The Central Statistic Office have released some interesting facts and figures that give us a very real sense of the contemporary Irish experience, how our baby making habits of changed, how we tie the knot in the 21st century and lots more.
First up, it seems we can't get enough of naming our offspring Jack and Emily, as these are the two most popular names for boys and girls for the last three years in a row. What to take from that? If you want your kid to stand out from the crowd, stay well away. Opt for something like Moses, or Briar Rose (that's what Rachel Bilson's just named her baby girl) or Blue Ivy, like the 'slebs do.
In other baby news, we've learned that we're waiting a lot longer to get pregnant. Now it's more common to have babies in our early thirties, and the number of teenage pregnancies has nosedived (good news, of course) from 2402 in 2008 to 1218 in 2013. Furthermore, the baby boom is taking a dip, with only 68930 births recorded last year as compared with 72225 from the previous year.
Weddings wise, it's unsurprising to learn that Catholic weddings have taken quite the hit over the last few years. Between 2004 and last year, traditional Catholic weddings have dropped from 76% of the marrying population to 62.5. That, we imagine, will continue to fall. Now there's 1 in 3 of us who will make it official with a civil ceremony, compared with 1 in 5 back in 2004. And in just the same way we're holding off on babies, we're also waiting on average 5 years more to tie the knot than they would have done two decades ago. Again, unsurprisingly, the average bride age is now 32.8 while the male age is 34.9, suggesting that women more often than not are coupling up with men who are a couple of years older. Maturity levels and all that.
Will these trends continue? Will we continue on our paths of further education, long travelling stints and more that inevitably put our plans for settling down on hold?