Ireland was under British rule until 1921, when it managed to gain its independence by treaty. It is a parliamentary republic, made out of 28 counties. English and Irish hold the status of an official language in Ireland. Belfast and Dublin are the most populated cities in Ireland, having a population of roughly 285,000 inhabitants, and 550,000 people, respectively.
Ireland’s economy fluctuates considerably, from an exceptional 26 percent GDP growth rate in 2015 down to 5.13 percent the following year. The inflation rate mirrors these fluctuations: From -0.23 percent in 2016, it is expected to increase to about 1.92 percent by 2022.
Ireland has imported a lot less goods than it exported in the last few years, leaving it with a stable trade surplus. Its most important import partner is the United Kingdom, with a share of approximately one third in all imports. The United States are Ireland’s most important export partner, with a share of roughly one quarter of all exports.