Scottish death rate at a 30-year low

Image caption, The death rate has continued to fall according to provisional statistics

Scotland's death rate for the first quarter of 2010 was at its lowest level for more than 30 years, provisional statistics have shown.

The figures showed that there were 141 fewer deaths than in the same quarter of 2009.

The Registrar General for Scotland said this continued the downward trend of the death rate.

Figures for births, marriages and civil partnerships registered during this period have also been released.

A total of 14,689 deaths were registered in Scotland in the first quarter of 2010 and 14,670 births were registered in the first three months of the year - 165 (1%) more than in the first quarter of 2009.

'Record low'

However, this was 435 lower than the same period in 2008 - which was the highest level for 13 years.

The figures showed that marriages were down by 62 from 3,194 to 3,132.

A total of 62 civil partnerships (25 male and 37 female) were registered, nine more than the first quarter of 2009.

And deaths from stroke and cancer fell by 3% and 1% respectively.

Deaths from coronary heart disease rose by 0.7%.

The Registrar General for Scotland, Duncan Macniven, said: "The figures show a record low number of deaths, though death rates fluctuate through the year and quarterly data can't be taken as indicative of the year ahead."

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