New figures from the Central Statistics Office show that there were 17,563 births registered in the first quarter of 2013, a decrease of 9% in the number of births registered in the corresponding quarter of 2012.
Births in the first quarter of 2013 represented an annual birth rate of 15.3 per 1,000 population.
Fingal recorded the highest birth rate of 19.6 per 1,000 population, while Donegal recorded the lowest birth rate of 11.4 per 1,000 population.
The CSO said that there were 8,347 deaths registered in the first quarter of 2013, an increase of 4.6% in the number of deaths registered in the first quarter of 2012.
It said that the natural increase in the population (births minus deaths) for quarter 1 2013 was 9,216.
This represents a rate of 8.0 per 1,000 population, 1.9 below the first quarter of 2012 and 0.2 above the first quarter of 2004.
The figures also showed there were 3,642 marriages registered in the first thee months of the year, which was 815 more than the corresponding quarter of 2012.