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births and deaths

Number of births in Ireland falls by 20% in the last decade

The CSO released the latest round of figures for births and deaths in Ireland.

THE NUMBER OF births fell in Ireland by 5% between 2022 and last year, and has dropped by over 20% in the last decade, new figures show.

The latest yearly summary of births and deaths from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show that over the 10 years between 2013 and 2023, Irish people are having fewer babies and also having them later.

There were 54,678 live births registered in Ireland last year, compared to 57,540 in 2022, a drop of about 5%. There were 68,930 births registered in 2013, marking a drop of over 20% between then and 2023.

The stats also show that the average age of first-time mothers has increased by 3.4 years to 31.6 years of age compared to 2003 when it was 28.2. In 2013 the age stood at 30.6 years.

The fertility rate – which is the total number of children a woman would have if she experienced current age specific fertility rates in her life – was at 1.5 in 2023, down from 2.0 in 2013.

According to the CSO, a value of 2.1 is generally considered to be the level at which the population would replace itself in the long run, ignoring migration.

Deaths

In relation to dying, there were 35,459 deaths registered last year, which was 18 fewer than the 35,477 figure in 2022. There were 29,504 deaths in 2013. 

18,361 of those who died were males last year, and 17,098 were females. The annual death rate was 6.7 per 1,000 of population, compared with 6.5 per 1,000 of population in 2013, and 7.2 in 2003.

People over the age of 65 accounted for 29,700 or 83.8% of all deaths. 12,934 of those who died were over the age of 85.

More than half of all deaths registered last year were from either malignant neoplasms (meaning a cancerous tumour), diseases of the circulatory system.

Just 769 people died in cases where Covid-19 was the main cause, down 58.4% on 2022.

Deaths due to accidents, suicide and other external causes accounted for a further 1,354 or 3.8% of death registrations. Of this number, 302 were classed as intentional self-harm.

Finally, there were 21,159 marriages registered in 2023, down from 23,173 in 2022. Of there, 646 were same-sex marriages. 

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