NEW FIGURES FROM the European Union’s 28 member states show that Ireland boasts the greatest birth rates, see the lowest death rates and endures the most significant level of emigration.
As of the 1 January this year and taking in the changes resulting from births, deaths and migration, the country’s official population was 4,591,100.
With a crude birth rate of 15.7 per cent and a death rate of 6.3 per cent, Ireland had the highest natural growth rates (9.5 per cent) across Europe.
Its birth rate was the highest amongst the EU28, while the death rate is the lowest. A total of 72,200 babies were born over the 12 months, while 28,800 deaths were recorded.
Ireland was followed by Cyprus, Luxembourg, France and the UK in terms of natural growth rates.
Meanwhile, Ireland also recorded the highest level of emigration.
The figures from Eurostat show how the nation has gone from having the highest net immigration levels to the highest net emigration levels.
During 2012, 35,000 more people left Ireland than came to live in the 26 counties. That translates to a met migration of -7.6 per 1,000.
The European Union’s 28 countries have a combined population of 505.7 million, marking a growth of 1.1 million people in a year. About 200,000 was a natural increase, while 900,000 was down to migration.