Ireland is an island in the North Atlantic separated from the west coast of Great Britain by the North Channel, the Irish Sea, and St George’s Channel. It is the second-largest island of the British Isles after Great Britain, the third largest in Europe and the twentieth-largest on Earth.
The population of Ireland is about 6.4 million. Just under 4.6 million live in the Republic of Ireland and just over 1.8 million live in Northern Ireland.The island of Ireland is located in the north-west of Europe, between latitudes 51° and 56° N, and longitudes 11° and 5° W. Ireland has a total area of 84,421 km2(32,595 sq. mi)
The Republic of Ireland is a parliamentary democracy.
Its capital is Dublin. Ireland today ranks amongst the wealthiest countries in the world in terms of GDP per capita and in 2012 was ranked the seventh most developed nation in the world by the United Nations’ Human Development Index.
In terms of GDP per capita, Ireland is ranked as one of the wealthiest countries in the OECD and the EU-27 at 5th in the OECD-28 rankings as of 2008.
Exports play an important role in Ireland’s economic growth. A series of significant discoveries of base metal deposits have been made, including the giant ore deposit at Tara Mine. Zinc-lead ores are also currently mined from two other underground operations in Lisheen and Galmoy. Ireland now ranks as the seventh largest producer of zinc concentrates in the world, and the twelfth largest producer of lead concentrates. The combined output from these mines makes Ireland the largest zinc producer in Europe and the second largest producer of lead.
The country is one of the largest exporters of pharmaceuticals, medical devices and software-related goods and services in the world.
Tourism in the Republic of Ireland is one of the biggest contributors to the Economy of the Republic of Ireland, with over 7.3 million people visiting the country in 2014, about 1.6 times Ireland’s population. Each year about €5bn in revenue is made from economic activities directly related to tourists, accounting for about 4% of GNP and employing over 200,000 people. In 2011 alone, Ireland was voted ‘Favourite holiday destination in the World’ by readers of From mer’s Guide, Lonely Planet listed Ireland as the world’s friendliest country and Cork City as one of the top ten cities in the world and the Irish tourist boards website, DiscoverIreland.com, was named the best tourist board website in the world.