FORTY-ONE per cent of babies born in Louth in the third quarter of 2010 were to unmarried mothers, according to a new report.
Figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) reveal that 531 babies were born in Louth between July and September last year - 286 boys and 245 girls.
The birth rate in Louth during that period was 18.1, slightly higher than the national birth rate of 17.2. Out of the 531 babies, 220 births (41%) were registered outside of marriage, higher than the national average of around a third of births.
However, Limerick topped the table with 58% of births to unmarried women, while Dun Laoghaire and Galway City registered the lowest at a quarter
Just over half of the Louth babies (113) who were born outside of marriage had parents who shared the same address.
The average age of unmarried first-time mothers was 25, while the overall average age of unmarried women giving birth during that period was 27.2.
Eighty-nine of the 220 babies born outside of marriage had mothers aged under 25, while just four of the babies had mothers aged 40 and over.
Overall, 29 children were born to women under the age of 20, and 77 were born to women aged between 20 and 24.
Women aged 40 and over gave birth to 13 babies. The average age of a first-time mother was 27.4, lower than the national average of 29.4.
The average age of Louth women giving birth in that quarter was 30.1, again lower than the national average of 31.4.
The death rate in Louth in the third quarter of 2010 was 6.1, higher than the national rate of 5.8. Of the 178 registered deaths, 92 were male and 86 were female.
Sixty-two deaths were attributed to cancers, 55 to diseases of the heart and arteries, ten to lung diseases, 14 to external causes and 37 were caused by accidents, suicides and other non-health related factors.
The rate of infant mortality in Louth was also higher than the State at 5.6 compared to 3.7 respectively. Three infants died and there was one child who died under the age of four weeks.
The months of July to September were, not surprisingly, the most popular for weddings.