New figures and projections from the CSO state that the Irish population could reach pre-famine levels by the 2040s, with projections indicating an increase to 6.7 million by 2046.
Baby boom, longer lives put nation on course for pre-Famine population level - Independent.ie
The recent baby boom means that the number of primary school children could increase by up to 20% by 2021, an increase of 100,000. Ireland's fertility rate currently stands at 2.1 children per woman, the highest in the EU.
The population is also projected to age rapidly in the coming decades, with the number of people over 65 increasing to 1.4 million by 2046, and the number of people over 80 reaching nearly half a million.
However, life expectancy is projected to grow, from 77.9 years to 85.1 years in men and 82.7 years to 88.5 years in women.
Emigration currently exceeds immigration, with net emigration of about 34,500 last years. Optimistic forecasts project a return to net inward migration by 2016, and the gloomiest forecasts projecting continued net emigration until 2021.