Ireland has the EU's highest rate of emigration - and the highest birth rate in the 27-member bloc.
Figures just released by Eurostat show Ireland's population shrank as a result of emigration by more than any other EU member state during 2012.
Only Portugal - which has a population over twice the size of Ireland's - had more people leave the country.
The figures also show that Ireland remains top of the table for the EU's highest birth rate AND the lowest death rate.
Ireland's birth rate of 15.7 per 1,000 inhabitants for 2012 compares with the EU average of 10.4.
The lowest birth rate in the bloc at 8.4 babies per 1,000 inhabitants was recorded in Germany.
The lowest death rate was in Ireland at 6.3 per 1,000 inhabitants. The EU average was 9.9, with the highest in Bulgaria at 15 per 1,000.
Consequently, the highest natural growth of the population (the difference between live births and deaths per 1,000 inhabitants) was also registered in Ireland (+9.5%)