Ireland continues to have highest birth rate in the European Union
- 20 December 2012
- From the section Europe
Ireland continues to have the highest birth rate in the European Union.
More than 74,000 babies were born in the Republic in 2011, a rate of 16 births per 1,000 of population.
The annual perinatal report from the ESRI (Economic and Social Research Institute) shows that a third of newborns were to single mothers.
Almost a quarter of births were to women born outside the country, compared to 16% in 2004.
The report also indicates that 40% of babies were born to first-time mothers, with an average age of 29.
Breastfeeding rates are low. Just 40% of Irish babies are breastfed, compared to more than 75% of babies born to mothers from Europe and Australia.
Almost 29% of women giving birth were aged 35 years or older, and 2% of women giving birth were aged 19 years or less.