Republic of Ireland

Official Language

English

Destination Stats

Population
Surface Area
Temperature
Water
Energy
Air Quality
Flora
Fauna

Welcome from the Republic of Ireland!

Carrownisky Strand is one of Irelands most popular beaches known for its famous horse racing and ardent surfing.  Located in western Ireland in County Mayo, Carrownisky attracts families, walkers and water sports enthusiasts seven days a week, year-round. (Wikimedia CC 3.0 photo by Chris Chapman)

Republic of Ireland is a welcoming nation of over five million people with a temperate oceanic climate and diverse interior geography surrounded by coastal mountains.  Agriculture is a defining quality of the Irish economy; it is also well-known for its dairy, beef and seafood production.

Generally referred to simply as Ireland, the Republic of Ireland is a sovereign island country in northwestern Europe bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the north, west and south and the Irish Sea to the east. The country covers 83 percent of the total island which it shares with Northern Ireland, one of the four countries of the United Kingdom.

Ireland has a temperate oceanic climate, with mild winters and cool summers. Ireland does not experience the extremes of temperature that are common in other countries at similar latitudes. Republic of Ireland’s weather is generally characterized by 4 seasons – spring, summer, autumn, and winter. The seasons in Ireland are not as variable as the climates of most other countries, but they still have their distinct characteristics. This climate variation contributes to the diversity of vegetation, water availability and living species across its different regions. 

The diverse soils and climates of Ireland provide for a great variety of crops. The country is well-known for its main products that include dairy, beef, barley, wheat, potatoes, and vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, cucumbers, and tomatoes among many others. 

The country’s environmental quality is considered to be good based on the current condition of its lakes and rivers. The country’s coastline and marine environments host large seabird breeding colonies and cold-water coral communities as well as over 25 species of whales and dolphins. Ireland is one of the six recognized Celtic nations which retain the original Celtic language and cultural traits.  This Celtic tradition bolsters its rich cultural heritage with a strong tradition of oral storytelling and a history of producing great writers. Ireland is also a snake free country. The legend of St. Patrick driving all the snakes out of Ireland is a great example of its story telling culture (although that’s not why Ireland has no snakes!). This is Republic of Ireland….

National Language:  Irish – Locally known as Gaeilge (gay-lik)

  • Gaeilge and English are the two primary languages of Ireland. About 95% of Ireland’s population use these languages for their everyday communication.
  • Overall, there are 67 distinct languages spoken by the country’s residents.
  • Some of the more commonly heard languages outside of Gaeilge and English include Polish, French, and Arabic.
The River Liffey runs through Dublin, Ireland.  It is a major source of water for the city. (Pexels photo by Luciann Photography)

Unique Ireland Facts: Did You Know…?

  • Ireland is popularly known as the Emerald Isle because of its green landscapes.  It rains a lot in Ireland, thus giving rise to its widespread vegetation cover.
  • The legend of Saint Patrick driving all the snakes out of Ireland is great Irish storytelling, but truth be told, Ireland never had any snakes except those you may find in a zoo!  Its absence of snakes has more to do with the Last Ice Age than the legend of Saint Patrick. 
The Hook Lighthouse is located on the Hook Peninsula in County Wexford, southern Ireland. It is one of the oldest lighthouses in the world, dating back to the 12th century C.E.  (Wikimedia CC 4.0 photo by Damien McGarry)

  • Ireland is the only country in the world with a musical instrument as its national symbol  –  the Gaelic Harp. Its name comes from the Irish word “Éire,” which means “land of abundance” or “land of plenty”. 
  • The Republic of Ireland, combined with Northern Ireland, make up the third-largest island in Europe, with a land area of approximately 84,421 km2 | 32,595 mi2 (the Republic comprises about 83% of the entire island). It is situated off the northwest edge of Europe and is known for its diverse landscapes, including lush green fields, rugged coastlines, and flat limestone pavements.
  • Much of Ireland’s richest biodiversity is in the marine environment, with high numbers of whale and dolphin species, large seabird breeding colonies, and cold-water coral communities in the deep seas.
  • Summer is an ideal time to visit Ireland with around 16-18 hours of sunlight every day and temperatures that hover around 68°F (20°C). It’s the best time to explore all the natural beauty Ireland has to offer.
  • The world’s oldest working lighthouse, Hook Lighthouse, is in Wexford County in Ireland. The lighthouse was built with limestone which is one of the main reasons for its longevity. Limestone is the bedrock underlying more than half of the country and has contributed to its history in many ways.
  • Ireland is a snake-free country. The cold weather and overall climate of Ireland are not favorable for the survival and reproduction of snakes. Unlike other countries or regions that had snakes but eradicated them, Ireland never had a native snake population to begin with.
  • Ireland has a higher percentage of red-haired people than any other country in the world, according to World Population Review, among many other sources. One out of every ten people have red hair, a trait thought to arise from gene modification due to lack of sunlight along with invasion of the Vikings in 795 C.E. who carried this genetic feature.

Ireland’s Home Statistics
(Note: Some statistics are approximate due to varying methods of recording by various established sources, i.e., population, living species and water volume totals.  Others are more precise, i.e., surface area, precipitation/rainfall, air quality and temperatures.)

Nestled on the western fringes of Europe, the Republic of Ireland is a nation with diverse demographics reflecting a rich tapestry of ethnicities. The nation’s climate, characterized by mild temperatures and four distinct but subtle seasons, is a canvas for its mesmerizing natural wonders. In the Republic of Ireland, nature, culture, and progress intertwine. 

Credits*:

  • Projected population growth: 5,248,041 (Projected by 2030)
  • Breakdown by M/F: Male-50%|Female-50.4% 
  • Ethnic populations: 77% of the population identified as White Irish, while the remaining 23% (12% identified as Polish and UK citizens followed by Indian, Romanian, Lithuanian, Brazilian, Italian, Latvian, and Spanish. 11% includes Irish travelers, other White, Asian, Black, other, and unspecified ethnic groups) identified as non-Irish. 
  • Indigenous populations: White Irish (77%), Irish Travelers (0.6%) (2022 Census)
  • Per person: 4.5 gha per person 
  • Biocapacity: 3.1 gha per person 
  • Global comparison/ranking: Ireland has the 10th largest ecological footprint in the world. 
  • Agriculture – 63.0% 
  • Permanent Pastures: 55.2%
  • Arable Land: 6.3%
  • Organic Farming: 1.5%
  • Forests – 10.7%
  • Non-Agricultural/Artificial Space (Human Development): 1.8%
  • Wetlands & Water Bodies: 14.9%
  • Other (including barren land): 9.6% 
  • Primary Food Products 
    • Top Food-crop Products: Wheat, Barley, Oats, and Potatoes 
    • Top Non-crop Food Commodities: Beef, Milk, Pork, Poultry, and Sheep
    • Top Non-Food Products: Pharmaceuticals, Medical devices, Chemicals, Computer hardware and software, Textiles, and Construction materials
  • Average Annual Surface Temperature: 47°F (8°C) to 53°F (12°C) for high temperatures and 38°F (3°C) to 41°F (5°C) for low temperatures.  
  • Climate:  Republic of Ireland has a temperate oceanic climate located 53.4 km (33.2 mi) north/south of the equator. Ireland does not experience the extremes of temperature that are common in other countries at similar latitudes. The warm North Atlantic Drift has a significant impact on sea temperatures, and the hills and mountains provide shelter from strong winds and from the direct oceanic influence. The warmest areas are found along the southwest coast, and the coldest areas are found inland. The weather in Ireland can be mild, moist, and changeable with abundant rainfall and a lack of temperature extremes.
  • Seasons: Republic of Ireland’s weather is generally characterized by 4 seasons – spring, summer, autumn, and winter. The seasons in Ireland are less distinct from each other than in other countries, but they still have their own characteristics.
  • Spring:  March – May. 39°F – 50°F | 4°C – 10°C.
  • Summer:  June – August. 59°F – 68°F | 15°C – 20°C.
  • Autumn:  September – November. 48°F – 57°F | 9°C – 14°C.
  • Winter:  December – February. 39.2°F – 45.7°F | 4°C – 7.6°C.
  • Total Water volume:  53.8 billion cubic meters (bcm) | ~12,203.6 trillion gallons.
  • Potable Water Supply per Person: 125 cubic meters/ year (33.02 million gallons).
  • Average Precipitation: 1,113.4 mm | 43.8 inches
  • People in the Republic of Ireland withdraw 82,490.92 gallons (312.04 cubic meters) water per day, per capita including both fresh and salt water. 
  • Approximately 81% of the Republic of Ireland’s population relies on public water supply with 11% dependent on domestic wells. 
  • Total Energy Used: 621 trillion BTU | 0.0621 MTOE | 181.84 billion kWh – kilowatt hours)
  • Global Rank in Energy Consumption: 73 
  • Primary fuel sources used:  Crude Oil(45.9%), Natural Gas(32.8%), Renewables(12.6%)
  • Almost 46% of Republican Ireland’s electricity needs comes from renewable energy.
  • Renewable Energy Sources: Wind(36%), Solar(0.1%), Hydroelectricity(1.6%), Biomass, Ocean Energy, Geothermal Energy.
  • Total Estimated Species: ~31,000 Flora and Fauna.
  • Total Identified Living Species: 28,480.
  • 19,035 species identified fauna.
  • 47,95 species identified flora, fungi and others.
    Total Number of Endangered/Threatened Plant and Animal Species: 480
    • 42.5% (204) are plant species.
    • 57.5% (276) are animal species.
  • 480 threatened and endangered species are primarily affected by habitat loss due to deforestation, agricultural expansion, urbanization, and mining. Hunting and fishing are another reason for rapid decline of species in Ireland.
  • Here are ten of the of the fascinating and intriguing Natural Wonders of Republic of Ireland… among many:
  • Giant’s Causeway: A spectacular rock formation in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, made up of regular, closely packed, hexagonal stone columns that look like the handiwork of giants. It is Northern Ireland’s only UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • Cliffs of Moher: A breathtaking coastal cliff formation located in County Clare, which rises to a height of 214 meters (702 feet) above the Atlantic Ocean. It is one of Ireland’s most visited natural attractions.
  • The Burren: A unique and otherworldly landscape in County Clare, characterized by its limestone pavements, which are home to a diverse range of flora and fauna.
  • Slieve League: A mountain on the Atlantic coast of County Donegal, with some of the highest sea cliffs in Europe, rising to a height of 601 meters (1,972 feet) above the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Croagh Patrick:  The mountain in County Mayo, which is an important site of pilgrimage for Christians, as it is believed to be the site where Saint Patrick fasted for 40 days and nights.
  • Carrantuohill: The highest mountain in Ireland, located in County Kerry, standing at 1,038 meters (3,406 feet) tall.
  • Lough Glencar Waterfall: A beautiful waterfall located in County Leitrim, which is surrounded by stunning scenery and is a popular spot for hiking and picnicking.
  • Dun Briste: A sea stack located off the coast of County Mayo, which rises to a height of 45 meters (148 feet) above the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Gap of Dunloe: A scenic mountain pass located in County Kerry, which is a popular spot for hiking and cycling.
  • River Shannon: The longest river in Ireland, which flows through 11 counties and is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna.

——– *A Service of Ecology Prime™ Data Resources

Population

Total Population: 5,089,478 (July 2024) | Projected by 2030 – 5,248,041

  • World Rank: 125, 0.06% of the world’s total population.
  • Population Density: 73.41 people per km2 | 28.35 people per mi2. (128th most densely populated country, tied with Ecuador)
  • Most Populous City: Dublin | 1,024,027
  • Least Populous City: Leithrim | 25,032
  • Urban | Rural Population: 63% | 37%
  • Median Age: 37.8 years

Surface Area

Total Surface Area: 70,280 km2 | 27,135 mi2 

  • World Rank: 121st | 22nd in Europe
  • 98.01 % is Land Surface Area:  68,890 km2 (26,595.88 mi2) – 0.046% of the world’s total land area.
  • 1.99 % is Water Surface Area: 1,390 km2 (536.68 mi2) – 0.0004% of the world’s water surface.

Featured


Temperature

Average Annual Temperature (2022): 10.83°C |51.49°F 

  • Average High – 13°C |55.4°F), Average Low – 6.67°C | 44.006°F. 
    (Based on average temperatures from four geographically diverse Ireland cities.)
  • Hottest Month (average high): July/August | 16°C (60.8°F).  
  • Coldest Month (average low): January/February | 4°C (39.2°F).  
  • Coldest temperature on record: -19.6°C (14.72°F) at Markree Castle on 16th January 1881. 
  • (Waybackmachine)
  • Hottest temperature on record: 33.3°C (91.4°F) at Kilkenny Castle on June 26, 1887.

Water

Total Fresh Water Volume:  53.8 billion cubic meters (bcm) | ~12,203.6 trillion gallons.

  • Surface water: 48.2 bcm | 10,949.6 trillion gallons. 
  • Ground water: 5.6 bcm | 1,274.9 trillion gallons.
  • Annual Precipitation (average): 1,113.4 mm | 43.8 inches. (Source with Link)
  • Potable (rechargeable) water supply per resident:  125 cubic meters/ year (33.02 million gallons).

Featured


Energy

Annual Total Energy Usage (2022): 35.533 trillion BTU (13,717 KTOE – kilotons of oil equivalent or 121.220 billion kWh – kilowatt hours) (Enerdata)

  • Global ranking in energy consumption: 73
  • Percentage of Total Global Energy Consumption: 0.102%.
  • 35.533 million Btu | 6,000 kWh per capita (Enerdata)
  • Energy Sources (% of total based on 2022 data):  Oil – 48% | Coal & Peat – 5.4% | Natural Gas – 19.44% | Renewables – 27.16% |
  • Renewable Energy Sources: Wind – 85.5% | Hydro – 9.5% | Biofuels – 5% 
  • Electricity Sources: Coal – 0% | Renewables – 44. 5% | Natural Gas: 43.5% | Oil: 0% | Other– 12%.

Air Quality

Air Quality Index – AQI: 33 – [Good]
(Average Score 2023: 33)

  • Global Ranking – 2023: 109th least polluted nation of 131 monitored.
    (Based on 2022 AQI average of 31.)
  • Most polluted city – 2023:  Clonakilty, Munster | AQI = 60 – Moderate 
  • Least polluted city – 2023: Ringsend, Leinster | AQI = 1 – Good
  • Leading pollutants and sources:  Vehicular emission, Industrial emission fueled mostly by coal and diesel, burning of organic materials like peat, wood and coal are the leading pollutants in Ireland.

Featured

View Ireland’s Current Air Quality

Realtime Air Quality Index – AQI
(Source: IQAir)

Click Here!


Flora

19,035 species

  • About 1.21% of the world’s ~1.5 million animal species.
    • Invertebrates – 18,107
      • 7,211 insects 
      • 860 arachnids
      • 1,774 crustaceans
      • 1,088 mollusks
      • 192 Cnidaria (i.e., coral, anemones, jellyfish) 
      • 432 worms 
      • 6,550 others
    • Vertebrates – 928
      • 375 fishes
      • 478 birds
      • 68 mammals
      • 2 reptiles
      • 5 amphibians

(Ireland has no snakes)

Total Number of Endangered/Threatened Plant and Animal Species: 480
(Environmental Protection Agency)

  • 4.25% (204) are plant species.
  • 0.97% (276) are animal species.
  • 480 threatened and endangered species are primarily affected by habitat loss due to deforestation, agricultural expansion, urbanization, and mining. Hunting and fishing is another reason for rapid decline of species in Ireland.

Fauna

Identified Fauna: 106,831 species – about 1.23% of the world’s ~8.7 million animal species.

  • Identified Flora:  47,95 species.
    • Flowering Plants: 2,196
    • Algae: 1,429
    • Ferns and Fern Allies: 79
    • Conifers: 12
    • Mosses & Liverworts: 832
    • Others: 247
  • Fungi & Lichens: 4,650

Featured


Sources and Research

Notable Environmental Organizations & Platforms in Ireland

Notable Ireland Universities and Colleges for Environmental Studies