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Multiple Birth Statistics 2010 (Rel 2012)

These are the recently released birth statistics on Multiple Births in the UK for 2010 obtained from the Office of National Statistics, General Registry Office Scotland and GRO Northern Ireland (Released Mar 2012)

Multiple Births Statistics for the United Kingdom

1984

2004

2005

2009

2010

Total Maternities

726,295

709,316

715,556

789,134

806,985

Twins (Sets)

7,255

10,455

10,533

12,565

12,354

Triplets (Sets)

93

163

159

162

186

Quads+(Sets)

5

5

2

6

6

Total M/Births

7,353

10,623

10,694

12,733

12,546

No. Children

14,809

21,419

21,551

25,640

25,674

Twinning Rate

10.1

14.9

14.9

16.2

15.5

Maternities %: Twins 98.47% Triplets+ 1.53% Birth Population: 3.13%

Source: Office of National Statistics, General Registry Office Scotland and GRO Northern Ireland (data for 2010 births in the UK)

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 although in 2010 there was an unusual increase of 13% on the previous year.

England and Wales

In England and Wales, there were 723,165 live births compared to 706,248 in 2009. Women aged 45 and over had by far the highest multiple maternity rate in 2010 (93.6 per thousand maternities) and also the largest percentage increase in this rate over the previous decade (141 per cent increase). In 2000 the multiple maternity rate for women aged 45 and over was 38.8 per thousand maternities.

Chances of Having Twins, Triplets or More? (Multiple Pregnancy )

In 2010, 1 in every 64 maternities was a multiple pregnancy, or put another way, 1 in every 32 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

For more information, advice and tips on Twins and Multiple BIrths, visit our Twins Tips Resource Centre.



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