Irish Birthrate Continues to Decline


The number of births in Ireland is continuing to fall, while the average age of mothers is rising. There were 62,053 registered births in Ireland last year, 1,844 fewer than in 2016.The annual birth rate stands at 12.9 per 1,000 of population, compared to 16.1 per 1,000 population in 2007.


The average age of first-time mothers last year was 31 years old, up 0.1 years from 2016. Overall, the average age of mothers for all births registered in 2017 was 32.8 years. This is an increase on 31.1 years of age in 2007.


Over a third of babies (23,340 - 37.6 per cent) were born outside of marriage/civil partnerships, and of these 58.9 per cent were to cohabiting parents.


A total of 1,041 teenagers had babies in 2017. 19 of those teenage mothers were 16 years old or younger. There were 4,242 births to women aged 40 and over in 2017, with 309 of those aged 45 and older.


More than three-quarters (77.3 per cent ) of births were to Irish mothers, while a further 11.5 per cent of births were to women of EU nationality.


There were 174 infant deaths last year - categorised as the death of a live-born infant under the age of one. This represents an infant mortality rate of 2.8 deaths per 1,000 live births. The rate in 2007 was 3.1 deaths per 1,000 live births. The neonatal death rate - the death of infants under four weeks old - was 2.2 deaths per 1,000 live births.


The highest number of births were registered in Dublin city with 7,045, while Leitrim had the lowest number with 408.

RTÉ. May 30.

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