New CSO figures confirm Ireland’s plummeting birth rate

Press Release from the Iona Institute

New CSO figures confirm Ireland’s plummeting birth rate


Rate of natural population increase is now only half what it was 10 years ago

September 25, 2023  – Figures released today by the CSO show that the number of births over deaths in the year to April 2023 was only 20,000. This is just half what it was in 2013 mainly because the number of babies being born here each year has plunged. Ireland needs to debate what is happening as a matter of growing urgency and see if anything can be done to slow down or even reverse the current trend which is very bad for society long-term.

In the year to April of this year, there were 55,500 births. This compares with almost 69,000 births in 2013. The sharp decrease in the number of births is despite a large overall increase in population, driven mainly by immigration.

The number of deaths has risen from 29,504 in 2013, to 35,500 in the year to April 2023, in line with our rapidly ageing population.

This means the natural increase in the population (births over deaths) has dropped from 40,000 in 2013 to only 20,000 today.

Commenting on the figures, David Quinn of The Iona Institute said: “This is a very big drop in only a short amount of time. If this trend continues, then we will eventually see more deaths than births here in any given year, which is already happening in countries like Germany and Italy.

He continued: “Clearly, we need to have a national discussion about what is taking place rather than sleep-walking into a situation where we have natural decrease each year, something that would be disastrous for the long-term welfare of society. We need to debate why our fertility rate is now well below replacement level and falling, and whether there is anything we can do about this, such as providing more support to families. But at the very least, we need to start a national conversation about what is happening because it is so significant. Instead, we have a near total silence, and that is not healthy. We are ignoring something that is of the first magnitude”.