Saturday 21 September 2019

Number of fathers in 20s falls as new Irish dads are getting older


Parliament delegates call on state to
Parliament delegates call on state to "liberate fertility"

Lynne Kelleher

More Irish men are becoming fathers later in life.

New statistics from the CSO show the number of fathers aged in their 20s has fallen from 23pc in 2007 to 17pc in 2017.

The vast majority of new Irish fathers are now in their 30s but 17pc are in their 40s, compared with 12pc in 2007.

Fathers aged between 20 and 34 stood at 28,268 in 2017. This compares to 34,554 in 2007.

And in 2007, fathers aged between 35 and 44 years of age stood at 23,609. There was a dramatic increase in this age group a decade later, with the number of fathers aged between 35 and 44 now standing at 28,352,

There were only five dads officially registered as over the age of 65 to newborns in 2007. The number rose to 16 last year.

And the number of new fathers aged between 60 and 64 went from 26 in 2007 to 40 last year.

Meanwhile, there has been a significant drop in teenage dads over the past 10 years. There were 708 dads of new babies aged under 20 in 2007 but this fell to 398 teenage fathers last year, fewer than 1pc of all dads in 2017.

While the potential health risks of having babies are well-known for mothers in their late 40s, a study published last month found that men who start families later should be aware of the risks to their children.

Researchers at Stanford University in California showed that children born to men aged 45 and over had a 14pc greater risk of premature birth, low birth weight and being admitted to neonatal intensive care, compared with babies born to younger fathers. Absolute risks remain low, but findings emphasise the importance of including men in preconception care.

Meanwhile, the number of Irish babies without a father's name on their birth certificate has almost halved over the last decade.

In 2007, 5.5pc of babies born in Ireland had a blank space for the father's name on their birth certificate compared with just over 3pc of children born in 2017.

Irish Independent

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