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Northern Ireland is a part of the United Kingdom in the north-east of the island of Ireland. It is variously described as a country, province or region of the UK, amongst other terms. Northern Ireland shares a border to the south and west with the Republic of Ireland. As of 2011, its population was 1,810,863, constituting about 30% of the island's total population and about 3% of the population of the United Kingdom. Since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998, Northern Ireland is largely self-governing. According to the agreement, Northern Ireland co-operates with the rest of Ireland on some policy areas, while other areas are reserved for the Government of the United Kingdom, though the Republic of Ireland "may put forward views and proposals" with "determined efforts to resolve disagreements between [the two governments]". Northern Ireland was created in 1921, when Ireland was partitioned between Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland by an act of the British parliament. Unlike Southern Ireland, which would become the Irish Free State in 1922, the majority of the population of Northern Ireland wanted to remain within the United Kingdom. Most of these were the Protestant descendants of colonists from Great Britain. However, a significant minority wanted a united Ireland independent of British rule, and most of these were Catholics. Today, the former generally see themselves as British and the latter generally see themselves as Irish, although some people from both communities describe themselves as Northern Irish. Historically, Northern Ireland was marked by discrimination and hostility between these two communities in what Nobel Peace Prize-winner David Trimble called a "cold house" for Catholics. In the late 1960s, conflict between the two communities, and involving state forces, erupted into three decades of violence known as The Troubles, which claimed over 3,500 lives. The Good Friday Agreement in 1998 was a major step in the peace process although sectarianism still remains a major social problem. (via Freebase)