Nearly half of all births in Limerick city are outside marriage
THE number of babies born in Ireland during the second quarter of 2011 fell by 2.5pc, with nearly half of all births in Limerick city being to unmarried mothers.
Central Statistics Office figures, published today, show there were 18,381 births registered in the second three months of 2011.
This was still 20pc higher than in 2002, when 15,247 babies were registered.
The birth rate is currently 16.4 babies per 1,000 of the population.
The rate for the corresponding quarter of 2010 was 16.9pc, and in 2002 it was 15.6 per 1,000.
Of the 18,381 births in the second quarter, 6,013 were registered as outside marriage.
And of these, 3,396 were to unmarried parents with the same address, or 18pc of all births.
The highest percentage of births outside marriage occurred in Limerick city at 47pc, while the lowest percentage occurred in Cork county and Galway county, both at 25pc..
The average age of mothers for births registered in the second quarter of 2011 was 31.8 – 0.3 years older than the corresponding figure in the same period of 2010, according to the CSO figures.
The age of women giving birth has risen by 0.7 years since the second quarter of 2006, and a full 1.3 years since the same three months in 2002.
The average age of mothers having their first child in the second quarter of last year was 29.9.
The estimated population in April 2011 was 4,484,300.