Birth-related statistics for County Wexford in the Republic of Ireland. All birth statistics were taken from the Central Statistics Office.
Births Per Year
The number of births-per-year in County Wexford has risen from 1,897 in 1985 to 2,085 in 2014:
It is interesting to note that child births in County Wexford continued to rise during the Celtic Tiger; when the Irish economy was rapidly expanding. However, once the economic crisis appeared in 2008, the number of child births in Wexford began to drop.
If you compare the statistics with County Wicklow and County Kilkenny, then you can see that this was a common trend throughout the Irish economic downturn:
This drop in the child birth rate was probably caused by rising unemployment levels and cuts to social welfare and child benefit; as people decided to hold off on having children.
It also seems as though people held-off on having their first child, as the statistics for those giving birth for the first time show a similar trend:
Average Age – Mothers
In 2003, the average age of women giving birth in County Wexford reached 30. From 1985 to 2014, the average age rose from 28.7 to 31.3. This increase is also reflected in the age of first-time mothers (25.4 years of age in 1989 to 28.8 years of age in 2014).
This “advanced maternal age” is common in many developed countries, as a number of educational, social and economic factors have caused women to “put off” having children until they’ve reached a later age.
Births Inside Marriage vs Outside Marriage
It is also interesting to note that people’s perception of having children outside of marriage has been changing:
As you can see, the number of unmarried mothers giving birth in County Wexford has been increasing. In 1985, 149 mothers were recorded as being unmarried. In 2014, 950 mothers were recorded as being unmarried. This change is reflected elsewhere in the country; as births outside of marriage in Ireland increased from 31.1% in 2002 to 35% in 2012.