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17th Apr 2015

Ireland and France boast the EU’s highest fertility rates

48% of first time mums were under 30

Katie Mythen-Lynch

Ireland boasts one of the highest fertility rates in the EU, sharing the top spot with France.

According to the Eurostat Being Young in Europe study, both countries recorded rates of 2.0 live births per woman. The lowest fertility rates were recorded in Portugal (1.28 live births per woman), Poland (1.30 live births per woman) and Spain (1.32 live births per woman).

On average in the EU, a little less than half (48 per cent) of babies were born to mothers who were below the age of 30 while the mean age of women at the birth of their first child increased across all EU Member States in the last three decades as more women delay motherhood to study or further their careers.

Interestingly there are more male than female children in the EU, with boys accounting for 51.3 per cent of the population aged 0-14. There are also more young men aged 15 to 29 than there are young women.

Children accounted for more than one in five (22 per cent) of the Irish population, followed by France (18.6 per cent) and the United Kingdom (17.6 per cent).