National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future

Vital Events and Medical Research FAQ

Vital Events and Medical Research FAQ

What are Vital Events?

Vital Events are births, marriages, stillbirths, deaths, divorces and adoptions. Data on vital events in Scotland are collected every week from registrars, courts, procurators fiscal and others and after processing are available for use by customers.

Who uses Vital Events?

Vital Events data are used by researchers seeking either specific or tabulated data about the Scottish population. National Records of Scotland (NRS) provide data to both the private and the public sectors. Our customer base includes central government departments (not only in the UK); local government; universities; medical researchers, doctors and consultants in private practice as well as National Health Service and many private companies and individuals.

What information is available?

Each event type has a wide range of data available and depending on your data requirements, which may necessitate clearance through the Registrar General's Privacy Advisory Committee, we are able to provide data about individual cases. The following is a brief summary of some of the data which is available: name; address; sex; date of birth and death; social class; occupation; place of birth and death; country of birth and residence; cause of death (both written and coded), etc., (Since 2000, deaths have been coded to The World Health Organisation, International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, Tenth Revision.)

How can the data be provided?

Data can be provided in a wide range of formats on a wide range of media.

Do I need to pay for data?

A great deal of information is available free of charge on this website. Charges for other information are dependent on the complexity of the request and the resources required to provide the data Simple requests are generally free.

How can I obtain further information?

If you require any further information about vital events data please contact our Statistics Customer Services if you need any further information.
E-mail: statisticscustomerservices@nrscotland.gov.uk