IRELAND boasts the EU's top birth rate and second-lowest death rate, new figures show.
There were 14.4 babies born per 1,000 residents in the country last year, surpassing Britain’s 12.0 and the EU average of 10.1, according to Eurostat.
In contrast, Ireland also recorded one of Europe's lowest death rates at 6.4 per 1,000 residents. The EU death rate was 9.7 per 1,000 residents.
Bulgaria had the highest death rate with 15.1 per 1,000 residents.
The newly released figures show Ireland's population as 4.6 million.
As a result of the difference between the nation's live birth and death rates, at 8.1 per thousand, it means Ireland has the highest increase in population in Europe in 2014.
As a whole, the total population of the EU grew from 506.9 million, recorded on 1 January 2014, to 508.2, recorded a year later.
Germany continues to be Europe’s most highly populated region, with some 81.2 million residents accounting for 16 per cent of the total.
France ranks second, accounting for 13 per cent of the total population of Europe with 66.4 million residents.
Britain, which boasts a population of 64.8 million people, takes up 12.9 per cent of the EU.
During 2014, 5.1 million babies were born in the continent, an increase of 33,000 on the previous year.
With the number of deaths across Europe decreasing by 46,000 to 4.9 million, it now appears as though Europeans are living longer.