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Resources Centre / Twins Tips Introduction / Twins Tips / Multiple Birth Statistics UK 2009 (2011)
Multiple Birth Statistics UK  2009 (2011)

These are the recently released statistics on Multiple Births in the UK for 2009 obtained from the Office of National Statistics, General Registry Office Scotland and GRO Northern Ireland ((Released Jan 2011)

Multiple Births Statistics for the United Kingdom

1984

2004

2005

2006

2009

Total Maternities

726,295

709,316

715,556

741,067

789,134

Twins (Sets)

7,255

10,455

10,533

11,165

12,565

Triplets (Sets)

93

163

159

149

162

Quads+(Sets)

5

5

2

7

6

Total M/Births

7,353

10,623

10,694

11,321

12,733

No. Children

14,809

21,419

21,551

11,640

25,640


Twinning Rate

10.1

14.9

14.9

15.3

16.2

Maternities %: Twins 98.68% Triplets 1.27% Quads+ 0.05%

% Birth Population: 3.25%

Source: Office of National Statistics, General Registry Office Scotland and GRO Northern Ireland

(Latest Data Issued Nov 2010)

Twinning Rate

The no. of multiple births per 1000 maternities is known as the twinning rate and generally includes all multiple births (twins, triplets, quads and higher). In the UK, the twinning rate has risen from 9.6 per 1000 births (1980) to 16.1 (2009) increasing on average 4% per year. In the 24 years from 1980-2004, multiple births have increased by 56% and in the last 5 years by 20%. Since the introduction of new rules on embryo transfer, triplets have declined.

Chances of Multiple Pregnancy

In 2009, 1 in every 62 maternities was a multiple pregnancy, or put another way, 1 in every 30 children born is a twin, triplet or quadruplet. The health risks for both mother and babies are significantly higher in multiple pregnancies and births, with premature labour and low-birth weight being the key concerns. Full term for twins is 37 weeks, triplets 34 weeks and quads 32 weeks but around 50% of twins and 90% of triplets+ will be born early.

Why the Increase?

Growing birth rate - more births equals more multiple births

Maternal age - 'older' women (30+) as multiple births increase with age

Assisted reproduction - accessibility of IVF, ICSI, fertility drugs etc

Medical advances - more babies now survive even very premature ones

Environment the environment, and the food we eat, may have some influence



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