Main Content

Europe :: Ireland Print
Page last updated on October 09, 2020
  • Introduction :: Ireland
  • Background field listing

    Celtic tribes arrived on the island between 600 and 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. Norman invasions began in the 12th century and set off more than seven centuries of Anglo-Irish struggle marked by fierce rebellions and harsh repressions. The Irish famine of the mid-19th century was responsible for a drop in the island's population by more than one quarter through starvation, disease, and emigration. For more than a century afterward, the population of the island continued to fall only to begin growing again in the 1960s. Over the last 50 years, Ireland's high birthrate has made it demographically one of the youngest populations in the EU.

    The modern Irish state traces its origins to the failed 1916 Easter Monday Uprising that touched off several years of guerrilla warfare resulting in independence from the UK in 1921 for 26 southern counties; six northern (Ulster) counties remained part of the UK. Deep sectarian divides between the Catholic and Protestant populations and systemic discrimination in Northern Ireland erupted into years of violence known as the "Troubles" that began in the 1960s. The Government of Ireland was part of a process along with the UK and US Governments that helped broker the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland in 1998. This initiated a new phase of cooperation between the Irish and British Governments. Ireland was neutral in World War II and continues its policy of military neutrality. Ireland joined the European Community in 1973 and the euro-zone currency union in 1999. The economic boom years of the Celtic Tiger (1995-2007) saw rapid economic growth, which came to an abrupt end in 2008 with the meltdown of the Irish banking system. Today the economy is recovering, fueled by large and growing foreign direct investment, especially from US multi-nationals.

  • Geography :: Ireland
  • Location field listing
    Western Europe, occupying five-sixths of the island of Ireland in the North Atlantic Ocean, west of Great Britain
    Geographic coordinates field listing
    53 00 N, 8 00 W
    Map references field listing
    Area field listing
    total: 70,273 sq km
    land: 68,883 sq km
    water: 1,390 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 121
    Area - comparative field listing
    slightly larger than West Virginia
    Area comparison map: Area comparison map
    Land boundaries field listing
    total: 490 km
    border countries (1): UK 490 km
    Coastline field listing
    1,448 km
    Maritime claims field listing
    territorial sea: 12 nm
    exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
    Climate field listing
    temperate maritime; modified by North Atlantic Current; mild winters, cool summers; consistently humid; overcast about half the time
    Terrain field listing
    mostly flat to rolling interior plain surrounded by rugged hills and low mountains; sea cliffs on west coast
    Elevation field listing
    mean elevation: 118 m
    lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
    highest point: Carrauntoohil 1,041 m
    Natural resources field listing
    natural gas, peat, copper, lead, zinc, silver, barite, gypsum, limestone, dolomite
    Land use field listing
    agricultural land: 66.1% (2011 est.)
    arable land: 15.4% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 0% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 50.7% (2011 est.)
    forest: 10.9% (2011 est.)
    other: 23% (2011 est.)
    Irrigated land field listing
    0 sq km (2012)
    Population distribution field listing
    population distribution is weighted to the eastern side of the island, with the largest concentration being in and around Dublin; populations in the west are small due to mountainous land, poorer soil, lack of good transport routes, and fewer job opportunities
    Natural hazards field listing
    rare extreme weather events
    Environment - current issues field listing
    water pollution, especially of lakes, from agricultural runoff; acid rain kills plants, destroys soil fertility, and contributes to deforestation
    Environment - international agreements field listing
    party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
    signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Marine Life Conservation
    Geography - note field listing
    strategic location on major air and sea routes between North America and northern Europe; over 40% of the population resides within 100 km of Dublin
  • People and Society :: Ireland
  • Population field listing
    5,176,569 (July 2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 122
    Nationality field listing
    noun: Irishman(men), Irishwoman(women), Irish (collective plural)
    adjective: Irish
    Ethnic groups field listing
    Irish 82.2%, Irish travelers 0.7%, other white 9.5%, Asian 2.1%, black 1.4%, other 1.5%, unspecified 2.6% (2016 est.)
    Languages field listing
    English (official, the language generally used), Irish (Gaelic or Gaeilge) (official, spoken by approximately 39.8% of the population as of 2016; mainly spoken in areas along Ireland's western coast known as gaeltachtai, which are officially recognized regions where Irish is the predominant language)
    Religions field listing
    Roman Catholic 78.3%, Church of Ireland 2.7%, other Christian 1.6%, Orthodox 1.3%, Muslim 1.3%, other 2.4%, none 9.8%, unspecified 2.6% (2016 est.)
    Age structure field listing
    0-14 years: 21.15% (male 560,338/female 534,570)
    15-24 years: 12.08% (male 316,239/female 308,872)
    25-54 years: 42.19% (male 1,098,058/female 1,085,794)
    55-64 years: 10.77% (male 278,836/female 278,498)
    65 years and over: 13.82% (male 331,772/female 383,592) (2020 est.)
    population pyramid: population pyramid
    Dependency ratios field listing
    total dependency ratio: 54.8
    youth dependency ratio: 32.3
    elderly dependency ratio: 22.6
    potential support ratio: 4.4 (2020 est.)
    Median age field listing
    total: 37.8 years
    male: 37.4 years
    female: 38.2 years (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 66
    Population growth rate field listing
    1.04% (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 101
    Birth rate field listing
    13 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 144
    Death rate field listing
    6.8 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 134
    Net migration rate field listing
    3.9 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 31
    Population distribution field listing
    population distribution is weighted to the eastern side of the island, with the largest concentration being in and around Dublin; populations in the west are small due to mountainous land, poorer soil, lack of good transport routes, and fewer job opportunities
    Urbanization field listing
    urban population: 63.7% of total population (2020)
    rate of urbanization: 1.14% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
    Major urban areas - population field listing
    1.228 million DUBLIN (capital) (2020)
    Sex ratio field listing
    at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.86 male(s)/female
    total population: 1 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
    Mother's mean age at first birth field listing
    30.7 years (2015 est.)
    Maternal mortality rate field listing
    5 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 165
    Infant mortality rate field listing
    total: 3.6 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 3.9 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 3.2 deaths/1,000 live births (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 195
    Life expectancy at birth field listing
    total population: 81.2 years
    male: 78.9 years
    female: 83.7 years (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 36
    Total fertility rate field listing
    1.94 children born/woman (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 125
    Contraceptive prevalence rate field listing
    73.3% (2010)
    note: percent of women aged 18-45
    Drinking water source field listing
    improved: urban: 97% of population
    rural: 98.1% of population
    total: 97.4% of population
    unimproved: urban: 3% of population
    rural: 1.9% of population
    total: 2.6% of population (2017 est.)
    Current Health Expenditure field listing
    7.2% (2017)
    Physicians density field listing
    3.29 physicians/1,000 population (2017)
    Hospital bed density field listing
    3 beds/1,000 population (2017)
    Sanitation facility access field listing
    improved: urban: 97.7% of population
    rural: 99% of population
    total: 98.2% of population
    unimproved: urban: 2.3% of population
    rural: 1% of population
    total: 1.8% of population (2017 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate field listing
    0.2% (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 100
    HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS field listing
    7,200 (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 114
    HIV/AIDS - deaths field listing
    <100 (2018 est.)
    Obesity - adult prevalence rate field listing
    25.3% (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 51
    Education expenditures field listing
    3.7% of GDP (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 117
    School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education) field listing
    total: 19 years
    male: 19 years
    female: 19 years (2016)
    Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 field listing
    total: 13.8%
    male: 14.8%
    female: 12.6% (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 99
  • Government :: Ireland
  • Country name field listing
    conventional long form: none
    conventional short form: Ireland
    local long form: none
    local short form: Eire
    etymology: the modern Irish name "Eire" evolved from the Gaelic "Eriu," the name of the matron goddess of Ireland (goddess of the land); the names "Ireland" in English and "Eire" in Irish are direct translations of each other
    Government type field listing
    parliamentary republic
    Capital field listing
    name: Dublin
    geographic coordinates: 53 19 N, 6 14 W
    time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
    etymology: derived from Irish "dubh" and "lind" meaning respectively "black, dark" and "pool" and which referred to the dark tidal pool where the River Poddle entered the River Liffey; today the area is the site of the castle gardens behind Dublin Castle
    Administrative divisions field listing
    28 counties and 3 cities*; Carlow, Cavan, Clare, Cork, Cork*, Donegal, Dublin*, Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown, Fingal, Galway, Galway*, Kerry, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Leitrim, Limerick, Longford, Louth, Mayo, Meath, Monaghan, Offaly, Roscommon, Sligo, South Dublin, Tipperary, Waterford, Westmeath, Wexford, Wicklow
    Independence field listing
    6 December 1921 (from the UK by the Anglo-Irish Treaty, which ended British rule); 6 December 1922 (Irish Free State established); 18 April 1949 (Republic of Ireland Act enabled)
    National holiday field listing
    Saint Patrick's Day, 17 March; note - marks the traditional death date of Saint Patrick, patron saint of Ireland, during the latter half of the fifth century A.D. (most commonly cited years are c. 461 and c. 493); although Saint Patrick's feast day was celebrated in Ireland as early as the ninth century, it only became an official public holiday in Ireland in 1903
    Constitution field listing
    history: previous 1922; latest drafted 14 June 1937, adopted by plebiscite 1 July 1937, effective 29 December 1937
    amendments: proposed as bills by Parliament; passage requires majority vote by both the Senate and House of Representatives, majority vote in a referendum, and presidential signature; amended many times, last in 2019
    International law organization participation field listing
    accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    Citizenship field listing
    citizenship by birth: no, unless a parent of a child born in Ireland has been legally resident in Ireland for at least three of the four years prior to the birth of the child
    citizenship by descent only: yes
    dual citizenship recognized: yes
    residency requirement for naturalization: 4 of the previous 8 years
    Suffrage field listing
    18 years of age; universal
    Executive branch field listing
    chief of state: President Michael D. HIGGINS (since 11 November 2011)
    head of government: Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Micheál MARTIN (since 27 June 2020); note - MARTIN will serve through December 2022 and will then be succeeded by Leo VARADKAR
    cabinet: Cabinet nominated by the prime minister, appointed by the president, approved by the Dali Eireann (lower house of Parliament)
    elections/appointments: president directly elected by majority popular vote for a 7-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 26 October 2018 (next to be held no later than November 2025); taoiseach (prime minister) nominated by the House of Representatives (Dail Eireann), appointed by the president
    election results: Michael D. HIGGINS reelected president; percent of vote - Michael D. HIGGINS (independent) 55.8%, Peter CASEY (independent) 23.3%, Sean GALLAGHER (independent) 6.4%, Liadh NI RIADA (Sinn Fein) 6.4%, Joan FREEMAN (independent) 6%, Gavin DUFFY (independent) 2.2%
    Legislative branch field listing
    description: bicameral Parliament or Oireachtas consists of:
    Senate or Seanad Eireann (60 seats; 43 members indirectly elected from 5 vocational panels of nominees by an electoral college consisting of members from the House of Representatives, outgoing Senate members, and city and county council members, 11 appointed by the prime minister, and 6 elected by 2 university constituencies - 3 each from the University of Dublin (Trinity College) and the National University of Ireland)
    House of Representatives or Dail Eireann (158 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote; all Parliament members serve 5-year terms)
    Senate - last held in April and May 2016 (next to be held no later than 2021)
    House of Representatives - last held on 8 February 2020 (next to be held no later than 2025)
    election results:  
    Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Fine Gael 19, Fianna Fail 14, Sinn Fein 7, Labor Party 5, Green Party 1, independent 14; composition - men 42, women 18, percent of women 30%  
    House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - Sinn Fein 23%, Fianna Fail 23%, Fine Gael 22%, Green Party 8%, Labor Party 4%, Social Democrats 4%, AAA-PBD 3%, Aontu 0.6%, Independents for Change 0.6%, Ceann Comhairle 0.6%, Independents 12%; seats by party - Sinn Fein 37, Fianna Fail 37, Fine Gael 35, Green Party 12, Labor Party 6, Social Democrats 6, AAA-PBD 5, Aontu l, Independents for Change 1, Ceann Comhairle 1, Independents 19; composition - men 123, women 35, percent of women 22.2%; note - total Parliament percent of women 24.3%
    Judicial branch field listing
    highest courts: Supreme Court of Ireland (consists of the chief justice, 9 judges, 2 ex-officio members - the presidents of the High Court and Court of Appeal - and organized in 3-, 5-, or 7-judge panels, depending on the importance or complexity of an issue of law)
    judge selection and term of office: judges nominated by the prime minister and Cabinet and appointed by the president; chief justice serves in the position for 7 years; judges can serve until age 70
    subordinate courts: High Court, Court of Appeal; circuit and district courts; criminal courts
    Political parties and leaders field listing
    Solidarity-People Before Profit or AAAS-PBP [collective leadership]
    Fianna Fail [Micheal MARTIN]
    Fine Gael [Leo VARADKAR]
    Green Party [Eamon RYAN]
    Labor (Labour) Party (vacant)
    Renua Ireland (vacant)
    Sinn Fein [Mary Lou MCDONALD]
    Social Democrats [Catherine MURPHY, Roisin SHORTALL]
    Socialist Party [collective leadership]
    The Workers' Party [Michael DONNELLY]
    International organization participation field listing
    Diplomatic representation in the US field listing
    Ambassador Daniel Gerard MULHALL (since 8 September 2017)
    chancery: 2234 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 462-3939
    FAX: [1] (202) 232-5993
    consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Austin (TX), Boston, Chicago, New York, San Francisco
    Diplomatic representation from the US field listing
    chief of mission: Ambassador Edward F. CRAWFORD (since 1 July 2019)
    telephone: [353] (1) 630-6200
    embassy: 42 Elgin Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4
    mailing address: use embassy street address
    FAX: [353] (1) 688-9946
    Flag description field listing
    three equal vertical bands of green (hoist side), white, and orange; officially the flag colors have no meaning, but a common interpretation is that the green represents the Irish nationalist (Gaelic) tradition of Ireland; orange represents the Orange tradition (minority supporters of William of Orange); white symbolizes peace (or a lasting truce) between the green and the orange

    note: similar to the flag of Cote d'Ivoire, which is shorter and has the colors reversed - orange (hoist side), white, and green; also similar to the flag of Italy, which is shorter and has colors of green (hoist side), white, and red

    National symbol(s) field listing
    harp, shamrock (trefoil); national colors: blue, green
    National anthem field listing
    name: "Amhran na bhFiann" (The Soldier's Song)
    lyrics/music: Peadar KEARNEY [English], Liam O RINN [Irish]/Patrick HEENEY and Peadar KEARNEY

    note: adopted 1926; instead of "Amhran na bhFiann," the song "Ireland's Call" is often used at athletic events where citizens of Ireland and Northern Ireland compete as a unified team

  • Economy :: Ireland
  • Economy - overview field listing

    Ireland is a small, modern, trade-dependent economy. It was among the initial group of 12 EU nations that began circulating the euro on 1 January 2002. GDP growth averaged 6% in 1995-2007, but economic activity dropped sharply during the world financial crisis and the subsequent collapse of its domestic property market and construction industry during 2008-11. Faced with sharply reduced revenues and a burgeoning budget deficit from efforts to stabilize its fragile banking sector, the Irish Government introduced the first in a series of draconian budgets in 2009. These measures were not sufficient to stabilize Ireland’s public finances. In 2010, the budget deficit reached 32.4% of GDP - the world's largest deficit, as a percentage of GDP. In late 2010, the former COWEN government agreed to a $92 billion loan package from the EU and IMF to help Dublin recapitalize Ireland’s banking sector and avoid defaulting on its sovereign debt. In March 2011, the KENNY government intensified austerity measures to meet the deficit targets under Ireland's EU-IMF bailout program.

    In late 2013, Ireland formally exited its EU-IMF bailout program, benefiting from its strict adherence to deficit-reduction targets and success in refinancing a large amount of banking-related debt. In 2014, the economy rapidly picked up. In late 2014, the government introduced a fiscally neutral budget, marking the end of the austerity program. Continued growth of tax receipts has allowed the government to lower some taxes and increase public spending while keeping to its deficit-reduction targets. In 2015, GDP growth exceeded 26%. The magnitude of the increase reflected one-off statistical revisions, multinational corporate restructurings in intellectual property, and the aircraft leasing sector, rather than real gains in the domestic economy, which was still growing. Growth moderated to around 4.1% in 2017, but the recovering economy assisted lowering the deficit to 0.6% of GDP.

    In the wake of the collapse of the construction sector and the downturn in consumer spending and business investment during the 2008-11 economic crisis, the export sector, dominated by foreign multinationals, has become an even more important component of Ireland's economy. Ireland’s low corporation tax of 12.5% and a talented pool of high-tech laborers have been some of the key factors in encouraging business investment. Loose tax residency requirements made Ireland a common destination for international firms seeking to pay less tax or, in the case of U.S. multinationals, defer taxation owed to the United States. In 2014, amid growing international pressure, the Irish government announced it would phase in more stringent tax laws, effectively closing a commonly used loophole. The Irish economy continued to grow in 2017 and is forecast to do so through 2019, supported by a strong export sector, robust job growth, and low inflation, to the point that the Government must now address concerns about overheating and potential loss of competitiveness. The greatest risks to the economy are the UK’s scheduled departure from the European Union ("Brexit") in March 2019, possible changes to international taxation policies that could affect Ireland’s revenues, and global trade pressures.

    GDP (purchasing power parity) field listing
    $353.3 billion (2017 est.)
    $329.5 billion (2016 est.)
    $314.1 billion (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 51
    GDP (official exchange rate) field listing
    $331.5 billion (2017 est.)
    GDP - real growth rate field listing
    7.2% (2017 est.)
    4.9% (2016 est.)
    25% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 17
    GDP - per capita (PPP) field listing
    $73,200 (2017 est.)
    $69,100 (2016 est.)
    $66,600 (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 10
    Gross national saving field listing
    33.1% of GDP (2017 est.)
    33.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
    29% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 23
    GDP - composition, by end use field listing
    household consumption: 34% (2017 est.)
    government consumption: 10.1% (2017 est.)
    investment in fixed capital: 23.4% (2017 est.)
    investment in inventories: 1.2% (2017 est.)
    exports of goods and services: 119.9% (2017 est.)
    imports of goods and services: -89.7% (2017 est.)
    GDP - composition, by sector of origin field listing
    agriculture: 1.2% (2017 est.)
    industry: 38.6% (2017 est.)
    services: 60.2% (2017 est.)
    Agriculture - products field listing
    barley, potatoes, wheat; beef, dairy products
    Industries field listing
    pharmaceuticals, chemicals, computer hardware and software, food products, beverages and brewing; medical devices
    Industrial production growth rate field listing
    7.8% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 25
    Labor force field listing
    2.226 million (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 122
    Labor force - by occupation field listing
    agriculture: 5%
    industry: 11%
    services: 84% (2015 est.)
    Unemployment rate field listing
    6.7% (2017 est.)
    8.4% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 100
    Population below poverty line field listing
    8.2% (2013 est.)
    Household income or consumption by percentage share field listing
    lowest 10%: 2.9%
    highest 10%: 27.2% (2000)
    Budget field listing
    revenues: 86.04 billion (2017 est.)
    expenditures: 87.19 billion (2017 est.)
    Taxes and other revenues field listing
    26% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 115
    Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) field listing
    -0.3% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 53
    Public debt field listing
    68.6% of GDP (2017 est.)
    73.6% of GDP (2016 est.)

    note: data cover general government debt and include debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data include debt issued by subnational entities, as well as intragovernmental debt; intragovernmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as for retirement, medical care, and unemployment; debt instruments for the social funds are not sold at public auctions

    country comparison to the world: 53
    Fiscal year field listing
    calendar year
    Inflation rate (consumer prices) field listing
    0.3% (2017 est.)
    -0.2% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 20
    Current account balance field listing
    $28.14 billion (2017 est.)
    -$12.59 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 12
    Exports field listing
    $219.7 billion (2017 est.)
    $206 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 25
    Exports - partners field listing
    US 27.1%, UK 13.4%, Belgium 11%, Germany 8.1%, Switzerland 5.1%, Netherlands 4.9%, France 4.3% (2017)
    Exports - commodities field listing
    machinery and equipment, computers, chemicals, medical devices, pharmaceuticals; foodstuffs, animal products
    Imports field listing
    $98.13 billion (2017 est.)
    $92.09 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 34
    Imports - commodities field listing
    data processing equipment, other machinery and equipment, chemicals, petroleum and petroleum products, textiles, clothing
    Imports - partners field listing
    UK 29%, US 18.9%, France 12.1%, Germany 9.6%, Netherlands 4.1% (2017)
    Reserves of foreign exchange and gold field listing
    $4.412 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $2.203 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 99
    Debt - external field listing
    $2.47 trillion (31 March 2016 est.)
    $2.35 trillion (31 March 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 8
    Exchange rates field listing
    euros (EUR) per US dollar -
    0.885 (2017 est.)
    0.903 (2016 est.)
    0.9214 (2015 est.)
    0.885 (2014 est.)
    0.7634 (2013 est.)
  • Energy :: Ireland
  • Electricity access field listing
    electrification - total population: 100% (2016)
    Electricity - production field listing
    28.53 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 69
    Electricity - consumption field listing
    25.68 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 68
    Electricity - exports field listing
    1.583 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 48
    Electricity - imports field listing
    871 million kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 71
    Electricity - installed generating capacity field listing
    9.945 million kW (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 61
    Electricity - from fossil fuels field listing
    65% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 117
    Electricity - from nuclear fuels field listing
    0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 112
    Electricity - from hydroelectric plants field listing
    2% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 138
    Electricity - from other renewable sources field listing
    33% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 12
    Crude oil - production field listing
    0 bbl/day (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 152
    Crude oil - exports field listing
    5,900 bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 64
    Crude oil - imports field listing
    66,210 bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 50
    Crude oil - proved reserves field listing
    0 bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 148
    Refined petroleum products - production field listing
    64,970 bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 76
    Refined petroleum products - consumption field listing
    153,700 bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 66
    Refined petroleum products - exports field listing
    37,040 bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 59
    Refined petroleum products - imports field listing
    126,600 bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 47
    Natural gas - production field listing
    3.511 billion cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 54
    Natural gas - consumption field listing
    5.238 billion cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 55
    Natural gas - exports field listing
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 125
    Natural gas - imports field listing
    1.642 billion cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 55
    Natural gas - proved reserves field listing
    9.911 billion cu m (1 January 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 79
    Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy field listing
    36.91 million Mt (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 71
  • Communications :: Ireland
  • Telephones - fixed lines field listing
    total subscriptions: 1,829,166
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 36 (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 60
    Telephones - mobile cellular field listing
    total subscriptions: 4,971,493
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 98 (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 122
    Telecommunication systems field listing
    general assessment: a previous depressed economic climate has changed to one with Ireland having one of the highest GDP growth rates in Europe, which translates to mean spending among telecom consumers; introduction of flat-rate plans; upgraded LTE technologies in rural areas; govt. intends to spend millions on the National Broadband Plan (NBP) initiative to change the broadband landscape; plans to auction spectrum suitable for 5G services; broadband market seen steady development; 20 towns see commercial 5G services (2020)
    domestic: increasing levels of broadband access particularly in urban areas; fixed-line 36 per 100 and mobile-cellular 98 per 100 subscriptions; digital system using cable and microwave radio relay (2018)
    international: country code - 353; landing point for the AEConnect -1, Celtic-Norse, Havfrue/AEC-2, GTT Express, Celtic, ESAT-1, IFC-1, Solas, Pan European Crossing, ESAT-2, CeltixConnect -1 & 2, GTT Atlantic, Sirius South, Emerald Bridge Fibres and Geo Eirgrid submarine cable with links to the US, Canada, Norway, Isle of Man and UK; satellite earth stations - 81 (2019)
    note: the COVID-19 outbreak is negatively impacting telecommunications production and supply chains globally; consumer spending on telecom devices and services has also slowed due to the pandemic's effect on economies worldwide; overall progress towards improvements in all facets of the telecom industry - mobile, fixed-line, broadband, submarine cable and satellite - has moderated
    Broadcast media field listing
    publicly owned broadcaster Radio Telefis Eireann (RTE) operates 4 TV stations; commercial TV stations are available; about 75% of households utilize multi-channel satellite and TV services that provide access to a wide range of stations; RTE operates 4 national radio stations and has launched digital audio broadcasts on several stations; a number of commercial broadcast stations operate at the national, regional, and local levels (2019)
    Internet country code field listing
    Internet users field listing
    total: 4,283,516
    percent of population: 84.52% (July 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 92
    Broadband - fixed subscriptions field listing
    total: 1,430,160
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 28 (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 65
  • Military and Security :: Ireland
  • Military and security forces field listing
    Irish Defence Forces (Oglaigh na h-Eireannn): Army (includes Army Reserve), Naval Service (includes Naval Service Reserves), Air Corps (2019)
    Military expenditures field listing
    0.3% of GDP (2019)
    0.3% of GDP (2018)
    0.3% of GDP (2017)
    0.3% of GDP (2016)
    0.3% of GDP (2015)
    country comparison to the world: 155
    Military and security service personnel strengths field listing
    the Irish Defence Forces have approximately 8,700 active duty personnel (7,000 Army; 1,000 Navy; 700 Air Force) (2019 est.)
    Military equipment inventories and acquisitions field listing
    the Irish Defense Forces have a small inventory of imported weapons systems from a variety of European countries, as well as South Africa and the US; the UK is the leading supplier of military hardware to Ireland since 2010 (2019 est.)
    Military deployments field listing
    130 Golan Heights (UNDOF); 290 Lebanon (UNIFIL) (April 2020)
    Military service age and obligation field listing
    18-25 years of age for male and female voluntary military service recruits to the Defence Forces (18-27 years of age for the Naval Service); 18-26 for cadetship (officer) applicants; 12-year service (5 active, 7 reserves); Irish citizen, European Economic Area citizenship, or refugee status (2019)
  • Transportation :: Ireland
  • National air transport system field listing
    number of registered air carriers: 9 (2020)
    inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 450
    annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 167,598,633 (2018)
    annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 168.71 million mt-km (2018)
    Civil aircraft registration country code prefix field listing
    EI (2016)
    Airports field listing
    40 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 105
    Airports - with paved runways field listing
    total: 16 (2019)
    over 3,047 m: 1
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
    914 to 1,523 m: 5
    under 914 m: 5
    Airports - with unpaved runways field listing
    total: 24 (2013)
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2013)
    914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2013)
    under 914 m: 21 (2013)
    Pipelines field listing
    2,427 km gas (2017)
    Railways field listing
    total: 4,301 km (2018)
    narrow gauge: 1,930 km 0.914-m gauge (operated by the Irish Peat Board to transport peat to power stations and briquetting plants) (2018)
    broad gauge: 2,371 km 1.600-m gauge (53 km electrified) (2018)
    country comparison to the world: 44
    Roadways field listing
    total: 99,830 km (2018)
    paved: 99,830 km (includes 2,717 km of expressways) (2018)
    country comparison to the world: 48
    Waterways field listing
    956 km (pleasure craft only) (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 67
    Merchant marine field listing
    total: 93
    by type: bulk carrier 9general cargo 37, oil tanker 1, other 46 (2019)
    country comparison to the world: 95
    Ports and terminals field listing
    major seaport(s): Dublin, Shannon Foynes
    cruise port(s): Cork, Dublin
    container port(s) (TEUs): Dublin (529,563) (2016)
    river port(s): Cork (Lee), Waterford (Suir)
  • Terrorism :: Ireland
  • Terrorist groups - foreign based field listing
    Continuity Irish Republican Army (CIRA): aim(s): to bring about a united Ireland
    area(s) of operation: maintains an operational presence (2018)
    New Irish Republican Army (NIRA): aim(s): to bring about a united Ireland
    area(s) of operation:
    maintains an operational presence
    note: formerly known as the Real Irish Republican Army (RIRA) (2018)
  • Transnational Issues :: Ireland
  • Disputes - international field listing

    Ireland, Iceland, and the UK dispute Denmark's claim that the Faroe Islands' continental shelf extends beyond 200 nm

    Refugees and internally displaced persons field listing
    stateless persons: 99 (2018)
    Illicit drugs field listing
    transshipment point for and consumer of hashish from North Africa to the UK and Netherlands and of European-produced synthetic drugs; increasing consumption of South American cocaine; minor transshipment point for heroin and cocaine destined for Western Europe; despite recent legislation, narcotics-related money laundering - using bureaux de change, trusts, and shell companies involving the offshore financial community - remains a concern