Ireland sees highest birth rate in the EU

We also had one of the lowest death rates in the bloc

Ireland sees highest birth rate in the EU

Large crowds of spectators in at the RDS in Dublin | Image:

New figures show Ireland had the highest birth rate in the European Union last year - and the joint lowest death rate.

There were 63,900 live births in Ireland in 2016 - or 13.5 per 1,000 inhabitants.

 This is the highest birth rate in the EU and well above the average of 10 births per 1,000 inhabitants.

 At the same time, there were 30,400 deaths - or 6.4 per 1,000 inhabitants.

 This is the joint lowest rate in the EU with Cyprus.

Source: Eurostat

 This saw a natural population change of +7.1 per 1,000 inhabitants, the largest natural rise in the EU.

 Cyprus (+4.7‰) saw the second largest natural growth in its population in 2016 - followed by Luxembourg (+3.6‰), France (+3.0‰), Sweden and the United Kingdom (both +2.7‰) and Malta (+2.6‰).

 On an EU level, there was no natural change in the population in 2016. Some 5.1 million babies were born and 5.1 million people died.

Source: Eurostat

 In 13 EU member states, deaths outnumbered births with the largest gaps between births and deaths seen in Bulgaria (-6.0‰), Lithuania (-3.7‰), Romania (-3.5‰), Croatia and Latvia (both -3.4‰) and Hungary (-3.2‰).

 When it comes to total population rise (i.e. natural change plus migration), Ireland had the fourth highest n the EU (+10.6 per 1,000 residents).

 This meant Ireland had a total population rise of just over 50,000 in 2016, bringing it to 4,774,800 on January 1st 2017.

 The figures were published by Eurostat to mark World Population Day on July 7th.