Back to Top

Central Statistics Office

Search currently unavailable

 Skip navigation



Births, Deaths and Stillbirths in 2009


The CSO today released the Vital Statistics Annual 2009 report and the Marriages report for 2009. These reports give a breakdown of the births and deaths that occurred in 2009 and the marriages registered in 2009.


Some of the key points highlighted in the report are as follows:




  • There were 75,554 children born in Ireland during 2009. This was the highest number of births recorded since 1891 when there were 76,877 children born in the 26 counties. The number of births in 2009 marked the fourth consecutive year of annual increases.
  • The number of births in 2009 was up by 381 births or 0.5% from 2008 and up 21,630 or 40.1% since 1999. The birth rate in 2009 was 16.9 per 1,000 of the population compared with 17.0 in 2008 and 14.4 in 1999.
  • The total period fertility rate (TPFR), or the average number of children per woman, was 2.10 in 2009, the same rate as in 2008. This is the fertility rate that must be maintained to replace the population in the absence of migration. Ireland continues to have the highest fertility rate of the 27 EU member states at 2.10 children per woman.
  • In 2009, there were 25,406 babies born to women aged 30 to 34, the highest number of all age groups. Prior to 1993, the age-specific fertility rate was highest among women aged 25 to 29. (The age-specific fertility rate is the number of births per woman within a specific age group.) In 1993 the highest fertility rate shifted from that age group to women aged 30 to 34.
  • Just over 23% of births in 2009 were to mothers of non-Irish nationality.
  • The number of births outside marriage that occurred in 2009 was 25,252 or 33.4% of all births.




  • There were 28,380 deaths in Ireland in 2009, of which 14,727 were males and 13,653 were females. This is equivalent to a rate of 6.4 deaths per 1,000 of the total population, the same rate as in 2008. The crude death rate per 1,000 of population has shown a gradual downward trend since the beginning of the century with the most striking long-term falls occurring in the death rates at the younger ages.
  • Diseases of the circulatory system accounted for 33.5% of deaths, neoplasms 30.0%, and diseases of the respiratory system 12.7%.
  • Ranked in order, the other seven leading causes of death were external causes of injury and poisoning, diseases of the digestive system, diseases of the nervous system, endocrine, nutritional and metabolic diseases, diseases of the genitourinary system, mental and behavioural disorders, and infectious and parasitic diseases.
  • The leading causes of death varied widely by age group in 2009. Among young adults aged 15 to 44, external causes of injury and poisoning ranked first. Among individuals aged 45 to 74, neoplasms was the leading cause, while for those aged 75 and older, it was diseases of the circulatory system.
  • There were 552 suicides recorded in 2009, an increase of 46 or 9% on the number of suicides recorded in 2008.Males represented 80% of suicides, while females represented 20%.
  • During 2009 the number of deaths of infants under one year was 247 compared with 284 in 2008. The corresponding rate decreased from 3.8 to 3.3 per 1,000 live births.




  • There was no change in the number of stillbirths occurring during 2009 which remains at 294, the same as in 2008. The corresponding rates were the same at 3.9 per 1,000 live and stillborn children.




  • The average age of grooms in 2009 was 34.0 years, 0.2 years more than the average age in 2008. In the past fifty years, the average age of grooms has decreased from 31.1 years in 1959 to a low of 26.2 years in 1977 and has increased to a high of 34.0 years in 2009. A similar trend is evident for brides with the average age decreasing from 27.1 in 1959 to 24.0 in 1977 and has increased to a high of 31.8 in 2009.
  • The number of marriages registered in 2009 was 21,627, which equates to a crude marriage rate of 4.8 per 1,000 of the population. Ireland was ranked 11th in the EU 27 and was higher than the European average of 4.5.
  • There were 6,214 civil marriages registered in 2009, an increase of 17% on the number of civil marriages in 2008. The 2009 figure accounted for just under 29% of all marriages in that year. The number of Roman Catholic marriage ceremonies was 14,624 in 2009 and accounted for 68% of all marriages in the year.
  • August was the most popular month for marriage in 2009, when 13% of marriages occurred. Friday and Saturday were the most popular days of the week to get married with 70% of marriages occurring on those days.


The 2009 Vital Statistics Annual report contains upward revisions to the previously published figures for the number of births occurring in 2008. The data omissions occurred as a result of a data transmission and download issue, which was recently identified by the C.S.O. Measures have been put in place to avoid any such problem arising again in the future.


Report on Vital Statistics 2009 is priced at €12.00 and is available on our website (PDF 1,031KB)  .


Hard copies available from the:


Central Statistics Office, Information Section, Skehard Road, Cork,


Government Publications Sales Office, Sun Alliance House, Molesworth Street, Dublin 2,


or through any bookseller.


For more information contact Sandra Tobin (LoCall 1890 313 414 ext 5307).




Central Statistics Office                                                                                                   31 May 2012

– ENDS –