I doubt there's a single person out there who could recall exactly how many of their pub visits have ended up descending into debate with their friends over that age-old question, that oft-trodden conversational path, which county in Ireland happens to be the most fertile? For every person who swears they know someone in Cork that claims to have sired over 17 children, single-handedly dragging up the county average, you'll come across someone that swears their second cousin in Fermanagh has upwards of 25 children, enough to form a small, but potent, militia force.
Thankfully however, the Central Statistics Office are here to scythe through such hearsay and conjecture with sizzling hot stats. They have sought to put an end to this debate once and for all/for the periods covered by the data gleaned from censuses conducted in 2011 and 2016.
They have shown that the most fertile county in Ireland, in the 2016 census, was Longford, with a birth rate of 2.25 per thousand women of fertile age, between 15-44. This is well above the national average of 1.81 - which had dropped from 2.02 in the 2011 census.
The second most fertile counties in Ireland were Cavan and Waterford County which each recorded 2.21 births per thousand women of fertile age in the 2016 census.
Now we come to the part of the article that I know we've all been waiting for, the part where I provide you with a screenshot of a detailed graph, detailing birthing statistics around the country. Brace yourselves, here it is. Here are their statistics in full.
So if you're from Longford, congratulations, as your readiness to birth is helping keep the nation afloat as, given that the national average fertility rate has fallen to 1.81, we are now even further below the replacement rate - ie. the number of births needed for Ireland to maintain its current population size - of 2.1. Longford is one of the few counties which has bucked the trend of falling below this level. Soon, we may be faced with the very real possibility of an island entirely domianted by Longfordians as those of other counties become outnumbered and either die off, or are harvested for their organs to help maintain this new supreme race of Lonfordites. Though, given that I am neither a sociologist nor anyone with any real qualification to speak on this issue, perhaps this will not come to pass.
Read the full report from the CSO here.