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Friday 17 November 2017

Number giving birth over 40 up 63pc in a decade

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Allison Bray

Allison Bray

The number of mothers giving birth over the age of 40 increased by almost 63pc in just a decade, according to the latest Vital Statistics report from the CSO.

THE number of mothers giving birth over the age of 40 increased by almost 63pc in just a decade, according to the latest Vital Statistics report from the CSO.

There were 2,566 births recorded by women aged 40 or more in 2005 compared to 4,175 in 2015; an increase of 62.7pc.

The figures represent the highest percentage (6.4pc) of mothers aged 40 or more giving birth recorded since 1969 when they represented 6.6pc of mothers having babies that year.

While the number of middle-aged women having babies is still in the minority, the average age of mothers in 2015 was the oldest recorded since records began.

"At 32.5 years, this is the highest average age of mothers since the age of mother at birth was first recorded in 1955," according to the Vital Statistics Annual Report 2015, which was released yesterday by the Central Statistics Office.

The age of women giving birth for the first time has also increased over the past decade when the average age was 28.7 years in 2005 compared to 30.6 years in 2015. At the same time, the number of births by women aged 20 or under decreased by 50.2pc over the same time period - from 2,406 in 2005 to 1,199 in 2015.

The decrease in the number of teenage mothers - at 1.8pc - in both 2015 and 2014 was the lowest recorded since 1960 when they represented 1.6pc of the population.

The number of babies born to non-Irish mothers also grew in 2015 - representing almost a quarter (22.1pc) of the 65,536 live births in 2015, including 33,480 boys and 32,056 girls.

The number of women giving birth outside of marriage or civil partnership represented more than a third of all births in 2015, at 36.5pc (23,942) compared to just 1.6pc in 1959.

Irish Independent

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