CSO: One-third of babies now born outside marriage

Statistics yearbook reports 1,056 same-sex marriages of 22,626 marriages in 2016

More than one-third of all births registered in the State are babies born outside marriage, according to CSO figures.

There were 63,897 births registered in 2016, some 2,012 fewer than 2015. Of these, 23,348 births, some 36 per cent, were registered as being outside marriage, the annual CSO Statistical yearbook published on Friday shows.

There were 1,056 same-sex marriages registered in 2016 in the first full year of marriages after the 2015 vote in favour of marriage equality.

There were 22,626 marriages during the year, 510 more marriages registered than in 2015.


The statistics also show the number of unemployed was 187,800 in 2016, a decrease of 11.1 per cent between 2015 and 2016. The overall unemployment rate was 8.6 per cent in 2016. The number of people employed rose to 2,014,900 in 2016.

In relation to social affairs and the family, more than 65 per cent of the 63,897 births registered in 2016 were to women aged between 30 and 39, while 295 children were born to mothers aged 45 years and over.

Data from 2008-2014 shows the 1st of October is the most popular birthday, with 191 babies were born on average on that date.

On census night, there were 1,218,370 families in the State, a rise of 51 per cent since 1996. The average number of children per family was 1.38 in 2016; in 1996 the average number of children per family was 1.82.

Internet access

Some 94 per cent of households in the Dublin region had internet access in the first quarter of 2017; 83 per cent of households in the Border region indicated they had internet access.

A total of 16 per cent of people in 2017 have never used the internet. Of those aged 60-74, 46 per cent have never used the internet, in contrast to 4 per cent of those aged 16-29.

In 2016, some 36.4 per cent of those aged 15 to 64 had a third level qualification. Some 72.9 per cent of those between 15 and 64 years attained education levels of higher secondary level or above.

There were 188,178 full-time third level students in 2015/16, a 910 per cent increase since 1965/66.


In 2016, there was an annual increase of 21.8 per cent in the number of new houses built and an annual increase of 39.4 per cent in apartments granted planning permissions.

Output in total building and construction increased by 18.3 per cent in 2016 when compared to 2015. However, between 2006 and 2016, the volume of output in building and construction had decreased by 66.1 per cent.

From 2007 to 2012 Dublin residential property prices fell faster than property prices outside the capital, declining 57.7 per cent

However, they also recovered faster, increasing 57.5 per cent from 2012 to 2016.

In contrast, residential property prices outside the capital declined by 48.2 per cent between 2007 and 2012. They fell a further 6.9 per cent in 2013 but recovered 34.1 per cent of their value between the low point in 2013 and 2016.

The total number of residential property transactions in 2016 was 40,150 with a combined value of €9,933.7 million. The median value of dwellings sold nationally in 2016 was €196,000.

Average annual earnings were €45,611 for full-time employees in 2016, while part time employees earned €16,597 on average.


In 2016, 9.6 million overseas trips were made by non-residents to Ireland, an increase of 10.9 per cent. Residents of Britain took over 3.9 million trips to Ireland during 2016, an increase of 377,000 trips (10.6 per cent) compared to 2015.

The number of overseas trips to Ireland for holiday/leisure/recreation increased by 9.7 per cent between 2015 and 2016.

Excluding fares expenditure by overseas trips to Ireland increased by 8.8 per cent to €4,577 million in the same period.

Over 7.6 million outbound trips were undertaken by Irish residents in 2016, while spending €6.5 billion, with 67.9 per cent of this spent in the EU.

Irish residents took almost 9.3 million domestic trips in 2016. Total expenditure by Irish residents on domestic trips for 2016 amounted to €1.8 billion with spending on holidays increasing in 2016 to €1.1 billion, up 5 per cent.

There were 141,931 new private cars licensed in 2016 up 17.2 per cent, with Volkswagen the most popular make. This was the highest number of new cars licensed since 2008.

Publication of the yearbook coincides with World Statistics Day and includes data from the 2016 census as well as an appendix on Northern Ireland for the first time in four years.

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien is an Irish Times journalist