Number of births decreased by 5% last year, figures show

Number Of Births Decreased By 5% Last Year, Figures Show
The number of babies born in Ireland has declined over the past decade. Photo: PA
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The number of registered births in the Republic decreased by 5 per cent in 2023 compared to the previous year, according to new figures.

On Friday, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) published its vitality statistics for 2023, which recorded 54,678 births, down from 57,540 in 2022.


The number of babies born in Ireland has declined over the past decade. In 2013, the State had one of the highest fertility rates in Europe at 1.98 live births per woman, but is now just above the EU average at 1.5 births per woman.

A fertility rate of 2.1 is generally considered to be the level at which the population would replace itself in the long run, ignoring migration.

The number of babies born in the Republic increased in 2021 for the first time since 2009. However, that rise was attributed to the Covid-19 pandemic. Registered births continued to be high in the first three months of 2022 but have dropped since.

The average age of all mothers in 2023 was 33.2 years, which is unchanged from 2022. Ten years ago the average age was 32.1 years.

There were also 35,459 deaths registered last year, which was 18 fewer than 2022, according to the CSO.

Cancer and circulatory disease were the biggest causes of death in Ireland during 2023, accounting for 20,180, or 56.8 per cent, of deaths.

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