Ireland's population highest in 160 years
(AP) A baby boom in the Republic of Ireland has seen the population soar to a level not seen in some 160 years.
Preliminary figures published by the Central Statistics Office on Thursday show Ireland has a population of 4,581,269 people.
The area which now makes up the Republic of Ireland has not had a population figure that high since 1851, after more than a million people died from starvation and disease in the Great Famine.
Another two million were lost through decades of emigration, a trend finally reversed in Ireland's Celtic Tiger boom years, when it attracted a host of foreigners.
Although growth has slowed since Ireland became an early victim of the Great Recession in 2008 strong birth rates have made up for the number of people leaving Irish shores.