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News Release

More Births Than Deaths in 2006

More than 55,000 Scots were born in 2006 - the highest number of births in Scotland since 1998, the Registrar General announced today as he published the 2006 Preliminary Return which provides provisional figures for births, deaths and marriages registered during the year. 

Provisional figures for the full year show a continued increase in births and a slight decline in the number of deaths, with big decreases in two of Scotland’s top three biggest causes of death – heart disease and strokes. 

Duncan Macniven, Registrar General for Scotland, said:

“For the first time since 1994 more births than deaths were registered last year.  There were 1,304 more births in 2006 than in 2005, making the annual births for 2006 (55,690) the highest since 1998. 

The number of deaths in 2006 (55,089) was slightly less than in 2005. At 248, the number of deaths of children aged under one was the lowest ever recorded.

Cancer, which accounted for 27 per cent of deaths, coronary heart disease (17 per cent) and strokes (10 per cent) remain the three biggest causes of death. However, compared with 2005, the number of deaths from coronary heart disease fell by eight per cent and deaths from strokes dropped by five per cent.

There were 29,896 marriages – three per cent fewer than in 2005 and the fifth-lowest since Victorian times (1997 was lowest with 29,691). 

In the first full year since the Civil Partnership Act 2004 came into force 1047 civil partnerships (580 male and 467 female) were registered. This brings the total number of civil partnerships in Scotland to 1131.  Of these partnerships 633 were between men and 498 between women.

Divorces increased by 19 per cent, from 10,940 to 13,013. This big increase is a result of changes introduced by the Family Law (Scotland) Act 2006 which came into effect on 4 May 2006.  The Act reduced separation periods for divorce with consent to one year (previously two years) and without consent to two years (previously five years).  The effect of this change is likely to decrease over the next few years.”

Media enquiries for this news release.


Page last updated: 6 March 2007


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