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Death Rate & Mortality

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Death Rate

The death rate is the total number of deaths every year per 1000 population per year.

The Midlothian death rate is 10.6 (2020). This is lower than the Scottish rate of 11.7. 

In Midlothian, there were 987 deaths in 2020.



Mortality rates are the number of deaths observed over a specified time period. These are best compared as rates per 100,000 population, standardised to take account of differences in the structure of the population so that we are comparing like with like. For instance an area might have a lower death rate simply because the proportion of younger people living there is higher than another area.

There was a gradual decline in all cause mortality rates in Lothian and Scotland from the period 2009-11 to 2017-19.  They have risen again in the period 2018-20 but are still below 2009-11 levels.  Midlothian has also seen an overall reduction in mortality rates, which were consistently higher than Lothian rates over the period and lower than Scotland rates in all periods except 2013-15.  In 2018-30 mortality rates were 1,132 per 100,000 for Midlothian and 1,153 per 100,000 in Scotland.


There is a relationship between the relative socioeconomic deprivation of an area and the mortality rate.

Midlothian had a higher mortality rate than NHS Lothian in SIMD 1 to 4.  This is also true of the Midlothian West locality which had even higher mortality rates in those SIMDs than Midlothian. In NHS Lothian, the most deprived (SIMD1) had the highest mortality rate, with 1,054 per 100,000, while the least deprived (SIMD5) had 750 per 100,000.  This was not the case in Midlothian and its localities, with SIMD2, the 2nd most deprived group having the highest rates in Midlothian and Midlothian West with 1,171 and 1,485 per 100,000 respectively.  The highest rate in Midlothian East was 1,324 per 100,000 which was in SIMD4, the 2nd least deprived group.


Early deaths (premature mortality)

Early mortality rates are the number of deaths of people under 75 observed over a specified time period. These are a subset of the overall death rate. These are best compared as rates per 100,000 population, standardised to take account of differences in the structure of the populations being compared.

Early All Cause Mortality;NHS Lothian and Scotland

Early (under 75) all-cause mortality rates in Scotland and Lothian have been in steady decline from 2009 to 2020.  In contrast, rates in Midlothian remained fairly constant.  Midlothian had an average of 410.2 early mortalities per 100,000 in the 2018-2020 period which was higher than Lothian but lower than Scotland which had an average of 438.4 per 100,000 in the same period.


From 2009 to 2011 there were 893 early deaths in Midlothian, 2018 to 2020 there were 1058. Since there are smaller numbers of deaths in this age group it is reasonable to expect some variation in mortality rates between years.