From the International Studies website:
Although only slightly larger than West Virginia and possessing a smaller population than Missouri, Ireland punches above its weight in a worldwide context. Here are five reasons why Ireland is worthy of its selection as MSSU’s Fall 2023 themed semester country:
1. With a GDP exceeding $504 billion in 2021, Ireland is one of the most open and export-driven economies in the world. Ireland remains a wealthy country and a net exporting nation with a per capita GDP in 2021 of $100,602. (Ireland – Country Commercial Guide)
2. In 2022, the Irish economy grew at the astonishing rate of 12.2 percent, the fastest on the European continent. Ireland ranks high because property rights and contracts are well protected. The business climate is friendly because regulations aren’t nutty and intrusive, while tax rates are competitive. It's freedom, not the “luck of the Irish,” that explains Ireland’s remarkable economic success. (FEE Stories)
3. More than 30 million Americans, almost 10 percent of the population, claim Irish heritage. John Fitzgerald Kennedy, America's first Irish-Catholic president, was a son of two families whose roots stretched back to Ireland. (U.S. Department of State and John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum)
4. For its small size, Ireland has a large cultural imprint, particularly in English literature. The country’s famous authors include Samuel Beckett, James Joyce and Oscar Wilde – just to name a few. Ireland has rich musical and folklore traditions and is also the creator of Guinness, perhaps its most famous export along with St. Patrick’s Day. (U.S. News & World Report)
5. Although Ireland is now both urbanized and Europeanized, its culture retains many unique characteristics, and its people prize folkloric and social traditions that largely derive from and celebrate the country’s rural past. (Britannica)
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