NEW figures show that Limerick city continues to have the highest rate of births outside of marriage.
According to the latest Vital Statistics figures, 122 (58%) of the 209 births recorded in the city during April, May and June were born to mothers who were not married at the time.
Although the total number of births in the city fell slightly during the three month period, the percentage of babies born to parents who were not married or in a civil partnership increased compared to the first quarter of the year.
According to the CSO figures, of the 122 single mothers from the city who gave birth during April, May and June, 50 (42%) said they were living at the same address as the father.
Of the babies registered by women living in County Limerick, 139 (29%) of the 478 were born to unmarried mothers.
This figure is lower than the both the national average and the average rate for Munster (34%) and represents a slight decrease compared to the previous quarter.
According to the Central Statistics Office, mothers from the city who gave birth during the first quarter of this year were also amongst the youngest in the country.
The average age of mothers in the city was 29.2 compared to 32.5 in the county.
The figures show that nine woman from the city and four from the county were aged under 20 when they gave birth between April and June.
In the city, the highest number of births (62) was recorded amongst women aged between 30 and 34.
For women living in county Limerick, the highest number of births (188) was within the same age group.
According to the figures, there were a total of 34 babies born to women from Limerick who were aged over 40 at the time they gave birth.
The latest Vital Statistics figures show that Limerick county has one of the lowest birth rate in the country at 14.3 births per 1,000 population.
The birth rate in County Limerick is 14.8 and the national rate is 15.7.
The latest CSO figures, show that 147 men and 177 women died in Limerick during the three-month period.
This is a significant reduction on the 375 people who died between January and March.