Births in Glasgow 1855 – 2021

birth nos Glas 1855 2021
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Births in Glasgow rose through the latter half of the 19th century and into the early 20th century as the population grew and the city established itself as an important industrial and business centre. Births reached a peak in 1920 after the end of the First World War before declining. The overall trend in births was then downward from the 1920s onwards to the end of the 20th century, despite a post-war rise in births in 1947 and in the ‘baby-boomer’ years of the 1950s and early 1960s. In the first decade of the new millenium there was a modest rise in births in the city, but since 2011 birth numbers have declined again. In 2020 there were 5,867 births in Glasgow, a reduction of 10% on the previous year. Some of this reduction may be associated with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic - which reached Scotland in early 2020 - and accompanying restrictions. There was a slight rise in births in 2021.

Birth rate per 1,000 population in Glasgow 1855 – 2021

births per1000 Glas 1855 2021
Click on graph to enlarge

Birth rates have reduced significantly over the last 160 years in Glasgow.  In the 1860s the city’s birth rate was above 40 per 1,000 but had dropped to half this rate by the 1930s. The graph above picks out some of the peak years for births: at the beginning of the first world war (1914), after the end of the two world wars (1920 & 1947) and in the baby boom years from the mid-1950s to mid-1960s.  From 1964 to 1977 the birth rate dropped particularly steeply and then stabilised. For the last nine years the birth rate in Glasgow has been falling and in 2020 there was a further drop which is likely to be associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, the birth rate in the city rose slightly to 9.3 births per 1,000 population.  


More detailed data on births in Scotland can be accessed from National Records of Scotland.

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