The number of births increased in the State by 16 per cent in the first quarter of 2022, while there were fewer deaths, according to new figures released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) on Wednesday.
There were 16,131 births in the first three months of the year, of which the majority (8,254) were male, and 7,877 female. This represents an annual birth rate of 12.9 per thousand population, a 16.1 per cent increase on the same period in 2021.
The average age of first time mothers was up 0.3 years from the previous year to 31.7.
The average age of all mothers at maternity for births registered in the first quarter was 33.3 years, which is up 0.2 years from that recorded during the same period in 2021.
The highest number of births registered was in Dublin City with 2,041 (12.7 per cent) followed by Cork County with 1,355 (8.4 per cent). Leitrim had the lowest number with 110 (0.7 per cent) registered births in the first quarter of the year.
There were 9,535 deaths registered during the period, of which 4,964 were male and 4,571 were female. This is down 0.3 per cent on the first quarter of 2021.
Cancer and circulatory disease were the biggest causes of death in Ireland, accounting for 55.8 per cent of fatalities.
A total of 641 deaths were recorded as having been due to Covid-19, accounting for 6.7 per cent of the total number.
There was no change in the infant mortality rate of 2.7 deaths per 1,000 live births.
The rate of natural increase (births minus deaths) has risen by 52.3 per cent compared with the same period in 2021.