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General Summary 2015

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Annual report on vital Statistics 2015

This report has been prepared by the Central Statistics Office for the Minister of Social Protection in accordance with the provisions of Section 2 of the Vital Statistics and Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act, 1952, with the provisions of Section 73 of the Civil Registration Act 2004 and the Government Order (SI No. 831 of 2007).

The main statistics contained in this report have already been published, classified by year of registration, in the CSO's Quarterly and Yearly Summary Vital Statistics reports.  This annual report provides additional information on the births and deaths that occurred in 2015.  The year of occurrence data have been compiled from registration data for 2015 and 2016.

This report also includes information on registered stillbirths, (Chapter4).  This replaced the series on late foetal deaths compiled up to 1994.  Registration of stillbirths became available following the introduction of the Stillbirths Registration Act 1994.  This act was subsequently superseded by the Civil Registration Act 2004 (part 3 refers).    The National Perinatal Reporting system (NPRS) also produces statistics on stillbirths, which can be compared to the numbers in this report.  (

Live Births:  

Live Births:  There were 65,536 children born in Ireland during 2015, down 1,759 or 2.6% from 2014.  This is the lowest number of births since 2006 when there were 65,425 births.  

The birth rate was 14.0 per 1,000 of the population in 2015 compared to 14.6 in 2014 and 14.8 in 2005.

The total period fertility rate (TPFR), or the average number of children per woman was 1.86 in 2015, that is 0.08 per thousand lower than in 2014, and below replacement level.  A value of 2.1 is generally taken to be the level at which a generation would replace itself in the long run, ignoring migration.

Ireland had the second highest fertility rate of the 28 EU member states in 2015 at 1.86 children per woman.  See Births 2015, fig 2.4.

In 2015, the highest number of births - 23,684 (36.1%) were to mothers in the 30-34 years age group, representing over a third of all births.

In 1993 there was an important shift in the age structure of fertility.  Prior to 1993, the age-specific fertility rate was highest among women aged 25-29.  (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.

Mothers of non-Irish nationality accounted for 22.1% of births in 2015, the same as in 2014.

In 2015, Thursday 16th July saw the highest number of babies born in one single day (251).  This was followed by Thursday 2nd July with 244 births.  The fewest number of babies born was on St. Stephens day (26th December) with only 97 births. 

Deaths: There were 30,127 deaths in Ireland in 2015, of which 15,228 were male and 14,899 female.  This is equivalent to a rate of 6.4 deaths per 1,000 total population, 0.1 per thousand higher than the 6.3 recorded in 2014.  The crude death rate per 1,000 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, neoplasms and diseases of the respiratory system were responsible for 74.0% of deaths.

Ranked in order, the other eight leading causes of death were mental and behavioural disorders; diseases of the nervous system; external causes of injury and poisoning; diseases of the digestive system; endocrine, nutritional and metabolic diseases; diseases of the genitourinary system; infectious and parasitic diseases; diseases of musculoskeletal system and connective tissue.

The leading causes of death varied widely by age group in 2015.  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.  See Deaths, Chapter 3. 


Infant  Mortality:  During 2015 the number of deaths of infants under one year of age was 225, compared with 224 in 2014.  The corresponding rate increased from 3.3 per 1,000 live births in 2014 to 3.4 infant deaths per 1,000 live births in 2015.  

Stillbirths:  The number of stillbirths occurring during 2015 was 194 compared with 164 in 2014.  The respective corresponding rates for 2015 and 2014 were 3.0 and 2.4 per 1,000 live and stillborn children.  See Infant Mortality, Stillbirths and Maternal Mortality 2015.

Data in this report refers to Stillbirths registered under the Stillbirths registration Act, 1994 and amended by sections 28 and 29 of the Civil Registration Act 2004.

Population:  The estimated usual residence population in April 2015 was 4,687,787:  2,317,718, males and 2,370,069 females.

Usual residence population concept:  For the purpose of this Report the population concept of usual residence has been used, i.e. all persons usually resident and present in the state on census night plus absent persons who are usually resident in Ireland but temporarily away from home and outside the State on census night.  All persons are classified according to their region of usual residence.

Issue of Authority for Registration:  Births and deaths (where no inquest has been held) which have not been registered within one year of their occurrence can be registered only on the authority of the Superintendent Registrars.  The tables in the main body of this report exclude such births and deaths.  The Appendix to the report contains an analysis of late death registrations in 2015 and of some deaths where an inquest has been held.  The number of such deaths registered in 2015 was 573. 

More up to date information on Vital Statistics is available in the Quarterly Report on Births, Deaths and Marriages published about five months after the end of the quarter to which the date relates.  In the Quarterly Report,  births and deaths are classified according to quarter of registration.

Births are classified according to the area of residence of the mother and deaths according to the area of residence of the deceased.  Births and deaths for each year since 1943 exclude late registrations; while deaths for each of the years 1940 to 1967 exclude non-residents.  From 1968 however, the number of deaths includes non-residents.

For more detailed information and breakdowns in relation to births and deaths please go to: Births 2015 and Deaths 2015.


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Show Table: Table 1.1 Estimated population in thousands in each year 1851 - 2015

Show Table: Table 1.2 Estimated population (thousands) by gender and age-group, 2010 to 2015

Show Table: Table 1.3 Population by sex, County and City according to the Census of population, 2011

Show Table: Table 1.4 Births, deaths and natural increase and their rates per 1,000 population, 1864-2015

Show Table: Table 1.5 Births and deaths by gender, 1864-2015

Show Table: Table 1.6 Births and deaths by month and quarter of occurrence 2004-2015

Show Table: Table 1.7 Births by date of occurrence, in each month during 2015

Show Table: Table 1.8 Deaths by date of occurrence, in each month during 2015

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