| 8.8°C Dublin

Birth rate hits highest level since records began in the 1960s

The number of births here hit the highest since records began in 1960, new figures show.

Over 19,900 births were recorded in the first quarter of the year, according to the Central Statistics Office.

There was a 7.6pc increase in the number of births registered in the first three months of the year.

A breakdown shows that 10,221 were boys and 9,728 were girls.

Over 40pc of births were to first time mothers while the average age giving birth was 31.7 or 0.3 year more than the same period last year.

The highest number of births outside marriage was in Limerick city at 52pc while the lower was recorded in Leitrim at 21pc.

The death rate stood at 6.8pc per 1,000 at the end of the first quarter, unchanged from the previous year.

The population was an estimated 4,470,700.