London – The Office for National Statistics (ONS) on Monday said
700,000 babies were born in England and Wales in 2016, with slightly more boys than girls making their arrivals.
ONS said there were 696,271 live births in 2016, of which, 49 per cent were girls and 51 per cent were boys.
The figures also show that 2.1 percent of expectant moms gave birth in their homes in 2016, slightly less than in the previous three years, and far lower than in 1962 when more than a third of babies were home-births.
Almost 11,000 mothers had multiple births during the year, virtually all of them the births of births.
But the total included 160 mothers giving birth to triplets and five delivering four babies.
ONS said women aged 45 and over were most likely to have a multiple birth; 87.2 out of every 1,000 women giving birth in this age group had a multiple birth.
Around 49,000 babies, or seven per cent of all live births, were low birth weight or under 2.5 kilograms, a number unchanged since 2011.
By comparison, 10.7 percent of babies were registered as high-weight, tipping the scales at 4.5 kilograms or more
Nicola Haines, Vital Statistics statistician at ONS said: “The proportion of women having multiple births in 2016 decreased slightly compared with 2015.
This decrease was driven by women aged 30 and over, particularly those aged 45 and over where the proportion of women having multiple births decreased by 15 per cent.
“Since 1993, women aged 45 and over have consistently had the highest proportion of multiple births, partly due to higher levels of assisted fertility treatments at these ages.”
Meanwhile ONS also reported on Monday that Britain has dropped to 19th place out of 28 in a chart showing the percentage of neo-natal deaths across the 28 EU countries.
The figure shows that the rate in Britain in the newly released figures for 2015 was 2.7 per 1,000 births.
In 1990 Britain had the seventh lowest level, but it was still higher than the latest figure, at 4.5 neo-natal deaths in every 1,000 births.
The Europe-wide figures show Luxembourg has the lowest rate, at just 0.9 per 1,000 births.
Romania, with a level of 6.3 neo-natal deaths for each 1,000 live birth, was at the bottom of the chart.
A spokeswoman for ONS said: Out of all 28 EU countries, the UK made less progress in these 25 years than all of them, apart from Germany and France.
ONS said that in world rankings is one of 110 countries that have met the global target of fewer than 12 baby deaths per 1,000 live births for neonatal mortality.
By comparison San Marino has the lowest neonatal mortality rate (0.7) in the world, while Angola has the highest rate of 48.7 for each 1,000 live births. (Xinhua/NAN)