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Date Published: Fri, 28 Nov 2014




The CSO today released the Report on Vital Statistics 2012 (PDF 1,178KB)

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




  • There were 71,674 children born in Ireland in 2012 with 36,890 males and 34,784 females, a decrease of 2,359 births or 3.2% on 2011. The 2012 total is over 18% higher than 10 years previously (2002) when there were 60,503 live births.  


  • In 2012, the fertility rate for Ireland was 1.99, slightly lower than the rate of 2.02 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 to 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 that occurred in 2012 was 32.0 years. A total of 27,657 births (38.7%) were to first time mothers in 2012. Mothers under 30 accounted for a third (33.2%) of births in 2012 compared with ten years previously (2002) when mothers under 30 accounted for 43.4% of births.  


  • The total number of births outside marriage/civil partnership in 2012 was 25,179. This corresponds to 35.1% of all births, 1.2 percentage points higher than 2011. The highest percentage of births outside marriage/civil partnership occurred in Limerick City at 56.3% while the area with the lowest percentage was Galway County at 22.5%.   


  • In 2012, 75.9% of mothers were of Irish nationality, 2.3% of UK nationality, 1.4% of EU-15 (excluding Ireland and the UK), 11.2% of EU-27 (excluding EU-15) and 8.1% of other nationality. The nationality of the mother was not stated for 1.1% of births.  


  • The number of maternities in 2012 which resulted in multiple live births was 1,251 consisting of 1,218 sets of twins and 33 sets of triplets. This is equivalent to a “twinning rate” of 17.3 (i.e. the number of sets of live twins per 1,000 maternities which resulted in live births). This represents a decrease of 0.7 on the 2011 rate of 18.0. Over the past 20 years, the twinning rate has increased very significantly – from 11.7 in 1991 to a high of 18.0 in 2011 to 17.3 in 2012.




  • There were 29,186 deaths in Ireland in 2012 an increase of 730 on the 2011 figure. This represents an annual death rate of 6.4 per 1,000 of the population compared to 6.2 per 1,000 of the population in 2011.  


  • There were 237 deaths of infants aged less than one year in 2012 giving an infant mortality rate of 3.3 deaths per 1,000 live births compared with 3.5 in 2011. Neonatal deaths are deaths of infants at ages under 4 weeks. There were 185 neonatal deaths registered in 2012, a neonatal mortality rate of 2.6 deaths per 1,000 live births. Over a third (34.2%) of all infant deaths occurred within the first day of birth and over 61% occurred within the first week. Congenital malformations, deformations and chromosomal abnormalities accounted for 39.2% of infant deaths in 2012,  


  • There were 9,480 or 32,5% of deaths attributed to diseases of the circulatory system, 8,781 or 30.1% were attributed to cancers while deaths from diseases of the respiratory system in 2012 numbered 3,497 or 12.0% of all deaths.  


  • There were 541 deaths due to intentional self-harm in 2012, 445 or 82.3% were male while 96 or 17.7% were female. Deaths from suicide accounted for 1.9% of all deaths that occurred in 2012. There were 554 deaths by suicide in 2011 which represented almost 2% of all deaths in that year.


Natural Increase


  • The natural increase (births minus deaths) in 2012 was 42,488, a decrease of 6.8% on the 2011 figure. The natural increase 10 years previously in 2002 was 30,820, over 27.5% less than the 2012 figure.



Report on Vital Statistics 2012 is available free of charge on our website


Hard copies available from the:

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


For further information, contact Carol Anne Hennessy on 021 453 5307 (LoCall 1890 313 414 ext 5307)



Central Statistics Office                                                                                               28th November 2014


– ENDS –

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