South Scotland

Scottish marriage figures show sharp fall

Wedding Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption The number of weddings fell to only just above 2009 levels which were the lowest in more than a century

Provisional figures from the National Records of Scotland have shown the number of marriages in the country fell by nearly 3,000 last year.

The fall of about 10% took the annual total to just above 2009 levels which were the lowest in more than a century.

There were 27,547 marriages registered in Scotland in 2013.

The decrease in the annual total last year followed three consecutive increases from 27,524 in 2009 to 30,534 in 2012.

Dumfries and Galloway remained the council area with the greatest number of marriages - more than 4,000 - largely thanks to the "wedding capital" of Gretna Green.

The provisional figures also show:

  • there were 530 civil partnerships (216 male and 314 female), 44 fewer than during 2012
  • 56,014 births were registered in the year - 2,013 (3.5%) fewer than in 2012
  • 54,700 deaths were registered in Scotland in 2013 - 237 (0.4%) fewer than in 2012. It is the fourth lowest number in over 150 years - only 2009, 2010 and 2011 had lower totals
  • deaths from cancer fell by 0.4% to 15,803
  • deaths from coronary heart disease fell by 4.6% to 7,192
  • there were 4,444 deaths from stroke (a drop of 0.7%)

Tim Ellis, chief executive of the National Records of Scotland, said: "The number of births fell in 2013, continuing the trend of gradual decline from the most recent peak of 60,041 in 2008.

"Levels of births and deaths are both relatively low in historical terms and there have been more births than deaths each year since 2006.

"In recent years, the annual number of deaths has been below 55,000, compared to levels of around 60,000 to 65,000 from the mid-1940s to the mid-1990s, and larger numbers before then."

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