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Births, Deaths and Other Vital Events - first quarter 2012

14th June 2012

The Registrar General for Scotland today published provisional figures for births, deaths, marriages and civil partnerships registered during the first quarter of 2012.

The figures show 14,218 deaths were registered in Scotland between January and the end of March 2012 - the lowest number of deaths recorded during the first quarter of the year for at least 100 years. This was 317 (2.2 per cent) fewer than in the same period of 2011, which had previously shown the lowest total.

The provisional figures also show:

14,772 births were registered in the first quarter of the year - 159 (1.1 per cent) more than in the same period of 2011.
The number of marriages increased by four per cent to 3,255, 124 more than during the first quarter of 2011.
Civil partnerships had fallen to 83 (36 male and 47 female), 15 fewer than during the first quarter of 2011.
Deaths from cancer fell by 0.4 per cent to 3,880. Deaths from coronary heart disease and stroke fell by 7.3 per cent (to 1,923) and 13.6 per cent (to 1,164) respectively.

Registrar General for Scotland, George MacKenzie, said:"Scotland recorded its lowest ever annual total of deaths in 2011, and these figures show the number of deaths has continued to fall in 2012 to the lowest level in the first quarter for over a century.

"Today's figures also show that the number of births during the first quarter of 2012 was higher than in the same period last year. The number of marriages also increased, while the number of civil partnerships fell."

The full publication, including figures for NHS Boards and local authority areas, is available from the National Records of Scotland website.

It is very likely that the number of deaths in the first quarter of 2012 is the lowest number recorded for the first quarter since registration began in 1855. However, we cannot be absolutely certain about this because quarterly statistics are available only from 1901. There has not been a lower quarter one figure recorded during the period 1901-2011. The next lowest figures are 14,535 in Q1 2011 (provisional figure), 14,690 in Q1 2010, 14,830 in Q1 2009 and 14,876 in Q1 2006. In March 2012 we published preliminary figures for 2011 which showed the number of deaths recorded in 2011 was the lowest annual total since records began.

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