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The percentage of children born outside marriage continues to increase, according to new figures from the Central Statistics office.
The figures, contained in the Vital Statistics report for the fourth quarter of 2011, show that there were 5,866 births registered outside marriage, which accounted for 34.3pc of all births, an increase of 0.1pc on the fourth quarter of 2010 and an increase of 1.3pc on fourth quarter of 2006.
Nineteen percent of new births were to unmarried parents living at the same address.
The figures showed that the highest percentage of births outside marriage was in Cork City at 52pc, while the lowest percentage of births outside marriage was in Cork County at 25pc.
Twenty four percent of children in Cork city were born to unmarried parents living at the same address.
Fifty percent of all children born in Limerick were born outside marriage, with 16pc born to unmarried parents living at the same address. In Dublin city, 37pc of all births were outside marriage, with 22pc to unmarried parents living at the same address.
Ten years earlier, in quarter 4 2002, 4,411 births were registered outside marriage or 30.0pc of all births.
The average age of women giving birth outside of marriage was 28.7 years.
This ranged from 30.5 years in Roscommon to 26.7 years in Limerick City.
There were 17,097 births registered in the fourth quarter of last year, 8,726 males and 8,371 females. The corresponding total for fourth quarter of 2010 was 77 higher at 17,174 births, while in the fourth quarter of 2006, the total was 1,717 lower at 15,380 births.
The total for the fourth quarter of 201 is 16.23pc higher than in 2002 when 14,709 babies were registered.
The number of marriages registered during the quarter was 4,264, equivalent to an annual marriage rate of 3.7 per 1,000 population, 0.3 below the corresponding quarter of 2010. The total for the fourth quarter of 2011 is 25pc lower than in quarter 4 2002 when 5,682 marriages were registered.
In terms of nationality, 77pc of births were to women of Irish nationality, with 35pc of these being born outside marriage. Eleven percent of births were to women from EU accession countries, with 36pc of these born to women who were not married. Nearly eight percent (7.8) of all births were to non-EU mothers; 18.7pc of these are outside marriage.