Marriages, civil partnerships, divorces, births, adoptions

Marriages and civil partnerships

There were 22,727 marriages in Scotland in 2015, including same-sex marriages, and 64 civil partnerships (33 involving men and 31 involving women).

National Records of Scotland. (August 2016) Vital events tables: marriages and civil partnerships [accessed February 2017]


Average age of marriage

The average age at which people marry for the first time has increased by around two years since 2005, to 33.6 years for men and 31.9 years for women in 2015.

National Records of Scotland (August 2016) The Registrar General’s Annual Review of Demographic Trends 2015 [accessed February 2017]


Live births outwith marriage

Of the 55,098 live births registered in 2015, more (51.2%; 28,210) were born outwith marriage than within it (26,888). Most births were registered by both parents, whether married or not.

National Records of Scotland. (August 2016) Vital events tables: marriages and civil partnerships [accessed February 2017]


Average age of mothers

The average age of mothers in 2015 was 30.2, and of fathers, 32.8. This has risen from 27.4 and 30 since 1991 respectively.

National Records of Scotland. (August 2016) Vital events tables: marriages and civil partnerships [accessed February 2017]


Teenage pregnancies

Teenage pregnancy rates in all age groups continued to decline in 2014. The teenage pregnancy rate for under 20s dropped from 57.7 per 1,000 women in 2007 to 34.1 per 1,000 women in 2014, a decrease of 40.9%.

NHS Scotland (July 2016) Teenage Pregnancy Year of conception ending 31 December 2014 [accessed February 2017]


Divorce and dissolutions

In 2014/15 there were 9,030 divorces and 81 dissolutions of civil partnerships.

Scottish Government, Crime and Justice Datasets, divorces and dissolutions tables 2014/15 [accessed February 2017]


Adoptions

There were 504 adoptions in 2015. This is an increase of 11% over 2014 and the highest number recorded since 1996. The number of adoptions each year is around a quarter of the number recorded in 1970.

National Records of Scotland. (August 2016) Vital events tables: adoptions and re-registrations [accessed February 2017]


Marital status of adopters

Of the 504 adoptions in 2015, 67% were by couples and 33% by single adopters. The vast majority of 'one adopters' are people who have become step-parents of the children of their spouses or partners.

National Records of Scotland. (August 2016) Vital events tables: adoptions and re-registrations [accessed February 2017]


Same-sex adoptions

4% of adoptions registered in 2015 were by same-sex couples.

National Records of Scotland. (August 2016) Vital events tables: adoptions and re-registrations [accessed February 2017]


Scottish Adoptions Register

The number of children referred to the Scottish Adoptions Register in the quarter ended September 2016 was 45. This equals the quarterly average over the last three years and follows much lower referral rates over recent quarters. The increase in child referrals from the low base earlier in 2016, may reflect the first impact of the new regulations – which require authorities to refer children within three months of the decision to pursue adoption. The number of adopters referred (49) is the highest quarterly total since the register was established. Although some of the adopters were referred from England via the inter register protocol, there is now an established underlying upward trend in referrals of adopters from within Scotland. The number of matches during the period is just below the quarterly average over the last three years. More than half of the children were referred as part of a sibling group. By contrast, the majority of adopters referred are approved for just one child.

Scotland’s Adoption Register, Register Facts & Figures for 2nd Quarter of 2016 -2017 [accessed February 2017]