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One third of births in Ireland 'outside marriage'

The baby boom continues.

Image: Fiona Hanson/PA Wire/Press Association Images

ALTHOUGH THERE WERE about 300 fewer babies born in 2011 than in the previous year, the number of births registered is still over 23 per cent higher than a decade ago.

According to the Central Statistics Office Vital Statistics report for 2011, a total of 74,650 births were registered during the year.

The figures show that the average age of mothers was 31.8 years but with an average 29.8 years, first-time mums are younger. Almost two in every five births last year were to first timers.

Just less than 34 per cent of births in the year were to parents who were not married to each other. However, of those, more than half were to cohabiting couples.

Births to mothers with Irish nationality accounted for 77 per cent of all those registered. Almost 11 per cent were to women from Accession states and 7.8 per cent to mothers from non-EU countries.

The CSO report revealed the natural increase in population (births minus deaths) was 45,655 a decrease of 3.7 per cent on the 2010.

Altogether in 2011, there were 28,995 deaths registered across Ireland – an increase of about 1,430 in the year. Almost three in every four deaths were from either diseases of the circulatory system (33 per cent), malignant neoplasm (30 per cent) or diseases of the respiratory system (12 per cent).

Deaths due to accidents, suicide or other external causes accounted for a further 6 per cent.  There were 525 suicides registered in the year, giving a rate of 11.4 per 100,000. This is a significant 7 per cent jump on 2010 figures. Analysis of the data shows a rise in male suicides which account for 84 per cent of all suicide deaths in 2011.

There were 258 infant deaths registered, giving an infant mortality rate of 3.5 deaths per 1,000 live births. There were 190 neonatal deaths (deaths of infants aged under four weeks) registered in 2011.

There were 19,879 marriages registered in 2011, 756 less than in 2010. The number of divorces granted by the Circuit Court and the High Court was 2,819, a decrease of 274 on the 2010 figure.

The Samaritans are available at 1850 60 90 90 or by email at jo@samaritans.org. Other helpful contact numbers include Aware at 1890 303 302; Console at 1800 201 890; Pieta House at 01 601 0000, email mary@pieta.ie

Baby boom: More babies born than in any year since 1891>

More: Premature birth rates have fallen in just three countries over past 20 years – report>

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