Back to Top

Central Statistics Office


 Skip navigation


Births, Deaths and Marriages in 2012


The CSO today released the Vital Statistics, Fourth Quarter and Yearly Summary 2012 report.


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




  • There were 72,225 births registered in 2012 with 37,210 males and 35,015 females, a decrease of 2,425 births on 2011. The 2012 total is 19.3 % higher than in 2002 when 60,521 births were registered.


  • In 2012 the fertility rate for Ireland was 2.01, slightly lower than the rate of 2.04 in 2011. The fertility rate represents the projected number of children a woman would have if she experienced current age specific fertility rates while progressing from age 15-49 years. A value of 2.1 is generally considered to be the level at which the population would replace itself in the long run, ignoring migration.


  • The average age of mothers for births registered in 2012 was 31.9 years. Almost two in five (38.8%) births in 2012 were to first time mothers where the average age was 29.9 years. Over a third (35%) of births in 2012 were outside marriage with almost 57% of the births outside marriage to cohabiting parents.


  • Births to mothers of Irish nationality accounted for over three-quarters (76%) of the births in 2012. A further 2.2% of births were to mothers of UK nationality, with 1.4% born to mothers from EU15 countries excluding Ireland and the UK. Over 11% of births were born to mothers from the Accession states (EU27 excl. EU 15) and 8.2% to mothers from non EU countries. The remaining 1.2% of births did not state a nationality for the mother.




  • There were 28,848 deaths registered in 2012, a decrease of 147 on the 2011 figure. This represents an annual death rate of 6.3 per 1,000 of the population.


  • There were 250 infant deaths registered in 2012 giving an infant mortality rate of 3.5 deaths per 1,000 live births. Neonatal deaths are deaths of infants at ages under 4 weeks. There were 194 neonatal deaths registered in 2012, a neonatal mortality rate of 2.7 deaths per 1,000 live births.


  • Almost 3 in every 4 deaths were from either diseases of the circulatory system (32%), malignant neoplasm1 (30%), or diseases of the respiratory system (12%). Deaths due to accidents, suicide and other external causes accounted for a further 6% of all deaths in 2012.


  • There were 507 suicides registered in 2012 or 11 per 100,000 of the population. This compares with 525 suicides registered in 2011, a decrease of 3.5%. Figures for 2012 shows a decrease (of 6%) in male suicides from 2011. Males accounted for 81% of all suicide deaths in 2012.


Natural Increase


  • The natural increase (births minus deaths) in 2012 was 43,377, a decrease of 5% on the 2011 figure.




  • There were 21,245 marriages registered in 2012 which was 1,366 more than in 2011. The marriage rate in 2012 was 4.6 per 1,000 of population. The number of divorces granted by the Circuit Court and the High Court was 2,892 which was an increase of 73 on the 2011 figure.


Vital Statistics Fourth Quarter and Yearly Summary 2012 is available on our website Vital Statistics Fourth Quarter and Yearly Summary 2012 (PDF 294KB)


For more information contact Carol Anne Hennessy on 021 453 5307.


Central Statistics Office                                                             31 May 2013

– ENDS –



 1 malignant tumour