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Ireland :: Europe



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.



Western Europe, occupying five-sixths of the island of Ireland in the North Atlantic Ocean, west of Great Britain

Geographic coordinates:

53 00 N, 8 00 W

Map references:



total: 70,273 sq km
land: 68,883 sq km
water: 1,390 sq km
country comparison to the world: 120

Area - comparative:

slightly larger than West Virginia

Land boundaries:

total: 490 km
border countries (1): UK 490 km


1,448 km

Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm


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


mostly flat to rolling interior plain surrounded by rugged hills and low mountains; sea cliffs on west coast


mean elevation: 118 m
lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Carrauntoohil 1,041 m

Natural resources:

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

Land use:

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:

0 sq km (2012)

Population distribution:

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:

rare extreme weather events

Environment - current issues:

water pollution, especially of lakes, from agricultural runoff; acid rain kills plants, destroys soil fertility, and contributes to deforestation

Environment - international agreements:

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:

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


5,176,569 (July 2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 122


noun: Irishman(men), Irishwoman(women), Irish (collective plural)
adjective: Irish

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.)


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)


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:

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.)

Dependency ratios:

total dependency ratio: 54.8
youth dependency ratio: 32.3
elderly dependency ratio: 22.6
potential support ratio: 4.4 (2020 est.)

Median age:

total: 37.8 years
male: 37.4 years
female: 38.2 years (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 66

Population growth rate:

1.04% (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 100

Birth rate:

13 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 143

Death rate:

6.8 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 133

Net migration rate:

3.9 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 30

Population distribution:

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


urban population: 63.7% of total population (2020)
rate of urbanization: 1.14% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)

Major urban areas - population:

1.228 million DUBLIN (capital) (2020)

Sex ratio:

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:

30.5 years (2018 est.)

Maternal mortality rate:

5 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 165

Infant mortality rate:

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: 194

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 81.2 years
male: 78.9 years
female: 83.7 years (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 36

Total fertility rate:

1.94 children born/woman (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 124

Contraceptive prevalence rate:

73.3% (2010)
note: percent of women aged 18-45

Drinking water source:

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:

7.2% (2017)

Physicians density:

3.29 physicians/1,000 population (2017)

Hospital bed density:

3 beds/1,000 population (2017)

Sanitation facility access:

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:

0.2% (2019 est.)
country comparison to the world: 99

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

7,500 (2019 est.)
country comparison to the world: 112

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

<100 (2019 est.)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate:

25.3% (2016)
country comparison to the world: 51

Education expenditures:

3.5% of GDP (2017)
country comparison to the world: 117

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 20 years
male: 19 years
female: 20 years (2018)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:

total: 13.8%
male: 14.8%
female: 12.6% (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 99


Country name:

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:

parliamentary republic


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:

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


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:

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


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

Legal system:

common law system based on the English model but substantially modified by customary law; judicial review of legislative acts by Supreme Court

International law organization participation:

accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction


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


18 years of age; universal

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
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:

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)
elections: 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:

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:

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:


Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: 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:

chief of mission: Ambassador Edward F. CRAWFORD (since 1 July 2019)
telephone: [353] (1) 668-8777
embassy: 42 Elgin Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4
mailing address: use embassy street address
FAX: [353] (1) 688-9946

Flag description:

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):

harp, shamrock (trefoil); national colors: blue, green

National anthem:

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


Economic overview:

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 real growth rate:

5.86% (2019 est.)
9.42% (2018 est.)
9.49% (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 32

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

0.9% (2019 est.)
0.4% (2018 est.)
0.3% (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 60

Credit ratings:

Fitch rating: A+ (2017)
Moody's rating: A2 (2017)
Standard & Poors rating: AA- (2019)

GDP (purchasing power parity) - real:

$352.569 billion (2019 est.)
$332.993 billion (2018 est.)
$304.691 billion (2017 est.)
note: data are in 2010 dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):

$398.476 billion (2019 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$81,340 (2019 est.)
$77,841 (2018 est.)
$72,205 (2017 est.)
note: data are in 2010 dollars
country comparison to the world: 9

Gross national saving:

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 sector of origin:

agriculture: 1.2% (2017 est.)
industry: 38.6% (2017 est.)
services: 60.2% (2017 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use:

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.)

Ease of Doing Business Index scores:

94.4 (2020)

Agriculture - products:

barley, potatoes, wheat; beef, dairy products


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

Industrial production growth rate:

7.8% (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 25

Labor force:

2.289 million (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 117

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 5%
industry: 11%
services: 84% (2015 est.)

Unemployment rate:

4.98% (2019 est.)
5.78% (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 75

Population below poverty line:

8.2% (2013 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 2.9%
highest 10%: 27.2% (2000)


revenues: 86.04 billion (2017 est.)
expenditures: 87.19 billion (2017 est.)

Taxes and other revenues:

26% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 115

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):

-0.3% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 53

Public debt:

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:

calendar year

Current account balance:

-$44.954 billion (2019 est.)
$24.154 billion (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 202


$541.789 billion (2019 est.)
$489.89 billion (2018 est.)
$440.693 billion (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 15

Exports - partners:

US 27.1%, UK 13.4%, Belgium 11%, Germany 8.1%, Switzerland 5.1%, Netherlands 4.9%, France 4.3% (2017)

Exports - commodities:

machinery and equipment, computers, chemicals, medical devices, pharmaceuticals; foodstuffs, animal products


$489.957 billion (2019 est.)
$371.221 billion (2018 est.)
$359.725 billion (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 15

Imports - commodities:

data processing equipment, other machinery and equipment, chemicals, petroleum and petroleum products, textiles, clothing

Imports - partners:

UK 29%, US 18.9%, France 12.1%, Germany 9.6%, Netherlands 4.1% (2017)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$4.412 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$2.203 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 99

Debt - external:

$2.47 trillion (31 March 2016 est.)
$2.35 trillion (31 March 2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 8

Exchange rates:

euros (EUR) per US dollar -
0.82771 (2020 est.)
0.90338 (2019 est.)
0.87789 (2018 est.)
0.885 (2014 est.)
0.7634 (2013 est.)


Electricity access:

electrification - total population: 100% (2020)

Electricity - production:

28.53 billion kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 69

Electricity - consumption:

25.68 billion kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 68

Electricity - exports:

1.583 billion kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 48

Electricity - imports:

871 million kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 71

Electricity - installed generating capacity:

9.945 million kW (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 61

Electricity - from fossil fuels:

65% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 116

Electricity - from nuclear fuels:

0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 112

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:

2% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 138

Electricity - from other renewable sources:

33% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 12

Crude oil - production:

0 bbl/day (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 152

Crude oil - exports:

5,900 bbl/day (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 64

Crude oil - imports:

66,210 bbl/day (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 50

Crude oil - proved reserves:

0 bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 148

Refined petroleum products - production:

64,970 bbl/day (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 76

Refined petroleum products - consumption:

153,700 bbl/day (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 66

Refined petroleum products - exports:

37,040 bbl/day (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 59

Refined petroleum products - imports:

126,600 bbl/day (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 47

Natural gas - production:

3.511 billion cu m (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 54

Natural gas - consumption:

5.238 billion cu m (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 55

Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 125

Natural gas - imports:

1.642 billion cu m (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 55

Natural gas - proved reserves:

9.911 billion cu m (1 January 2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 79

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:

36.91 million Mt (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 71


Telephones - fixed lines:

total subscriptions: 1,854,605
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 36.2 (2019 est.)
country comparison to the world: 59

Telephones - mobile cellular:

total subscriptions: 5,398,848
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 105.38 (2019 est.)
country comparison to the world: 117

Telecommunication systems:

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 105 per 100 subscriptions; digital system using cable and microwave radio relay (2019)
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:

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:


Internet users:

total: 4,283,516
percent of population: 84.52% (July 2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 92

Broadband - fixed subscriptions:

total: 1,430,160
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 28 (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 65


National air transport system:

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:

EI (2016)


40 (2013)
country comparison to the world: 105

Airports - with paved runways:

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:

total: 24 (2013)
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2013)
914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2013)
under 914 m: 21 (2013)


2,427 km gas (2017)


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


total: 99,830 km (2018)
paved: 99,830 km (includes 2,717 km of expressways) (2018)
country comparison to the world: 48


956 km (pleasure craft only) (2010)
country comparison to the world: 67

Merchant marine:

total: 93
by type: bulk carrier 9general cargo 37, oil tanker 1, other 46 (2019)
country comparison to the world: 95

Ports and terminals:

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)

Military and Security

Military and security forces:

Irish Defence Forces (Oglaigh na h-Eireannn): Army (includes Army Reserve), Naval Service (includes Naval Service Reserves), Air Corps (2019)

Military expenditures:

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: 156

Military and security service personnel strengths:

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:

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:

130 Golan Heights (UNDOF); 340 Lebanon (UNIFIL) (2020)

Military service age and obligation:

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)


Terrorist group(s):

Continuity Irish Republican Army; New Irish Republican Army (2019)
note: details about the history, aims, leadership, organization, areas of operation, tactics, targets, weapons, size, and sources of support of the group(s) appear(s) in Appendix-T

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international:

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

Refugees and internally displaced persons:

stateless persons: 99 (2019)

Illicit drugs:

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