By Joe Leogue
There was more than one suicide a day in Ireland on average last year, according to figures released by the Central Statistics Office.
The CSO has released its Vital Statistics Yearly Summary for 2017, which has revealed that there were 392 recorded suicides last year, down slightly from the 399 recorded in 2016.
Co Monaghan recorded the highest rate of suicide in the country, with 19.2 deaths per year per 100,000 population, followed by Cork city (18.0), and Leitrim (15.4).
The summary also has details on births, deaths and marriages. Cancers and heart disease accounted for more than 60% of deaths.
Diseases of the circulatory system accounted for 8,927 deaths or an annual rate of 1.9 per 1,000 population, while there were 9,175 deaths from malignant cancers — an annual rate of 1.9 per 1,000 population.
Overall, there were 30,484 deaths registered in 2017, 8.7% higher than 10 years previously when 28,050 deaths were registered in 2007. The CSO figures also point to a continuing downward trend in the number of births, and a continuing rise in the average age of mothers.
There were 62,053 births registered last year, 1,844 (2.9%) fewer than 2016 and a decrease of 12.1% since 2007.
In 2007 the birth rate was 16.1 per 1,000 population. This now stands at 12.9 per 1,000 people.
The average age of first-time mothers in 2017 was 31.0 years, up 0.1 years from the previous year. The average age of mothers at maternity for all 2017 births was 32.8 years, compared to 32.7 in 2016 and 31.1 years in 2007.
More than a third, (37.6%), of babies were born outside marriage/civil partnerships and of these 58.9% were to cohabitating parents.
A total of 1,041 teenagers had babies in 2017 and of these 19 were aged under 16 years. There were 4,242 births to mothers aged 40 and over in 2017 and of these, 309 were aged 45 and over.
There were 174 infant deaths registered in 2017 giving an infant mortality rate of 2.8 deaths per 1,000 live births, a decrease of 0.5 from 2016.
There were 22,021 marriages registered in 2017, of which 759 were same-sex. There were no civil partnerships registered in 2017 compared to seven in 2016.