National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future

Alcohol deaths

Alcohol deaths

Description Deaths which are counted as being due to alcohol
ISBN Web Only
Official Print Publication Web Only

Last Updated: 26 June 2019

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Methodology (PDF 221 KB)

New Definition: Alcohol-specific deaths

This section presents information on the numbers of deaths which are classified as 'alcohol-specific' on the basis of the new National Statistics definition, which was introduced, towards the end of 2017, following a consultation conducted by the Office for National Statistics.

Main Points (PDF 124 KB)

All Tables and Chart
(Excel    CSV)

Old Definition: Alcohol-related deaths

This section presents information on the numbers of deaths which are classified as 'alcohol-related' on the basis of the old National Statistics definition (which was agreed with the Office for National Statistics in 2006).

Main Points (PDF 117 KB)

All Tables and Chart
(Excel    CSV)

A comparison of the two definitions

The total numbers (for Scotland as a whole) which are produced using the two definitions are compared in the chart which follows.

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).

Alcohol deaths registered in Scotland:figures based on the old and new National Statistics definitions
(Excel    CSV    PDF)

The causes of death which are counted by the two definitions are compared in Table 1 of ‘The impact of using the new definition of alcohol-specific deaths’ , which was published by ONS on 27 October 2017.

Note: age-standardised alcohol-related death rates are available from the Age-standardised Death Rates section of this website.

A list of common definitions and acronyms used in these pages is available on our Glossary page.

Statistics for other parts of the United Kingdom (UK)

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

England & Wales

(Office for National Statistics)
Deaths by cause

Northern Ireland

(Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency) 
Deaths by cause


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.

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