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Ireland (2005)

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Ireland 2005 year

Administrative divisions 26 counties; Carlow, Cavan, Clare, Cork, Donegal, Dublin, Galway, Kerry, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Leitrim, Limerick, Longford, Louth, Mayo, Meath, Monaghan, Offaly, Roscommon, Sligo, Tipperary, Waterford, Westmeath, Wexford, Wicklow

note: Cavan, Donegal, and Monaghan are part of Ulster Province
Age structure 0-14 years: 20.9% (male 434,225/female 406,730)

15-64 years: 67.5% (male 1,358,086/female 1,354,148)

65 years and over: 11.5% (male 203,614/female 258,873) (2005 est.)
Agriculture - products turnips, barley, potatoes, sugar beets, wheat; beef, dairy products
Airports 36 (2004 est.)
Airports - with paved runways total: 15

over 3,047 m: 1

2,438 to 3,047 m: 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 4

914 to 1,523 m: 3

under 914 m: 6 (2004 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways total: 21

914 to 1,523 m: 4

under 914 m: 17 (2004 est.)
Area total: 70,280 sq km

land: 68,890 sq km

water: 1,390 sq km
Area - comparative slightly larger than West Virginia
Background Celtic tribes arrived on the island between 600-150 B.C. Invasions by Norsemen that began in the late 8th century were finally ended when King Brian BORU defeated the Danes in 1014. English invasions began in the 12th century and set off more than seven centuries of Anglo-Irish struggle marked by fierce rebellions and harsh repressions. A failed 1916 Easter Monday Rebellion touched off several years of guerrilla warfare that in 1921 resulted in independence from the UK for 26 southern counties; six northern (Ulster) counties remained part of the United Kingdom. In 1948 Ireland withdrew from the British Commonwealth; it joined the European Community in 1973. Irish governments have sought the peaceful unification of Ireland and have cooperated with Britain against terrorist groups. A peace settlement for Northern Ireland, known as the Good Friday Agreement and approved in 1998, is being implemented with some difficulties.
Birth rate 14.47 births/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Budget revenues: $62.51 billion

expenditures: $63.52 billion, including capital expenditures of $5.5 billion (2004 est.)
Capital Dublin
Climate temperate maritime; modified by North Atlantic Current; mild winters, cool summers; consistently humid; overcast about half the time
Coastline 1,448 km
Constitution adopted 1 July 1937 by plebiscite; effective 29 December 1937
Country name conventional long form: none

conventional short form: Ireland

local long form: none

local short form: Eire
Death rate 7.85 deaths/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Debt - external $11 billion (1998)
Diplomatic representation from the US chief of mission: Ambassador James C. KENNY

embassy: 42 Elgin Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4

mailing address: use embassy street address

telephone: [353] (1) 668-8777

FAX: [353] (1) 668-9946
Diplomatic representation in the US chief of mission: Ambassador Noel FAHEY

chancery: 2234 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 462-3939

FAX: [1] (202) 232-5993

consulate(s) general: Boston, Chicago, New York, and San Francisco
Disputes - international Ireland, Iceland, and the UK dispute Denmark's claim that the Faroe Islands' continental shelf extends beyond 200 nm
Economic aid - donor ODA, $283 million (2001)
Economy - overview Ireland is a small, modern, trade-dependent economy with growth averaging a robust 7% in 1995-2004. Agriculture, once the most important sector, is now dwarfed by industry and services. Industry accounts for 46% of GDP, about 80% of exports, and 29% of the labor force. Although exports remain the primary engine for Ireland's growth, the economy has also benefited from a rise in consumer spending, construction, and business investment. Per capita GDP is 10% above that of the four big European economies and the second highest in the EU behind Luxembourg. Over the past decade, the Irish Government has implemented a series of national economic programs designed to curb price and wage inflation, reduce government spending, increase labor force skills, and promote foreign investment. Ireland joined in circulating the euro on 1 January 2002 along with 11 other EU nations.
Electricity - consumption 21.78 billion kWh (2002)
Electricity - exports 100 million kWh (2002)
Electricity - imports 600 million kWh (2002)
Electricity - production 22.88 billion kWh (2002)
Elevation extremes lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m

highest point: Carrauntoohil 1,041 m
Environment - current issues water pollution, especially of lakes, from agricultural runoff
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
Ethnic groups Celtic, English
Exchange rates euros per US dollar - 0.8054 (2004), 0.886 (2003), 1.0626 (2002), 1.1175 (2001), 1.0854 (2000)
Executive branch chief of state: President Mary MCALEESE (since 11 November 1997)

head of government: Prime Minister Bertie AHERN (since 26 June 1997)

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president with previous nomination by the prime minister and approval of the House of Representatives

elections: president elected by popular vote for a seven-year term; election last held 31 October 1997 (next scheduled for October 2011); note - Mary MCALEESE appointed to a second term when no other candidate qualified for the 2004 presidential election; prime minister nominated by the House of Representatives and appointed by the president

election results: Mary MCALEESE elected president; percent of vote - Mary MCALEESE 44.8%, Mary BANOTTI 29.6%

note: government coalition - Fianna Fail and the Progressive Democrats
Exports 100 million kWh (2002)
Exports $103.8 billion f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Exports 0 cu m (2001 est.)
Exports 27,450 bbl/day (2001)
Exports - commodities machinery and equipment, computers, chemicals, pharmaceuticals; live animals, animal products
Exports - partners US 19.7%, UK 17.7%, Belgium 14.7%, Germany 7.7%, France 6%, Netherlands 4.6%, Italy 4.5% (2004)
Fiscal year calendar year
Flag description three equal vertical bands of green (hoist side), white, and orange; 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
GDP - composition by sector agriculture: 5%

industry: 46%

services: 49% (2002 est.)
GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $31,900 (2004 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 5.1% (2004 est.)
Geographic coordinates 53 00 N, 8 00 W
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
Highways total: 95,736 km

paved: 95,736 km (including 125 km of expressways)

unpaved: 0 km (2002)
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%: 2%

highest 10%: 27.3% (1997)
Illicit drugs transshipment point for and consumer of hashish from North Africa to the UK and Netherlands and of European-produced synthetic drugs; 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
Imports 600 million kWh (2002)
Imports $60.65 billion f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Imports 3.384 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Imports 178,600 bbl/day (2001)
Imports - commodities data processing equipment, other machinery and equipment, chemicals, petroleum and petroleum products, textiles, clothing
Imports - partners UK 35.6%, US 13.8%, Germany 8.9%, Netherlands 4.3%, France 4.2% (2004)
Independence 6 December 1921 (from UK by treaty)
Industrial production growth rate 7% (2004 est.)
Industries steel, lead, zinc, silver, aluminum, barite, and gypsum mining processing; food products, brewing, textiles, clothing; chemicals, pharmaceuticals; machinery, rail transportation equipment, passenger and commercial vehicles, ship construction and refurbishment; glass and crystal; software, tourism
Infant mortality rate total: 5.39 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 5.91 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 4.84 deaths/1,000 live births (2005 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 2.2% (2004 est.)
Irrigated land NA sq km
Judicial branch Supreme Court (judges appointed by the president on the advice of the prime minister and cabinet)
Labor force 1.92 million (2004 est.)
Labor force - by occupation agriculture 8%, industry 29%, services 63% (2002 est.)
Land boundaries total: 360 km

border countries: UK 360 km
Land use arable land: 15.2%

permanent crops: 0.03%

other: 84.77% (2001)
Languages English (official) is the language generally used, Irish (official) (Gaelic or Gaeilge) spoken mainly in areas located along the western seaboard
Legal system based on English common law, substantially modified by indigenous concepts; judicial review of legislative acts in Supreme Court; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Legislative branch bicameral Parliament or Oireachtas consists of the Senate or Seanad Eireann (60 seats - 49 elected by the universities and from candidates put forward by five vocational panels, 11 are nominated by the prime minister; members serve five-year terms) and the House of Representatives or Dail Eireann (166 seats; members are elected by popular vote on the basis of proportional representation to serve five-year terms)

elections: Senate - last held 16 and 17 July 2002 (next to be held by July 2007); House of Representatives - last held 17 May 2002 (next to be held by May 2007)

election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - Fianna Fail 30, Fine Gael 15, Labor Party 5, Progressive Democrats 4, independents and others 6; House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - Fianna Fail 41.5%, Fine Gael 22.5%, Labor Party 10.8%, Sinn Fein 6.5%, Progressive Democrats 4.0%, Green Party 3.8%, others 10.9%; seats by party - Fianna Fail 81, Fine Gael 31, Labor Party 21, Progressive Democrats 8, Green Party 6, Sinn Fein 5, others 14
Life expectancy at birth total population: 77.56 years

male: 74.95 years

female: 80.34 years (2005 est.)
Literacy definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 98% (1981 est.)

male: NA%

female: NA%
Location Western Europe, occupying five-sixths of the island of Ireland in the North Atlantic Ocean, west of Great Britain
Map references Europe
Maritime claims territorial sea: 12 nm

exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
Merchant marine total: 39

by type: bulk carrier 4, cargo 27, chemical tanker 1, container 1, passenger/cargo 4, roll on/roll off 2

foreign-owned: 11 (Germany 3, Italy 3, Norway 1, Switzerland 1, United Kingdom 3)

registered in other countries: 18 (2005)
Military branches Army (includes Naval Service and Air Corps)
Military expenditures - dollar figure $700 million (FY00/01)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 0.9% (FY00/01)
National holiday Saint Patrick's Day, 17 March
Nationality noun: Irishman(men), Irishwoman(women), Irish (collective plural)

adjective: Irish
Natural hazards NA
Natural resources natural gas, peat, copper, lead, zinc, silver, barite, gypsum, limestone, dolomite
Net migration rate 4.93 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Pipelines gas 1,795 km (2004)
Political parties and leaders Fianna Fail [Bertie AHERN]; Fine Gael [Enda KENNY]; Green Party [Trevor SARGENT]; Labor Party [Pat RABITTE]; Progressive Democrats [Mary HARNEY]; Sinn Fein [Gerry ADAMS]; Socialist Party [Joe HIGGINS]; The Workers' Party [Sean GARLAND]
Political pressure groups and leaders NA
Population 4,015,676 (July 2005 est.)
Population below poverty line 10% (1997 est.)
Population growth rate 1.16% (2005 est.)
Ports and harbors Cork, Dublin, New Ross, Shannon Foynes, Waterford
Radio broadcast stations AM 9, FM 106, shortwave 0 (1998)
Railways total: 3,312 km

broad gauge: 1,947 km 1.600-m gauge (46 km electrified)

narrow gauge: 1,365 km 0.914-m gauge (operated by the Irish Peat Board to transport peat to power stations and briquetting plants) (2004)
Religions Roman Catholic 88.4%, Church of Ireland 3%, other Christian 1.6%, other 1.5%, unspecified 2%, none 3.5% (2002 census)
Sex ratio at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.07 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.79 male(s)/female

total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2005 est.)
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal
Telephone system general assessment: modern digital system using cable and microwave radio relay

domestic: microwave radio relay

international: country code - 353; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Telephones - main lines in use 1.955 million (2003)
Telephones - mobile cellular 3.4 million (2003)
Television broadcast stations 4 (many low-power repeaters) (2001)
Terrain mostly level to rolling interior plain surrounded by rugged hills and low mountains; sea cliffs on west coast
Total fertility rate 1.87 children born/woman (2005 est.)
Unemployment rate 4.3% (2004 est.)
Waterways 753 km (pleasure craft only) (2004)
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