Dublin is the capital and largest city of Ireland. Dublin is in the province of Leinster on Ireland's east coast, at the mouth of the River Liffey. The city has an urban area population of 1,345,402. The population of the Greater Dublin Area, as of 2016, was 1,904,806 people.
Founded as a Viking settlement, the Kingdom of Dublin became Ireland's principal city following the Norman invasion. The city expanded rapidly from the 17th century and was briefly the second largest city in the British Empire before the Acts of Union in 1800. Following the partition of Ireland in 1922, Dublin became the capital of the Irish Free State, later renamed Ireland.
Dublin is administered by a City Council. The city is listed by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network (GaWC) as a global city, with a ranking of "Alpha-", which places it amongst the top thirty cities in the world. It is a historical and contemporary centre for education, the arts, administration, economy and industry.
Dublin is situated at the mouth of the River Liffey and encompasses a land area of approximately 115 square kilometres (44 sq mi) in east-central Ireland. It is bordered by a low mountain range to the south and surrounded by flat farmland to the north and west. The Liffey divides the city in two between the Northside and the Southside. Each of these is further divided by two lesser rivers – the River Tolka running southeast into Dubin Bay, and the River Dodder running northeast to the mouth of the Liffey. Two further water bodies – the Grand Canal on the southside and the Royal Canal on the northside – ring the inner city on their way from the west and the River Shannon.
The River Liffey bends at Leixlip from a northeasterly route to a predominantly eastward direction, and this point also marks the transition to urban development from more agricultural land usage.
Similar to much of the rest of northwestern Europe, Dublin experiences a maritime climate (Cfb) with cool summers, mild winters, and a lack of temperature extremes. The average maximum January temperature is 8.8 °C (48 °F), while the average maximum July temperature is 20.2 °C (68 °F). On average, the sunniest months are May and June, while the wettest month is October with 76 mm (3 in) of rain, and the driest month is February with 46 mm (2 in). Rainfall is evenly distributed throughout the year.
Dublin's sheltered location on the east coast makes it the driest place in Ireland, receiving only about half the rainfall of the west coast. Ringsend in the south of the city records the lowest rainfall in the country, with an average annual precipitation of 683 mm (27 in), with the average annual precipitation in the city centre being 714 mm (28 in). The main precipitation in winter is rain; however snow showers do occur between November and March. Hail is more common than snow. The city experiences long summer days and short winter days. Strong Atlantic winds are most common in autumn. These winds can affect Dublin, but due to its easterly location it is least affected compared to other parts of the country. However, in winter, easterly winds render the city colder and more prone to snow showers.
In the 20th century, smog and air-pollution were an issue in the city, precipitating a ban on bituminous fuels across Dublin. The ban was implemented in 1990 to address black smoke concentrations, that had been linked to cardiovascular and respiratory deaths in residents. Since the ban, non-trauma death rates, respiratory death rates and cardiovascular death rates have declined - by an estimated 350 deaths annually.
The City of Dublin is the area administered by Dublin City Council, but the term "Dublin" is also used to refer to the contiguous urban area which includes parts of the adjacent local authority areas of Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown, Fingal and South Dublin. Together, the four areas form the traditional County Dublin. This area is sometimes known as the Dublin Region. The population of the administrative area controlled by the City Council was 553,165 in the 2016 census, while the population of the urban area was 1,345,402. The County Dublin population was 1,273,069 and that of the Greater Dublin Area 1,904,806. The area's population is expanding rapidly, and it is estimated by the Central Statistics Office that it will reach 2.1 million by 2020.
The percentage of Protestants in Dublin has dropped from over 10% in 1891 to 3-4% today.
Since the late 1990s, Dublin has experienced a significant level of net immigration, with the greatest numbers coming from the European Union, especially the United Kingdom, Poland and Lithuania. There is also immigration from outside Europe, including from India, Pakistan, China and Nigeria. Dublin is home to a greater proportion of newer arrivals than any other part of the country. Sixty percent of Ireland's Asian population lives in Dublin. Over 15% of Dublin's population was foreign-born in 2006.
The capital attracts the largest proportion of non-Catholic migrants from other countries. Increased secularization in Ireland has prompted a drop in regular Catholic church attendance in Dublin from over 90 percent in the mid-1970s down to 14 percent according to a 2011 survey.