National Records of Scotland

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Small increase in alcohol-specific death statistics

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Small increase in alcohol-specific death statistics

Tuesday, 29 Aug 2023
demography news release image

The number of deaths from alcohol-specific causes rose in Scotland in 2022 by 2%, according to figures published today by National Records of Scotland.

In total 1,276 deaths were attributed to alcohol-specific causes last year, 31 more than in 2021; the highest number since 2008. 
Male deaths continue to account for around two thirds of alcohol-specific deaths. Female deaths increased by 31 to 440, with the number of alcohol-specific male deaths unchanged at 836. 

Taking into account the changing size and age-structure of the population, the rate of death had changed from 22.3 per 100,000 to 22.9 per 100,000 over the last year. This is not considered statistically significant. 

Daniel Burns, Head of Vital Events Statistics, said:

“Looking at the long term trend the number of deaths from alcohol-specific causes fell between 2006 and 2012 but has risen since and is now about the same as 2010 levels.

“In 2022, the average age at death for females from an alcohol-specific cause was 58.7 years and for males it was 60.0 years.”

There are 4.3 times as many deaths from these causes in the most deprived communities as in the least deprived communities but this equality gap has been narrowing. This compares to a ratio of 1.8 times for all causes of death.


The National Records of Scotland (NRS) is responsible for producing statistics on Scotland’s population. 

The publication Alcohol-specific Deaths 2022 is available on our website. 

Media enquiries should be directed to:

Susie Rose at [email protected] or by calling 07500 463452

Further information about the statistics is available from:

Statistics Customer Services    

E-mail: [email protected]