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United Kingdom vs. Ireland

Introduction

United KingdomIreland
BackgroundThe United Kingdom has historically played a leading role in developing parliamentary democracy and in advancing literature and science. At its zenith in the 19th century, the British Empire stretched over one-fourth of the earth's surface. The first half of the 20th century saw the UK's strength seriously depleted in two world wars and the Irish Republic's withdrawal from the union. The second half witnessed the dismantling of the Empire and the UK rebuilding itself into a modern and prosperous European nation. As one of five permanent members of the UN Security Council and a founding member of NATO and the Commonwealth, the UK pursues a global approach to foreign policy. The Scottish Parliament, the National Assembly for Wales, and the Northern Ireland Assembly were established in 1998. The latter was suspended from October 2002 until May 2007 due to wrangling over the peace process.
The UK has been an active member of the EU since its accession in 1973, although it chose to remain outside the Economic and Monetary Union. However, motivated in part by frustration at a remote bureaucracy in Brussels and massive migration into the country, UK citizens on 23 June 2016 narrowly voted to leave the EU. The so-called “Brexit” (British exit) will take at least two years to carry out but could help trigger referenda in other EU countries where skepticism of EU membership benefits is strong.
"Celtic tribes arrived on the island between 600 and 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. Norman invasions began in the 12th century and set off more than seven centuries of Anglo-Irish struggle marked by fierce rebellions and harsh repressions. The Irish famine of the mid-19th century saw the population of the island drop by one third through starvation and emigration. For more than a century after that the population of the island continued to fall only to begin growing again in the 1960s. Over the last 50 years, Ireland's high birthrate has made it demographically one of the youngest populations in the EU. The modern Irish state traces its origins to the failed 1916 Easter Monday Uprising that touched off several years of guerrilla warfare resulting in independence from the UK in 1921 for 26 southern counties; six northern (Ulster) counties remained part of the UK. Unresolved issues in Northern Ireland erupted into years of violence known as the ""Troubles"" that began in the 1960s. The Government of Ireland was part of a process along with the UK and US Governments that helped broker what is known as The Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland in 1998. This initiated a new phase of cooperation between the Irish and British Governments. Ireland was neutral in World War II and continues its policy of military neutrality. Ireland joined the European Community in 1973 and the euro-zone currency union in 1999. The economic boom years of the Celtic Tiger (1995-2007) saw rapid economic growth, which came to an abrupt end in 2008 with the meltdown of the Irish banking system. Today the economy is recovering, fueled by large and growing foreign direct investment, especially from US multi-nationals.
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Geography

United KingdomIreland
LocationWestern Europe, islands - including the northern one-sixth of the island of Ireland - between the North Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea; northwest of France
Western Europe, occupying five-sixths of the island of Ireland in the North Atlantic Ocean, west of Great Britain
Geographic coordinates54 00 N, 2 00 W
53 00 N, 8 00 W
Map referencesEurope
Europe
Areatotal: 243,610 sq km
land: 241,930 sq km
water: 1,680 sq km
note: includes Rockall and Shetland Islands
total: 70,273 sq km
land: 68,883 sq km
water: 1,390 sq km
Area - comparativetwice the size of Pennsylvania; slightly smaller than Oregon
slightly larger than West Virginia
Land boundariestotal: 443 km
border countries (1): Ireland 443 km
total: 443 km
border countries (1): UK 443 km
Coastline12,429 km
1,448 km
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: as defined in continental shelf orders or in accordance with agreed upon boundaries
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
Climatetemperate; moderated by prevailing southwest winds over the North Atlantic Current; more than one-half of the days are overcast
temperate maritime; modified by North Atlantic Current; mild winters, cool summers; consistently humid; overcast about half the time
Terrainmostly rugged hills and low mountains; level to rolling plains in east and southeast
mostly flat to rolling interior plain surrounded by rugged hills and low mountains; sea cliffs on west coast
Elevation extremesmean elevation: 162 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: The Fens -4 m
highest point: Ben Nevis 1,343 m
mean elevation: 118 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Carrauntoohil 1,041 m
Natural resourcescoal, petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, lead, zinc, gold, tin, limestone, salt, clay, chalk, gypsum, potash, silica sand, slate, arable land
natural gas, peat, copper, lead, zinc, silver, barite, gypsum, limestone, dolomite
Land useagricultural land: 71%
arable land 25.1%; permanent crops 0.2%; permanent pasture 45.7%
forest: 11.9%
other: 17.1% (2011 est.)
agricultural land: 66.1%
arable land 15.4%; permanent crops 0%; permanent pasture 50.7%
forest: 10.9%
other: 23% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land950 sq km (2012)
0 sq km (2012)
Natural hazardswinter windstorms; floods
NA
Environment - current issuescontinues to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; by 2005 the government reduced the amount of industrial and commercial waste disposed of in landfill sites to 85% of 1998 levels and recycled or composted at least 25% of household waste, increasing to 33% by 2015
water pollution, especially of lakes, from agricultural runoff
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected 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
Geography - notelies near vital North Atlantic sea lanes; only 35 km from France and linked by tunnel under the English Channel (the Channel Tunnel or Chunnel); because of heavily indented coastline, no location is more than 125 km from tidal waters
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
Population distributionthe core of the population lies in and around London, with significant clusters found in central Britain around Manchester and Liverpool, in the Scotish lowlands between Endinburgh and Glasgow, southern Wales in and around Cardiff, and far eastern Northern Ireland centered on Belfast
population distribution is weighted to the eastern side of the island, with the largest agglomeration being in and around Dublin; populations in the west are small due to mountainous land, poorer soil, lack of good transport routes, and fewer job opportunities

Demographics

United KingdomIreland
Population64,430,428 (July 2016 est.)
4,952,473 (July 2016 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 17.44% (male 5,761,311/female 5,476,649)
15-24 years: 12.15% (male 3,997,150/female 3,830,268)
25-54 years: 40.74% (male 13,367,242/female 12,883,674)
55-64 years: 11.77% (male 3,760,020/female 3,820,525)
65 years and over: 17.9% (male 5,170,542/female 6,363,047) (2016 est.)
0-14 years: 21.51% (male 544,506/female 520,934)
15-24 years: 11.8% (male 297,025/female 287,512)
25-54 years: 43.52% (male 1,082,577/female 1,072,721)
55-64 years: 10.33% (male 256,353/female 255,155)
65 years and over: 12.84% (male 293,577/female 342,113) (2016 est.)
Median agetotal: 40.5 years
male: 39.3 years
female: 41.7 years (2016 est.)
total: 36.4 years
male: 36.1 years
female: 36.8 years (2016 est.)
Population growth rate0.53% (2016 est.)
1.2% (2016 est.)
Birth rate12.1 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
14.5 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate9.4 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
6.5 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Net migration rate2.5 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
4 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.81 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.86 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 4.3 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 4.7 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 3.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
total: 3.7 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 4 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 3.3 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 80.7 years
male: 78.5 years
female: 83 years (2016 est.)
total population: 80.8 years
male: 78.5 years
female: 83.2 years (2016 est.)
Total fertility rate1.89 children born/woman (2016 est.)
1.98 children born/woman (2016 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate0.33% (2013 est.)
0.28% (2014 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Briton(s), British (collective plural)
adjective: British
noun: Irishman(men), Irishwoman(women), Irish (collective plural)
adjective: Irish
Ethnic groupswhite 87.2%, black/African/Caribbean/black British 3%, Asian/Asian British: Indian 2.3%, Asian/Asian British: Pakistani 1.9%, mixed 2%, other 3.7% (2011 est.)
Irish 84.5%, other white 9.8%, Asian 1.9%, black 1.4%, mixed and other 0.9%, unspecified 1.6% (2011 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS126,700 (2013 est.)
8,000 (2014 est.)
ReligionsChristian (includes Anglican, Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, Methodist) 59.5%, Muslim 4.4%, Hindu 1.3%, other 2%, unspecified 7.2%, none 25.7% (2011 est.)
Roman Catholic 84.7%, Church of Ireland 2.7%, other Christian 2.7%, Muslim 1.1%, other 1.7%, unspecified 1.5%, none 5.7% (2011 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deathsfewer than 600 (2013 est.)
100 (2014 est.)
LanguagesEnglish
note: the following are recognized regional languages: Scots (about 30% of the population of Scotland), Scottish Gaelic (about 60,000 in Scotland), Welsh (about 20% of the population of Wales), Irish (about 10% of the population of Northern Ireland), Cornish (some 2,000 to 3,000 in Cornwall) (2012 est.)
English (official, the language generally used), Irish (Gaelic or Gaeilge) (official, spoken by approximately 38.7% of the population as a first or second language in 2011; mainly spoken in areas along the western coast)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)total: 18 years
male: 17 years
female: 18 years (2014)
total: 19 years
male: 19 years
female: 19 years (2014)
Education expenditures5.8% of GDP (2014)
5.3% of GDP (2013)
Urbanizationurban population: 82.6% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 0.88% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
urban population: 63.2% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 1.58% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Drinking water sourceimproved:
urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population
unimproved:
urban: 0% of population
rural: 0% of population
total: 0% of population (2015 est.)
improved:
urban: 97.9% of population
rural: 97.8% of population
total: 97.9% of population
unimproved:
urban: 2.1% of population
rural: 2.2% of population
total: 2.1% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility accessimproved:
urban: 99.1% of population
rural: 99.6% of population
total: 99.2% of population
unimproved:
urban: 0.9% of population
rural: 0.4% of population
total: 0.8% of population (2015 est.)
improved:
urban: 89.1% of population
rural: 92.9% of population
total: 90.5% of population
unimproved:
urban: 10.9% of population
rural: 7.1% of population
total: 9.5% of population (2015 est.)
Major cities - populationLONDON (capital) 10.313 million; Manchester 2.646 million; Birmingham 2.515 million; Glasgow 1.223 million; Southampton/Portsmouth 882,000; Liverpool 870,000 (2015)
DUBLIN (capital) 1.169 million (2015)
Maternal mortality rate9 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
8 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Health expenditures9.1% of GDP (2014)
7.8% of GDP (2014)
Physicians density2.81 physicians/1,000 population (2015)
2.79 physicians/1,000 population (2015)
Hospital bed density2.9 beds/1,000 population (2011)
2.9 beds/1,000 population (2011)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate29.8% (2014)
27% (2014)
Mother's mean age at first birth28.1 years
note: data represent England and Wales only (2012 est.)
29.9 years (2012 est.)
Dependency ratiostotal dependency ratio: 55.1
youth dependency ratio: 27.6
elderly dependency ratio: 27.6
potential support ratio: 3.6 (2015 est.)
total dependency ratio: 53.7
youth dependency ratio: 33.5
elderly dependency ratio: 20.2
potential support ratio: 5 (2015 est.)

Government

United KingdomIreland
Country name"conventional long form: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; note - the island of Great Britain includes England, Scotland, and Wales
conventional short form: United Kingdom
abbreviation: UK
etymology: self-descriptive country name; the designation ""Great Britain,"" in the sense of ""Larger Britain,"" dates back to medieval times and was used to distinguish the island from ""Little Britain,"" or Brittany in modern France; the name Ireland derives from the Gaelic ""Eriu,"" the matron goddess of Ireland (goddess of the land)
"
"conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Ireland
local long form: none
local short form: Eire
etymology: the modern Irish name ""Eire"" evolved from the Gaelic ""Eriu,"" the name of the matron goddess of Ireland (goddess of the land); the names ""Ireland"" in English and ""Eire"" in Irish are direct translations of each other
"
Government typeparliamentary constitutional monarchy; a Commonwealth realm
parliamentary republic
Capitalname: London
geographic coordinates: 51 30 N, 0 05 W
time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
note: applies to the United Kingdom proper, not to its overseas dependencies or territories
name: Dublin
geographic coordinates: 53 19 N, 6 14 W
time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
Administrative divisionsEngland: 27 two-tier counties, 32 London boroughs and 1 City of London or Greater London, 36 metropolitan districts, 56 unitary authorities (including 4 single-tier counties*)
two-tier counties: Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Cumbria, Derbyshire, Devon, Dorset, East Sussex, Essex, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Norfolk, North Yorkshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Somerset, Staffordshire, Suffolk, Surrey, Warwickshire, West Sussex, Worcestershire
London boroughs and City of London or Greater London: Barking and Dagenham, Barnet, Bexley, Brent, Bromley, Camden, Croydon, Ealing, Enfield, Greenwich, Hackney, Hammersmith and Fulham, Haringey, Harrow, Havering, Hillingdon, Hounslow, Islington, Kensington and Chelsea, Kingston upon Thames, Lambeth, Lewisham, City of London, Merton, Newham, Redbridge, Richmond upon Thames, Southwark, Sutton, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest, Wandsworth, Westminster
metropolitan districts: Barnsley, Birmingham, Bolton, Bradford, Bury, Calderdale, Coventry, Doncaster, Dudley, Gateshead, Kirklees, Knowlsey, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne, North Tyneside, Oldham, Rochdale, Rotherham, Salford, Sandwell, Sefton, Sheffield, Solihull, South Tyneside, St. Helens, Stockport, Sunderland, Tameside, Trafford, Wakefield, Walsall, Wigan, Wirral, Wolverhampton
unitary authorities: Bath and North East Somerset, Blackburn with Darwen, Bedford, Blackpool, Bournemouth, Bracknell Forest, Brighton and Hove, City of Bristol, Central Bedfordshire, Cheshire East, Cheshire West and Chester, Cornwall, Darlington, Derby, Durham County*, East Riding of Yorkshire, Halton, Hartlepool, Herefordshire*, Isle of Wight*, Isles of Scilly, City of Kingston upon Hull, Leicester, Luton, Medway, Middlesbrough, Milton Keynes, North East Lincolnshire, North Lincolnshire, North Somerset, Northumberland*, Nottingham, Peterborough, Plymouth, Poole, Portsmouth, Reading, Redcar and Cleveland, Rutland, Shropshire, Slough, South Gloucestershire, Southampton, Southend-on-Sea, Stockton-on-Tees, Stoke-on-Trent, Swindon, Telford and Wrekin, Thurrock, Torbay, Warrington, West Berkshire, Wiltshire, Windsor and Maidenhead, Wokingham, York
Northern Ireland: 5 borough councils, 4 district councils, 2 city councils
borough councils: Antrim and Newtownabbey; Ards and North Down; Armagh, Banbridge, and Craigavon; Causeway Coast and Glens; Mid and East Antrim
district councils: Derry and Strabane; Fermanagh and Omagh; Mid Ulster; Newry, Murne, and Down
city councils: Belfast; Lisburn and Castlereagh
Scotland: 32 council areas
council areas: Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire, Angus, Argyll and Bute, Clackmannanshire, Dumfries and Galloway, Dundee City, East Ayrshire, East Dunbartonshire, East Lothian, East Renfrewshire, City of Edinburgh, Eilean Siar (Western Isles), Falkirk, Fife, Glasgow City, Highland, Inverclyde, Midlothian, Moray, North Ayrshire, North Lanarkshire, Orkney Islands, Perth and Kinross, Renfrewshire, Shetland Islands, South Ayrshire, South Lanarkshire, Stirling, The Scottish Borders, West Dunbartonshire, West Lothian
Wales: 22 unitary authorities
unitary authorities: Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Caerphilly, Cardiff, Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire, Gwynedd, Isle of Anglesey, Merthyr Tydfil, Monmouthshire, Neath Port Talbot, Newport, Pembrokeshire, Powys, Rhondda Cynon Taff, Swansea, The Vale of Glamorgan, Torfaen, Wrexham
28 counties and 3 cities*; Carlow, Cavan, Clare, Cork, Cork*, Donegal, Dublin*, Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown, Fingal, Galway, Galway*, Kerry, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Leitrim, Limerick, Longford, Louth, Mayo, Meath, Monaghan, Offaly, Roscommon, Sligo, South Dublin, Tipperary, Waterford, Westmeath, Wexford, Wicklow
Independence12 April 1927 (Royal and Parliamentary Titles Act establishes current name of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland); notable earlier dates: 927 (minor English kingdoms united); 3 March 1284 (enactment of the Statute of Rhuddlan uniting England and Wales); 1536 (Act of Union formally incorporates England and Wales); 1 May 1707 (Acts of Union formally unite England and Scotland as Great Britain); 1 January 1801 (Acts of Union formally unite Great Britain and Ireland as the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland); 6 December 1921 (Anglo-Irish Treaty formalizes partition of Ireland; six counties remain part of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland)
6 December 1921 (from the UK by treaty)
National holidaythe UK does not celebrate one particular national holiday
Saint Patrick's Day, 17 March; note - marks the traditional death date of Saint Patrick, patron saint of Ireland, during the latter half of the fifth century A.D. (most commonly cited years are c. 461 and c. 493); although Saint Patrick's feast day was celebrated in Ireland as early as the ninth century, it only became an official public holiday in Ireland in 1903
Constitutionhistory: unwritten; partly statutes, partly common law and practice
amendments: proposed as a “bill” for an “Act of Parliament” by the government, by the House of Commons, or by the House of Lords; passage requires agreement by both houses and by the monarch (Royal Assent); note - recent additions include the Human Rights Act of 1998, the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010, the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act 2011, the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011, and the House of Lords (Expulsion and Suspension) Act 2015 (2016)
history: previous 1922; latest drafted 14 June 1937, adopted by plebiscite 1 July 1937, effective 29 December 1937
amendments: proposed as bills by Parliament; passage requires majority vote by both the Senate and House of Representatives, majority vote in a referendum, and presidental signature; amended many times, last in 2015 (2016)
Legal systemcommon law system; has nonbinding judicial review of Acts of Parliament under the Human Rights Act of 1998
common law system based on the English model but substantially modified by customary law; judicial review of legislative acts by Supreme Court
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
18 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); Heir Apparent Prince CHARLES (son of the queen, born 14 November 1948)
head of government: Prime Minister Theresa MAY (since 13 July 2016)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the prime minister
elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or majority coalition usually becomes the prime minister; Theresea MAY (Conservative) assumed office 13 July 2016
chief of state: President Michael D. HIGGINS (since 11 November 2011)
head of government: Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Leo VARADKAR (since 14 June 2017)
cabinet: Cabinet nominated by the prime minister, appointed by the president, approved by the Dali Eireann (lower house of Parliament)
elections/appointments: president directly elected by majority popular vote for a 7-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 29 October 2011 (next to be held in October 2018); taoiseach (prime minister) nominated by the House of Representatives (Dail Eireann), appointed by the president
election results: Michael D. HIGGINS elected president; percent of vote - Michael D. HIGGINS (Labor Party) 39.6%, Sean GALLAGHER (independent) 28.5%, Martin MCGUINNESS (Sinn Fein) 13.7%, Gay MITCHELL (Fine Gael) 6.4%, David NORRIS (independent) 6.2%, other 5.6%
Legislative branchdescription: bicameral Parliament consists of the House of Lords (membership not fixed (as of December 2016 there were 809 lords eligible for taking part in the work of the House of Lords consisting of 692 life peers, 91 hereditary peers, and 26 clergy; members appointed by the monarch on the advice of the prime minister and non-party political members recommended by the House of Lords Appointments Commission) and the House of Commons (650 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by first-past-the-post vote to serve 5-year terms unless the House is dissolved earlier)
elections: House of Lords - no elections (note - in 1999, as provided by the House of Lords Act, elections were held in the House of Lords to determine the 92 hereditary peers who would remain there; elections are held only as vacancies in the hereditary peerage arise); House of Commons - last held on 8 June 2017 (next to be held in June 2022)
election results: House of Commons - percent of vote by party - Conservative 42.4%, Labor 40.0%, Lib Dems 7.4%, SNP 3.0%, Greens 3.8%, DUP 0.9%, Sinn Fein 0.7%, other 5.6%; seats by party - Conservative 317, Labor 262, SNP 35, Lib Dems 12, DUP 10, Sinn Fein 7
description: bicameral Parliament or Oireachtas consists of the Senate or Seanad Eireann (60 seats; 43 members indirectly elected by panels of various vocational interests, 11 appointed by the prime minister, and 6 elected by graduates of the University of Dublin and the National University of Ireland; members serve 5-year terms) and the House of Representatives or Dail Eireann (158 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote; members serve 5-year terms)
elections: Senate - last held in April and May 2016 (next to be held no later than 2021); House of Representatives - last held on 26 February 2016 (next to be held no later than 2021)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Fine Gael 19, Fianna Fail 14, Sinn Fein 7, Labor Party 5, Sinn Fein 3, Green Party 1, independent 14; House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - Fine Gael 25.5%, Fianna Fail 24.4%, Sinn Fein 13.8%, Labor Party 6.6%, AAA-PBD 4.0%, Social Democrats 3.0%, Green Party 2.7%, Renua Ireland 2.2% independents 17.8%; seats by party - Fine Gael 50, Fianna Fail 44, Sinn Fein 23, Labor Party 7, AAA-PBP 6, Social Democrats 3, Green Party 2, independent 23
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of 12 justices including the court president and deputy president); note - the Supreme Court was established by the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 and implemented in October 2009, replacing the Appellate Committee of the House of Lords as the highest court in the United Kingdom
judge selection and term of office: judge candidates selected by an independent committee of several judicial commissions, followed by their recommendations to the prime minister, and appointed by Her Majesty The Queen; justices appointed for life
subordinate courts: England and Wales - Court of Appeal (civil and criminal divisions); High Court; Crown Court; County Courts; Magistrates' Courts; Scotland - Court of Sessions; Sheriff Courts; High Court of Justiciary; tribunals; Northern Ireland - Court of Appeal in Northern Ireland; High Court; county courts; magistrates' courts; specialized tribunals
highest court(s): Supreme Court of Ireland (consists of the chief justice, 9 judges, 2 ex-officio members - the presidents of the High Court and Court of Appeal - and organized in 3-, 5-, or 7-judge panels, depending on the importance or complexity of an issue of law)
judge selection and term of office: judges nominated by the prime minister and Cabinet and appointed by the president; chief justice serves in the position for 7 years; judges can serve until age 70
subordinate courts: High Court, Court of Appeal; circuit and district courts; criminal courts
Political parties and leadersAlliance Party (Northern Ireland) [Naomi LONG]
Conservative and Unionist Party [Theresa MAY]
Democratic Unionist Party or DUP (Northern Ireland) [Arlene FOSTER]
Green Party of England and Wales or Greens [Caroline LUCAS and Jonathan BARTLEY]
Labor (Labour) Party [Jeremy CORBYN]
Liberal Democrats (Lib Dems) [Tim FARRON]
Party of Wales (Plaid Cymru) [Leanne WOOD]
Scottish National Party or SNP [Nicola STURGEON]
Sinn Fein (Northern Ireland) [Gerry ADAMS]
Social Democratic and Labor Party or SDLP (Northern Ireland) [Colum EASTWOOD]
Ulster Unionist Party (Northern Ireland) [Mike NESBITT]
UK Independence Party or UKIP [interim leader Steve CROWTHER]
Anti-Austerity Alliance-People Before Profit or AAA-PBP [collective leadership]
Fianna Fail [Micheal MARTIN]
Fine Gael [Leo VARADKAR]
Green Party [Eamon RYAN]
Labor (Labour) Party [Brendan HOWLIN]
Renua Ireland [John LEAHY]
Sinn Fein [Gerry ADAMS]
Social Democratic Party [Stephen DONNELLY, Catherine MURPHY, Roisin SHORTALL]
Socialist Party [collective leadership]
The Workers' Party [Michael DONNELLY]
Political pressure groups and leadersCampaign for Nuclear Disarmament
Confederation of British Industry
National Farmers' Union
Trades Union Congress
Continuity IRA (terrorist group)
Families Acting for Innocent Relatives or FAIR [Brian MCCONNELL] (seek compensation for victims of violence)
Iona Institute [David QUINN] (a conservative Catholic think tank)
Irish Anti-War Movement [Richard BOYD BARRETT] (campaigns against wars around the world)
Keep Ireland Open (environmental group)
Oglaigh na hEireann (terrorist group)
Midland Railway Action Group or MRAG [Willie ALLEN] (transportation promoters)
New Irish Republican Army (terrorist group combining elements of the former Real IRA and Republican Action Against Drugs)
Peace and Neutrality Alliance [Roger COLE] (campaigns to protect Irish neutrality)
Rail Users Ireland (formerly the Platform 11 - transportation promoters)
32 Country Sovereignty Movement or 32CSM (supports unifying Northern Ireland with the rest of the island under Irish government sovereignty)
International organization participationADB (nonregional member), AfDB (nonregional member), Arctic Council (observer), Australia Group, BIS, C, CBSS (observer), CD, CDB, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECB, EIB, EITI (implementing country), ESA, EU, FAO, FATF, G-5, G-7, G-8, G-10, G-20, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD (partners), IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MINUSMA, MONUSCO, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Pacific Alliance (observer), Paris Club, PCA, PIF (partner), SELEC (observer), SICA (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNHCR, UNMISS, UNRWA, UNSC (permanent), UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
ADB (nonregional member), Australia Group, BIS, CD, CE, EAPC, EBRD, ECB, EIB, EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, FATF, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD (partners), IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MINURSO, MONUSCO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNDOF, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNOCI, UNRWA, UNTSO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador Sir Nigel Kim DARROCH (since 28 January 2016)
chancery: 3100 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 588-6500
FAX: [1] (202) 588-7870
consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco
consulate(s): Orlando (FL), San Juan (PR)
chief of mission: Ambassador Anne Colette ANDERSON (since 28 August 2013)
chancery: 2234 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 462-3939
FAX: [1] (202) 232-5993
consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Austin (TX), Boston, Chicago, New York, San Francisco
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Lewis LUKENS
embassy: 24 Grosvenor Square, London, W1K 6AH; note - a new embassy is scheduled to open by the end of 2017 in the Nine Elms area of Wandsworth
mailing address: PSC 801, Box 40, FPO AE 09498-4040
telephone: [44] (0) 20 7499-9000
FAX: [44] (0) 20 7629-9124
consulate(s) general: Belfast, Edinburgh
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant) Charge d'Affaires L. Reece SMYTH (since 20 January 2017)
embassy: 42 Elgin Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4
mailing address: use embassy street address
telephone: [353] (1) 668-8777
FAX: [353] (1) 668-9946
Flag descriptionblue field with the red cross of Saint George (patron saint of England) edged in white superimposed on the diagonal red cross of Saint Patrick (patron saint of Ireland), which is superimposed on the diagonal white cross of Saint Andrew (patron saint of Scotland); properly known as the Union Flag, but commonly called the Union Jack; the design and colors (especially the Blue Ensign) have been the basis for a number of other flags including other Commonwealth countries and their constituent states or provinces, and British overseas territories
three equal vertical bands of green (hoist side), white, and orange; officially the flag colors have no meaning, but a common interpretation is that the green represents the Irish nationalist (Gaelic) tradition of Ireland; orange represents the Orange tradition (minority supporters of William of Orange); white symbolizes peace (or a lasting truce) between the green and the orange
note: 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
National anthem"name: ""God Save the Queen""
lyrics/music: unknown
note: in use since 1745; by tradition, the song serves as both the national and royal anthem of the UK; it is known as either ""God Save the Queen"" or ""God Save the King,"" depending on the gender of the reigning monarch; it also serves as the royal anthem of many Commonwealth nations
"
"name: ""Amhran na bhFiann"" (The Soldier's Song)
lyrics/music: Peadar KEARNEY [English], Liam O RINN [Irish]/Patrick HEENEY and Peadar KEARNEY
note: adopted 1926; instead of ""Amhran na bhFiann,"" the song ""Ireland's Call"" is often used at athletic events where citizens of Ireland and Northern Ireland compete as a unified team
"
International law organization participationaccepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
National symbol(s)lion (Britain in general); lion, Tudor rose, oak (England); lion, unicorn, thistle (Scotland); dragon, daffodil, leek (Wales); shamrock, flax (Northern Ireland); national colors: red, white, blue (Britain in general); red, white (England); blue, white (Scotland); red, white, green (Wales)
harp, shamrock (trefoil); national colors: blue, green
Citizenshipcitizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of the United Kingdom
dual citizenship recognized: yes
residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years
citizenship by birth: yes
citizenship by descent: yes
dual citizenship recognized: yes
residency requirement for naturalization: 4 of the previous 8 years

Economy

United KingdomIreland
Economy - overviewThe UK, a leading trading power and financial center, is the third largest economy in Europe after Germany and France. Agriculture is intensive, highly mechanized, and efficient by European standards, producing about 60% of food needs with less than 2% of the labor force. The UK has large coal, natural gas, and oil resources, but its oil and natural gas reserves are declining; the UK has been a net importer of energy since 2005. Services, particularly banking, insurance, and business services, are key drivers of British GDP growth. Manufacturing, meanwhile, has declined in importance but still accounts for about 10% of economic output.

In 2008, the global financial crisis hit the economy particularly hard, due to the importance of its financial sector. Falling home prices, high consumer debt, and the global economic slowdown compounded Britain's economic problems, pushing the economy into recession in the latter half of 2008 and prompting the then BROWN (Labour) government to implement a number of measures to stimulate the economy and stabilize the financial markets. Facing burgeoning public deficits and debt levels, in 2010 the then CAMERON-led coalition government (between Conservatives and Liberal Democrats) initiated an austerity program, which has continued under the new Conservative majority government. However, the deficit still remains one of the highest in the G7, standing at 4.1% of GDP as of mid-2016, and Britain has pledged to lower its corporation tax from 20% to 17% by 2020. Britain had a debt burden of 92.2% GDP at the end of 2016.

While the UK is one of the fastest growing economies in the G7, economists are concerned about the potential negative impact of the UK’s vote to leave the EU. The UK has an extensive trade relationship with other EU members through its single market membership and economic observers have warned the exit will jeopardize its position as the central location for European financial services.


Ireland is a small, modern, trade-dependent economy. Ireland was among the initial group of 12 EU nations that began circulating the euro on 1 January 2002.

GDP growth averaged 6% in 1995-2007, but economic activity dropped sharply during the world financial crisis and the subsequent collapse of its domestic property market and construction industry. Faced with sharply reduced revenues and a burgeoning budget deficit from efforts to stabilize its fragile banking sector, the Irish Government introduced the first in a series of draconian budgets in 2009. These measures were not sufficient to stabilize Ireland’s public finances. In 2010, the budget deficit reached 32.4% of GDP - the world's largest deficit, as a percentage of GDP. In late 2010, the former COWEN government agreed to a $92 billion loan package from the EU and IMF to help Dublin recapitalize Ireland’s banking sector and avoid defaulting on its sovereign debt. In March 2011, the KENNY government intensified austerity measures to meet the deficit targets under Ireland's EU-IMF bailout program.

In late 2013, Ireland formally exited its EU-IMF bailout program, benefiting from its strict adherence to deficit-reduction targets and success in refinancing a large amount of banking-related debt. In 2014, the economy rapidly picked up and GDP grew by 5.2%. The recovering economy assisted lowering the deficit to 2.5% of GDP. In late 2014, the government introduced a fiscally neutral budget, marking the end of the austerity program. Continued growth of tax receipts has allowed the government to lower some taxes and increase public spending while keeping to its deficit-reduction targets. In 2015, GDP growth exceeded 26%, the highest growth in the EU for two consecutive years. This dramatic increase reflected one off statistical revisions, multinational corporate restructurings, and the aircraft leasing sector, rather than gains in the on the ground economy. Growth moderated to around 4.2% in 2016.

In the wake of the collapse of the construction sector and the downturn in consumer spending and business investment, the export sector, dominated by foreign multinationals, has become an even more important component of Ireland's economy. Ireland’s low corporation tax of 12.5% and a talented pool of high-tech laborers have been key factors in encouraging business investment. Loose tax residency requirements made Ireland a common destination for international firms seeking to avoid taxation. In 2014, amid growing international pressure, the government announced it would phase in more stringent tax laws, effectively closing a commonly used loophole.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$2.788 trillion (2016 est.)
$2.737 trillion (2015 est.)
$2.677 trillion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
$322 billion (2016 est.)
$309 billion (2015 est.)
$244.7 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - real growth rate1.8% (2016 est.)
2.2% (2015 est.)
3.1% (2014 est.)
4.2% (2016 est.)
26.3% (2015 est.)
8.5% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$42,500 (2016 est.)
$42,000 (2015 est.)
$41,400 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
$69,400 (2016 est.)
$66,700 (2015 est.)
$53,100 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 0.6%
industry: 19.2%
services: 80.2%
(2016 est.)
agriculture: 1%
industry: 41.3%
services: 57.6% (2016 est.)
Population below poverty line15% (2013 est.)
8.2% (2013 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 1.7%
highest 10%: 31.1% (2012)
lowest 10%: 2.9%
highest 10%: 27.2% (2000)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)0.5% (2016 est.)
0% (2015 est.)
0.2% (2016 est.)
0% (2015 est.)
Labor force33.17 million (2016 est.)
2.181 million (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 1.3%
industry: 15.2%
services: 83.5% (2014 est.)
agriculture: 5%
industry: 11%
services: 84% (2015 est.)
Unemployment rate4.8% (2016 est.)
5.4% (2015 est.)
8% (2016 est.)
9.5% (2015 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index32.4 (2012)
33.4 (2010)
31.3 (2013 est.)
35.9 (1987 est.)
Budgetrevenues: $996.3 billion
expenditures: $1.097 trillion (2016 est.)
revenues: $78.47 billion
expenditures: $80.86 billion (2016 est.)
Industriesmachine tools, electric power equipment, automation equipment, railroad equipment, shipbuilding, aircraft, motor vehicles and parts, electronics and communications equipment, metals, chemicals, coal, petroleum, paper and paper products, food processing, textiles, clothing, other consumer goods
pharmaceuticals, chemicals, computer hardware and software, food products, beverages and brewing; medical devices
Industrial production growth rate0.3% (2016 est.)
1.2% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - productscereals, oilseed, potatoes, vegetables; cattle, sheep, poultry; fish
barley, potatoes, wheat; beef, dairy products
Exports$412.1 billion (2016 est.)
$436.2 billion (2015 est.)
$160.1 billion (2016 est.)
$160.9 billion (2015 est.)
Exports - commoditiesmanufactured goods, fuels, chemicals; food, beverages, tobacco
machinery and equipment, computers, chemicals, medical devices, pharmaceuticals; foodstuffs, animal products
Exports - partnersUS 14.6%, Germany 10.1%, Switzerland 7%, China 6%, France 5.9%, Netherlands 5.8%, Ireland 5.5% (2015)
US 23.7%, UK 13.8%, Belgium 13.2%, Germany 6.6%, Switzerland 5.5%, Netherlands 4.4%, France 4.4% (2015)
Imports$581.6 billion (2016 est.)
$627.7 billion (2015 est.)
$88.01 billion (2016 est.)
$87.79 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commoditiesmanufactured goods, machinery, fuels; foodstuffs
data processing equipment, other machinery and equipment, chemicals, petroleum and petroleum products, textiles, clothing
Imports - partnersGermany 14.8%, China 9.8%, US 9.2%, Netherlands 7.5%, France 5.8%, Belgium 5% (2015)
UK 32.5%, US 14%, France 10.2%, Germany 9.3%, Netherlands 4.9%, China 4.1% (2015)
Debt - external$8.126 trillion (31 March 2016 est.)
$8.642 trillion (31 March 2015 est.)
$2.47 trillion (31 March 2016 est.)
$2.35 trillion (31 March 2015 est.)
Exchange ratesBritish pounds (GBP) per US dollar -
0.7391 (2016 est.)
0.6542 (2015 est.)
0.607 (2014 est.)
0.6391 (2013 est.)
0.6324 (2012 est.)
euros (EUR) per US dollar -
0.9214 (2016 est.)
0.885 (2015 est.)
0.885 (2014 est.)
0.7634 (2013 est.)
0.78 (2012 est.)
Fiscal year6 April - 5 April
calendar year
Public debt92.2% of GDP (2016 est.)
89% of GDP (2015 est.)
note: data cover general government debt, and include debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data include debt issued by subnational entities, as well as intra-governmental debt; intra-governmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as for retirement, medical care, and unemployment; debt instruments for the social funds are not sold at public auctions
77.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
78.7% of GDP (2015 est.)
note: data cover general government debt, and includes debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data include debt issued by subnational entities, as well as intra-governmental debt; intra-governmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as for retirement, medical care, and unemployment; debt instruments for the social funds are not sold at public auctions
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$129.6 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$107.7 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$2.203 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$1.748 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
Current Account Balance-$114.5 billion (2016 est.)
-$122.7 billion (2015 est.)
$13.88 billion (2016 est.)
$29.02 billion (2015 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)$2.65 trillion (2016 est.)
$307.9 billion (2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$2.069 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
$2.04 trillion (31 December 2015 est.)
$1.057 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
$963.4 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$1.975 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.959 trillion (31 December 2015 est.)
$1.435 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.321 trillion (31 December 2015 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$3.019 trillion (31 December 2012 est.)
$2.903 trillion (31 December 2011 est.)
$3.107 trillion (31 December 2010 est.)
$128 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$143.5 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$170.1 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
Central bank discount rate0.25% (31 December 2016)
0.5% (31 December 2015)
0.05% (31 December 2015)
0.15% (31 August 2014)
note: this is the European Central Bank's rate on the marginal lending facility, which offers overnight credit to banks in the euro area
Commercial bank prime lending rate4.6% (31 December 2016 est.)
4.51% (31 December 2015 est.)
3.3% (31 December 2016 est.)
3.36% (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$2.704 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
$3.195 trillion (31 December 2015 est.)
$285.8 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$305 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of narrow money$95.88 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$106.7 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$144.3 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$146.7 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
note: see entry for the European Union for money supply for the entire euro area; the European Central Bank (ECB) controls monetary policy for the 18 members of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU); individual members of the EMU do not control the quantity of money circulating within their own borders
Stock of broad money$2.669 trillion (31 December 2014 est.)
$3.491 trillion (31 December 2013 est.)
$255.3 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$267.4 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
Taxes and other revenues37.6% of GDP (2016 est.)
25.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-3.8% of GDP (2016 est.)
-0.8% of GDP (2016 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 16.9%
male: 18.9%
female: 14.8% (2014 est.)
total: 23.9%
male: 26.6%
female: 20.9% (2014 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 65.8%
government consumption: 19.5%
investment in fixed capital: 17.4%
investment in inventories: 0.1%
exports of goods and services: 28.8%
imports of goods and services: -31.6% (2016 est.)
household consumption: 36.7%
government consumption: 10.8%
investment in fixed capital: 20.4%
investment in inventories: 0.6%
exports of goods and services: 124.1%
imports of goods and services: -92.6% (2016 est.)
Gross national saving11.4% of GDP (2016 est.)
11.9% of GDP (2015 est.)
12.7% of GDP (2014 est.)
31.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
31.9% of GDP (2015 est.)
23.6% of GDP (2014 est.)

Energy

United KingdomIreland
Electricity - production335 billion kWh (2014 est.)
25 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - consumption309 billion kWh (2014 est.)
25 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - exports2.72 billion kWh (2014 est.)
700 million kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - imports20.5 billion kWh (2014 est.)
2.9 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Oil - production893,300 bbl/day (2015 est.)
0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Oil - imports1.047 million bbl/day (2015 est.)
74,690 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Oil - exports699,700 bbl/day (2015 est.)
0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Oil - proved reserves2.8 billion bbl (1 January 2016 est.)
0 bbl (1 January 2016 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves205.4 billion cu m (1 January 2016 es)
9.911 billion cu m (1 January 2016 es)
Natural gas - production38.58 billion cu m (2014 est.)
152 million cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - consumption70.45 billion cu m (2014 est.)
4.387 billion cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - exports10.55 billion cu m (2014 est.)
0 cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - imports42.83 billion cu m (2014 est.)
4.246 billion cu m (2014 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity96 million kW (2014 est.)
9.1 million kW (2014 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels71.1% of total installed capacity (2014 est.)
72.3% of total installed capacity (2013 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants5.1% of total installed capacity (2014 est.)
2.7% of total installed capacity (2013 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels11.7% of total installed capacity (2014 est.)
0% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources12.2% of total installed capacity (2014 est.)
25% of total installed capacity (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production1.308 million bbl/day (2015 est.)
68,050 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption1.545 million bbl/day (2015 est.)
147,800 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports490,700 bbl/day (2015 est.)
34,200 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports660,600 bbl/day (2015 est.)
115,000 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy568.3 million Mt (2013 est.)
34 million Mt (2013 est.)
Electricity accesselectrification - total population: 100% (2016)
electrification - total population: 100% (2016)

Telecommunications

United KingdomIreland
Telephones - main lines in usetotal subscriptions: 33.613 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 52 (July 2015 est.)
total subscriptions: 1,932,059
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 39 (July 2015 est.)
Telephones - mobile cellulartotal: 80.284 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 125 (July 2015 est.)
total: 4.902 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 100 (July 2015 est.)
Telephone systemgeneral assessment: technologically advanced domestic and international system
domestic: equal mix of buried cables, microwave radio relay, and fiber-optic systems
international: country code - 44; numerous submarine cables provide links throughout Europe, Asia, Australia, the Middle East, and US; satellite earth stations - 10 Intelsat (7 Atlantic Ocean and 3 Indian Ocean), 1 Inmarsat (Atlantic Ocean region), and 1 Eutelsat; at least 8 large international switching centers (2015)
general assessment: modern digital system using cable and microwave radio relay
domestic: system privatized but dominated by former state monopoly operator; increasing levels of broadband access particularly in urban areas
international: country code - 353; landing point for the Hibernia-Atlantic submarine cable with links to the US, Canada, and UK; satellite earth stations - 81 (2014)
Internet country code.uk
.ie
Internet userstotal: 58.961 million
percent of population: 92% (July 2015 est.)
total: 3.92 million
percent of population: 80.1% (July 2015 est.)
Broadcast mediapublic service broadcaster, British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), is the largest broadcasting corporation in the world; BBC operates multiple TV networks with regional and local TV service; a mixed system of public and commercial TV broadcasters along with satellite and cable systems provide access to hundreds of TV stations throughout the world; BBC operates multiple national, regional, and local radio networks with multiple transmission sites; a large number of commercial radio stations, as well as satellite radio services are available (2008)
publicly owned broadcaster Radio Telefis Eireann (RTE) operates 2 TV stations; commercial TV stations are available; about 75% of households utilize multi-channel satellite and TV services that provide access to a wide range of stations; RTE operates 4 national radio stations and has launched digital audio broadcasts on several stations; a number of commercial broadcast stations operate at the national, regional, and local levels (2014)

Transportation

United KingdomIreland
Railwaystotal: 16,837 km
broad gauge: 303 km 1.600-m gauge (in Northern Ireland)
standard gauge: 16,534 km 1.435-m gauge (5,357 km electrified) (2015)
total: 3,237 km
broad gauge: 1,872 km 1.600-m gauge (49 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) (2014)
Roadwaystotal: 394,428 km
paved: 394,428 km (includes 3,519 km of expressways) (2009)
total: 96,036 km
paved: 96,036 km (includes 1,224 km of expressways) (2014)
Waterways3,200 km (620 km used for commerce) (2009)
956 km (pleasure craft only) (2010)
Pipelinescondensate 502 km; condensate/gas 9 km; gas 28,603 km; liquid petroleum gas 59 km; oil 5,256 km; oil/gas/water 175 km; refined products 4,919 km; water 255 km (2013)
gas 2,147 km (2013)
Ports and terminalsmajor seaport(s): Dover, Felixstowe, Immingham, Liverpool, London, Southampton, Teesport (England); Forth Ports (Scotland); Milford Haven (Wales)
oil terminal(s): Fawley Marine terminal, Liverpool Bay terminal (England); Braefoot Bay terminal, Finnart oil terminal, Hound Point terminal (Scotland)
container port(s) (TEUs): Felixstowe (3,248,592), London (1,932,000), Southampton (1,324,581)
LNG terminal(s) (import): Isle of Grain, Milford Haven, Teesside
major seaport(s): Dublin, Shannon Foynes
river port(s): Cork (Lee), Waterford (Suir)
container port(s) (TEUs): Dublin (1,931,001)
Merchant marinetotal: 504
by type: bulk carrier 33, cargo 76, carrier 4, chemical tanker 58, container 178, liquefied gas 6, passenger 7, passenger/cargo 66, petroleum tanker 18, refrigerated cargo 2, roll on/roll off 31, vehicle carrier 25
foreign-owned: 271 (Australia 1, Bermuda 6, China 7, Denmark 43, France 39, Germany 59, Hong Kong 12, Ireland 1, Italy 3, Japan 5, Netherlands 1, Norway 32, Sweden 28, Taiwan 11, Tanzania 1, UAE 8, US 14)
registered in other countries: 308 (Algeria 15, Antigua and Barbuda 1, Argentina 2, Australia 5, Bahamas 18, Barbados 6, Belgium 2, Belize 4, Bermuda 14, Bolivia 1, Brunei 2, Cabo Verde 1, Cambodia 1, Cayman Islands 2, Comoros 1, Cook Islands 2, Cyprus 7, Georgia 5, Gibraltar 6, Greece 6, Honduras 1, Hong Kong 33, Indonesia 2, Italy 2, Liberia 22, Liberia 32, Luxembourg 5, Malta 21, Marshall Islands 12, Marshall Islands 3, Moldova 3, Nigeria 2, NZ 1, Panama 37, Panama 5, Saint Kitts and Nevis 1, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 6, Sierra Leone 1, Singapore 6, Thailand 6, Tonga 1, US 4, unknown 1) (2010)
total: 31
by type: cargo 28, chemical tanker 2, container 1
foreign-owned: 5 (France 2, Spain 1, US 2)
registered in other countries: 33 (Bahamas 3, Bermuda 1, Cambodia 1, Cyprus 3, Isle of Man 1, Kazakhstan 1, Malta 4, Marshall Islands 6, Netherlands 8, Panama 1, Russia 1, Slovakia 1, Sweden 1, UK 1) (2010)
Airports460 (2013)
40 (2013)
Airports - with paved runwaystotal: 271
over 3,047 m: 7
2,438 to 3,047 m: 29
1,524 to 2,437 m: 89
914 to 1,523 m: 80
under 914 m: 66 (2013)
total: 16
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 5
under 914 m: 5 (2013)
Airports - with unpaved runwaystotal: 189
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 26
under 914 m: 160 (2013)
total: 24
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 2
under 914 m: 21 (2013)

Military

United KingdomIreland
Military branchesArmy, Royal Navy (includes Royal Marines), Royal Air Force (2013)
Irish Defence Forces (Oglaigh na h-Eireannn), Permanent Defence Forces (PDF): Army, Naval Service, Air Corps; Reserve Defence Forces (RDF): Army, Naval Service Reserves (2014)
Military service age and obligation16-33 years of age (officers 17-28) for voluntary military service (with parental consent under 18); no conscription; women serve in military services including ground combat roles; must be citizen of the UK, Commonwealth, or Republic of Ireland; reservists serve a minimum of 3 years, to age 45 or 55; 17 years 6 months of age for voluntary military service by Nepalese citizens in the Brigade of Gurkhas; 16-34 years of age for voluntary military service by Papua New Guinean citizens (2016)
18-25 years of age for male and female voluntary military service recruits to the Permanent Defence Forces (PDF; 18-27 years of age for the Naval Service); 18-28 for cadetship (officer) applicants; 18-35 years of age for the Reserve Defence Forces (RDF); maximum obligation 12 years (PDF officers), 5 years (PDF enlisted), 3 years RDF (4 years for Naval Service Reserves); EU citizenship, refugee status, or 5-year residence in Ireland required (2014)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP1.94% of GDP (2015)
1.97% of GDP (2014)
2.09% of GDP (2013)
2.21% of GDP (2012)
2.31% of GDP (2011)
0.35% of GDP (2015)
0.46% of GDP (2014)
0.5% of GDP (2013)
0.51% of GDP (2012)
0.54% of GDP (2011)

Transnational Issues

United KingdomIreland
Disputes - international"in 2002, Gibraltar residents voted overwhelmingly by referendum to reject any ""shared sovereignty"" arrangement between the UK and Spain; the Government of Gibraltar insisted on equal participation in talks between the two countries; Spain disapproved of UK plans to grant Gibraltar greater autonomy; Mauritius and Seychelles claim the Chagos Archipelago (British Indian Ocean Territory); in 2001, the former inhabitants of the archipelago, evicted 1967 - 1973, were granted UK citizenship and the right of return, followed by Orders in Council in 2004 that banned rehabitation, a High Court ruling reversed the ban, a Court of Appeal refusal to hear the case, and a Law Lords' decision in 2008 denied the right of return; in addition, the UK created the world's largest marine protection area around the Chagos islands prohibiting the extraction of any natural resources therein; UK rejects sovereignty talks requested by Argentina, which still claims the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands; territorial claim in Antarctica (British Antarctic Territory) overlaps Argentine claim and partially overlaps Chilean claim; Iceland, the UK, and Ireland dispute Denmark's claim that the Faroe Islands' continental shelf extends beyond 200 nm
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Ireland, Iceland, and the UK dispute Denmark's claim that the Faroe Islands' continental shelf extends beyond 200 nm
Illicit drugsproducer of limited amounts of synthetic drugs and synthetic precursor chemicals; major consumer of Southwest Asian heroin, Latin American cocaine, and synthetic drugs; money-laundering center
transshipment point for and consumer of hashish from North Africa to the UK and Netherlands and of European-produced synthetic drugs; increasing consumption of South American cocaine; 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
Refugees and internally displaced personsrefugees (country of origin): 14,363 (Iran); 13,720 (Eritrea); 9,752 (Afghanistan); 8,790 (Zimbabwe); 8,269 (Syria); 7,326 (Sudan); 6,814 (Pakistan); 5,954 (Somalia); 5,809 (Sri Lanka) (2016)
stateless persons: 64 (2016)
stateless persons: 99 (2016)

Source: CIA Factbook