Ireland's fertility rate remains static

 

The fertility rate in the State continues to remain at a level lower than that required to replace the population over a generation, official figures show.

A report on Vital Statistics 2010 published by the Central Statistics Office notes the average number of children per woman was 2.06 in that year - the same rate as in 2009 and just below replacement level.

A value of 2.1 is considered to be the level at which a generation would replace itself in the long run, ignoring migration, the CSO said.

Ireland nevertheless continues to have the highest fertility rate of the 27 EU member states. France is next with 2.03 followed by Sweden and the UK with rates of 1.98. Latvia has the lowest birth rate at 1.17.

The fertility rate has fallen by 36 per cent in the past 30 years, from 3.23 in 1980. It dropped below the replacement level in 1989 and again in 1991 and has remained there since, the CSO said.

Some 75,174 babies were born in Ireland in 2010 - 38,395 boys and 36,779 girls. This number was down by 380 births, or 0.5 per cent, on 2009.

Births outside marriage accounted for 33.8 per cent (25,372) of all babies born.

There were 27,961 deaths in 2010, of which 14,334 were males and 13,627 females. This is a rate of 6.1 deaths per 1,000 of population compared with 6.3 the previous year and 8.3 in 2000.

Diseases of the circulatory system, cancers and diseases of the respiratory system were responsible for just over 75 per cent of all deaths in 2010.

Some 1,660 deaths from external causes of injury and poisoning were recorded. Of these, 1,198 (72 per cent) were males and 462 (28 per cent) females.

Accidents accounted for 59.1 per cent of all external causes of injury and poisoning. Intentional self-harm accounted for a further 29.8 per cent.

Two and a half times as many males died due to external causes compared with females in 2010, the CSO report noted. It said differences in more specific causes of death and also within different age-groups were also significant.

Over twice as many males died due to accidents compared to females.

The majority of accidental deaths in males aged under 25 were due to transport incidents (50.6 per cent), while the greatest cause of accidental deaths in the 25 to 64 year age group was poisoning by and exposure to noxious substances (45.1 per cent).

The majority of accidents involving females occurred in the older age-groups, particularly in women aged 75 and over. This age group accounted for 40.4 per cent of female accidents, some 63 per cent of these from falls.

There were 495 recorded deaths by suicide in 2010, some 405 (82 per cent) of which involved men and 90 (18 per cent) women. This compared to 552 recorded deaths by suicide in 2009. A total of 45 deaths in the year were from homicide or assault, while there were 83 deaths due to “events of undetermined intent”.

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