Updated: 26/06/12 : 07:55:58Printable Version
ESRI figures out today show that almost 28% of women who gave birth in Ireland in 2010 were aged 35 or older, compared to just 22% of women in this age group who gave birth in 2001.
The perinatal statistics published by the research institute show that just under a third of births were to single mothers in 2010, up from 30% 10 years earlier.
Ireland has the highest birth rate in the EU, and also the highest fertility rate, with an average of 2.09 children per woman.
Fewer than half of babies discharged from Irish hospitals were being breastfed in 2010, one of the lowest rates in Europe.
ESRI spokesperson Sheila Bonham said the average age for a woman to have her first child in Ireland is 29.4 years, 27.6 years in 2001.