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Resources Centre / Twins Tips Introduction / Twins Tips / Multiple Birth Statistics in UK (1984-2004) - Twins.Triplets & Quads
Multiple Birth Statistics in UK (1984-2004) - Twins.Triplets & Quads
The twinning rate has seen a 50% increase in the last 20 years. The main reasons cited for this rise are increase in maternal age. wider use of IVF and assisted conception and advancement of medical technology.

Latest statistics on twins. triplets and quads born in the UK in 2004 are shown below with the multiple births statistics for this year and comparisons to 1984 for all countries in the UK.

Total UK Multiple Birth Statistics 2004
  • Multiple Birth twinning rate for 2004 was 14.87 per 1000 maternities
  • The twinning rate varies by age from 6.3 in under 20 year old mothers. 21.7 in ages 35-39 to 56.7 in mothers aged over 45.
  • Total maternities were 709.239 of which 10.548 were multiple births
  • There were 10.381 sets of twins. 162 sets of triplets and 5 sets of quads
  • This means that 1 in 67 pregnancies resulted in a multiple birth and that 1 in 34 children born is a multiple (twin. triplet or quad).
England & Wales
2004 Statistics (latest available from Office National Statistics)
  • Multiple Births: the twinning rate for 2004 was 14.9 per 1000 maternities (that is 1.49% of the total maternities for the year) which has remained between 14.7 - 15.0 per 1000 over the last 5 years.
  • Total maternities were 633.651of which 9446 were multiple births.
  • There were 9294 sets of twins. 147 sets of triplets and 5 sets of quads.
  • This means 1 in every 42 pregnancies resulted in a multiple birth.
1984 Statistics
  • Multiple Births: the twinning rate for 1984 was 10.1 per 1000 maternities
  • Total maternities were 633.965 of which 6406 were multiple births.
  • There were 6321 sets of twins. 80 sets of triplets and 5 sets of quads.
  • 1 in 63 births resulted in a multiple birth.

Scotland (General Registry Office)
2004 Statistics
  • Multiple births: the twinning rate for 2004 was 14.3 per 1.000 maternities (15.6 in 2003). reversing the upward trend seen over the previous 5 years.
  • Total maternities were 53.501 of which 765 resulted in a multiple birth.
  • There were 757 sets of twins and 8 sets of triplets. no higher order births.
  • 1 in 67 pregnancies resulted in a multiple birth.
1984 Statistics
  • Multiple Births: the twinning rate for 1984 was 10.4 per 1000.
  • Total maternities 64.903 of which 675 were multiple births.
  • There were 665 sets of twins and 10 sets of triplets born.
  • 1 in 624 births resulted in a multiple birth.

Northern Ireland (General Registry Office)
2004 Statistics
  • Northern Ireland currently has the highest multiple birth rate in the UK at 15.1 per 1000 in 2004.
  • Total maternities 22087 of which 337 resulted in multiple births.
  • There were 330 sets of twins and 7 sets of triplets.
  • 1 in 65 pregnancies resulted in a multiple birth.
1985 Statistics
  • In 1985 the twinning rate was 9.92 per 1000 maternities.
  • Total maternities were 27.427 of which 272 were multiple births.
  • There were 269 sets of twins and 3 sets of triplets.
  • 1 in 276 births resulted in a multiple birth.


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