An island nation in north-western Europe, the Republic of Ireland is one of the highest income countries in the world. According to the International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook Database, Ireland is among the ten wealthiest countries in the world as measured by gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, purchasing power-parity (PPP) calculations. In 2007, estimated GDP per capita in Ireland was $40,805.
This has not always been the case. For more than two hundred years it served as one of Europe’s poorest countries, with Irish peasants migrating elsewhere for better economic opportunities. In 1960, Ireland was outside the top twenty countries in terms of GDP per capita, well below nearly all of its European neighbors. Then in the 1990s, the Irish economy took off with annual growth in GDP increasing by an average of 5.14 percent per year from 1990-1995. In the second half of the decade, the economy grew even more rapidly at an average rate of 9.66 percent. In a little over two decades Ireland has drastically improved its standard of living.
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