Northern Ireland

Births to NI teenage mothers drop to new low

Teenage mother with her baby Image copyright Science Photo Library
Image caption The number of babies born to teenage mothers is now the lowest on record

The number of births to teenage mothers in Northern Ireland has fallen to less than 1,000.

It is the lowest number ever recorded by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA).

The 940 births were all registered in 2013.

The figures show there were 24,300 live births registered last year - 1,000 less than the previous year. More than half of all births were to mothers aged 30 or over (53% or 13,000 births).

A little under 60% of births took place in three of the main hospitals; the Royal Maternity Hospital in Belfast, the Ulster Hospital Dundonald and Craigavon Area Hospital.

Just over 10% of births were to mothers born outside the UK and Ireland (just under 2,500 births) - the highest percentage on record.

Sixteen years ago this percentage stood at just over 2% (550 births out of 24,100).

David Marshall from NISRA said: "The number of births fell last year, with births to younger mothers, especially teenage mothers, falling sharply.

"These demographic changes impact on society and will influence public policy."

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