The highest number of peacetime excess deaths in Scotland since 1891 has just been recorded.
The National Records of Scotland (NRS) said there were 6,324 excess deaths last year, 11% higher than the five-year average.
Excess deaths are a measure of how many more people died than would be expected based on the previous five years.
There were 9,253 excess deaths in Scotland in 1891, mainly caused by an outbreak of the “Russian flu”.
If wartime years are included, then 2020 saw the highest number of excess deaths since 1940, when deaths were 7,097 above average.
War-related casualties including those inflicted by bombing raids account for a large part of those figures.
In total there were 64,084 deaths in Scotland in 2020, with Covid-19 mentioned on 6,834 death certificates.
Michael Anderson, professor emeritus of economic history at the University of Edinburgh, said that the current Covid-19 death toll could be far worse without public health measures and advanced medical care.
He said: “Set in its historical context, the 2020 excess deaths are certainly very high, but they would have been far far worse without lockdowns and the enormous medical advances of the last thirty years.”