Scotland birth rate continues to fall with record-low figures, data shows

The birth rate in Scotland fell to some of the lowest levels recorded in more than a 150 years during the last three months of 2018.

New figures from the National Records of Scotland (NRS) revealed the birth rates from 1 October to 31 December last year.

According to the figures, there were 12,580 births recorded during the time period – the lowest figure for the fourth quarter since 1855.

The number of births was also the second-lowest figure recorded since records began.

Compared to the past five years, the number of recorded births in the last three months of 2018 is 5.9 per cent lower than the fourth quarter average.

While there is no single reason for the decline, possible reasons include postponement of childbearing until later in life, and economic uncertainty, considering the initial decline coincided with the financial crash, the report states.

Paul Lowe, the Registrar General for Scotland said: “Continuing the downward trend since 2008, the number of births for the fourth quarter of 2018 has been at its lowest number recorded since civil registration began. This is the second record-low number of quarterly births in a row, with quarter three also falling to its lowest level in 2018.

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“The number of deaths fell compared to the recent peak recorded in the fourth quarter of 2017, but was slightly higher than the average of the previous five years.”

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