Northern Ireland news

Women giving birth in Northern Ireland aged over 45 almost doubles in past decade

New figures reveal the number of women giving birth aged over 45 continues to rise

THE number of women giving birth in Northern Ireland over the age of 45 has almost doubled in the past decade, according to new figures.

In a growing trend of women having children at an older age, figures show there were 50 babies born to women over 45 in 2017, compared with 28 in 2007.

The figures published yesterday by the Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) reveal that over the past 10 years, there has been an increasing number of over 45s giving birth, with a spike of 61 in 2015.

Actress Brigitte Nielsen who recently announced she had a baby aged 54, is one of a growing number of women having children at an older age.

The average age of first-time mums also continues to increase - rising from 25 years in 1987 to 28.7 years in 2017, while the average age of all mothers has risen from 27.6 to 30.8 years over the last three decades.

Other statistics in the report show men and women are also waiting longer to tie the knot compared to 30 years ago.

The average ages of first-time brides and grooms are 30 and 32 years respectively, up from 24 years for brides and 26 years for grooms in 1987.

The report also reveals the number of teenage mothers giving birth last year hit a record low.

Just 692 of the 23,075 births in 2017 were to mothers aged under 20 - less than half the number recorded a decade ago and 65 per cent fewer than three decades ago when there were 2,008 births to teenage mums.

Figures also show 43 per cent of births occurred outside of marriage, compared to 14 per cent three decades ago.

There were 102 stillbirths registered last year, equivalent to a rate of 4.4 per 1,000.

There were also 91 adoptions registered in 2017.

A total of 8,300 marriages and 92 civil partnerships were registered in 2017, equivalent to roughly one every hour, but there were 2,089 divorces and 13 civil partnership dissolutions granted.

The NISRA report also highlights that life expectancy has been increasing for both men and women, with 35 per cent of the 16,036 people who died in 2017 aged under 75, compared with 50 per cent in 1987.

Cancer continued to be the leading cause of death in 2017, accounting for 28 per cent.

The estimated population of Northern Ireland rose by 8,700 people to reach 1.871 million in the year ending June 30 2017.

Projections indicates the population of will reach two million people by mid-2040, with the number of people aged 65 and over estimated to overtake children by mid-2028.

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