Birth numbers at 118-year high
More children were born in 2009 than in any year since 1891, a report has revealed.
There were 75,554 births in Ireland: the highest number recorded since 118 years earlier when 76,877 children were born.
Figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show 2009 was the fourth year in a row of annual birth-rate rises.
The number of births rose 0.5% from 2008, up 40.1% (21,630) from 10 years ago.
The CSO Report on Vital Statistics also finds that Ireland had the highest fertility rate of the 27 European Union states in that year: 2.1 children per woman compared with the lowest, Latvia, at 1.31 children per woman.
The CSO said: "The total period fertility rate, or the average number of children per woman, was 2.10 in 2009, the same rate as in 2008. This is the fertility rate that must be maintained to replace the population in the absence of migration."
Elsewhere, the report finds that women waited until they were older to have children: 25,406 babies were born to women aged 30-34 in 2009, the highest number of all age groups.
Before 1993 the majority of births occurred among women aged 25-29.
Over a third of births in 2009 (25,252) occurred among unmarried women.
Meanwhile, the death rate remained the same in 2009 from 2008: 64 deaths per 1,000 of the total population. A total of 28,380 people died: 14,727 males and 13,653 females.