Saturday 24 March 2018

More people are getting married... but they are leaving it later

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Mark O'Regan

Mark O'Regan

The number of teenagers having babies has plummeted by almost half in the past five years. And Irish women generally are having babies when they are older.

The number of teen births has dropped by 44pc, according to figures in the annual Central Statistics Office 'Yearbook'.

The yearbook for 2014 shows the number of births to mothers aged 15 and under was only 23.

Overall, the figures show that just over 1,250 children were born to teenage mothers in 2014.

Meanwhile, the figure for mothers aged over 45 was 248. The majority of children were born to those in the 30-34 cohort, totalling 24,850.

In total, there were 67,462 births registered in 2014, 1,468 fewer than in 2013.

The survey also shows that over a third of all children born in Ireland last year were born outside of marriage.

The yearbook records a total of 392 civil partnership ceremonies - 242 between men and 150 between women.

There were 22,045 marriages in 2014, the highest number since 2008, when 22,187 marriages were registered. But the average age of brides and grooms also continued to rise.

In 2014, the average age of grooms and brides was 35 years and 33 years respectively - the highest recorded to date.

There is also further evidence that women are living longer than men - there were over twice as many females (43,800) as males (22,200) aged over 85.

On the economic front, figures also show that credit card debt totalled €2.2bn - although this is down 8.3pc compared with the previous survey.

The number of credit cards in use was 1.9 million.

And a sign of buoyancy in the economy is that retail sales were up by 6.4pc.

A further indication of an economic upturn was a rise of almost 30pc in the number of new cars licensed.

There was an annual increase of over 10pc in the number of houses granted planning permission, although the comparable figure for apartments fell by more than a third.

Industrial production also increased by 22.9pc in 2014.

Overall, Irish households owed €96.9bn to Irish banks at the end of 2014, a fall of 10pc from the €107.7bn owed the previous year.

A total of €852m was spent on holidays within the country and Irish sports lovers also forked out €53.8m travelling to various events around the country.

Elsewhere, Jack proved to be the most popular boy's name for babies last year, while Emily was top for girls.

The two have been the number one choice for parents every year since 2011.

James, Daniel, Conor and Seán wrapped up the top five for boys, while Noah was the eighth most popular name in 2014. Sophie, Emma, Grace and Eva were the next most popular girls' names.

Irish Independent

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