report, Annual Births, Deaths, Marriages and other vital events for 2022, statisticians also highlight that Scotland’s Total Fertility Rate has fallen to a new low. At 1.28 it’s down from 1.30 in 2021. TFR must be at least 2.1 for a country’s population to replace itself. There were 46,959 births in Scotland in 2022 which is 2% lower than in 2021 but slightly higher than the lowest number ever recorded (46,809 in 2020).

Head of Vital Events Statistics, Daniel Burns, said: 

Following the global health emergency these statistics show us the scale of the disruption. “Only the two world wars have had more impact on the number of marriages taking place.

“There were 62,941 deaths in 2022, down by 1% on 2021. There were 15,982 more deaths than births. This measure is sometimes called “natural change”. The last time Scotland had more births than deaths was in 2014. Scotland’s overall population has continued to grow since this time through inward migration alone.”

There were 630 civil partnerships registered in 2022, the highest number since 2007. The majority of civil partnerships in Scotland are mixed sex (84% in 2022), following a legislation change in 2021 which allowed this.


The data behind this release can be found on the NRS website; Vital Events Reference Tables 2022

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