The number of births in Ireland fell by 9.6% in the first three months of the year compared to the same time last year.
There were 14,371 babies born in January, February and March, 1,522 fewer than during those months in 2019.
The new stats, from the Central Statistics Office (CSO), said that it “corresponds to a birth rate of 11.7 per 1,000 population, a decrease of 1.4 per thousand population from quarter 1 2019”.
New CSO figures also show a slight increase in the number of deaths, with 8,674 recorded in the first quarter of this year.
That is an increase of 0.6%, or 56 deaths from 2019.
There were 42 infant deaths registered in quarter 1 2020 giving an infant mortality rate of 2.9 per 1,000 live births.
The CSO found that here were 42 infant deaths registered in quarter 1 2020 giving an infant mortality rate of 2.9 per 1,000 live births.
The number of births less the number of deaths in quarter 1 2020 resulted in a natural increase of population of 5,697 persons.
According to the CSO, there were 7,440 male births and 6,931 female births in the first quarter of 2020.
The average age of first time mothers was 31.4 years, which is up 0.1 years from that recorded for the same period in the previous year.
The CSO also found that:
- The average age of all mothers at maternity for births registered in the first quarter of 2020 was 33.1 years, which is also an increase of 0.1 years from that recorded in 2019.
- The average age of first-time mothers outside marriage/civil partnership was 29.4 in 2020, up from 29 years in 2019.
- The average age of all mothers outside marriage/civil partnership was 30.7 years, up from 30.4 years in 2019.
The highest number of births registered was in Dublin City with 1,585, which equates to 11% of total live births, followed by Cork with 1,270 (8.8%) births.
Leitrim had the lowest number with 96 (0.7%) births registered in the first three months of 2020.
There were 8,674 deaths registered in the first quarter of 2020. Of these 4,439 were male and 4,235 were female.
The CSO said the leading cause of death for this time period “varied widely by age”.
They said: “For those aged from 15 to 34 years, external causes of death including accidents, suicide and other ranked first (41 deaths).
“Among individuals aged 35-74, malignant neoplasms (cancer) was the leading cause (1,183), while for those aged 75 and older, it was diseases of the circulatory system (1,816 deaths).
The CSO added that “there were 539 deaths due to dementia of which 338 (or 62.7%) were female. There were 176 deaths due to Alzheimer's of which 110 (or 62.5%) were female”.
The number of marriages registered during the quarter was 2,886, with there being 115 same sex marriages in the first three months of 2016.