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Dublin: 11°C Tuesday 19 January 2021

Irish women are older than ever giving birth

But the good news is that we’re having more babies than we were a decade ago.

THE AVERAGE age of women giving birth is now 31 years and five months – two months and two weeks older than in the same period in 2009.

The average age of new mothers has increased by six months since 2005, and by a whole year over the past decade.

New figures from the CSO show that:

  • 19,171 births were registered in the third quarter of 2010 – an increase of 30 per cent in the nine years since 2001
  • One in three babies are born to parents who are not married
  • Meath had the highest birth rate, with 23 babies per 1,000 of population
  • Limerick city, which had the lowest birth rate of the whole country at just 11 births per 1,000, also had the highest proportion of babies born outside marriage, at 58 per cent
  • In Dun Laoghaire and in county Galway, just one in four babies was born to parents who were not married

The figures also paint a picture of what happens at the end of life, showing that:

  • Heart disease is still the most common cause of death, responsible for one in three of the more than 6,500 deaths registered in the third quarter of 2010
  • Cancer caused 31 per cent of deaths, while respiratory disease accounted for one tenth of deaths
  • The infant mortality rate has fallen from 6.6 per 1,000 live births in 2001, to 3.7 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2010

Learn more: read the CSO’s vital statistic in full >

See also: Irish men predicted to live a decade longer by 2041 >

About the author:

Jennifer O'Connell

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