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Cancer remains Northern Ireland's biggest killer with 4,500 deaths last year

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They reveal that 2,344 men and 2,133 women died from cancer here last year.  (Rui Vieira/PA)

They reveal that 2,344 men and 2,133 women died from cancer here last year. (Rui Vieira/PA)

They reveal that 2,344 men and 2,133 women died from cancer here last year. (Rui Vieira/PA)

Cancer continues to be the biggest killer of both men and women in Northern Ireland, new figures show.

The disease remains the leading cause of death here, accounting for 28.4% of the 15,758 deaths registered in 2019.

Circulatory diseases - such as heart disease and cerebrovascular disease - were the second most common cause for both sexes in Northern Ireland followed by respiratory diseases and accidents, according to data from research agency NISRA.

The latest statistics are contained in the Registrar General's annual report for 2019 and therefore, do not take into account the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

They reveal that 2,344 men and 2,133 women died from cancer here last year.

There were also 192 registered deaths due to suicide and self-inflicted injury last year, compared to 184 recorded in 2018.

Males accounted for three quarters of all deaths due to self-inflicted injury (149).

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When it comes to births, the NISRA report shows that the number of births to teenage mothers - women or girls aged under 20 - continued to fall to a record low of 631 (2.8%) out of the total 22,447 births registered here in 2019.

This is less than half the number recorded a decade previously (1,334) and two-thirds less than three decades ago (1,888).

The average age of first-time mothers in Northern Ireland has continued to increase over the past 30 years.

The figure is up from 25.2 years in 1989 to 28.9 last year.

The average age of all mothers has similarly risen, from 27.7 years to 30.9 years over the last three decades.

Separately, of the 22,447 births registered (of which 11,666 were males and 10,781 females) 45% occurred outside of marriage/civil partnership, compared to 17% three decades ago.

Last year saw the lowest stillbirth rate (3.0 per 1,000 births) on record in Northern Ireland, with 67 stillbirths registered.

In terms of population change, the estimated population of Northern Ireland rose by 12,000 people from mid-2018 to reach 1.89 million in the year.

This increase can mainly be attributed to the difference between births and deaths.

The NISRA projections indicate that the population of Northern Ireland will continue to grow until 2048 with a potential fall in overall population projected beyond that.

The population is also becoming increasingly elderly, with the number of people aged 65 and over expected to overtake children by mid-2028.


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