21 babies born to mothers aged under 16, CSO figures reveal

Girls aged under 16 gave birth to 21 babies in Ireland last year with 864 teenagers in total giving birth.
21 babies born to mothers aged under 16, CSO figures reveal

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Girls aged under 16 gave birth to 21 babies in Ireland last year with 864 teenagers in total giving birth.

Overall, less babies are being born here and first time mothers are getting older, figures from the Central Statistics Office reveal.

The birth rate dropped by 2% between 2018 and 2019, continuing a trend which has seen the birth rate plummet by 20.2% since 2009.

There were 59,796 births in 2019 compared to 61,016 in 2018. But deaths rose slightly, from 31,116 in 2018 to 31,134 a year later.

The fertility rate has now dropped to 1.7 which is below the 2.1 replacement level generally considered necessary to replace a domestic population excluding migration.

The average age of first-time mothers in 2019 rose by 0.2 years to 31.3. Mothers were aged 33 on average last year, compared to 32.9 in 2018 and 31.3 years in 2009. Mothers aged 40 and over gave birth to 4,612 babies last year, and of these, 360 were aged 45 or older.

Dublin City had the most registered births with 6,861 (11.5%) followed by Cork County with 5,249 (8.8%).

Leitrim had the lowest number with 438 (0.7%) registered births in 2019.

Almost two in five babies (38.1%) were born outside of marriage or civil partnership and of these, 59.4% were to cohabitating parents.

Less people married last year, with 20,313 tying the knot compared to 21,053 in 2018.

Same-sex marriages accounted for 640 of all those registered last year.

The figures were published in the CSO’s Vital Statistics Fourth Quarter and Yearly Summary 2019 reports.

Commenting on the annual report, Carol Anne Hennessy, CSO Statistician, said: "There were 59,796 births registered in 2019, some 1,220 (or 2.0%) fewer than 2018 and a fall of 20.2% since 2009.

“This represented an annual birth rate of 12.1 per 1,000 of population compared to 16.5 per 1,000 population in 2009. Births to mothers of Irish nationality accounted for over three-quarters (77%) of births in 2019. 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).”

Over four-fifths (25,438) of the 31,134 deaths registered in 2019 were people aged 65 years or over.

Cancers (malignant neoplasms) accounted for 30.8% of deaths (9,589).

Heart and artery disease killed 8,989 people ( 28.8%) while 1,767 people (12.2%) died of lung diseases.

Accidents, suicides and other external causes accounted for 1,393 deaths.

Some 16,268 of all deaths in 2019 were male and 14,866 were female.

Last year’s death rate was recorded as 6.3 deaths per 1,000 population - 7.7% higher than in 2009 when 28,898 deaths were registered.

Some 190 babies under the age of one died in 2019, giving an infant mortality rate of 3.2 deaths per 1,000 live births.

Ten years earlier in 2009, there were 240 infant deaths registered which also equated to an infant mortality rate of 3.2 per 1,000 live births.

144 babies under the age of four weeks died in 2019, giving a neonatal mortality rate of 2.4 deaths per 1,000 live births.

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