SIC - Orkney & Shetland valuation joint board

Highest birth rate in Scotland

NEW official statistics show that Shetland has the highest birth rate anywhere in Scotland.

The latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures show that the country’s general fertility rate has been declining over the past decade – with the decline more pronounced in Scotland than elsewhere in the UK.

Shetland’s birth rate in 2016 was 66.9 per thousand women aged 15-44 – compared to a UK-wide average of 61.7. The lowest in Scotland, by comparison, was Edinburgh with a rate of 43.4 births per thousand women.

Kathleen Carolan of NHS Shetland said that, having reviewed the figures, there was “no clear upward trend or significant variation in the number of babies born year to year”.

The average number of births in the islands in the decade from 2006 to 2016 was 254, she added.