The latest CSO figures show that 75,174 children were born in Ireland during 2010 - the first annual decrease in five years.

Of the 75,174 children born, 38,395 were boys and 36,779 were girls.

The birth rate in 2010 was 16.5 per 1,000 of the population compared with 16.7 in 2009 and 14.5 in 2000.

Ireland continues to have the highest fertility rate of the 27 EU member states, as the figures reveal that the average number of children per woman was 2.06 in 2010.

According to the CSO, this is just below the fertility rate that must be maintained to replace the population in the absence of migration.

The percentage of births to teenage mothers in 2010 was 2.7% (2,043). This was the lowest recorded percentage since 1966 and since then, the percentage of births to mothers under 20 reached a peak in 1999 at 6.2% (3,314) and has decreased each year since.

Almost 23% of births in 2010 were to mothers of non-Irish nationality.

The number of births outside marriage that occurred in 2010 was 25,372, 33.8% of all births.

The figures also show that there were 27,961 deaths in Ireland in 2010, of which 14,334 were males and 13,627 were females.

This is equivalent to a rate of 6.1 deaths per 1,000 total population compared with 6.3 in 2010.

The figures reveal that diseases of the circulatory system accounted for 34.3% of deaths, neoplasms 29.7%, and diseases of the respiratory system 11.7%.