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There were 1,041 teenagers who became mothers in Ireland last year

The number represents a 5% decline and the HSE has welcomed the trend.

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THERE WERE 1,041 births to teenage mothers last year, a small decline on the previous year, according to the latest figures from the Central Statistics Office.

The CSO has released its vital statistics for 2017 which contains details of births, marriages and deaths throughout the State.

Among the findings were that births to teenage mothers fell by 5% from a figure of 1,098 in 2016.

The HSE has welcomed this decreased and points out that births to teenagers have decreased from 3,087 in 2001, a decline of 66% over the 16 year period.

“There has been a significant shift in society in recent years. More teenagers than in the past are receiving relationships and sexuality education in schools and youth-work settings, and the majority of teenagers who are sexually active report ‘always’ using contraception,” said Helen Deasy of the HSE’s Sexual Health and Crisis Pregnancy Programme.

Several studies show that most teenagers in Ireland are aged between 17 and 19 the first time they have sex.

“We know that parents can find talking to their children about relationships, sexuality and growing up challenging, but parents and guardians have a huge influence on their teenagers and it is important that teenagers know the facts before they decide to have sex for the first time.”

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Specifically on the figures relating to teenage maternity, the CSO’s stats show that of the 1,041 teenage mothers last year, 923 were first-time mothers.

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There were 19 women who became mothers at under 15 years old and 54 who were aged 16. There were 537 women who had a child at age 19 last year, 76 of whom had at least other child.

The average age of first-time mothers in 2017 was 31, up 0.1 years from 2016.

The average age of mothers for all births registered in 2017 was 32.8 years, also 0.1 higher than 2016.

About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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