Ireland is an island lying to the west of Britain and it is separated from Britain by the Irish Sea. The island is divided into two national jurisdictions: The Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. The official name of the Republic is Poblacht Na h’Éireann, or short Éire.

The capital of the Republic is Dublin, Northern Ireland has Belfast.

The island’s area is 84,421 sq km. Ireland is divided into 32 counties (The Republic of Ireland consists of 26 counties, Northern Ireland of 6).

Ireland’s population is approximately 5½ million, about 4 in the Republic and about 1½ in the North. Ireland’s population is still less than it was before the famine, when it was around 8½ million. Over a million people died and more than a million had left by 1851. The population only began to grow again in the 1960s, so now over 50% of the people are under 28 and the population of Ireland is relatively young. In 1996 23.9% was less than 15 years old, the highest percentage in any EU country (1988 EU average = 18.6%). Only 11.5% of Ireland’s population was more than 65 years old (1988 EU average = 14.1%).

Dublin’s population is over 1 million but the Greater Dublin area contains at least 1½ million.

The density of population is 55 per square kilometre.