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Irish Births down 6.4% in 2020 –  huge drop of 25% in over ten years

The enormous cumulative drop in the Irish birth rate was revealed in figures from the Central Statistics Office today, which will add to concerns about a shrinking and ageing population leading to a fall off in economic growth and an inability to meet future pension and healthcare needs. 

The number of babies born in Ireland fell by a further 6.4% in 2020 – but this factoid from the CSO underlines the scale of the fall in the past decade.

“The number of births registered continues to fall, down over a quarter in the 10 years since 2010,”  it says – a fall of 25% in just a decade.


There were 55,959 births in 2020, 3,837 fewer births compared with 2019. The CSO notes that Ireland’s fertility rate is “below replacement level” at just 1.6 per woman, far below the rate of 2.1 required.

The CSO’s graphic representation shows the steep decline in both births and the natural increase in population over the past 10 years.

Almost 77% of babies were born to mothers of Irish nationality compared, with 23% being born to other nationalities, according to the CSO.

The average age of first time mothers in 2020 was 31.4 years, the statistics revealed., and 38.4% of births were outside of marriage.

The highest percentage of births outside marriage/civil partnership was in Limerick City at 50.7% and the lowest was in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown with 25.7%, the CSO said.

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