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Monday 25 September 2023 Dublin: 14°C
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# Fertile ground
Ireland has the highest fertility rate in the European Union
New figures from Eurostar also show that Ireland has a higher than average rate of people who are at risk of poverty and social exclusion and has experienced one of the highest falls in employment.

IRELAND HAS THE highest fertility rate in the European Union according to new statistics published today.

Figures from the Regional Yearbook published by Eurostat show that Ireland recorded a fertility rate of 2.05 live births per woman in 2011 which was well above the EU average and the highest of the 27 member states.

The total average fertility rate in the EU stood at 1.57 in 2011. Overall there has been a slowdown in natural population growth across the EU due to women having fewer children in the last decade.

In the developed world a fertility rate of 2.10 live births per woman is considered the rate at which the size of the population would remain static if there is no inward or outward migration.

Ireland’s rate was slightly above that France where it was 2.01 live births per woman. This was followed by the UK with a rate of 1.96, and Sweden with a rate of 1.90.

The lowest live births per woman was recorded in Hungary where it was an average of 1.23 per woman.

Poverty and employment

The figures published today also show that nearly 30 per cent of the Irish population are at risk of poverty and social exclusion. The 29.4 per cent figure for Ireland is above the EU average of 24.3 per cent.

Being at risk of poverty and social exclusion means that the person satisfies one of the following criteria: they are at risk-of-poverty, severely materially deprived or living in households with very low work intensity.

Statistics from Eurostat today also show that Ireland has experienced one of the highest falls in employment rates in recent years in the whole of the EU.

Between 2008 and 2011 employment rates fell by 8.2 per cent in the southern and eastern regions while in the borders, midlands and western regions it fell by 9.2 per cent.

Read: Not such a small world after all with population to reach 9.6 billion by 2050

More: Which county has the lowest disposable income per person?

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