General Information

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Population and major cities
The population of Ireland is estimated at 4.7 million people, with a population growth rate of 1,16%. The capital of Ireland is Dublin. Dublin has a population of 527.612 citizens. Aside from Ireland’s capital, there are four major cities. Second to the capital is Limerick with 191.809 citizens. Following Limerick on third major city in Ireland is Cork with 119.230  citizens. The fourth major city is Galway with 75.530 citizens and last but not least is Waterford with 46.747 citizens.

The official language
Ireland recognize two official languages. The first official language is Irish Gaelic. The second official language is English, which is more commonly used. Around 30% of the population are able to speak Irish Gaelic, and 5% speak it regularly.

Religion and culture
The biggest religious group in Ireland is the Roman Catholic group with 84,2%. Second to that is The Church of Ireland religion with 2,8%. The third religious group is Muslim with 1,1% and the smallest religious group is the Orthodox Church and Christian religion with 1%. For most of Ireland’s culture has been primarily Gaelic. It is mostly known for its festivals, music and pub culture.

Government
Ireland is a parliamentary democracy. The National Parliament consists of the President and the two houses: House of Representatives and the Senate. The parliament is situated in Dublin. The president called The Taoiseach. The current Taoiseach is Enda Kenny.

Economy
The Irish economy has outperformed its European peers in the last two years. Here are some statistics about the Irish economy.
GDP: 215 billion dollars (2016)
Unemployment rate: 9,4% (2016)
Labour force: over 2,5 million (2014)
Inflation rate: 0,2% (2014)
Currency and Exchange rate: Euro. 1 Euro = 1,12 USD (2016)

National holidays
New Year’s Day: 1st January
St. Patrick’s Day: 17th March
Easter Monday: 28th March
May Day: 2nd May
June Bank Holiday: 6th June
August Bank Holiday: 1st August
October Bank Holiday: 31st October
Christmas Day: 25th December
St. Stephen’s Day: 26th December
Christmas Day Observed: 27th December