Significant increase in twin births in two decades, CSO finds
Births to teenage mothers reaches lowest level since 1963
The rate of twin births has increased significantly over the last 20 years, the Central Statistics Office has said.
According to figures released this morning, in 2011 there were 18 twins born for every 1,000 successful deliveries in Ireland, compared to just below 12 in 1991.
Just over 1,300 sets of twins were born in 2011, along with 27 sets of triplets and one set of quadruplets.
These were among the more than 74,000 children born in Ireland in 2011, down on 2010 by 1.5 per cent, but almost a third higher than 10 years ago. There were approximately 1,800 more boys born than girls.
The age of mothers giving birth has continued to rise; the average age was 31.8 in 2011 compared to 31.5 in 2010. And mothers under 30 years old accounted for almost 35 per cent of births in 2011, compared to 2001 when they accounted for 44 per cent.
Numbers of births to teenage mothers continues to reduce, with only 1,690 births to mothers under 20 in 2011. The figures have not been as low since 1963.
And though Ireland’s fertility rate dropped to 2.02 in 2011, it remained the highest across Europe.
Just over 25,000 babies were born outside marriage or civil partnership in 2011, with the highest percentage occurring in Limerick City at almost 50 per cent and the lowest percentage in Galway County at just over 25 per cent.
Ireland was in the middle of the EU 27 countries in terms of infant mortality in 2011, with 3.5 deaths of infants under a year per 1,000. This compared to a rate of 9.4 in Romania and 2.1 in Sweden. And Ireland’s neonatal mortality rate, the death of an infant under four weeks of age, was 2.5 per 1,000 live births, down from 4 in 2001.
Numbers of death by suicide increased from 495 in 2010 to 554 in 2011 and more than 80 per cent of these were men.