Population: 4,709,040

Area: 27,132 square miles (70,273 square kilometers). Slightly larger than West Virginia.

Capital City: Dublin

Time Zone: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time).

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

Climate: Ireland has a temperate maritime climate. Due to the North Atlantic Current; winters are generally mild and summers cool. It is consistently humid and overcast about half of the time.

Currency: As a member of the EU, Ireland uses the Euro (€). US$1 = €0.95

Language: English is an official language in Ireland and is used throughout the country. Irish (also known as Gaelic or Gaeilge) is also an official language, and is spoken by approximately 38.7% of the population as a first or second language, mainly spoken in areas along the western coast.

System of Government: Ireland’s government is a republic, parliamentary democracy. The legislature (Oireachtas) has two branches—the Dáil (or Assembly, made up of 158 seats) and the Seanad (Senate, consisting of 60 seats). All representatives are elected by their constituents.

Head of State: President Michael D. Higgins (since 29 October 2011). The president is elected by popular vote. The presidential term lasts seven years.

Head of Government: Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda Kenny (since 9 March 2011). The Taoiseach is elected indirectly through the newly formed Dáil. They are the head of the largest government party, or the appointed leader of a coalition.

Telephone Country Code: 353

Internet Country Code: .ie

Emergency numbers: 999, 112

Religion: The major religion in Ireland is Roman Catholic, with 84.7% of the population identifying as such. Church of Ireland, a form of Protestantism, accounts for 2.7% of the population, while another 2.7% is made up of other Christian religions. A small section of the population (1.1%) identify as Muslim, and other religions make up 1.7%. Another 1.5% are unspecified, while 5.7% of the population do not follow a religion.

Life Expectancy at Birth: 81.4 years (Men = 78.3, Women = 82.7)

Exports: $123 billion

Imports: $74 billion

Gross Domestic Product (Purchasing Power Parity): $320 billion

GDP per Capita: $70,000

Inflation Rate: -0.5%

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