Number of women dying by suicide increased by almost 50% last year

CSO report shows a total of 421 lives were lost to suicide in 2019

There were 421 deaths by suicide last year of which 317 were among males and 104 among females.

There were 421 deaths by suicide last year of which 317 were among males and 104 among females.


The number of women dying by suicide increased by almost 50 per cent last year compared with 2018, new figures show.

The data from a Central Statistics Office (CSO) report published on Friday shows 104 females died by suicide in 2019, compared with 70 the year before - an increase of 48.5 per cent.

CSO figures show 80 women also died in 2017 and 81 died in 2016.

There were 421 deaths by suicide last year, of which 317 were among males - an increase of 12 per cent from 282 in 2018.

The number of suicides last year represents an almost 20 per cent increase on 2018, when 352 were recorded. That had represented a decline, after the 392 recorded in 2017 and 399 in 2016.

The figures are contained in the CSO’s vital statistics report for 2019, which shows the number of births has fallen by over 20 per cent in a decade, while the number of deaths has increased by almost eight per cent.

A total of 59,796 births were registered, a fall of two per cent on 2018 when 61,016 babies were born here, and a fall of 20.2 per cent since 2009 when there were 74,928 births.

The average age of first-time mothers continues to increase. It was 31.3 years last year, up 0.2 years since 2018.

The average age of mothers for all births has also increased steadily - from 31.3 in 2009, to 32.9 in 2018 and hitting 33 for the first time last year.

A total of 864 teenagers had babies in 2019 and of these 21 were aged under 16.

There were 4,612 births to mothers aged 40 and over last year and of these 360 were aged 45 and older.

And while the number of births outside marriage or civil partnership has fallen since 2009, from 24,728 to 22,772, as a proportion of all births they have increased significantly, from 33 per cent to 38.1 per cent.

Of these 22,772 births outside marriage last year, 59.4 per cent were to co-habiting couples, indicating a significant number being born to lone mothers.

As in previous years, the highest proportion of births outside marriage were in Limerick, and the fewest were in Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown.

The number of opposite sex marriages declined by almost ten per cent in the decade to 2019, from 21,627 in 2009, to 19,673 last year.

Same-sex marriage was introduced in 2015, when 91 weddings took place. There were 1,056 in 2016 and 640 last year.

A total of 31,134 people died last year, compared with 28,898 in 2009. The natural increase (births minus deaths) in 2019 was 28,662, which was 4.1 per cent lower than in 2018. A decade before the natural increase was 46,030.

Of those who died last year the highest proportion (10,946) were aged 85 or older. Some 909 people died in accidents, including 90 in transport accidents, 223 in falls, 264 due to poisoning and 332 in ‘other accidents’.

Among the 421 deaths by suicide were three in the five years to 14 years age-group, 90 among 35 to 44-year-olds and two among people aged 85 or older.

There were 17 homicides last year, according to the CSO, including one of a child aged between one and four, three of young people aged between 15 and 24. The highest number was among 25- to 34-year-olds, where there were five.

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