Ireland's birth rate the highest in the EU 8 years ago

Ireland's birth rate the highest in the EU

The Republic of Ireland tops the European Union birth rate league table, according to the latest figures from the Economic and Social Research Institute.

Ireland’s birth rate is 17 per 1000, which is higher than any of the 26 other EU states. The figures show that there was a 5 per cent rise in births in 2008 – 75,587 were recorded that year.

They also show that women are having children at a later time in life than used to be the case as the average age of a woman giving birth has risen to 31.1 years, up from 30.1.

26 per cent of these women were aged over 35-years of age, up 5 per cent from 1999. There were 165 births recorded for women over 45 years of age in 2008, while only nine girls under 15 gave birth.

Two-fifths of those who gave birth did so for the first time, while more than a quarter of all women chose to have a caesarean section. 20 per cent of the births were from women born outside of the Republic.