Irish birth rate highest in Europe

May 8th, 2006 | by Andrew Ó Baoill |

“Baby Boomers” na hEorpa is how Foinse is describing the fact that Ireland’s birthrate is by far the highest in Europe, at 15.2 births per thousand per annum. Of course, this is a somewhat different measure than the total births per woman (in her lifetime), where I think we recently fell below the replacement rate of 2.2.

So, just how high is the Irish rate, in relative terms? Well, France, at 12.7/’000 is in second place. Germany has the lowest rate in the EU, at 8.5/’000. As Foinse notes, speculation that birthrates are tied to social spending on families seems to be misplaced – or at least there are other factors at play, as Germany (high spending) and the UK (low spending, relatively high birthrate) seem to buck such an analysis.

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