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Area: 70,282 sq. km. (27,136 sq. mi.); slightly larger than West Virginia.
Cities: Capital--Dublin (pop. 495,101). Other cities--Cork (123,338), Galway (65,774), Limerick (54,058), Waterford, (44,564).
Terrain: Arable 10%, meadows and pastures 77%, rough grazing in use 11%, inland water 2%.
Climate: Temperate maritime.

Nationality: Noun--Irishman, Irishwoman. Adjective--Irish.
Population: 3,917,203.
Population growth rate: 0.93%.
Ethnic groups: Irish, with English minority.
Religions: Roman Catholic 88.4%; Church of Ireland 3.0%; other 8.7%.
Languages: English, Irish (Gaelic).
Education: Compulsory up to age 16. Enrollment rates--5-14 year olds, 100%; 15 year olds, 97%; 16 year olds, 91%. Literacy--98%-99%.
Health: Infant mortality rate--5.3/1,000. Life expectancy at birth--male 73.0 yrs., female 77.5 yrs.
Work force: Services--56%; industry--29%; agriculture--10%; government--5%.

Type: Parliamentary republic.
Independence: December 6,1921.
Constitution: December 29, 1937.
Branches: Executive--president, chief of state; prime minister (Taoiseach--pronounced "TEE-shuck"), head of government. Legislative--bicameral national Parliament (Oireachtas--pronounced "o-ROCK-tas"): House of Representatives (Dail--pronounced "DOIL") and Senate (Seanad--pronounced "SHAN-ad"). Judicial--Supreme Court.
Administrative subdivisions: 26 counties, 34 local authorities.
Major political parties: Fianna Fail, Fine Gael, Labor, Progressive Democrats, Green Party, Sinn Fein.
Suffrage: Universal over 18.

GDP at market prices (2003 est.): $149.4 billion.
Annual growth rate (2003 est.): 1.4%.
Per capita income (2003 est.): $38,308.
Natural resources: Zinc, lead, natural gas, barite, copper, gypsum, limestone, dolomite, peat.
Agriculture (5% of GDP): Products--cattle, meat, and dairy products; potatoes; barley; sugarbeets; hay; silage; wheat.
Industry (46% of GDP): Types--food processing, beverages, engineering, computer equipment, textiles and clothing, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, construction.
Trade (2002): Exports--$86.2 billion (excluding services): machinery, transport equipment, chemicals, food, live animals, manufactured materials, beverages. Imports--$51.2 billion (excluding services): grains, petroleum products, machinery, transport equipment, chemicals, textile yarns. Major suppliers--EU 64% (U.K. 36%, Germany 6%, France 4%), U.S. 16%, Japan 5%, China 4%.

Adapted from material published in the CIA World Factbook.
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