Irish birth rate declines, as average age of mothers continues to rise

The number of twins born here has gone up when compared with 1991

Irish birth rate declines, as average age of mothers continues to rise

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The number of babies born in Ireland is declining.

The 2014 Vital Statistics report from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) says numbers born here in 2014 were a drop of 10.5% on figures in 2010.

The number of births has fallen by 10.5% since 2010 and 2.4% since 2013. There were 67,295 live births in Ireland in 2014 with 34,681 males and 32,614 females.

However, the 2014 total is 8.6% higher than 10 years ago in 2004, when there were 61,972 live births.

Meanwhile, the average age of mothers continues to rise. In 2014 the average age was 32.4 years.

Mothers under-30 accounted for almost a third (30.2%) of births in 2014, compared with 10 years previously - when they made up 45.6% of births.

The figures also show that 36.2% of all births were outside marriage and/or civil partnership. The comparable figure 30 years earlier in 1984, was 8%.

Source: CSO

While cancer and heart disease are the biggest causes of death in Ireland.

There were 29,252 deaths here in 2014, a decrease of 252 on the 2013 figure.

There were 9,022 or 30.8% of deaths attributed to malignant neoplasms, 8,852 or 30.3% of deaths as a result of diseases of the circulatory system, while deaths from diseases of the respiratory system in 2014 were 3,492 - or 11.9% of all deaths.

The figures also reveal that 1.7% (486) of all deaths were due to suicide in 2014, 82.1% (399) of which were male.

The natural increase (births minus deaths) in 2014 was 38,043, a decrease of almost 3.6% on the 2013 figure.

And the number of pregnancies which resulted in multiple live births was 1,257 - consisting of 1,231 sets of twins, 24 sets of triplets and two sets of quadruplets.

Over the past 20 years, the twinning rate has changed significantly - from 11.7 in 1991, to a high of 18.7 in 2013, and down slightly to 18.6 in 2014.