Births and marriages down in 2023, CSO figures show

Women are waiting longer to have their first child, according to new figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

The average age of first-time mothers was 31.6 years in 2023. This is an increase of 3.4 years when compared with 2003, when the average age was 28.2 years old.

According to the CSO, there has been a decrease in the number of registered births, from 68,930 in 2013 to 54,678 in 2023. This represents an annual birth rate of 10.4 per 1,000 of population.

The fertility rate was also found to have declined from 2.0 in 2013 to 1.5 in 2023. A value of 2.1 is usually considered to be the level that the population would replace itself in the long run, ignoring migration.

The CSO figures also included marriages in 2023, of which there were 21,159, a decrease compared with the 23,173 registered in 2022.