herald

Wednesday 13 December 2017

Girl (15) becomes a mum for second time

TEEN: Ten under-16s give birth a month

SHOCKING new statistics show that one 15-year-old girl in the State is already a mother of two children.

And five schoolgirls aged 15 or younger became mothers in the first six months of last year.

The Central Statistics Office figures show that although women are generally waiting longer to become mothers, at least 10 girls under the age of 16 are giving birth every month.

The figures underline that while the average age of women having babies continues to rise, a significant number of new mothers are in their early- to mid-teens.

Five schoolgirls aged 15 or younger became mothers in the first six months of last year -- one of them for the second time, according to the figures.

Overall, 63 young girls under the age of 16, and under the legal age of consent, gave birth during that period.

The figure is slightly down on the previous year but still represents more than 10 young girls a month in this age group becoming mothers.



Higher

In contrast, the average age for first-time mothers throughout the country was 29.9 years and there were 115 women aged 45 or older who also gave birth during the six months.

In general, mothers are older and the average mother giving birth now is almost 32 years of age. This compares with just under 29 years of age in 1980.

The figure began to climb in the 1990s and hit 30 for the first time in 1995 and 31 by 2005.

The Central Statistics bulletin shows that 18,381 births were registered in the second quarter of last year, which is a drop of 2.5pc on the previous year but still 20pc higher than in 2002.

Just over three-in-four babies were born to Irish mothers and a further 10.16pc were born to women from the 12 EU accession states of eastern and southern Europe.

One-in-three babies born in the second quarter of last year was born outside marriage and Limerick city had the highest percentage of these births at 47pc. In Cork and Galway the figure was 25pc.

Almost one fifth of the babies born outside marriage were born to parents who were living at the same address.

See Page 14

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