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Irish Birthrate Bottoms Out

July 10, 1987

DUBLIN, Ireland (AP) _ Ireland’s birthrate fell to its lowest level last year since records were first kept in 1941, but remains the highest in the 12-nation European Economic Community, the Department of Health said Friday.

There were 61,425 births, or 17.3 per 1,000 people, in 1986 - a drop of .2 percent from 1985. The department said 90.4 percent of the children were born to married couples.

In 1970 and 1980, the birthrate was 21.8 per 1,000.

Department spokesman Dr. Tim O’Dwyer attributed the decline in the birthrate to emigration of young people.

Ireland, beset by high taxes and 18 percent unemployment, has experienced its biggest wave of emigration since the 1920s. Of its 3.5 million people, 25,000 to 30,000 a year have emigrated.

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