Ireland

Country Summary

2022 population pyramid

Introduction

Background

Celtic tribes arrived on the island between 600 and 150 B.C., followed by Norsemen in the late 8th century. Anglo-Norman invasions began in the 12th century. The modern Irish state broke from the UK in 1921.

Geography

Area

total: 70,273 sq km

land: 68,883 sq km

water: 1,390 sq km

Climate

temperate maritime; modified by North Atlantic Current; mild winters, cool summers; consistently humid; overcast about half the time

Natural resources

natural gas, peat, copper, lead, zinc, silver, barite, gypsum, limestone, dolomite

People and Society

Population

5,275,004 (2022 est.)

Ethnic groups

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

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

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.)

Population growth rate

0.94% (2022 est.)

Government

Government type

parliamentary republic

Capital

name: Dublin

Executive branch

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 

Legislative branch

description: bicameral Parliament or Oireachtas consists of:
Senate or Seanad Eireann (60 seats; 49 members indirectly elected from 5 vocational panels of nominees by an electoral college, 11 appointed by the prime minister
House of Representatives or Dail Eireann (160 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote; all Parliament members serve 5-year terms)

Economy

Economic overview

strong, export-based EU economy; multinational-business-friendly environment known for resilience, even amid COVID-19 disruptions; real wage growth beyond other OECD members; high livings standards; strong social equity and cohesion; aging labor force

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$447.97 billion (2020 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$89,700 (2020 est.)

Agricultural products

milk, barley, beef, wheat, potatoes, pork, oats, poultry, mushrooms/truffles, mutton

Industries

pharmaceuticals, chemicals, computer hardware and software, food products, beverages and brewing; medical devices

Exports

$502.31 billion (2019 est.)

Exports - partners

United States 28%, Belgium 10%, Germany 10%, UK 9%, China 5%, Netherlands 5% (2019)

Exports - commodities

medical cultures/vaccines, nitrogen compounds, packaged medicines, integrated circuits, scented mixtures (2019)

Imports

$452.98 billion (2019 est.)

Imports - partners

United Kingdom 31%, United States 16%, Germany 10%, Netherlands 5%, France 5% (2019)

Imports - commodities

aircraft, computers, packaged medicines, refined petroleum, medical cultures/vaccines (2019)


Page last updated: Thursday, May 12, 2022