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Background Notes

There were 57,540 births and 35,477 deaths registered in Ireland in 2022

CSO statistical publication, , 11am

Important Notice: Due to the HSE cyber-attack in May 2021, General Register Offices (GRO) were closed. This meant that the registration of Births/Deaths/Marriages were not possible at that time. As a result, the total Births/Deaths/Marriages registered in Q2, Q3 and Q4 2021 is not comparable with previous and/or subsequent quarters, and therefore, care should be taken when comparing 2022 figures with 2021. See Statistician's Comment below for more.


This report has been prepared by the Central Statistics Office for the Minister for Social Protection in accordance with the provisions of Section 2 of the Vital Statistics and Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act, 1952 and Government Order SI 831 of 2007.


All figures in this report are classified by year of registration. The Yearly Summary publication is a summary of the 4 quarterly publications for the reference year.

Deaths are classified to the World Health Organisation (W.H.O.) International Classification of Diseases, Version 10 (ICD10). 

The Underlying Cause of Death (UCOD) has been defined by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as

(a) the disease or injury which initiated the train of morbid events leading directly to death


(b) the circumstances of the accident or violence which produced the fatal injury.

From 1st January 2018 the CSO is using IRIS software to assign the UCOD.  IRIS is a European developed automated coding software, endorsed by Eurostat and is maintained by the IRIS institute and all W.H.O. updates to the ICD-10 classification are included according to the WHO timelines.

Inquest deaths are coded manually due to the nature of the reporting of these cases.  The difficulty lies in automatically assigning a verdict from a broad range of verdicts open to a Coroner or jury which include accidental death, misadventure, suicide, open verdict, natural causes (if so found at inquest) and in certain circumstances, unlawful killing.

Stated Parity

Refers to the number of previous live births excluding any not stated.

Births Classified by Area of Residence of Mother

From January 2018 onwards where births take place within the State and the area of residence of the mother is outside the State, the area of residence of the mother is recorded as outside the State. Prior to this, births where the mother was residing outside the State were assigned to the location where the birth took place within the State.

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 2020 and of some deaths where an inquest has been held. The number of such deaths registered in 2020 was 444.

NUTS Regional Authority Areas

From the 1st January 2018 an Amendment of the Eurostat Nomenclature of territorial units for statistics (NUTS classification) legislation came into effect. This reflects the new regional assembly structure and the other changes to the Local Government Act for Tipperary North, Tipperary South and Limerick and Waterford City and County Councils. The composition of the new Regions breakdown is outlined below.

Up to December 2017 regional classifications were based on the  classification used by Eurostat. The NUTS3 regions corresponded to eight Regional Authorities established under the Local Government Act, 1991 (Regional Authorities) (Establishment) Order, 1993, which came into operation on 1 January 1994. The NUTS2 regions, which were proposed by Government and agreed by Eurostat in 1999, are groupings of the NUTS3 regions. The composition of the regions is set out below.  

Northern & Western NUTS2 RegionSouthern NUTS2 RegionEastern & Midland NUTS2 Region
Border Cavan
Mid-West Clare
Dublin Dublin City
Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown
South Dublin
South-East Carlow
Mid-East Kildare
West Galway
South-West Cork
Midland Laois

The European Union (EU) Countries

 The United Kingdom withdrew from the EU on the 31 January 2020. From the 1 February 2020 the EU is reduced to 27 Member States.

 As the United Kingdom was part of the EU for one month in 2020 - it is included as part of the EU 28 for quarter 1 2020.  

EU GroupDatesCountries
EU-12 1 November 1993 -
31 December 1994
Belgium (BE), Denmark (DK), France (FR), Germany (DE), Greece (EL), Ireland (IE), Italy (IT), Luxembourg (LU), Netherlands (NL), Portugal (PT), Spain (ES) and United Kingdom (UK)
EU-15 1 January 1995 -
30 April 2004
EU-12 + Austria (AT), Finland (FI) and Sweden (SE)
EU-25 1 May 2004 -
31 December 2006
EU-15 + Cyprus (CY), Czechia (CZ), Estonia (EE), Hungary (HU), Latvia (LV), Lithuania (LT), Malta (MT), Poland (PL), Slovakia (SK) and Slovenia (SI)
EU-27_2007 1 January 2007 -
30 June 2013
EU-25 + Bulgaria (BG) and Romania (RO)
EU-28 from 1 July 2013 EU-27_2007 + Croatia (HR)
EU-27 from 1 February 2020 EU-28 - United Kingdom (UK)

Civil Partnerships

Civil Partnership legislation was introduced in Ireland on the 1st January 2011. From 16th November 2015, when same-sex marriages legislation came into effect, same-sex couples no longer had the option to apply for a Civil Partnership.  However, couples that had given the required 3 months' notice of a Civil Partnership prior to 16th November 2015 were still entitled to have a Civil Partnership ceremony after that date.  

Same-Sex Marriage Legislation

The Marriage Act 2015 (No. 35/2015) effective from the 16th November 2015 (S.I. 504/2015) refers, allows parties of the same sex to marry.

Electronic Release

The Fourth Quarter and Yearly Summary publications from 2014 onwards are available in separate electronic publications on the CSO website . The quarterly publications (from Quarter 1, 2014) and the Yearly Summary publications (from 2014 onwards) are no longer available in hard copy.

For interactive tables, please go to CSO PxStat.

Usual Residence Population Concept

Rates for Q4 2022, were calculated using the relevant population data in April 2022.

For the purpose of this release 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 are temporarily away from home and outside the State on Census night.  All persons are classified according to the region of their usual residence.

Revision of Rates

Rates for Births, Deaths and Marriages were revised in quarter 4 2017 for intercensal years 2012 to 2015, based on revised estimated usual residence population data. Rates for 2016 were also revised based on updated Census of Population usual residence population figures.

Technical Notes:

Live Births

The terms used in relation to live births are defined as follows:

A live birth: is defined as the complete expulsion or extraction from its mother of a product of conception, irrespective of the duration of pregnancy, which, after such separation, breathes or shows any other evidence of life, such as beating of the heart, pulsation of the umbilical cord, or definite movement of voluntary muscles, whether or not the umbilical cord has been cut or the placenta is attached.

Parity: Parity is the number of previous live born children to a woman.

Birth Order: Birth order is the number  of live born children a woman has in the order in which they are born.

Parity and Birth order: A first birth relates to parity 0 or birth order 1 i.e. birth order = parity + 1.

Crude birth rate (CBR): The number of live births divided by the total population at that age (or age-group), multiplied by 1,000.

Age specific fertility rate (ASFR): The number of live births at a certain age (or age-group) divided by the female population at that age (or age-group) multiplied by 1,000.

Total period fertility rate (TPFR): The sum of the ASFRs, divided by 1,000 i.e. the expected number of children a woman will have in her lifetime based on the fertility of that year.

Formula for technical notes

Age specific reproduction rate (ASRR): The number of female live births at a certain age (or age-group) divided by the female population at that age (or age-group), multiplied by 1,000.

Gross reproduction rate (GRR): The sum of the ASRRs divided by 1,000 i.e. the expected number of daughters a woman will have in her lifetime based on the fertility of that year.

Net reproduction rate (NRR): The sum of the products of the ASRR's and the expected number of female years to be lived at that age, divided by 1,000 i.e. the GRR adjusted for female mortality.

The difference between the gross and the net reproduction rates is an indicator of female mortality.

Average age at maternity: The sum of the products of the ages at maternity of live births and their ages divided by the number of live births.

  Formula 2

Average age at maternity of first birth: The sum of the products of the ages at maternity of first live births and their ages divided by the number of first live births.

Childbearing years are regarded as between 15 and 49.

Live birth to mothers less than 15 are included in the age 15 category and are divided by the age 15 population. Similarly, live births to mothers aged greater than 49 are included in the age 49 category and are divided by the age 49 population.

Average of mean ages: Live births where the age at maternity is not stated are excluded from the calculation.


Crude death rate (CDR): The number of deaths divided by the total population at that age (or age-group), multiplied by 1,000.

Standardised death rate : the (age) standardised death rate is a weighted average of age-specific mortality rates. The weighting factor is the age distribution of a standard reference population. The standard reference population used is the European standard population as defined by Eurostat in 2012. The new European Standard Population (ESP) is the unweighted average of the individual populations of EU-28 plus EFTA countries in each 5-years age band (with the exception of under 5 and the highest age group of 95+). The ESP is calculated on the basis of the 2010-based population projections, averaged over the period 2011-30.  

Stillbirths, Infant Mortality and Maternal Mortality

Stillbirth: Stillbirth weighing 500 grams or more or at gestational age of 24 weeks or more, this definition applies to stillbirth figures from 1995 onwards.

Late foetal death: Foetal death at or over 28 weeks gestation, this definition was applied up to 1994 inclusive.

Early neonatal death: Death at ages under 1 week live born infant.

Perinatal deaths: Stillbirths or late foetal deaths plus early neonatal deaths.

Late neonatal deaths: Death between the ages of 1 week and 4 weeks of live born infant.

Neonatal death: Death at ages under 4 weeks of live born infant.

Post neonatal death: Death between the ages of 4 weeks and 1 year of live born infant.

Infant death: Death at ages under 1 year of live born infant.

Maternal death: A maternal death is the death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy, irrespective of the duration and the site of the pregnancy, from any cause related to or aggravated by the pregnancy or its management, but not from accidental or incidental causes.

Stillbirth rate: Stillbirths divided by total live births plus stillbirths, multiplied by 1,000.

Late foetal mortality rate: Late foetal deaths divided by total live births plus late foetal deaths, multiplied by 1,000.

Early neonatal mortality rate: Early neonatal deaths divided by total live births, multiplied by 1,000.

Perinatal mortality rate: Perinatal deaths divided by total live births plus stillbirths, multiplied by 1,000.

Late neonatal mortality rate: Late neonatal deaths divided by total live births, multiplied by 1,000.

Neonatal mortality rate: Neonatal deaths divided by total live births, multiplied by 1,000.

Post neonatal mortality rate: Post neonatal deaths divided by total live births, multiplied by 1,000.

Infant mortality rate: Infant deaths divided by total live births, multiplied by 1,000.

Maternal death rate: Maternal deaths divided by total live and stillbirths multiplied by 100,000.

COVID-19 as a Single Cause of Death

The number of COVID-19 deaths with no pre-existing conditions is different to COVID-19 as a single cause of death. Where COVID-19 is the single cause of death, no other condition is reported on the International Form of Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (see Example 1). However, it is possible for a person to have several conditions listed as causes of death. These may be pre-existing conditions or complications of COVID-19 (see Example 2). In Example 2, COVID-19 is the underlying cause of death¹ as defined by the W.H.O.

Example 1
1(a) COVID-19
(b) --
II --
This is a COVID-19 as a single cause of death. Single cause is where only COVID-19 and no other conditions have been listed on the death certificate.

Example 2
1(a) Pneumonia
(b) COVID-19
II Diabetes
This is a COVID-19 death with a pre-existing condition (Diabetes). This would not be considered a death where COVID-19 was the single cause, as other conditions and complications have been listed with it.

The CSO relies on certifiers to report conditions in the correct causal sequence which affects the selection of the underlying cause of death. WHO ICD-10