Ireland will continue to experience one of the strongest population growths in Europe over the next 50 years.

Figures released by the EU Statistics Office today estimate that Ireland's population will have reached 6.7m by 2060.

However according to the Eurostat figures, Baltic states and some eastern European countries will experience a fall in population.

The 'Baby Boomers' of the 1960s will be responsible for the swell in the number of elderly living in the EU over the next five decades.

Currently around 3% of the Irish population is aged over 80 - by 2060 that figure will have more than trebled to 10%.

Ireland, England, Cyprus and Luxembourg will experience the biggest population growths but Bulgaria, Romania and Poland will actually experience a fall in population.

The EU population will increase until 2035, reaching a peak of 521m, but from 2015 annual deaths will outnumber births and EU statisticians say the only way the EU can then grow is through migration.