Ireland had the highest birth rate in the EU last year

Ireland had the largest natural rise in population in the European Union in 2016, according to Eurostat figures.

The figures revealed that Ireland had the highest birth rate in the union in 2016 and the joint lowest death rate.

There were 63,900 live births in Ireland in 2016, or 13.5 per 1,000 inhabitants – the highest birth rate in the EU

That figure is 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, joint lowest rate in the EU with Cyprus.

These figures combined to cause a population increase of 7.1 per 1,000 inhabitants.

When migration is also included, Ireland’s population increased by more than 50,000 people last year. This was the fourth highest relative population rise in the EU.

On an overall EU level there was no natural change in population with 5.1 million babies born while 5.1m people died.