Covid Scotland: Number of annual births at lowest rate since records began

Scotland had the smallest number of annual births last year since records began, according to official figures.

Statistics from the National Records of Scotland show 46,809 births were registered in 2020.

This is 17,284 fewer births than deaths and the lowest number since records began in 1855.

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Julie Ramsay, vital events statistician, said: “With over 64,000 deaths in 2020, which is 10% higher than in 2019, the devastating effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on Scotland are clear.

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“NRS statistics also show that there were only 46,809 births across Scotland in 2020, which is the lowest number since records began in 1855.”

There were 64,093 deaths registered last year, 10% more than in 2019 and 6,333 above the previous five-year average.

This is the highest level of excess deaths seen since 1940.

Scotland records lowest number of annual births since records began.

Last year also saw the lowest infant death rate ever recorded, with 146 infant deaths.

There were 198 stillbirths, a slight increase on the previous year’s rate but low in historical terms.

There were just 11,831 marriages in 2020 compared to 26,007 in 2019, following restrictions on marriage ceremonies during the pandemic.

Of the marriages, 289 were same-sex. There were also 72 civil partnerships, which is 11 fewer than in the previous year.

A total of 33 of these involved male couples and 39 involved female couples.

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