Brainfood: Us and them - Republic of Ireland

Ireland's economy continues to grow steadily, driven by a healthy export industry, increasing consumer spending, and construction and business investment. Average growth between 1995 and 2004 was a robust 7%. Salaries are good too - Ireland ranks 18th out of 48 European countries when it comes to pay levels, with overall median hourly gross earnings standing at EUR14.16, higher than both France and Spain. Estimated unemployment for 2004 is 4.3%.

Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010


Boosted by rising birth rates and the new phenomenon of net immigration, Ireland's population of 3.98 million continues to grow. In the year to April 2002, an estimated 47,500 people emigrated to the Emerald Isle, with returning nationals comprising 38% of the total. Industry accounts for more than a third of Ireland's $126.4 billion GDP. Per capita GDP is the second-highest in the EU and 10% above that of the four big European economies.

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