Fertility rate still below replacement level
The fertility rate here continues to remain at a level lower than that required to replace the population over a generation, official figures show.
A report on Vital Statistics 2010 published by the Central Statistics Office notes the average number of children per woman was 2.06 in that year, the same rate as in 2009 and just below replacement level. A value of 2.1 is considered to be the level at which a generation would replace itself, ignoring migration, the CSO said.
Ireland still has the highest fertility rate in the EU. France is next with 2.03 followed by Sweden and the UK with 1.98. Latvia has the lowest, at 1.17.
The fertility rate has fallen by 36 per cent in the past 30 years, from 3.23 in 1980. It dropped below the replacement level in 1989 and again in 1991 and has remained there since, the CSO said.
Some 75,174 babies were born in Ireland in 2010 – 38,395 boys and 36,779 girls.
“While this is the first annual decrease in five years, the number of babies born in 2010 represents the second-highest number of births since 1896,” the CSO report said.
There were 27,961 deaths in 2010, of which 14,334 were males and 13,627 females, a rate of 6.1 per 1,000 of population, compared with 6.3 the previous year and 8.3 in 2000.
There were 495 recorded deaths by suicide in 2010, of which 405 (82 per cent) were men and 90 (18 per cent) women.