WOMEN IN IRELAND had fewer children last year than in 2012, according to figures released by the Central Statistics Office today.
In 2013, the fertility rate for Ireland was 1.96, down from 2.01 the previous year.
The figure takes into account females aged 15-49 years and represents the projected number of children a woman would have.
Some 68,930 births were registered last year – a drop of almost 3,300.
However, this figure still represents an 11.7 per cent increase on 2004, when just under 62,000 births took place.
The average age women become mothers now stands at 32.1 years. Over a third of births in 2013 took place outside of marriage, while a quarter of all mothers here do not hold Irish nationality.
In the ten year period from 2004, the number of teenage pregnancies dropped from 2,560 annually (4.2 per cent of the total number) to 1,381 last year (2 per cent of the total).
Some 21,770 marriages were registered in 2013, up by 1,057 from 2012.
Just over 30,000 people died in 2013, an increase of 1,170 from 2012. Some 228 infants died, 164 of which represented babies under the age of four weeks.
Three in four deaths were due to cancer or heart problems.
There were 475 cases of death by suicide registered last year, a drop from 507 in 2012. Men accounted for the vast majority of these deaths – more than 83 per cent.
The number of young people, 15-24 year olds, who died by suicide decreased from 74 in 2012 to 57 last year.
Originally published 16:55