independent

Thursday 27 November 2014

3% drop in Cork's birth rate in 2012

BILL BROWNE

Published 05/12/2013 | 05:26

BIRTH rates in Cork have dropped for the third year in succession according to figures released by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ERSI).

BIRTH rates in Cork have dropped for the third year in succession according to figures released by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ERSI).

The Institute's Perinatal Statistics Report for 2012 showed their were 8,118 births registered to mothers living in Cork last year, compared to 8,387 in 2011, a drop of 3%.

The number of births in Cork for 2010 stood at 8,588, down from its peak of 8,636 in 2009.

The birth rate had enjoyed a steady increase over the previous three years, with 7,390 recorded in 2006, 7,997 in 2007 and 8,427 in 2008.

The decline in the number of births across Cork is in line with the national trend, with the total number of births across Ireland registered with the National Parenting Reporting System (NPRS) in 2012 standing at 71,896, compared with 74,377 in 2011. This represents a reduction of 3.2% over the 12 month period and a 5.3% reduction since its peak in 2009.

While the ERSI did not speculate on the reasons for the decline in births, one theory is that it may be related to the number of young women leaving Ireland due to the recession.

Another theory is that young couples tied into large mortgages simply cannot afford to have children.

While the national birth rate may have dropped, Ireland still reported the highest birth rate of any of the 27 EU countries in 2012, with 15.6 per 1,000 population, compared to the EU average of 10.4 per 1,000 population.

The number of Irish mothers choosing to breastfeed remained static at 47%, compared to 41% in 2003.

Despite the increase over the decade, Irish mothers still lag behind the rest of Europe and America, where up to 75% of mothers breastfeed their newborns.

The average age of women giving birth in Ireland in 2012 was 31.9 years, compared to 30.6 years in 2003.

Just 2% of women giving birth were under 20 years-old, with 30% aged 35 or over.

Of the total number of women in Ireland who gave birth in 2012, 39% were doing so for the first time with the average of first time mothers standing at 30.

The average of mothers giving birth for the second or more time was 33.2 years.

Corkman

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