George, Annabelle, Mila and Rosie enter top-100 baby names list

July is the most popular month for having babies in Ireland and February the least

Mila Kunis and husband Ashton Kutcher: the name Mila is racing up the popularity ladder. Photograph: Sean M Haffey/Getty Images

Mila Kunis and husband Ashton Kutcher: the name Mila is racing up the popularity ladder. Photograph: Sean M Haffey/Getty Images

 

Mothers in the border counties have the most children and parents across the State are choosing some new names for their babies.

Statistics on motherhood in Ireland, published on Friday in time for Mother’s Day on Sunday, come from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) and draw on Census 2011 as well as the 2015 vital statistics and the 2015 Measuring Ireland’s Progress reports.

In 2011, there were 1,106,594 mothers and 805,235 of them were living with a child as part of a family unit.

In 2015, women gave birth to 65,909 babies; 33,619 boys and 32,290 girls. Some 77.9 per cent were born to Irish mothers.

Large families

“Large families have not disappeared in Ireland. There were 64,248 families with four or more children, 16,646 with five or more children of which 4,845 families had six or more children. Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan had the largest families with 2.19 children per family on average.

“July is the most popular month for having babies . . . while February is the least popular.”

And when it comes to naming children, things are changing. In the top-100 list for the first time in 2015 were George, Annabelle, Mila and Rosie, while Ollie and Mila were climbing the popularity ladder fastest. Jack and Emily were still the most popular boys’ and girls’ names.

As to when “Ollie” or “Rosie” might leave home, the figures show that, of the 439,478 adult children still living at home with parents in 2015, some 180,703 were at work, 137,967 were students and 98,739 were unemployed.

Motherhood is beginning later. While the average age of first-time mothers was 27.4 in 2000, by 2015 it was 30.7 years old. “The average age of all mothers has also increased from 30.2 years in 2000 to 32.5 in 2015. There were 3,978 babies registered to women between 40 and 44 in 2015 and a further 224 babies registered to women 45 and older.”

Unsurprisingly, Dublin City had the most births in 2015, with 7,557 registered, followed by Co Cork with 6,057. Leitrim had the fewest, with 414 babies registered in 2015.