Ireland is an island in the North Atlantic covering 70,273 square miles and supporting a population of 4,125,000 people, as of July 2015. Over 1 million of that number lives in Dublin, Ireland's capital. Catholicism is the predominant religion of Ireland, and the unit of currency is the euro.
Ireland's official name is The Republic of Ireland. Its most commonly spoken language is English, although the traditional language of Ireland, Irish Gaelic, is another official language.
Ireland has been inhabited for more than 7,000 years. Some of the earliest known inhabitants of Ireland were the Celtic invaders who arrived from mainland Europe in the sixth century B.C. Ireland's population suffered a major famine in the 19th century when the potato crop failed. In the 1840s, large amounts of rain fell, causing the potato crops to rot and reducing the population of the country from 8 million to 6 million as a result. In 1922, the Roman Catholic areas of Ireland won independence from Great Britain, while mostly Protestant Northern Ireland remained part of Britain. This divide has led to violent conflict between those who believe the island should be united as one nation and those who do not.
Some of Ireland's main agricultural products are turnips, barley, beef, sugar beets and potatoes. Its major exports are machinery, computers, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and live animals.