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Dublin: 16 °C Tuesday 26 May, 2020

Ireland's fertility rate is below what's needed to sustain our population

It’s also still falling.

Image: baby via Shutterstock

NEW FIGURES FROM the CSO show that Ireland’s fertility rate is below the rate general considered necessary to sustain population levels.

The Vital Statistics report uses data from 2012, when there was 71,674 children born, up 18% compared to 2002.

However, mothers were generally older – 33.2% were under 30 in 2012, compared to 43.4% in 2002.

While the number of births has increased, Ireland’s fertility rate has fallen by 0.03 to 1.99.

“A value of 2.1 is generally considered to be the level at which the population would replace itself in the long run, ignoring migration,” the CSO said.

At the opposite end of life, the death rate is also up, 6.4 compared to 6.2 in 2011.

Almost a third of all deaths were attributed to diseases relating to the circulatory system, and 30.1% were cancers.

In 2012, 541 people took their own life – and 82.3% were male.

The infant mortality has fallen to 3.3 deaths per every 1,000 births.


  • Console 1800 247 247 – (suicide prevention, self-harm, bereavement)

  • Aware 1890 303 302 (depression anxiety)

  • Pieta House 01 601 0000 or email - (suicide, self-harm, bereavement)

  • Teen-Line Ireland 1800 833 634 (for ages 13 to 19)

  • Childline 1800 66 66 66 (for under 18s)

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About the author:

Nicky Ryan

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