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NI women 'waiting longer' to have babies

From BBC - November 7, 2017

Women in Northern Ireland are waiting an average of four years longer before having their babies, new statistics suggest.

The average age of first-time mothers has increased from 24 to 28 years since 1986, according to the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA).

A report published on Tuesday suggests that women are also having fewer children.

In all, 24,076 births were registered in Northern Ireland in 2016.

About a fifth of those were to mothers aged 35 and over.

Nearly half of all the births registered - 43% - were outside marriage.

In England and Wales, the percentage of babies born outside marriage or civil partnership in 2016 was slightly higher at 48%. Two-thirds of those had parents who lived together.

In Northern Ireland, a total of 791 teenagers had babies.

There were 82 stillbirths registered in 2016, equivalent to a stillbirth rate of 3.4 per 1,000 births - the third lowest rate on record in Northern Ireland.

The NISRA report suggests that life expectancy is also increasing.

Thirty-six per cent of the 15,430 people who died in 2016 were under the age of 75. In 1986, that figure was 50%.

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