By Bill Heaney

A total of 1,253 deaths were registered in ailing West Dunbartonshire last year –the second highest figure by council area in Scotland.

The details has been released as national figures show the highest number of excess deaths since the Second World War, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But the West Dunbartonshire figure marks the third highest death rate by council in Scotland on crude data – at 14.1 per 100,000 population.

However, that number increases to 14.7 when data is standardised taking into account factors such as the age and sex of the population – making it the second highest number of deaths by local authority area in Scotland – behind only sprawling Glasgow City on 15.3 per 100,000.

By health board area, the numbers show 14,458 deaths registered in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

It marks 12.2 per 100,000 population on crude data – the fifth highest of Scotland’s 14 NHS boards.

Once again though, the standardised figure increases to 13.6 per 100,000, the highest toll in Scotland.

Data covering 2020 shows 612 registered deaths of males in the region – with 641 female deaths also recorded.

Figures show 1,249 of the deceased were registered as resident.

The coronavirus pandemic is behind a leap in the number of deaths in Scotland – which sits at the highest since 1940 – the height of the Second World War.

National data on deaths revealed a 10 percent jump from 2019 and an increase of 6,333 on the previous five-year average.

A total of 771 live births were recorded in the local authority area – 399 were baby boys.

West Dunbartonshire saw 64 marriages registered – 62 between members of the opposite sex, while no civil partnerships were logged.

The year 2020 was also notable for the number of infant deaths in Scotland falling to their lowest ever figure – two were recorded in the area, alongside three stillbirths.

Julie Ramsay, vital events statistician at the National Records of Scotland , said: “With over 64,000 deaths in 2020, which is 10 percent higher than in 2019, the devastating effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on Scotland are clear.

“NRS statistics also show that there were only 46,809 births across Scotland in 2020, which is the lowest number since records began in 1855.”

The total population of the region sat at 88,340 – with 46,103 female residents and 42,237 males.

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