Ireland's birth rate soars
The number of births in Ireland has increased by nearly 30% over the past decade and Ireland has the highest birth rate of any EU country, according to the latest Perinatal Statistics Report.
Ireland also has the highest fertility rate in the EU. The statistics show that we are now very close to the level reauired for the long-term replacement of the population in the absence of any net inward migration.
The stats also show that the age of women having babies is increasing, as are births to single mothers and caesarean section rates.
A total of 75,600 births were reported to the National Perinatal Reporting System (NPRS) in 2010, compared to 58,261 births in 2001.
Ireland's birth rate is currently 16.8 per 1,000 population, the highest in the EU. Our rate is higher than that of the UK, which is in second place with 13.0 per 1,000 population.
The perinatal mortality (infant death around the time of birth) rate was 6.8 per 1,000 live births and stillbirths in 2010, compared to 8.6 per 1,000 in 2001.
Over 26% of women delivered by caesarean section in 2010 in Ireland, compared to 21% in 2001, while the average age of women giving birth was 31.5 years in 2010 compared to 30.3 years in 2001.
Almost 28% of women who gave birth in 2010 were 35 or older,up from 22% in 2001.
In 2001, 3% of women giving birth were aged 19 or less, compared to just over 5% in 2001.
The average age of first-time mothers in 2010 was 29.4, compared to 27.6 in 2001.
The number of births to single mothers increased from 30% to 33% over the 10-year period. The average age of single mothers increased from 25.4 to 28 years in the 10-year period.
Almost one-in four births in 2010 were to women born outside Ireland. In 2004, the year this information was first collected, just 16% of births were to mothers from outside the country.
The number of home births dropped from 245 in 2001 to 177 in 2010.
The statistics are compiled for the Health Research and Information Division of the ESRI.
[Posted: Tue 26/06/2012]