Today the Registrar General released two sets of provisional figures for vital events (births, deaths and marriages) registered during 2004.
The Preliminary Annual Return provides provisional figures for the year 2004. The Quarterly Return provides provisional figures for Quarter 4 (1 October 2004 to 31 December 2004).
Duncan Macniven, Registrar General for Scotland, said
"Today’s announcement has four pieces of good news.
"The number of births was 2.9% higher than last year, and was the highest figure since 1999.
"The number of deaths was 3.9% lower than in 2003. These changes help to defer the date when Scotland’s population is projected to fall below 5 million.
"The number of deaths attributed to coronary heart disease fell from 2003 by 5.9% to 10,770.
"There were over 32,154 marriages – a 4.5% increase on last year."