12 babies born to girls 15 and under

There were 12 babies born to girls aged 15 and under in the first three months of this year, CSO figures reveal.

A further 16 girls aged 16 years also gave birth .

The statistics do not give details of any of the 28 girls’ backgrounds. However, if their babies were conceived in this country, under Irish law, the mothers would have been victims of rape or statutory rape as the age of consent here is 17 years.

A further 46 17-year-olds gave birth between January and March, with one of those mothers welcoming her second child.

At the other end of the age spectrum, there were 58 women aged 45 years and older who gave birth over the period, for 17 of whom it was their first child.

Overall, births are down and deaths are up in the first three months of the year.

Nonetheless, the number of births less the number of deaths meant a natural increase in population of 8,579.

There were 17,183 births in the first quarter, 516 fewer than in the same period last year. That means the birth rate has dropped to 14.9 per 1,000 population, a decrease of 0.5. Four of the births were to couples in civil partnerships and 63.9% of the total were to married couples.

Deaths have risen by 494 to 8,604 between the first quarter of 2014 and the same period this year. Infants accounted for 55 of the deaths, giving an infant mortality rate of 3.2 per 1,000 live births. There were 31 neonatal deaths (infants under four weeks) registered in the period, giving a neonatal mortality rate of 1.8 deaths per 1,000 live births, which was a decrease of 1.4 from the first quarter of 2014.

There were 264 deaths by “external” causes, 77 were by suicide. A further 173 were through accidents and the remainder were described as “other” external causes. Men accounted for almost three quarters (70.5%) of those 264 deaths.

On a happier note, there were 3,665 marriages registered during the quarter.


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