Birth rate highest for 110 years
The number of births registered in the State last year was the highest since the end of the 19th century, according to the latest data from the Central Statistics Office.
The figures, published today, show there were 75,065 births registered in 2008, the highest number since 1896 when there were 75,332 births registered in the 26 counties.
Some 42 per cent of the births in 2008 were to first time mothers and just over 33 per cent were outside marriage.
The figures show there were 28,192 deaths registered in 2008, a slight decrease in the rate from 6.5 per 1,000 population in 2007 to 6.4 per 1,000 population in 2008.
The natural increase (births minus deaths) in 2008 was 46,873, an increase of 10 per cent on the 2007 figure.
More than three quarters of all deaths were from either diseases of the circulatory system, cancer, or diseases of the respiratory system.
Some 8,203 deaths were due to cancer, an increase of 4.6 per cent on the same figure last year. But the figures show there was a slight decrease in the number of deaths due to circulatory and respiratory disease in the year.