A study on birth rates in Ireland in 2009 has revealed that Irish women are the most fertile in Europe next to France.
The findings revealed by the Central Statistics Office and published in the Irish Times stated that Irish women had more babies than any other EU country in 2009 with the average number of children per woman standing at 2.1.
Women between the ages of 30 and 34 accounted for the age group that had the highest number of babies born which contributed to the number of children born in Ireland reaching a 118 year high.
In 2009 some 75,554 babies were born the closest figure yet to come close to the 76,877 born in the country in 1891.
The study also revealed that women in the Republic are having babies older with just 38.8 per cent of children born three years ago belonging to the 25-29 year-old age group compared to 60.4 per cent thirty years ago.
In Northern Ireland, the number of babies born to those between the ages of 25-29 was just over half.