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Press Statement


29 May 2020

Press Statement Vital Statistics Yearly Summary 2019

The number of registered births continues to fall
  • The average age of first-time mothers continues to rise, up 0.2 years to 31.3 years from 2018
  • Some 21 babies were born to girls aged under 16 in 2019 while 360 women aged 45 and over gave birth
  • Almost 2 in 5 babies (38.1%) were born outside of marriage/civil partnership in 2019
  • Over four-fifths of the deaths registered in 2019 were persons aged 65 years or over
  • Cancers (malignant neoplasms), diseases of the circulatory system or diseases of the respiratory system, accounted for almost 3 in 4 deaths in 2019
  • Of 20,313 marriages registered last year, 640 were same-sex marriages

Go to release: Vital Statistics Yearly Summary 2019

The CSO has today (29 May 2020) released the Vital Statistics Fourth Quarter and Yearly Summary 2019 reports. Commenting on the Yearly Summary report, Carol Anne Hennessy, Statistician, said: ‘There were 59,796 births registered in 2019, some 1,220 (or 2.0%) fewer than 2018 and a fall of 20.2% since 2009. This represented an annual birth rate of 12.1 per 1,000 of population compared to 16.5 per 1,000 population in 2009. 

The average age of first-time mothers in 2019 was 31.3 years, up 0.2 years from 2018. The average age of mothers at maternity for all births registered in 2019 was 33.0 years, compared to 32.9 in 2018 and 31.3 years in 2009.   

A total of 864 teenagers had babies in 2019, and of these, 21 were aged under 16 years.There were 4,612 births to mothers aged 40 and over in 2019, and of these, 360 were aged 45 and over.

Almost two-fifths of babies (38.1%) or 22,772, were born outside of marriage/civil partnerships, and of these 59.4% were to cohabitating parents

Births to mothers of Irish nationality accounted for over three-quarters (77.0%) of births in 2019. A further 2.1% of births were to mothers of UK nationality, with 2.0% born to mothers from EU15 countries (excluding Ireland and the UK). 

There were 31,134 deaths registered in 2019, of which 16,268 were male and 14,866 were female. This equates to a death rate of 6.3 deaths per 1,000 population. The 2019 figure is 7.7% higher than in 2009 when 28,898 deaths were registered.

There were 25,438 deaths of persons aged 65 and over registered in 2019 and this accounts for over four-fifths of all deaths registered in 2019.

The death of a live-born infant under the age of one is categorised as an infant death. There were 190 infant deaths registered in 2019 giving an infant mortality rate of 3.2 deaths per 1,000 live births.Ten years earlier in 2009, there were 240 infant deaths registered which also equated to an infant mortality rate of 3.2 per 1,000 live births. Neonatal deaths are deaths of infants at ages under four weeks.There were 144 neonatal deaths registered in 2019, a neonatal mortality rate of 2.4 deaths per 1,000 live births.

Almost three in four deaths were from malignant neoplasms (9,589 or 30.8%), diseases of the circulatory system (8,989 or 28.9%) or diseases of the respiratory system (3,807 or 12.2%). Deaths due to accidents, suicide and other external causes accounted for a further 1,393 or 4.5% of all deaths in 2019.

The natural increase (births minus deaths) in 2019 was 28,662, which was 4.1% lower than the natural increase of 29,900 in 2018.

There were 20,313 marriages registered in 2019, of which 640 were same-sex marriages.The marriage rate in 2019 was 4.1 marriages per 1,000 of population, 0.2 less than the rate in 2018.’

Editor's Note:

The yearly summary of births, deaths and marriages is based on the date of registration of these vital events. Please see link regarding the registration of births, deaths and marriages during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The CSO has also provided information to clarify the availability of death notifications arising as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the timing of the release of these statistics as death notifications in Ireland can be registered up to three months after the date of death. Please see link to the previously published ‘Information Note on the implications of COVID-19 on the processing of Death Certificates’ for further details.

For further information contact:

Carol Ann Hennessy (+353) 21 453 5307 or Marie Crowley (+353) 21 453 5016

or email

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