Form of Government: Republic
Area: 70 273 sq km
Population: 4 977 400 inhab. (estimate 2020)
Density: 70.83 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: 0.955 (rank: 2)
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

Following the agreement signed between the G20 finance ministers, which calls for the introduction of a 15% minimum corporate tax and greater multinational tax harmonization, Ireland is the target of international pressure as a country yet to sign the agreement. Ireland’s corporate tax currently stands at 12.5% and the tax system is extremely beneficial for multinationals. Tensions prevail with the United Kingdom, which has not yet introduced the hygiene standards required by EU legislation for sausages and frozen meat. To restrict the spread of the Delta variant, restrictions have been introduced to prevent unvaccinated persons from entering pubs and eating indoors at restaurants.

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$per 100 000 pop.2019
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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 (% - 2020)
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 rate11.72020
Death rate6.32020
Foreigners
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Foreigners, total644 400units2020
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 years21.1%2020
15-29 years18$%2020


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Economy


Economic situation.
Despite the pandemic, Irish GDP grew by 2.5% in 2020. Ireland thus appears to be the only economy growing in 2020 among the EU countries.
Uncertainty about the future remains 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
Agricultural prod. index (2014-16=100)112.9index2019
Economy - Employment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Active population2 431 000units2020
Active population, Females45.9%2020
Economy - Unemployment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Unemployment rate5.7%2020
Unemployment rate, Females46$%2020
Economy - State budget
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Expenses100 096.2M LCU2020
Revenues82 039.3M LCU2020
Employment by economic activity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
agriculture4.476%2020
industry18.794%2020
GDP by economic activity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
agriculture0.993%2020
industry41.402%2020
Financial data
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Currency in circulation23.061BN LCU2020
International reserves7 463.045M US$2020
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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 land6.561%2018
forests11.236%2018
Agriculture - products - Cereals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
barley1 479.61000 t2019
cereals, total2 267.991000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Roots and tubers
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
potatoes382.371000 t2019
roots and tubers, total382.371000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Vegetables
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cabbages25.181000 t2019
carrots and turnips52.991000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Pulses
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
beans, dry21$1000 t2018
beans, green1.6981000 t2018
Agriculture - products - Oilcrops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
rapeseed37.491000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Industrial crops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
hops0.0461000 t2018
sugar beet78.5971000 t2018
Agriculture - products - Fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
apples19.881000 t2019
fruits, total26.341000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Others
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
mushrooms68.291000 t2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Cereals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
barley179.361000 ha2019
oats23.821000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Roots and tubers
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
potatoes8.671000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Vegetables
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cabbages0.921000 ha2019
carrots and turnips0.791000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Pulses
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
beans, dry7.81000 ha2018
beans, green0.2121000 ha2018
Agriculture - areas harvested - Oilcrops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
rapeseed9.241000 ha2019
sunflower seed0.011000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Industrial crops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
hops0.0451000 ha2018
sugar beet1.391000 ha2018
Agriculture - areas harvested - Flax
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
linseed0.051000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Fiber plants
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
hemp tow waste0.311000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
apples0.711000 ha2019
raspberries0.021000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Others
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
mushrooms0.231000 ha2019
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Forests-Livestock-Fishing

Forestry
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
timber3 540 6232019
Livestock - Cattle
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cattle6 559.651000 heads2019
cattle and buffaloes6 559.651000 heads2019
Livestock - Pigs
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
pigs1 613.271000 heads2019
Livestock - Sheep
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sheep5 145.7931000 heads2019
Livestock - Goats
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
goats8.6611000 heads2019
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 molluscs54 778.82t2019
marine fishes179 973.725t2019
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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: in 2020, the country produced 43% of its electricity using renewable sources.
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
coal60$1000 t2012
coal, total60$1000 t2012
Mineral resources - Metal ores
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
lead16.71000 t2018
zinc122.51000 t2019
Mineral resources - Non-metal ores
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
gypsum2001000 t2019
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
- thermal17 534.76M kWh2019
- other renew.10 551.29M kWh2019
Electric energy - Installed capacity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
- thermal6 612.021000 kW2018
- other renew.4 3481000 kW2019
Electric energy - Total production and capacity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
total net generation28 710.18M kWh2019
total installed capacity10 981.021000 kW2018
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Industry

Industry - Iron and Steel, Metallurgy
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
alumina1 8931000 t2019
lead, secondary15$1000 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 t2018
fish, frozen135.51000 t2019
Industry - Tobacco
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cigarettes6 599.2M units2002
tobacco9 306t2004
Industry - Paper and wood products
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
other paper60$1000 t2019
paper60$1000 t2019
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 production9 127.036M 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
manufactures88.744% of goods exports2019
food products8.873% of goods exports2019
International trade by country - Merchandise Export
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
United States56 970M US$2020
Belgium20 399M US$2020
International trade by country - Merchandise Import
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
United Kingdom22 536M US$2020
United States14 812M US$2020
Merchandise Export
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
2020178 732M US$ -
2019169 583M US$ -
Merchandise Import
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
202097 969M US$ -
2019100 757M US$ -
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Tourism


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

International Tourism
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Expenditures8 156M US$2019
Number of arrivals10 951 000units2019
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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 carried170 161.81000 units2019
Communication - Media and telecommunication
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Broadband subscribers299.55per 1000 pop.2019
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, Limerick and Munster.


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 schooling19.756years2018
Gradautes, percentage59.132%2019
Social statistics - Students and Teachers by level
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Students, primary level564 304units2018
Students, secondary level491 761units2018
Social statistics - Social protection
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Social protection spending36.326% of total expenses2019
Social protection spending13.363% of GDP2019
Social statistics - Health
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Hospital beds2.97per 1000 pop.2018
Physicians3.34per 1000 pop.2019
Social statistics - Diseases
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
HIV0.2% of adults2019
HIV, total0.06%2001
Research
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Research and development spending0.78% of GDP2019
Other social indicators
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking100%2019
Access to electricity100%2019
Household consumption expenditure
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
clothing, footwear4$%2019
education1.8%2019
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