Administrative Division

The island of Ireland is situated in the north-west of Europe. It is bound to the west by the Atlantic Ocean, to the northeast by the North Channel. To the east is found the Irish Sea which reconnects to the ocean via the southwest with St George's Channel and the Celtic Sea. The Republic of Ireland consists of 26 of the 32 counties that comprise the island of Ireland, the remainder constituting Northern Ireland. 

The division of the Irish island into four provinces has historical roots and no political or administrative meaning today. The country is further split into eight regions for NUTS statistical purposes. These are not related to the four traditional provinces but are based on the administrative counties.

The smallest administrative area for which population statistics are published is the District Electoral Division, DED, (or in the County Boroughs, the Ward). The country is divided into about 3 440 DEDs and Wards. This unit is statistical in nature and is not used as basis of electoral organization or political representation in local or national government.
For the purpose of elections to Dáil Éireann the country is divided into constituencies which have to be revised at least once every twelve years with due regard to changes in the distribution of the population. The constituencies were last revised in 1995. There are about 41 constituencies. In the period from 1969 to 2000 it is possible to distinguish 61 differently labelled units, but in geographical terms many of these are modifications of the existing constituencies. The election statistics published here is aggregated to 38 stable constituencies for the 1990 - 2006 elections. As a result of major changes to the constituency structure in 2004, the results of the 2007 parliamentary elections are reported according to 43 constituencies. 

Local government administration in Ireland is organized in 29 counties and 5 county boroughs. 

NUTS structure

Ireland has 2 NUTS 2 units and 8 NUTS 3 units.

Code Country NUTS 1 NUTS 2 NUTS 3
IE01     Border, Midland and Western  
IE011       Border
IE012       Midland
IE013       West
IE02     Southern and Eastern  
IE021       Dublin
IE022       Mid-East
IE023       Mid-West
IE024       South-East (IRL)
IE025       South-West (IRL)

Quick, Michael (1994). Regional Territorial Units in Western Europe since 1945. Mannheimer Zentrum für Europäische Sozialforschung (MZES). EURODATA/ Nr. 5

Eurostat: Nomenclature of territorial units for statistics - NUTS Statistical Regions of Europe