Demand for marriage remains strong

But the latest CSO report shows one third of babies are now born outside of wedlock

Number of marriages registered in the third quarter of 2013, at 7,760, was just five fewer than the same period in 2012. Photograph: Cliff Despeaux/Reuters

Number of marriages registered in the third quarter of 2013, at 7,760, was just five fewer than the same period in 2012. Photograph: Cliff Despeaux/Reuters

Sat, Mar 1, 2014, 01:00


The number of Irish people getting married in the State remains stable – but a slowly increasing number are choosing to have babies out of wedlock, according to the latest figures from the CSO.

On a geographical breakdown the highest percentage of births outside marriage occurred in Limerick city, at almost 50 per cent, while the lowest was in Co Galway at almost 22 per cent .

According to the Vital Statistics Third Quarter 2013 Report issued yesterday the number of marriages registered in the third quarter of 2013, at 7,760, was just five fewer than the same period in 2012.

This was, according to a CSO spokeswoman, a “fairly typical result” within which the overall numbers “may be up a few one year, and down a few next”.

However there appears to be a slight increase in the number choosing to have children outside registered marriage.

Some 20 per cent of children born in the third quarter of 2013 were born to parents who lived at the same address but were not married.

However, the figure rises to 35.2 per cent for all children born in that period whose parents were not married. This represents a 0.4 per cent increase on the previous year.

A total of 6,608 births (37.4 per cent) were to first-time mothers in the third quarter of 2013. Second-time mothers had 6,323 births (35.8 per cent).