Country Fact Sheet: Ireland

Ireland is located in Western Europe occupying 5/6 of the island of Ireland in the North Atlantic Ocean, bordering North Ireland of the UK. Ireland is slightly larger than West Virginia and covers an area of 70,280 sq. kilometers. The total population is 4.775 million and is growing at a rate of 1.16% with 62% living in urban areas.  The capital of Dublin has a population of 1.4 million (Greater Dublin) and 40% of the Irish population lives within 100 km of Dublin. The people are governed by a parliamentary republic and are predominantly Roman Catholic. Ireland has two official languages, English, which is the most widely used, and Irish (Gaelic), which is used mainly in areas along the west coast. Ireland joined the European Union in 1973 and adopted the Euro as currency in 1999.

Ireland has a small, trade-dependent economy which has been hit hard by the global financial meltdown and slowdown in the construction and real estate markets and burdoning it with external debt of more than a trillion USD.  Ireland is looking to improve economic stability in the future by implementing a series of economic reforms to invest in infrastructure, curb inflation, and increase foreign investment.  Ireland’s main trade partners are the UK, the US, Germany, Belgium, France, and the Netherlands. Its primary imports are data processing equipment, other machinery and equipment, chemicals, petroleum products, textiles, and clothing. Exports include machinery and equipment, computers, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and live animals and animal products. Ireland’s GDP (Purchasing Power Parity) is $195.4 billion and is shrinking at a real rate of 0.9% with an inflation rate of 1.7%. Ireland ranked 15 out of 185 countries in the World Bank Group’s Ease of Doing Business Ranking.  Click here to search for Businesses Franchising Internationally  



Demographic Data   Economic Data    Cultural & Other Data   
Area (sq. km.)   70,280  GDP (PPP, $bn)   195.4  Capital   Dublin 
Population (million)    4.775  GDP Real Growth (%)   0.9  Other Large Cities   Limerick 
Population Growth       (%)   1.16  PerCap GDP ($)   42,600  Primary Language   English/ Gaelic 
Population Under     15yrs (%)   21.4  Prime Lending               Rate (%)   3.55  Urbanization   62 
Population below poverty line (%)   5.5  Inflation Rate%   1.7  Urban Growth        1.8 
Agricultural Workers    (% of population)   5  Unemployment%   14.7  Literacy  (population %)   99 
Industrial Workers     (% of population)   19  Foreign          Direct     Investment ($bn)   276.4  Education spending              % of GDP   6.5 
Service Workers        (% of population)   76  Debt-External ($tn)   2.163  CPI Score                  (1-100)*   69 
Labor Force (mil)   2.154  Exports ($bn)   119  Corporate Income Tax %   10 
      Imports ($bn)   64.32  Ease of Doing Business Ranking **   15 


Click the links below for articles with more information on Franchising in Ireland

Doing Business in Ireland (2012)

Reform of European Union Rules on Distribution (2010)

European Commission's New Block Exemption Rules Enter Into Force June 1 (2010)

Is Europe a Fit for Your Franchise? (2010)

Next Global Stop: Ranking Franchise-Friendly Countries (2009)

Picking the Best European Countries for Franchising  (2009)

Going overseas…Very Carefully  (2008)


* CPI Score is published by Transparency International and relates to the perceptions of the degree of corruption as seen by business people and country analysts and ranges between 100 (highly clean) and 0 (highly corrupt).  

**Ease of Doing Business Ranking is determined by the World Bank Group and is ranked out of a possible 185 countries.  

Most recent statistics have been taken from the CIA World Factbook unless noted otherwise. 

International Franchising Opportunities

After you have finished researching the international markets, learning international expansion strategies and best practices, and understanding the basics of international franchising law, IFA provides numerous opportunities for franchising internationally.

Click here to search for Businesses Franchising Internationally  


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