Economic tiger nations, prostrate yourselve when entering into the presence of an Irish citizen! In terms of global per capita wealth, the Republic of Ireland ranks second only to Japan.

A decade of soaring economic growth and property values has created 30,000 millionaires in a geographically small nation once synonymous with deprivation.

At €148,000 ($188,714; £102,451) the average annual income of the Irish now tops all but the industrious inhabitants of the Land of the Rising Sun.

According to a Bank of Ireland study, the globe's top eight nations in terms of net wealth per head are:

  1. Japan €205,675
  2. Ireland €148,130
  3. UK €137,277
  4. USA €128,810
  5. Italy €125,512
  6. France €103,476
  7. Germany €90,462
  8. Canada €85,147
The bank predicts that the stimulus of a higher birth rate and immigration will keep the Irish economic pot nicely on the boil, with total household net worth almost doubling by 2015 to €1.2 trillion.

Many of the nation's 4,062,235 predominantly Catholic citizenry might these days more closely identify with the character Undershaft in George Bernard Shaw's play Major Barbara, who declares: "I am a millionaire. That is my religion."

Data sourced from The Times Online (UK); additional content by WARC staff