United Kingdom

64,510,376 (2014)
243,610 km2
94,058 mi2
1,343 m
4,406 ft
Ben Nevis

The United Kingdom has historically played a leading role in developing parliamentary democracy and in advancing literature and science. At its zenith in the 19th century, the British Empire stretched over one-fourth of the earth's surface. The first half of the 20th century saw the UK's strength seriously depleted in two world wars and the Irish Republic's withdrawal from the union. The second half witnessed the dismantling of the Empire and the UK rebuilding itself into a modern and prosperous European nation. As one of five permanent members of the UN Security Council and a founding member of NATO and the Commonwealth, the UK pursues a global approach to foreign policy. The UK is also an active member of the EU, although it chose to remain outside the Economic and Monetary Union. The Scottish Parliament, the National Assembly for Wales, and the Northern Ireland Assembly were established in 1999. The latter was suspended until May 2007 due to wrangling over the peace process, but devolution was fully completed in March 2010.
  • temperate
  • moderated by prevailing southwest winds over the North Atlantic Current
  • more than one-half of the days are overcast

Northern Europe

Western Europe, islands - including the northern one-sixth of the island of Ireland - between the North Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea; northwest of France

  • lies near vital North Atlantic sea lanes
  • only 35 km from France and linked by tunnel under the English Channel
  • because of heavily indented coastline, no location is more than 125 km from tidal waters

  • mostly rugged hills and low mountains
  • level to rolling plains in east and southeast

Ben Nevis
1,343 m
4,406 ft
The Fens
-4 m
-13 ft
Ben Nevis Mount Everest
  • coal
  • petroleum
  • natural gas
  • iron ore
  • lead
  • zinc
  • gold
  • tin
  • limestone
  • salt
  • clay
  • chalk
  • gypsum
  • potash
  • silica sand
  • slate
  • arable land
Winter windstorms; floods
  • continues to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • by 2005 the government reduced the amount of industrial and commercial waste disposed of in landfill sites to 85% of 1998 levels and recycled or composted at least 25% of household waste, increasing to 33% by 2015

243,610 km2
94,058 mi2
241,930 km2
93,410 mi2
1,680 km2
649 mi2
0.81 % 0.55 % 2.39 % 0.99 % 1.37 % 3.17 % 1.74 % 0.05 %
443 km
275 mi
Ireland 443 km/275 mi

12,429 km/7,723 mi

12.80 %

25.90 %

71.30 %
  • cereals, oilseed, potatoes, vegetables
  • cattle, sheep, poultry
  • fish
  • machine tools
  • electric power equipment
  • automation equipment
  • railroad equipment
  • shipbuilding
  • aircraft
  • motor vehicles and parts
  • electronics and communications equipment
  • metals
  • chemicals
  • coal
  • petroleum
  • paper and paper products
  • food processing
  • textiles
  • clothing
  • other consumer goods



50.7 %

49.3 %

17.7 %

64.8 %

17.5 %

264.81 / km2
685.86 / mi2



79.20 yrs

82.80 Years

81.03 Years
5.81 % 1.46 % 8.69 % 12.2 % 16.65 % 171.05 % 0.87 %
  • English
  • Christian (includes Anglican; Roman Catholic; Presbyterian; Methodist) 59.5%
  • Muslim 4.4%
  • Hindu 1.3%
  • Other 2%
  • Unspecified 7.2%
  • None 25.7%
  • White 87.2%
  • Black/African/Caribbean/black British 3%
  • Asian/Asian British: Indian 2.3%
  • Asian/Asian British: Pakistani 1.9%
  • Mixed 2%
  • Other 3.7%

United Kingdom

United Kingdom


Reino Unido

Regno Unito

Constitutional monarchy and Commonwealth realm

Bicameral Parliament consists of the House of Lords (760 seats - membership not fixed (there are 816 lords eligible for taking part in the work of the House of Lords consisting of 698 life peers, 86 hereditary peers, and 26 clergy - as of October 2015; members appointed by the monarch on the advice of the prime minister and non-party political members recommended by the House of Lords Appointments Commission) and the House of Commons (650 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by first-past-the-post vote to serve 5-year terms unless the House is dissolved earlier)

Blue field with the red cross of Saint George (patron saint of England) edged in white superimposed on the diagonal red cross of Saint Patrick (patron saint of Ireland), which is superimposed on the diagonal white cross of Saint Andrew (patron saint of Scotland); properly known as the Union Flag, but commonly called the Union Jack; the design and colors (especially the Blue Ensign) have been the basis for a number of other flags including other Commonwealth countries and their constituent states or provinces, and British overseas territories
"God Save the Queen"
Lion (Britain in general)
Lion, Tudor rose, oak (England)
Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952)
Heir Apparent Prince CHARLES (son of the queen, born 14 November 1948)
  • 12 April 1927
    (Royal and Parliamentary Titles Act establishes current name of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland)
    notable earlier dates: 927
    (minor English kingdoms united)
    3 March 1284
    (enactment of the Statute of Rhuddlan uniting England and Wales)
    (Act of Union formally incorporates England and Wales)
    1 May 1707
    (Acts of Union formally unite England and Scotland as Great Britain)
    1 January 1801
    (Acts of Union formally unite Great Britain and Ireland as the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland)
    6 December 1921
    (Anglo-Irish Treaty formalizes partition of Ireland
    six counties remain part of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland)

  • The UK does not celebrate one particular national holiday
ADB (nonregional member), AfDB (nonregional member), Arctic Council (observer), Australia Group, BIS, C, CBSS (observer), CD, CDB, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECB, EIB, EITI (implementing country), ESA, EU, FAO, FATF, G-5, G-7, G-8, G-10, G-20, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD (partners), IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MINUSMA, MONUSCO, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Pacific Alliance (observer), Paris Club, PCA, PIF (partner), SELEC (observer), SICA (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNHCR, UNMISS, UNRWA, UNSC (permanent), UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
51 30 N, 0 05 W

LONDON 10.313 million
Manchester 2.646 million
Birmingham 2.515 million
Glasgow 1.223 million
Southampton/Portsmouth 882,000
Liverpool 870,000

460 (2013)
Dover, Felixstowe, Immingham, Liverpool, London, Southampton, Teesport (England); Forth Ports (Scotland); Milford Haven (Wales)
beds/1,000 population (2011)
physicians/1,000 population (2013)
Supreme Court (consists of 12 justices including the court president and deputy president); note - the Supreme Court was established by the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 and implemented in October 2009, replacing the Appellate Committee of the House of Lords as the highest court in the United Kingdom
18 years of age

Army, Royal Navy (includes Royal Marines), Royal Air Force (2013)

The UK, a leading trading power and financial center, is the third largest economy in Europe after Germany and France. Agriculture is intensive, highly mechanized, and efficient by European standards, producing about 60% of food needs with less than 2% of the labor force. The UK has large coal, natural gas, and oil resources, but its oil and natural gas reserves are declining and the UK has been a net importer of energy since 2005. Services, particularly banking, insurance, and business services, are key drivers of British GDP growth. Manufacturing, meanwhile, has declined in importance but still accounts for about 10% of economic output. ++ ++ In 2008, the global financial crisis hit the economy particularly hard, due to the importance of its financial sector. Falling home prices, high consumer debt, and the global economic slowdown compounded Britain's economic problems, pushing the economy into recession in the latter half of 2008 and prompting the then BROWN (Labour) government to implement a number of measures to stimulate the economy and stabilize the financial markets. Facing burgeoning public deficits and debt levels, in 2010 the CAMERON-led coalition government (between Conservatives and Liberal Democrats) initiated an austerity program, which aimed to lower London's budget deficit from about 11% of GDP in 2010 to nearly 1% by 2015. The CAMERON government raised the value added tax from 17.5% to 20% in 2011. It has pledged to reduce the corporation tax rate to 20% by 2015. However, the deficit still remains one of the highest in the G7, standing at 6.0% in 2014. ++ ++ In 2012, weak consumer spending and subdued business investment weighed on the economy, however, in 2013 GDP grew 1.7% and in 2014, 2.6%, accelerating unexpectedly because of greater consumer spending and a recovering housing market. ++ ++ The Bank of England (BoE) implemented an asset purchase program of �375 billion (approximately $586 billion) as of December 2014. During times of economic crisis, the BoE coordinates interest rate moves with the European Central Bank, but Britain remains outside the European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU).

manufactured goods, machinery, fuels; foodstuffs
  • Germany 14.9%
  • China 9%
  • Netherlands 7.8%
  • US 6.5%
  • France 6.1%
  • Belgium 5.2%
  • Italy 4.1%
manufactured goods, fuels, chemicals; food, beverages, tobacco
  • Germany 10.8%
  • US 10.4%
  • Netherlands 8.1%
  • Switzerland 7.2%
  • France 6.5%
  • Ireland 6.4%
  • Belgium 4.5%
British pounds (GBP) per US dollar
0.607 (2014 est.)

1.5% (2014 est.)
394,428 km
245,086 mi
30,859 km
19,175 mi
3,200 km
1,988 mi
(620 km used for commerce)
52 per 100 people
country code - 44
numerous submarine cables provide links throughout Europe, Asia, Australia, the Middle East, and US
123.58 / 100
91.61 / 100
  • public service broadcaster, British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), is the largest broadcasting corporation in the world
  • BBC operates multiple TV networks with regional and local TV service
  • a mixed system of public and commercial TV broadcasters along with satellite and cable systems provide access to hundreds of TV stations throughout the world
  • BBC operates multiple national, regional, and local radio networks with multiple transmission sites
  • a large number of commercial radio stations, as well as satellite radio services are available (2008)
AM 206
FM 696
shortwave 3 (2008)
448,235.75 kt
kt per capita
kt CO2 equivalent
kt CO2 equivalent
100 %
100 %
kg of oil equivalent per capita
84 %
11 %

Data source: worldbank.com, wikipedia.org, infoplease.com, CIA World Factbook


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