THERE were more than 61,000 babies born in Ireland in 2018, a slight decrease compared to 2017.
A total of 61,016 births occurred in the country compared to 62,053 the previous year.
The number represents a birth rate of 12.6 per thousand for 2018.
The figures from Vital Statistics also show that the number of deaths in the country has risen - from 30,484 in 2017 to 31,116 in 2018.
A narrow majority of those who died in 2018 were men, with 15,967 deaths compared with 15,149 who were women.
Overall, taking into account the amount of births and deaths, this represents a natural population increase of 29,900.
Statistics show that mothers this year, on average, were found to be 33-years-old, with first-time mothers slightly younger on the whole, at 31.
The Irish have a historical reputation for bearing large amounts of children, however 38.5% of births in 2018 were to first-time mothers. Second-time mothers accounted for 34.7%. Meanwhile, just 3.2% were from mothers who were on their fifth (or over) child.
62.2% of all births in 2018 were found to be within marriages or civil partnerships.
Limerick has the highest proportion of births outside marriage, at 54.5%, and the lowest was in Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown with 23.8%.
A total of 980 teenagers gave birth in 2018. 22 of those teenagers were under 16. Just under half of births (48.5%) outside marriage were to mothers under the age of 30.
Figures also state that Dublin is the area which has the highest number of births registered with 7,041, followed by Cork with 5,541.
Leitrim had just 399 births, making up just 0.7% of the total number of Irish births in 2018.
77% of babies were born to Irish mothers with just over 10% of babies being born to mothers from the UK or other EU nations.
21,053 marriages were registered in 2018, 664 of which were same-sex marriages.
Based on the statistics shown, Ireland’s current population as of April 2018 is estimated to be 4,857,015.