Area: 70,280 km² (World Rank 117)
Inhabitants: 4.15 Mio. (World Rank 124)
Dublin is the capital of Ireland
Ireland (pronunciation /ˈaɾlənd/ or /ˈaɪɾlənd/; Irish: Éire; Ulster Scots: Airlann) is the third largest island in Europe, and the twentieth-largest island in the world. It lies to the north-west of continental Europe and is surrounded by hundreds of islands and islets. To the east of Ireland, separated by the Irish Sea, is the island of Great Britain. Politically, the state Ireland (described as the Republic of Ireland in cases of ambiguity) covers five-sixths of the island, with Northern Ireland, part of the United Kingdom, covering the remainder in the north-east.
The population of the island is slightly over 6 million (2007), with 4.4 million in the Republic of Ireland (1.7 million in Greater Dublin) and an estimated 1.75 million in Northern Ireland (800,000 in Greater Belfast). This is a significant increase from a modern historical low in the 1960s, but still much lower than the peak population of over 8 million in the early 19th century, prior to the Great Hunger (1840s famine).
The name Ireland derives from the name Ériu (in modern Irish, Éire) with the addition of the Germanic word land. Most other western European names for Ireland derive from the same source, such as French Irlande, Spanish, Italian, Romanian and Portuguese Irlanda, German Irland and Dutch Ierland.