Number Of Death Reaches Highest Level Since 2003

9 March 2016, 14:05 | Updated: 9 March 2016, 14:08

The number of deaths last year rose by 6% to the highest level recorded in more than a decade, according to preliminary figures.

A total of 57,573 deaths were registered in Scotland in 2015, up by 3,334 on the previous year's level. It was the highest number of deaths recorded since 2003.

A breakdown of the official figures shows there was a 13.8% increase to 7,629 in deaths from respiratory diseases in a year.

Deaths from cancer rose by 1.3% to 16,049 and deaths from coronary heart disease went up by 3.4% to 7,109, compared to 2014 statistics.

By contrast, 2015 saw the lowest number of births recorded since 2005, continuing a general decline in the number of births over the past seven years.

Some 55,100 births were registered last year, down 1,625 or almost 3% when set against the 2014 level.

The annual data, published by the National Records of Scotland, also contained information on marriages and civil partnerships conducted last year.

The number of marriages rose by 622 compared to 2014 but levels were still said to be "historically low".

Out of the total of 29,691 marriages registered last year, 1,671 involved same-sex couples.

More than half of the same-sex marriages, 935, were conversions of previous civil partnerships.

There were 64 civil partnerships, 372 fewer than in 2014.