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Date Published: Fri, 11 Dec 2015

The CSO today released the Report on Vital Statistics 2013

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


  • There were 68,954 live births in Ireland in 2013 with 35,340 males and 33,614 females, a decrease of 2,720 births or 3.8% on 2012. The 2013 total is 12% higher than 10 years previously (2003) when there were 61,529 live births.  
  • In 2013, the fertility rate for Ireland was 1.96, slightly lower than the rate of 1.99 in 2012. 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 2013 was 32.2 years. A total of 26,082 births (37.9%) were to first time mothers in 2013. Mothers under 30 accounted for almost a third (31.4%) of births in 2013 compared with ten years previously (2003) when mothers under 30 accounted for 42.3% of births.  
  • The total number of births outside marriage/civil partnership in 2013 was 24,353. This corresponds to 35.3% of all births, 0.2 percentage points higher than 2012. The highest percentage of births outside marriage/civil partnership occurred in Limerick City at 54.3% while the area with the lowest percentage was Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown at 23.5%.  
  • In 2013, 76.9% of mothers were of Irish nationality, 2.3% of UK nationality, 1.6% of EU-15 (excluding Ireland and the UK), 11.5% of EU-28 (excluding EU-15) and 7.0% of other nationality. The nationality of the mother was not stated for 0.7% of births.  
  • The number of maternities in 2013 which resulted in multiple live births was 1,300 consisting of 1,268 sets of twins, 31 sets of triplets and 1 set of quadruplets. This is equivalent to a “twinning rate” of 18.7 (i.e. the number of sets of live twins per 1,000 maternities which resulted in live births). This represents an increase of 1.4 on the 2012 rate of 17.3. Over the past 20 years, the twinning rate has increased very significantly – from 11.8 in 1993 to a high of 18.7 in 2013.


  • There were 29,504 deaths in Ireland in 2013, an increase of 318 on the 2012 figure. This represents an annual death rate of 6.4 per 1,000 of the population, the same rate per 1,000 of the population as in 2012.  
  • There were 245 deaths of infants aged less than one year in 2013 giving an infant mortality rate of 3.6 deaths per 1,000 live births compared with 3.3 in 2012. Neonatal deaths are deaths of infants at ages under 4 weeks. There were 181 neonatal deaths registered in 2013, a neonatal mortality rate of 2.6 deaths per 1,000 live births. Over a third (39.2%) of all infant deaths occurred within the first day of birth and just under 63% occurred within the first week. Congenital malformations, deformations and chromosomal abnormalities accounted for 45.3% of infant deaths in 2013.  
  • There were 9,473 or 32,1% of deaths attributed to diseases of the circulatory system, 8,961 or 30.4% were attributed to cancers while deaths from diseases of the respiratory system in 2013 numbered 3,504 or 11.9% of all deaths.  
  • There were 487 deaths due to intentional self-harm in 2013, 391 or 80.3% were male while 96 or 19.7% were female. Deaths from suicide accounted for 1.7% of all deaths that occurred in 2013.

Natural Increase 

The natural increase (births minus deaths) in 2013 was 39,450, a decrease of 7.2% on the 2012 figure. The natural increase10 years previously in 2003 was 32,455, over 17.7% less than the
2013 figure. 

For further information, contact:

Carol Anne Hennessy (+353) 21 453 5307

Maria Crowley (+353) 21 453 5016

or email

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