The number of births in Ireland is continuing to fall, while the average age of mothers is rising.

Speaking as the Central Statistics Office released the Vital Statistics Annual Report 2015 this morning, CSO statistician Carol Anne Hennessy said: "The number of births has fallen by 12.8% since 2010 and 2.6% since 2014.

"There were 65,536 live births in Ireland in 2015, with 33,480 males and 32,056 females.

"However, the 2015 total is 6.8% higher than ten years previously, when there were 61,372 live births."

The average age of mothers for births that occurred in 2015 was 32.5 years.

Mothers under 30 accounted for 29.3% of births in 2015, down from the 38.9% recorded in 2005.

Over a third (36.5%) of all births were outside of marriage/civil partnership in 2015.

The comparable figure 30 years earlier was 8.5%.

There were 1,199 births to mothers under 20 years in 2015, down from 2,406 in 2005, a decrease of 50.2%.

The number of maternities which resulted in multiple live births in 2015 was 1,228, consisting of 1,196 sets of twins, 31 sets of triplets and one set of quadruplets.

Over the past 25 years, the twinning rate has increased significantly - from a low of 11.7 in 1991, to a high of 18.7 in 2013 and down slightly to 18.6 in 2015.

There were 30,127 deaths in Ireland in 2015, an increase of 875 on the 2014 figure.

There were 8,877 or 29.5% of deaths attributed to malignant neoplasms, 9,371 or 31.1% of deaths were attributed to diseases of the circulatory system, while deaths from diseases of the respiratory system in 2015 numbered 3,865 or 12.8% of all deaths.