Women in Ireland are among the most fertile in Europe, according to a new report.

The highest fertility rate in the EU in 2010 was in Ireland at 2.07, well above the EU average of 1.59, the report entitled Women and Men in Ireland 2011 published by the the Central Statistics Office (CSO) states.

The findings also show that women in Ireland are likely to be more highly educated than their male counterparts, but work fewer hours and earn less.

More than 50 percent of women aged between 25 and 35 have a college or university qualification compared with less than 40 percent of men.

Findings show that young men are more likely to drop out of school early and girls perform better at second level education. Despite this, women earn lower salaries and are less likely to be represented in politics.

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Irish men suffer higher rates of unemployment but are more likely to be in the workforce than at home looking after the children.

The research revealed that women employees are in the majority in health and education sectors while men make up the majority in the construction, agriculture and transport workforce.

The study also shows that women are more likely to be admitted to hospital with depression, while men are more likely to be admitted with schizophrenia and alcoholic disorders.The majority of murder victims and prisoners in Ireland are male, according to the findings.