Figures from the Central Statistics Office show a slowdown in the birth rate in Ireland.

The CSO's Vital Statistics report found there were 18,792 births registered in the third quarter of 2008, an increase of just over 1% compared with the same quarter of 2007.

The CSO says this is lower than the rate of increase in recent quarters.

In the second quarter of 2008 the annual increase was 11%.

Births in the third quarter of 2008 represented what the CSO called a 'relatively high' annual birth rate of 17 per 1,000 of the population.

Galway city and Cork city recorded the lowest birth rate of 13.1 per 1,000, while the highest birth rate was recorded in Co Meath at 22.2 per 1,000.