Northern Ireland is a part of the United Kingdom. It occupies the northern part of the island of Ireland and has a surface area of 14,130 km2. It shares its only border with the Republic of Ireland, which lies to its south. It has a population of around 1.9 million, and the official language is English. Its regional languages are Irish and Ulster-Scots, a dialect of the Scots language. Northern Ireland is Christian, with 41.5% of the population identifying as Protestant, and 41% as Catholic.
The capital and largest city is Belfast. Northern Ireland came into existence in 1921, when Ireland was partitioned into a northern and southern part. Whereas the south got their independence in 1949, Northern Ireland decided to remain within the United Kingdom. As such, Northern Ireland shares the culture of both Ireland and the United Kingdom.
The most popular sports are association football, Gaelic games (Gaelic football, hurling and Gaelic handball) and rugby. In most sports, with the exception of some like association football, Northern Ireland forms a team together with its southern neighbours.
Northern Ireland’s landscapes consist mainly of rocky hills and plateaus. In the centre of North Ireland lies Lough Neagh, the largest freshwater lake of both Ireland and Great Britain. The vast majority of the region has a temperate maritime climate, and the highest ever recorded temperature was 30.8 °C.
Northern Ireland has many beautiful tourist destinations, with the Giants Causeway located on the north coast being the most prominent. The Giants Causeway is an area of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It received over 998,000 visitors in 2019. The region also has many other attractions to offer, including the many museums, old castles, scenic routes and breweries.