Form of Government: Republic
Area: 70 273 sq km
Population: 4 921 500 inhab. (estimate 2019)
Density: 70.03 inhab./sq km
Coordinates: lat. 55° - 51° N; long. 11° - 6° W
Capital: Dublin/Baile Átha Cliath (capital) 554 554 inhab. (2016); Dublin/Baile Átha Cliath 1 173 179 inhab. (2016), urban agglomeration
Currency: euro (100 cents)
Human development index: 0.942 (rank: 3)
President: Michael Daniel Higgins (LP), elected 29 October 2011, reconfirmed 27 October 2018
Prime Minister: Micheál Martin (FF), since 27 June 2020
House of Representatives (Dáil Éireann): seats based on the elections of 8 February 2020: SF (Sinn Féin: “Ourselves Alone”, republican, nationalist), 37; FF (Fianna Fáil: “Soldiers of Destiny”, populist, nationalist), 37; FG (Fine Gael: “Tribe of the Gaels”, christian democratic, nationalist), 35; Green Party (ecologist), 12; LP (Labour Party), 6; others, 33
Internet: www.cso.ie (Central Statistics Office Ireland)
Member of Council of Europe, EBRD, EU, OAS observer, OECD, OSCE, UN, WTO

Ireland

Éire, Ireland, Poblacht na hÉireann, Republic of Ireland
Useful information

International license plate code IRL
International dialling code 00353
Travel vaccinations requirement none
Electricity (Voltage) 230
Driving side left
Internet code .ie

GMT  0
DST  +1
DST duration (start-end) late March-late October

Annual average temperature (°C) Dublin 9.5
Average temperature in January/July (°C) Dublin 4.5/15.5
Daily sunshine hours in June/December (average) Dublin 6/2
Annual average precipitation (mm) Dublin 775
Days of rainfall (annual average) Dublin 139

Politics and current affairs

The general elections held on 8 February 2020 ratified the consensus for Sinn Féin (SF) with 24.5% of the popular vote. Fianna Fáil - The Republican Party (FF, 22.2%) gained the same number of seats (37), while Fine Gael (FG) only won 20.9% and 35 seats. After months of talks, FF, FG and the Greens formed a coalition government, excluding SF: Micheál Martin became prime minister on 27 June.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all non-essential businesses were closed to limit infections on 27 March. The border issue with Northern Ireland after Brexit was regulated with an agreement signed on 17 October 2019 aimed at avoiding new border controls.

Geography.
Ireland is bordered to the north-east by the United Kingdom (Northern Ireland). To the east lies the Irish Sea, and to the north, south and west the Atlantic Ocean. The low central plains, containing large tracts of water, are often broken up by rounded hills; along the coastline there are isolated hilly areas such as the Kerry Mountains (Carrantuohill, 1038 m) to the south-west, the Wicklow Mountains (Lugnaquillia, 924 m) to the east, and the mountains of Donegal to the north. The main river is the River Shannon, linked to the Irish Sea by a series of canals. There are numerous lakes. The climate is oceanic with abundant rainfall, fog and little sunshine.

Government


Subjected to English rule, Eire became a “free state” (although still a Dominion of the British Crown) in 1922, following a rebellion led by the IRA (Irish Republican Army), the armed wing of the nationalist movement, Sinn Féin. The six northern counties were, however, left out of the agreement, remaining with the United Kingdom under the name of Northern Ireland, where a resistance movement to British rule developed. In 1949, a Republic was proclaimed and Eire left the Commonwealth.
From 1993 onwards, Anglo-Irish talks to find a solution to the civil war in Ulster made substantial progress, leading to the 10 April 1998 agreement made in Belfast by British and Irish representatives and by exponents of the Ulster republicans and unionists. As a result of this, on 2 December 1999 Ireland gave up its territorial claims on Ulster.
On the basis of the Constitution of 29 December 1937, the President of the Republic is elected by direct suffrage for seven years. Executive power belongs to the Government, presided by the Prime Minister who is responsible before Parliament. The latter is made up of the House of Representatives (the Dáil Éireann, 160 members elected by direct suffrage) and the Senate (Seanad Éireann, 60 members, 43 of which are chosen by indirect election, six chosen by the universities and eleven appointed by the Prime Minister), renewed every 5 years.


Defence.
The armed forces provide a permanent defence force (made up of an army, navy and air force) and a reserve force. Military service is voluntary.


Justice.
The legal system is based on British Common Law, modified according to local customs.

Defence
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Air force8.2%2015
Army80.8%2015
Justice
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Crimes2 444.2per 100 000 pop.2006
Homicides1.6per 100 000 pop.2018
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Administrative division

Administrative divisions
Cities
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Dublin/Baile Átha Cliath554 554inhab.2016
Cork/Corcaigh125 657inhab.2016
Urban agglomerations
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Dublin/Baile Átha Cliath1 173 179inhab.2016
Cork/Corcaigh208 669inhab.2016
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Population

Population by age and gender (% - 2018)
75+
60-74
45-59
30-44
15-29
0-14
MALEAGEFEMALE

Ireland is a country with long emigration tradition. Significant social changes are underway through several referendums: in 2015, there was a vote regarding gay marriage; in 2018, there was another about the right to an abortion; and in 2019, a referendum was held on liberalizing the divorce laws.

Demographic statistics
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Birth rate12.42019
Death rate6.22019
Foreigners
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Foreigners, total622 700units2019
Poles122 515units2016
Ethnic groups
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
White Irish82.2%2016
other white9.5%2016


Religions
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Catholic78.8%2016
nonreligious/atheist9.8%2016


Languages
DESCRIPTION
English (official)
Irish (official)
Population by selected age groups
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
0-14 years21.4%2018
15-29 years18%2018


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Economy


Economic situation.
After 5.5% growth in 2019, Ireland’s open economy was impacted by the international crisis and the lockdown closures: it is expected to shrink by 8.5% in 2020. Unemployment is expected to reach 7.5%, despite promises of sizeable stimulus package by the new government. Uncertainty about the future is considerable, especially in relation to the international economy and the effects of Brexit.

Economy - General data
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Agricultural prod. index (2004-06=100)109.82index2016
Balance of trade71 297M US$2019
Economy - Employment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Active population2 443 400units2019
Active population, Females45.9%2019
Economy - Unemployment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Unemployment rate5%2019
Unemployment rate, Females43.8%2019
Economy - State budget
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Expenses81 323.4M LCU2019
Revenues83 194.3M LCU2019
Employment by economic activity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
agriculture4.4%2019
industry18.7%2019
GDP by economic activity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
agriculture1%2019
industry37.6%2019
Financial data
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Currency in circulation20.799BN LCU2019
International reserves5 732.5M US$2019
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Agriculture


Primary sector
Agriculture and livestock.
The main agricultural products are oats, barley, wheat and potatoes. The largest share in terms of income in the sector is provided by livestock farming which contributes significantly to exports.
Fishing.
A fleet of over 2000 boats work in the fishing sector.

Land use
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
arable land14.95%2015
forests10.95%2015
Agriculture - products - Cereals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
barley1 224.91000 t2018
cereals, total1 855.7551000 t2018
Agriculture - products - Roots and tubers
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
potatoes2731000 t2018
roots and tubers, total2731000 t2018
Agriculture - products - Vegetables
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cabbages261000 t2018
carrots and turnips69.41000 t2018
Agriculture - products - Pulses
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
beans, dry211000 t2018
beans, green1.6981000 t2018
Agriculture - products - Oilcrops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
rapeseed40.91000 t2018
Agriculture - products - Industrial crops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
hops0.0461000 t2018
sugar beet78.5971000 t2018
Agriculture - products - Fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
apples20.11000 t2018
fruits, total35.5031000 t2018
Agriculture - products - Others
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
mushrooms65.31000 t2018
Agriculture - areas harvested - Cereals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
barley185.21000 ha2018
oats17.81000 ha2018
Agriculture - areas harvested - Roots and tubers
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
potatoes8.21000 ha2018
Agriculture - areas harvested - Vegetables
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cabbages0.9581000 ha2018
carrots and turnips1.2081000 ha2018
Agriculture - areas harvested - Pulses
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
beans, dry7.81000 ha2018
beans, green0.2121000 ha2018
Agriculture - areas harvested - Oilcrops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
rapeseed10.61000 ha2018
Agriculture - areas harvested - Industrial crops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
hops0.0451000 ha2018
sugar beet1.391000 ha2018
Agriculture - areas harvested - Fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
apples0.7131000 ha2018
raspberries0.0241000 ha2018
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Forests-Livestock-Fishing

Forestry
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
timber3 540 6232018
Livestock - Cattle
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cattle7 348.51000 heads2018
cattle and buffaloes7 348.51000 heads2018
Livestock - Pigs
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
pigs1 621.91000 heads2018
Livestock - Sheep
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sheep5 109.31000 heads2018
Livestock - Goats
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
goats9.31000 heads2018
Livestock - Equines
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
asses7.191000 heads2018
asses and mules8.2351000 heads2018
Livestock - Poultry
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
birds17 9131000 heads2018
Livestock - Beekeeping
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
honey0.2711000 t2018
Livestock - Livestock products
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
butter275.81000 t2019
cheese282.11000 t2019
Fishing
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
crustaceans and molluscs50 849t2018
freshwater fishes0t2017
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Minerals


Secondary sector
Minerals.
Ireland has good supplies of peat and natural gas, although the offshore Kinsale Head gas field is nearing depletion, while the Barryroe oil field is under development. Lead, zinc and silver are mined at Tynagh, Abbeytown, Ballinalack and Galmoy.
Energy.
The country remains dependent upon energy supplies from abroad (gas pipelines from Scotland). A disputed regasification terminal in County Kerry is being planned. A marine wind farm is in operation off the coast of Dublin: the country has the ambitious plan to produce 40% of its energy using renewable resources by 2020.
Industry.
Foreign investment has enabled an effective and rapid modernization of the industry. The electronic and information sectors are very important, as too are the technological parks in Dublin and Athlone. The EU headquarters of Google and Facebook are located in Dublin and Apple HQ is in Cork; there is growing pressure for increased checks on their fiscal position and use of personal data.
An oil refinery is active at Whitegate. There are basic chemical plants and shipyards (Galway). Pharmaceutical, mechanical, tobacco manufacturing, distillery and brewery (Guinness) plants are located in the capital. There are other large breweries and distilleries in Cork, Kilkenny and Dundalk.

Mineral resources - Energy minerals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
coal601000 t2012
coal, total601000 t2012
Mineral resources - Metal ores
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
lead16.71000 t2018
zinc131.71000 t2018
Mineral resources - Non-metal ores
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
gypsum2001000 t2018
Mineral resources - Rocks
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sand and gravel - t7 0001000 t2015
Mineral resources - Precious metals and stones
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
silver1 160kg2018
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Energy

Electric energy - Generated
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
- thermal19 197M kWh2018
- other renew.9 573M kWh2018
Electric energy - Installed capacity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
- thermal6 4891000 kW2017
- other renew.3 7331000 kW2018
Electric energy - Total production and capacity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
total net generation29 296M kWh2018
total installed capacity10 4911000 kW2017
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Industry

Industry - Iron and Steel, Metallurgy
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
alumina1 8741000 t2018
lead, secondary151000 t2018
Industry - Machinery and transport equipment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
mopeds200no.2004
Industry - Electrical and electronics
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
air conditioners577 300no.2004
fridges12 200no.2004
Industry - Petrochemicals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
petrol564.31000 t2014
Industry - Chemicals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
ammonia3001000 t2004
fertilizers2 436.21000 t2018
Industry - Textiles
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cotton yarn0.0081000 t2004
Industry - Clothing and footwear
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
footwear288 700pairs2004
Industry - Food and beverages
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
beer of barley8001000 t2014
fish, frozen135.51000 t2019
Industry - Tobacco
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cigarettes6 599.2M units2002
tobacco9 306t2004
Industry - Paper and wood products
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
other paper601000 t2018
paper601000 t2018
Industry - Glass and other non-metallic mineral products
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cement4 132.61000 t2019
Industry - Various
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
chemicals production41 300.6M US$2016
food, beverages and tobacco production8 912.3M US$2018
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Trade


Tertiary sector
Foreign trade.
An exceptionally high share of exports relates to high technology products. Energy and mineral resources, industrial equipment and foodstuffs are the main imports.
The most important business partners are the EU countries and the USA.


Main exports (M US$ - 2017) pharmaceuticals 38 322, chemicals 28 342, optical and electro-medical appliances 14 132, electrical and electronic equipment 9 166, odoriferous mixtures for industry 7 838, aircraft and parts thereof 6 945, fresh and preserved meat 4 345, machinery 4 124, computers and accessories 3 680, milk and dairy products 2 657, malt extract 2 274, plastics 1 469, spirits 1 033, petroleum products 744, iron and steel 666, food preparations 631, fish and crustaceans 604, live animals 504, timber 484, building materials 439, dyes 384, vehicles and parts thereof 367, residues and wastes of food industry 361, beer 309, chocolate 296, casein 294


Finance & banking.
The banking system and financial technology have developed and diversified thanks in part to favourable fiscal policies. There is a Stock Exchange in Dublin.

Composition of goods exports
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
manufactures88.546% of goods exports2018
food products8.954% of goods exports2018
International trade by country - Merchandise Export
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
United States52 574M US$2019
United Kingdom17 655M US$2019
International trade by country - Merchandise Import
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
United Kingdom22 826M US$2019
United States15 694M US$2019
Merchandise Export
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
2019169 779M US$ -
2018164 795M US$ -
Merchandise Import
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
201998 483M US$ -
2018107 669M US$ -
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Tourism


Tourism. Tourism is relatively sustained: the main destinations are Dublin and the coastal resorts.

International Tourism
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Expenditures7 390M US$2018
Number of arrivals10 926 000units2018
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Communications


Transport.
The modern efficient road network converges on the two main cities of Dublin and Cork. Navigation along the inland canals is mainly devoted to tourism. Travel limitations have impacted the airline Ryanair.


Media and telecommunication.
Telecom Éireann, the public organisation that administered the telecommunications service, was privatised in 1999, taking the name of Eircom. The radio and television service is managed by Radio Teilifís Éireann (RTE).
There are also approximately twenty local commercial radio stations and a television channel in Gaelic (TG4).

Communication - Transport
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Civil aviation, km flown235 700 000km flown2004
Civil aviation, passengers carried167 598.61000 units2018
Communication - Media and telecommunication
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Broadband subscribers296.794per 1000 pop.2018
Computers582.1per 1000 pop.2008
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Social and welfare


Education and research.

School is compulsory for nine years, from 6 to 15 years of age. Primary education is free and lasts for six years; secondary education includes four different course types and is divided into a cycle of three years, an optional transitional year and a second cycle of two years. Higher education is provided by the universities of Dublin, Cork, Galway and Limerick.


Social security and health.
The social security system, is funded by contributions from both employees as well as employers, with subsidies from the state.
Public care programmes are also provided for those who do not benefit from contribution-based protection.

Social statistics - Education
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Expected years of schooling18.7years2017
Gradautes, percentage46.9%2018
Social statistics - Students and Teachers by level
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Teachers, primary level32 267units2012
Teachers, secondary level29 729units2006
Social statistics - Social protection
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Social protection spending35.4% of total expenses2018
Social protection spending14.4% of GDP2018
Social statistics - Health
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Hospital beds2.97per 1000 pop.2018
Physicians3.34per 1000 pop.2019
Social statistics - Diseases
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
HIV0.2% of adults2018
HIV, total0.06%2001
Research
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Research and development spending1.15% of GDP2018
Other social indicators
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking100%2016
Access to electricity100%2018
Household consumption expenditure
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
clothing, footwear3.9%2017
education2.5%2017
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