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

There were 62,053 registered births in Ireland last year, 1,844 fewer than in 2016.

The annual birth rate stands at 12.9 per 1,000 of population, compared to 16.1 per 1,000 population in 2007.

The average age of first-time mothers last year was 31 years old, up 0.1 years from 2016.

Overall, the average age of mothers for all births registered in 2017 was 32.8 years. This is an increase on 31.1 years of age in 2007.

Over a third of babies (23,340 - 37.6%) were born outside of marriage/civil partnerships, and of these 58.9% were to cohabiting parents.

A total of 1,041 teenagers had babies in 2017. 19 of those teenage mothers were 16 years old or younger.

The Health Service Executive has welcomed a decline in the teenage birth rate, highlighting the fact that it has fallen from 3,087 births in 2001.

The head of the agency's Sexual Health and Crisis Pregnancy Programme said there "has been a significant shift in society in recent years."

Helen Deely said more teenagers are receiving relationships and sexual education than before, and the majority of teens who are sexually active report "always" using contraception.

There were 4,242 births to women aged 40 and over in 2017, with 309 of those aged 45 and older.

More than three-quarters (77.3%) of births were to Irish mothers, while a further 11.5% of births were to women of EU nationality.

There were 174 infant deaths last year - categorised as the death of a live-born infant under the age of one.

This represents an infant mortality rate of 2.8 deaths per 1,000 live births. The rate in 2007 was 3.1 deaths per 1,000 live births.

The neonatal birth rate - the death of infants under four weeks old - was 2.2 deaths per 1,000 live births.

The highest number of births were registered in Dublin city with 7,045, while Leitrim had the lowest number with 408.

The CSO also released figures on deaths and marriages in its annual Vital Statistics Summary.

There were 30,484 deaths registered in 2017, of which 15,497 were male and 14,987 were female. This equates to a death rate of 6.4 per 1,000 population.

The 2017 figure is 8.7% higher than in 2007 when 28,050 deaths were registered.

Four-fifths of all deaths were of people aged 65 and over.

Meanwhile there were 22,021 marriages registered in 2017. 759 of these were same-sex marriages.

Overall the marriage rate in 2017 was 4.6 per 1,000 of population, 0.2 less than in 2016.