Suicide rate decreased slightly in 2018, data shows

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) has published its yearly summary of vital statistics.

Suicide rate decreased slightly in 2018, data shows

Almost 1,000 teenagers had a baby in 2018 and of these, 22 were aged under 16 years of age.

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) has published its yearly summary of vital statistics which also found that more than one-in-three babies (37.8%) were born outside of marriage/civil partnerships and, of these, 59.1% were to cohabitating parents.

The average age of first-time mothers continues to rise and there were 4,670 births to mothers aged 40 or more in 2018 and of these, 327 were aged 45 or more.

Births to mothers of Irish nationality accounted for more than three-quarters (77.2%) of births in 2018. A further 2.1% of births were to mothers of UK nationality, with 2% born to mothers from EU15 countries (excluding Ireland and the UK).

The highest number of births registered was in Dublin City with 7,041 (11.5% of total live births in the country) followed by Cork County with 5,541 (9.1%) registered births. Leitrim had the lowest birth rate in the country last year with just 399 (0.7%) registered births across the entire year.

The same pattern was reflected in 2017 when Dublin City accounted for 7,045 or 11.4% of births followed by Cork County with 5,472 (8.8%). Leitrim also had the lowest number of births that year with 408 births (or 0.7%) registered.

The CSO data shows that the number of people who died by suicide fell slightly from 392 in 2017 to 352. The suicide rate decreased for both men and women, but men remain four times more likely to take their own lives than women. The rate of suicide was 7.2 in 2018, down from 10.6 in 2013.

Reacting to the figures, chief executive of Samaritans Ruth Sutherland said that while the statistics show a decline, more work is needed in the area of suicide prevention.

Every death by suicide is devastating and is more than just a number. It is a family member, a friend or a colleague who has left behind loved ones and we think of them today.

"While this decrease in suicide rates is welcome, we all still have so much work to do to help reduce the rate even further," she said.

Ms Sutherland said the Samaritans said since the launch of its freephone number in Ireland five years ago, its volunteers had dealt with almost three million calls from people in distress.

The statistics for 2016 and 2017 are provisional and may increase in time as more inquests and investigations are completed over the coming months. Final statistics for 2016 recorded 437 deaths by suicide, up from 425 in 2015.

The number of marriages registered in 2018 was 21,053 of which 664 were same-sex marriages. Same-Sex marriage legislation came into effect on 16 November 2015.

Civil Partnership legislation was introduced in Ireland on the 1 January 2011. From 16th November 2015, when same-sex marriages legislation came into effect, same-sex couples no longer had the option to apply for a Civil Partnership.

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