Report on Perinatal Statistics for 1999


Report on Perinatal Statistics for 1999

HIPE & NPRS Unit, The Economic and Social Research Institute [HIPE: Hospital In-Patient Enquiry; NPRS: National Perinatal Reporting System]

This report presents information on pregnancy outcomes, together with descriptive social and biological characteristics of mothers giving birth and babies born in Ireland in 1999. In 1999, 54,307 births were notified to the National Perinatal Reporting System. The birth rate for 1999 is estimated at 14.4 per 1,000 population which represents a decrease of 4.6% since 1990. Over the decade 1990-1999, the Perinatal Mortality Rate has decreased by 18 per cent, the Early Neonatal Death Rate has fallen by 28 per cent, and the Stillbirth Rate has been reduced by 12 per cent.

Delivery by Caesarean Section now accounts for over 20 per cent of all births, which is almost double the estimate of 11 per cent of all births delivered by caesarean section in 1990. Low birthweight babies (weighing less than 2,500g) represented 5 per cent of all births in 1999 compared with 4.2 per cent in 1990. The Twining Rate for 1999 is estimated at 13.0 per 1,000 maternities, as there were 696 twin births and 28 triplet births.

In 1999, single mothers accounted for close to 30 per cent of all women giving birth, more than double the 1990 estimate of 14 per cent. The average age of all mothers has also increased from 29 years in 1990 to just over 30 years in 1999 while average maternal parity has declined from the 1990 level of 1.5 to 1.1 in 1999.

A small increase in the breastfeeding rate is in evidence as just 36 per cent of women breastfed in 1999 compared with 32 per cent in 1990. The number of home births attended by independent domiciliary midwives has increased substantially with 246 reported in 1999 compared with 155 such births in 1990.

A sharp decline is in evidence for post-mortems for early neonatal deaths, which have declined by over one third from 66 per cent in 1990 to just over 44 per cent in 1999.

For further information contact:

Gillian Cullen at (01) 6671525 (office) or 086 804 2171 (mobile) or Professor Miriam Wiley at (01) 667 1525 (office) or (087) 226 7787 (mobile), or email

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