Map Ireland
Maps copyright Hammond World Atlas Corp.

Flag of Ireland


Background: Celtic tribes arrived on the island between 600-150 B.C. Invasions by Norsemen that began in the late 8th century were finally ended when King Brian BORU defeated the Danes in 1014. English invasions began in the 12th century and set off more than seven centuries of Anglo-Irish struggle marked by fierce rebellions and harsh repressions. A failed 1916 Easter Monday Rebellion touched off several years of guerrilla warfare that in 1921 resulted in independence from the UK for 26 southern counties; six northern (Ulster) counties remained part of the UK. In 1949, Ireland withdrew from the British Commonwealth; it joined the European Community in 1973. Irish governments have sought the peaceful unification of Ireland and have cooperated with Britain against terrorist groups. A peace settlement for Northern Ireland is gradually being implemented despite some difficulties. In 2006, the Irish and British governments developed and began to implement the St. Andrews Agreement, building on the Good Friday Agreement approved in 1998.
Location: Western Europe, occupying five-sixths of the island of Ireland in the North Atlantic Ocean, west of Great Britain
Area land: 68,883 sq km
Area water: 1,390 sq km
Coastline: 1,448 km
Country name conventional long form: none
Country name conventional short form: Ireland
Country name former: none
Population: 4,670,976 (July 2011 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 21.1% (male 503,921/female 483,454); 15-64 years: 67.3% (male 1,581,959/female 1,560,238); 65 years and over: 11.6% (male 246,212/female 295,192) (2011 est.);
Population growth rate: 1.061% (2011 est.)
Birth rate: 16.1 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Death rate: 6.34 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)
Net migration rate: 0.86 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.057 male(s)/female; under 15 years: 1.07 male(s)/female; 15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female; 65 years and over: 0.81 male(s)/female; total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2011 est.);
Infant mortality rate: total: 3.85 deaths/1,000 live births; male: 4.24 deaths/1,000 live births; female: 3.44 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.);
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 80.19 years; male: 77.96 years; female: 82.55 years (2011 est.);
Total fertility rate: 2.02 children born/woman (2011 est.);
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.2% (2009 est.);
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 6,900 (2009 est.);
HIV/AIDS - deaths: fewer than 100 (2009 est.);
Nationality: noun: Irishman(men), Irishwoman(women), Irish (collective plural); adjective: Irish;
Ethnic groups: Irish 87.4%, other white 7.5%, Asian 1.3%, black 1.1%, mixed 1.1%, unspecified 1.6% (2006 census);
Religions: Roman Catholic 87.4%, Church of Ireland 2.9%, other Christian 1.9%, other 2.1%, unspecified 1.5%, none 4.2% (2006 census);
Languages: English (official) is the language generally used, Irish (Gaelic or Gaeilge) (official) spoken mainly in areas along the western coast;
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write; total population: 99%; male: 99%; female: 99% (2003 est.);
GDP (purchasing power parity): $172.3 billion (2010 est.); $175.1 billion (2009 est.); $189.5 billion (2008 est.);

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate): $208.3 billion (2010 est.);
GDP - real growth rate: -1.6% (2010 est.); -7.6% (2009 est.); -3.5% (2008 est.);
GDP - per capita (PPP): $37,600 (2010 est.); $38,200 (2009 est.); $41,900 (2008 est.);
note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 2%; industry: 29%; services: 70% (2009 est.);
Population below poverty line: 5.5% (2009 est.);
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 2.9%; highest 10%: 27.2% (2000);
Labor force: 2.15 million (2010 est.);
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 5%; industry: 20%; services: 76% (2010 est.);
Unemployment rate: 13.7% (2010 est.); 12.4% (2009);
Budget: revenues: $68.7 billion; expenditures: $135.1 billion (2010 est.);
Industries: pharmaceuticals, chemicals, computer hardware and software, food products, beverages and brewing; medical devices;
Industrial production growth rate: 5% (2010 est.);
Electricity - production: 27.28 billion kWh (2010 est.);
Electricity - consumption: 26.99 billion kWh (2010 est.);
Electricity - exports: 290 million kWh (2010 est.);
Electricity - imports: 756 million kWh (2010 est.);

Statistics: CIA World Factbook.


An Phlobacht/Republican News

(Weekly Sinn Fein party organ), Dublin

Business & Finance

(Business-oriented weekly), Dublin

Hot Press

(Liberal bimonthly), Dublin

Irish Examiner, The

(Centrist), Cork

Kerryman, The

(Weekly regional newspaper), Kerry

Sunday Independent

(Conservative), Dublin

The Irish Times

(N/A), Dublin

Ireland in the News

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Displaying 1 to 4 of 16 items.

Karen Refugees Have a White Christmas in Ireland

With the level of destruction in Burma on scale with Darfur, some Karen refugees are resettling in the cold climate of Ireland.

Iran: The Long Wait for Change

Nicholas Birch, reporting from Tehran for The Irish Times, assesses the health of the reform movement within Iran.

A Truthful, Tragic Story

Ireland's Sunday Business Post reviews Israeli journalist and novelist David Grossman's new book on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Death as a Way of Life: Dispatches from Jerusalem

Tom O’Higgins

World Press Review's Rachel S. Taylor profiles Tom O'Higgins, an Irish polymath who served as a minister for health and a supreme court justice, and twice ran for the presidency of Ireland.