National Records of Scotland

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Age-standardised Death Rates Calculated Using the European Standard Population

Age-standardised Death Rates Calculated Using the European Standard Population

Last updated: 2 August 2017

This section presents some ‘age-standardised’ death rates for Scotland as a whole, for 1994 onwards. They were calculated using the 2013 European Standard Population (ESP2013), in order to show trends in mortality from particular causes after taking account of changes in the distribution by age of the Scottish population. In addition, overall rates for people of all ages and for those aged under 75 are provided for NHS Boards and Local Authorities for 2006 onwards, together with figures for a few specific causes of death for NHS Boards only. They must be used with caution, because rates that are based on relatively small underlying numbers of deaths may be subject to relatively large percentage year-to-year fluctuations (more information about this is given below).

Because these rates are age-standardised, they are not directly comparable to the so-called crude death rates that appear elsewhere on the website; because they were standardised using the ESP2013, they are not directly comparable to rates that were standardised using the distribution by age of the population of, say, Scotland or the UK in a particular year.

Prior to August 2014, the rates provided in this section were based on the 1976 ESP. A new version of the ESP was introduced in 2013 and we have used the 2013 ESP to calculate age-standardised rates from August 2014 onwards. More details on the change from ESP1976 to ESP2013 are available in the Background Note  Note (PDF 129 Kb).

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Main Points (PDF 72 Kb)

Introduction (PDF 86 Kb)

Tables

Age-standardised death rates for Scotland and administrative areas, calculated using the (2013) ESP

The tables below provide age-standardised death rates for Scotland, for each year from 1994 onwards, that were calculated using the 2013 version of the ESP.

Rates for Scotland are given for all causes of death taken together and for several specific causes of death: cancer, diseases of the circulatory system, ischaemic (coronary) heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, diseases of the respiratory system, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, alcohol-related deaths, accidents, and probable suicides. Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease was also added in August 2017.

There are separate sets of rates for people of all ages and for people who were aged under 75. Most of the ‘under 75’ rates are markedly lower than the ‘all ages’ rates, because death rates from many causes are much lower for people aged under 75 than for older people.

Rates for NHS Boards and Local Authorities are given for all causes of death taken together. For NHS Boards, figures are also given for a few specific causes of death.

In most cases (but not for the figures for specific causes of death for NHS Board areas), separate age-standardised rates were produced for Males, Females and all Persons by applying the relevant age-specific death rates to the ESP's age-distribution. So, for example, the male age-standardised death rate is the weighted average of the male age-specific death rates for each age-group, using the ESP's age-distribution as the weight.

The age-standardised death rates for ‘Persons’ tend to differ slightly from the averages of the ‘Males’ and ‘Female’ age-standardised death rates. This is because of differences in the size and distribution of the male and female populations.

There are also tables for Scotland giving age-and-sex-standardised death rates. These were produced simply by taking the average of the age-standardised ‘Males’ and ‘Females’ rates. As that gives equal weight to each sex, it is equivalent to using a standard population which has equal numbers of males and females, and identical distributions by age for males and for females. In line with the World Health Organisation, we focus on age-standardised rates rather than age-sex standardised rates for our headline measures.

The figures for administrative areas (in Tables 3 and 4) and for specific causes of death for NHS Board areas (in Tables 5 and 6), should be used with caution, particularly the figures for under 75s, or for areas which have relatively small populations, or for some specific causes of death. This is because, if the underlying numbers of deaths are relatively small, they and the calculated death rates may be affected by relatively large percentage year-to-year fluctuations. More information about this is available from the Fluctuations in, and possible unreliability of death statistics page on this website. National Records of Scotland (NRS) has no plans to produce more detailed age-standardised death rates (e.g. for particular types of cancer): being based on even smaller numbers of deaths, they could be subject to even larger percentage year-to-year fluctuations.

Tables

For Scotland, two tables are available: one for ‘all ages’; one for ‘under 75s’. Each spreadsheet contains four tables, which provide age-standardised death rates for all persons, for males and for females; and age-and-sex standardised death rates for all persons.

For NHS Boards and Local Authorities two tables are available: one for ‘all ages’; one for ‘under 75s’. Each spreadsheet provides age-standardised death rates for all persons, for males and for females.

For NHS Boards, two further tables are provided: one for ‘all ages’ and one for ‘under 75s’. Each spreadsheet provides age-standardised death rates from a few specific causes and the corresponding underlying numbers of deaths.

The files below have been made available as Excel spreadsheets and can be viewed in Comma Separated Value (CSV) or Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Format (PDF).

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Latest Tables based on 2013 ESP

Table 1

All ages age-standardised death rates for all causes and certain selected causes, Scotland, 1994 to 2016
(Excel    CSV    PDF)

Table 2

Under 75s age-standardised death rates for all causes and certain selected causes, Scotland, 1994 to 2016
(Excel    CSV    PDF)

Table 3

All ages age-standardised death rates for all causes, administrative areas, 2006 to 2016
(Excel    CSV    PDF)

Table 4

Under 75s age-standardised death rates for all causes, administrative areas, 2006 to 2016

(Excel    CSV    PDF)

Table 5

 

All ages age-standardised death rates, and numbers of deaths, for certain causes, NHS Board areas, 2006 to 2016
(Excel    CSV    PDF)

Table 6

 

Under 75s age-standardised death rates, and numbers of deaths, for certain causes, for NHS Board areas, 2006 to 2016
(Excel    CSV    PDF)

Archived Tables based on 1976 ESP

Table 1

All ages age-standardised death rates for all causes and certain selected causes, Scotland, 1979 to 2012 
(Excel    CSV    PDF)

Table 2

Under 75s age-standardised death rates for all causes and certain selected causes, Scotland, 1979 to 2012
(Excel    CSV    PDF)

Table 3

All ages age-standardised death rates for all causes, administrative areas, 2006 to 2012 
(Excel    PDF)

Table 4

Under 75s age-standardised death rates for all causes, administrative areas, 2006 to 2012
(Excel    PDF)

Table 5

All ages age-standardised death rates, and numbers of deaths, for certain causes, NHS Board areas, 2006 to 2012
(Excel    CSV    PDF)

Table 6

Under 75s age-standardised death rates, and numbers of deaths, for certain causes, for NHS Board areas, 2006 to 2012
(Excel    CSV    PDF)

Further information for the rest of the UK can be found via the following links:

England & Wales - the annual ‘Mortality Statistics’ release, available via the Office for National Statistics website, includes death rates, for a number of causes of death, which have been age-standardised using the European Standard Population.

Northern Ireland - the numbers of deaths from various causes are given in the Annual Report of the Registrar General for Northern Ireland, which is available on the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) website, together with some more detailed tables on various causes of death. However, those statistics do not include any death rates from particular causes which have been age-standardised using the European Standard Population.

Table 1.7 in the Vital Events Reference Tables also contains some comparisons of age-standardised rates for the countries of the UK.

Note: Figures for England & Wales and/or Northern Ireland may not always be on exactly the same basis as National Records of Scotland (NRS) figures: there can be differences in the coverage of what at first sight appear to be the same statistics.

Enquiries and suggestions      

Please contact our Statistics Customer Services if you need any further information.
E-mail: statisticscustomerservices@nrscotland.gov.uk

If you have comments or suggestions that would help us improve our outputs or our standards of service please contact:

Kirsty MacLachlan, Senior Statistician,
National Records of Scotland,
Room 1/2/3, Ladywell House, Ladywell Road, Edinburgh. EH12 7TF.
Telephone: (0131) 314 4242
E-mail: kirsty.maclachlan@nrscotland.gov.uk