Registrar General Quarterly Tables, Quarter 1 2021

Date published: 23 June 2021

The Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) has today published the Registrar General Quarterly Report: Quarter 1 2021 that provides details regarding deaths, births, marriages and civil partnerships.

The statistics, which cover 1 January to 31 March 2021, show there was a provisional total of 4,866 deaths registered. The rate of deaths per 1,000 population increased from 10.1 in Quarter 4 2020, to 10.3 in Quarter 1. Covid-19 was the underlying cause of 921 (18.9%) of these registered deaths. This brings the provisional total number of registered deaths with an underlying cause of death of Covid-19 to 2,547 (11.3%) since the start of 2020.

In comparison, the provisional number of deaths where Covid-19 was mentioned anywhere on the death certificate since the beginning of 2020 was 2,916. This means that Covid-19 was the underlying cause of death in 87.3% of all deaths that mentioned Covid-19 on the death certificate.  

Following the introduction of new codes within the International Classification of Diseases 10 (ICD-10) by the World Health Organisation in March 2021, the statistics also show that there was one death registered during Quarter 1 2021 where an adverse effect of the COVID-19 vaccine was the underlying cause of death.

The provisional number of deaths in Quarter 1 2021 where the underlying cause was cancer was 1,097 (22.5%), 353 (7.3%) were due to non-covid respiratory conditions and 461 (9.5%) were due to ischaemic heart disease. On average, over the previous five years (2016-2020) 27.9% of annual deaths were due to cancer, 12.4% from respiratory conditions and 10.0% from ischaemic heart disease.

There were 76 suicide deaths (including events of undetermined intent) registered in Quarter 1 2021. These data should not be interpreted as the number of suicides occurring during Quarter 1, however, due to the time lag for such deaths to be investigated by the Coroner and then subsequently registered. In 2020, the provisional number of suicides registered totalled 263.

During the Quarter, 5,632 births, 676 marriages and 6 civil partnerships were registered. For comparative purposes there were 5,250 births, 865 marriages and 8 civil partnerships registered in the same Quarter of 2020. However, both of these time periods have been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and associated social restrictions. It should be noted that the number of births registered may not be a true reflection of births occurring in Quarter 1 as Register Offices have given continued priority to death registrations.

Of the 676 registered marriages in Quarter 1, 92 (13.6%) were same sex marriages (including both civil and religious marriages). Over half (57.6% or 53) of the 92 same-sex marriages were female unions. Almost four-fifths (79.3%) of same-sex marriages were conversions from a previous civil partnership. No opposite-sex civil partnerships, nor conversions from a previous marriage, were registered in Northern Ireland in Quarter 1 2021.

The tables and Statistical Press Release are available from the latest Registrar General Quarterly Tables webpage.

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