Half of all births in city are outside marriage

LAST year over half of all births in Londonderry (54.2 per cent) and Belfast (57 per cent) occurred outside marriage - the highest rates in Northern Ireland.

According to the provisional 2010 birth statistics newly-released by the Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) the rate of births outside marriage increased from 52 per cent to 54.2 per cent between 2009 and 2010.

The birth rate dipped slightly in Londonderry over the past year with 119 fewer babies born here in 2010 than the year before.

There was a decrease in the number of babies born here from 1,677 in 2009 to 1,558 in 2010. More boys were born (782) than girls (776).

The birth rate in the Londonderry district consequently dipped from 15.3 per cent to 14.1 per cent.

Eighty-nine children born in Londonderry last year (5.7 per cent of all births here) where born to mothers who were born outside the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Across the Western Trust 4,184 babies were born - 2,079 boys and 2,105 girls. The majority where born in Londonderry (1,558). In Strabane there were 556 births and in Limavady there were 452 babies born.

The birth rate across the Western Health and Social Care Trust (WHSCT) was 13.9 babies for every 1,000 people. It was slightly higher in Londonderry with 14.1 per 1,000; and lower in Strabane (13.8) and Limavady (13).

Two hundred and eighty two births (6.7 per cent of all live births) in the Western Trust were born to mothers originally from outside the United Kingdom and Ireland.

In total 25,300 live births were registered in Northern Ireland in 2010, a small increase (2 per cent) on the number of births registered in 2009, in contrast to the decrease in Londonderry.