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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 March 2008, 12:50 GMT
Birth rate reaches 10-year high
Baby's feet
The number of births has risen for the fifth year in a row
The number of births in Scotland has reached a 10-year high in the fifth annual increase in a row.

More than 57,000 births were registered last year, 2,000 up on the previous year and the highest annual total since 1997.

At the same time the number of marriages fell, and is now nearing its lowest level since Victorian times.

Meanwhile deaths rose by 891 to 55,984, but are still well below the levels of 60,000 seen in the 1970s, and 1980s.

Similarly, figures for births are still well below the levels of the 1970s and 1980s, when they were over 60,000 in most years.

And they are far below Victorian birth totals, when annual figures went as high as 130,000 at a time when the population was four million or fewer.

REGISTRAR GENERAL - FACTS
57,000 births
55,984 deaths
29,866 marriages
688 civil partnerships
12,693 divorces

Provisional figures from Duncan Macniven, the Registrar General for Scotland, showed 49.1% of last year's births were to parents who were unmarried.

Last year also saw 29,866 marriages, 32 fewer than the previous year.

This was the fifth-lowest since Victorian times, although the 1997 was slightly lower at 29,691.

There were a total of 688 civil partnerships - 339 male and 349 female.

Divorces fell by 321 (2.4%) - a fall which was "not unexpected", said officials, as there was a big increase in 2006 after new legislation reduced the separation period for divorce.

Mr Macniven added: "Cancer, which accounted for 27% of deaths, coronary heart disease (17%) and strokes (10%) remain the three biggest causes of death."



SEE ALSO
Study predicts population changes
22 Jan 08 |  Scotland
More Scottish births than deaths
27 Jul 07 |  Scotland
Population rises for third year
27 Apr 06 |  Scotland
Mixed report on population stats
20 Dec 05 |  Scotland

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