herald

Sunday 22 April 2018

End to the baby boom as birth numbers take dive

Smile: Mother and baby
Smile: Mother and baby

IRELAND'S birth rate is on a downward slope with a 5pc drop in the number of babies in the second quarter of the year.

And there has been a worrying rise in the rate of infant mortality, according to research from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

Although the country experienced something of a mini baby boom through the recession, it appears Irish people are beginning to hold back on having a family.

There were 17,107 new babies registered in the second quarter of 2013 which equates to an annual birth rate of 14.9 per 1,000 population.

This is a significant drop from the corresponding rate of 15.7 in 2012.

However, Dubliners are pressing ahead in the statistics – the Fingal area recorded the highest birth rate in the country at 19.0 per 1,000 population.

The lowest corresponding rate was recorded in Mayo at 12.1 in the three-month period.

The statistics revealed by the CSO identified the various regions where births, deaths and marriages occurred throughout the country.

There was a notable increase in the number of infant deaths.

A total of 58 were registered as infant deaths in the threemonth period.

UNMARRIED

This gives an infant mortality rate of 3.4 deaths per 1,000 live births, higher than the corresponding rate of 2.6 last year.

There was an overall 8pc increase in deaths in the country during the second quarter with 7,644 deaths registered.

Details on the causes of death are not yet available, but the figures pointed to an increase in the infant mortality rate.

Births to unmarried parents with the same address accounted for 19.4pc of the total number and there were two births registered to parents within a civil partnership.

There were five births to mothers aged under 15 years of age in the second quarter.

And 59 births registered to women over 45 years of age.

The research from the CSO shows that 34pc of births in Ireland were to unmarried parents – the highest percentage of births outside marriage occurred in Limerick City and the lowest percentage occurred in the Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown area.

Marriage is still popular in the country – the amount of people tying the knot stayed at the same rate as last year with 5,444 weddings taking place.

The statistics revealed that there were 72 civil partnerships in the second quarter – an increase of 20 compared to the start of the year.

hnews@herald.ie

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