Biggest baby boom in decades as slump hits home
The number of babies born is a massive 38pc higher than it was at the height of the boom in 2000, according to CSO figures
THE recession appears to have sparked the biggest baby boom in nearly 30 years.
More babies were born during the third quarter of 2009 than at any time since 1980, new figures from the Central Statistics Office reveal.
There were 19,289 births registered in that three-month period, an increase of 1.3pc on the previous year.
Even more surprisingly, the number of babies born is a massive 38pc higher than it was at the height of the boom in 2000, when fewer than 14,000 babies arrived in the corresponding period.
This means the annual birth rate has jumped from 14.7 per 1,000 population in 2000, to 17.3 births per 1,000 last year.
North Dublin mothers were the most fertile, with 23 births per 1,000 people in Fingal, nearly twice the birth rate seen in Co Monaghan.
Almost one in three births nationwide was outside marriage, or 6,256 in total, although more than half of the parents involved lived together, the figures showed.
Nearly half of all the babies born in Cork City (47pc) were to unmarried mothers and the rate in Limerick City was 46pc.
This contrasted with Leitrim, where just one in five babies was born outside marriage.
Nearly 43pc of births were to first-time mothers, and the average age of having a first baby was 29.1 years.
Seven girls aged 15 or younger had babies in the third quarter of 2009, and another 46 16-year-olds gave birth.
There were 80 infant deaths in the period, giving an infant mortality rate of 4.1 deaths per 1,000 live births, which was up on the previous year. But this was 50pc lower than the rate seen in 2000.
And there was good news for older people as well, as the annual death rate for people aged 65 years and over has fallen by 20pc in the last decade, and is now down to 40.7 per 1,000 population.
Some 6,638 people died during the third quarter of 2009, meaning they were outnumbered two to one by new arrivals to the population.
Births outnumbered deaths by 12,651, resulting in a natural increase rate of 11.3 per 1,000 people.
More than one third (35pc) of deaths were caused by heart and circulatory problems, while 30pc were caused by cancer, and 10pc by respiratory disease.
Some 339 deaths, or 7pc of the total in the period, were caused by external causes, including 52 traffic accidents, 67 accidental poisonings and 101 suicides.