Skip to main content

Source: OSC

THE NUMBER OF BIRTHS in Ireland continues to decline as the average age of mothers continues to increase.

The number of births has decreased by 15.1% since 2010 and 2.6% since 2015. There were 63,841 live births in Ireland in 2016, with 32,709 males and 31,132 females.

The 2016 total is 2.4% lower than in 2006, when there were 65,425 live births.

The figures are included in the statistics of the Central Statistical Office. 2016 Vital Statistics Annual Report, which was released yesterday.

The average age of mothers for births in 2016 was 32.7 years. Mothers under 30 accounted for 27.7% of births in 2016, up from 10 years earlier (2006), when mothers under 30 accounted for 39.5% of births.

The number of births to teenage mothers has fallen by more than half in a decade. There were 1,101 births to mothers under the age of 20 in 2016, compared to 2,335 in 2006, a decrease of 52.8%.

Over the past 25 years, the twinning rate has increased dramatically, from a low of 11.7 in 1991 to a high of 19.0 in 2016. In 2016, the number of multiple live births was 1,215, comprising 1,189 pairs of twins, 24 pairs of triplets and two sets of quadruplets.

More than a third (36.6%) of all births were outside marriage / civil partnership in 2016. The comparable figure, 30 years earlier, in 1986 was 9.6%.


There were 30,667 deaths in Ireland in 2016, an increase of 540 from 2015. Diseases of the circulatory system accounted for 9,237 or 30.1% of deaths and 9,171 or 29.9% of deaths were attributed to malignant tumors, while deaths from diseases of the respiratory system accounted for 3,935 or 12.8% of all deaths.

More than 1.4% (437) of all deaths were due to suicide in 2016, of which 80.1% (350) were men.

#open journalism

No news is bad news
Support the journal

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support us now

There were 194 deaths of infants under one year of age in 2016, an infant mortality rate of three deaths per 1,000 live births, up from 3.4 in 2015. More than a third (37.6% ) of all infant deaths occurred within the first day of birth. , while 59.8% occurred within the first week.

Birth defects, deformities and chromosomal abnormalities accounted for 39.7% of infant deaths while certain conditions of perinatal origin accounted for 44.8% of infant deaths in 2016.

Neonatal deaths are deaths of infants less than four weeks old. There were 147 neonatal deaths recorded in 2016, resulting in a neonatal mortality rate of 2.3 deaths per 1,000 live births.

Natural increase (births minus deaths) in 2016 was 33,174, down 6.3% from 2015. Natural increase 10 years earlier in 2006 was 36,937, or 11.3% more than in 2016.

Need help? Assistance is available:

  • Samaritans 116 123 or by e-mail [email protected]
  • Aware 1800 80 48 48 (depression, anxiety)
  • Pieta House 1800 247 247 or by e-mail to [email protected] (suicide, self-harm)
  • Teen-Line Ireland 1800 833 634 (for ages 13 to 19)
  • Childline 1800 66 66 66 (for children under 18)

A list of HSE and HSE funded services can be found here.

Leave a Reply