Data from the Economic and Social Research Institute shows that Ireland continues to have the highest birth rate in the European Union after having 74,377 births registered last year. Despite the high number, the figure actually shows a slight decline in birth rate from the previous year.

The Irish Examiner reports that the number of births accounts for 16.2 births per 1,000 people, the highest rate in Europe. The ESRI also found overall perinatal mortality rate in Ireland had fallen 25% in the past ten years.

“The perinatal mortality rate for Ireland ranked 10th lowest out of the 16 EU27 countries for which 2011 data were available,” ESRI said.

2011 brought in 1,319 sets of twins, 28 sets of triplets and one set of quadruplets. Sadly, figures also showed that 153 newborns died within their first week of life. There were less than 300 stillbirths, a 29% drop since 2002.

The Central Statistics Office said the natural increase in population (births minus deaths) from April to June was 10,878.

Irish baby boom continues