independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

Teenage mother baby percentage down

Ireland's baby boom dipped for a second year in a row in 2011, when 74,033 children were delivered

The percentage of babies born to teenage mothers in Ireland has dropped to its lowest in almost 50 years.

Official figures revealed the country's baby boom dipped for a second year in a row in 2011, when 74,033 children were delivered.

Births to women under the age of 20 fell to just 2.3% - 1,690 - the lowest since 1963, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) said.

It had peaked to 6.2% in 1999 and was 2.7% in 2010.

Data showed 36 new mums were aged 15 or under, 103 were 16 years and 252 were 17.

The CSO's vital statistics for 2011 said there were 37,898 boys and 36,135 girls delivered, the lowest since 2008 but still almost 28% higher than 10 years earlier.

The population stood at 4.57 million and 28,456 people died, the CSO stated.

The birth rate was 16.2 per 1,000 of the population, compared with 16.5 in 2010 and 15.0 in 2001, when 57,854 babies were delivered.

Ireland's fertility rate dropped to 2.02, but remained the highest across Europe.

Figures revealed the average age of a mother in 2011 was 31.8 years, with just over a third of new mums under 30, compared to half of all births across Britain.

Elsewhere a third of all babies - 25,091 - were born outside marriage or civil partnership, with the highest percentage in Limerick City at 48.8%. The figure was lowest in Galway county at 25.2%.

Another 29,210 births, 39.5%, were to first time mothers and 77.3% of mums were Irish.

There 1,335 multiple births, consisting of 1,307 sets of twins, 27 sets of triplets and one set of quadruplets.

There were also 334 babies born at home, up 2.5% since 2010.

The CSO said the natural increase in population in 2011 - births minus deaths - was 45,577, a decrease of almost 3.5% on 2010.

Three quarters of all deaths were from diseases of the circulatory system (32.5%), cancer (31.2%), or diseases of the respiratory system (12.1%).

Of 9,236 deaths attributed to the circulatory system, half were due to ischaemic heart diseases.

Of 8,871 cancer deaths, disease of the digestive organs - including stomach and bowel - and lung were the most common in both sexes, with breast cancer also causing the deaths of 690 women.

Limerick City had the highest age death rate from cancer, 2.5 per 1,000 of population, while Kilkenny had the lowest at 1.68.

And there were 3,438 respiratory diseases, largely made up of 1,504 deaths from chronic lower respiratory diseases and 1,062 deaths due to pneumonia.

Figures also recorded 554 suicides - 458 men and 96 women - with the highest numbers in the 25-34 age group for both sexes.

The cause of another 67 deaths were undetermined and infectious and parasitic diseases caused 235 deaths.

Two women died from complications associated with pregnancy or childbirth.

Elsewhere there were 262 deaths of infants aged under one, and 188 neonatal deaths of newborns aged under four-weeks-old.

Just over a third of all infant deaths occurred within the first day of birth and over 56% occurred within the first week.

"Congenital malformations, deformations and chromosomal abnormalities accounted for 44.3% of infant deaths in 2011," the CSO stated.

Press Association

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