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Irish mums have more kids than EU counterparts

A new demographic report from the EU’s statistics body shows that Ireland’s mums have more children than anyone else.

Image: davhor via Flickr

IRISH MOTHER bear more children than those of any other country in the European Union, according to new statistics published by the EU today.

Eurostat’s 2010 Demography Report showed that Ireland’s mothers bear more children than those in the 26 other EU member states, with the average Irish mother now having 2.07 children.

Only France, where the average woman has exactly 2.00 children, had a fertility rate of greater than 2 – though the survey, which also surveyed eight European countries not in the EU, found that women in Iceland and Turkey did have more children than Irish ones.

The Irish fertility rate has increased since 2000, when it bottomed out at 1.89, though the rate was previously much higher at 3.21 back in 1980, when contraception became legalised for use by married couples.

Despite the relatively high rate of fertility, Irish mothers also have their children later in life than their EU counterparts: the average maternal age at childbirth is 31.2 in Ireland, compared to 26.6 in Bulgaria and 26.9 in Romania.

The stats also reveal that Ireland has seen the largest increase in life expectancy of any EU member state since 1993.

Among the survey’s other findings were that Ireland was one of just five countries where the number of female immigrants was higher than male, and that it was one of just six countries were the majority of its non-national population were EU citizens.

Perhaps as a result of the high level of intra-EU immigration to Ireland, the State ranked third-lowest in terms of the number of citizenships granted to non-nationals.

Just 6.3 of every 1,000 resident non-nationals were ultimately awarded Irish citizenship, compared to 54.2 in Sweden and just 3 in the Czech Republic.

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Gavan Reilly

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