United Kingdom

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Motto: "Dieu et mon droit" (French)
"God and my right"[1]
Anthem: "God Save the King"[a]
Royal coat of arms in Scotland:
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (Scotland).svg
Europe-UK (orthographic projection).svg
Territorial waters - United Kingdom.svg
Location of the United Kingdom (dark green)

in Europe (dark grey)

and largest city
51°30′N 0°7′W / 51.500°N 0.117°W / 51.500; -0.117
Official language
and national language
Regional and minority languages[b]
Ethnic groups
Constituent countries
GovernmentUnitary[e] parliamentary constitutional monarchy
• Monarch
Charles III
Rishi Sunak
House of Lords
House of Commons
1535 and 1542
24 March 1603
22 July 1706
1 May 1707
1 January 1801
5 December 1922
• Total
242,495 km2 (93,628 sq mi)[10] (78th)
• Water (%)
1.51 (2015)[11]
• 2023 estimate
Neutral increase 68,138,484[12] (21st)
• 2011 census
63,182,178[13] (22nd)
• Density
270.7/km2 (701.1/sq mi) (50th)
GDP (PPP)2023 estimate
• Total
Increase $3.847 trillion[14] (10th)
• Per capita
Increase $56,471[14] (28th)
GDP (nominal)2023 estimate
• Total
Increase $3.159 trillion[14] (6th)
• Per capita
Increase $46,371[14] (22nd)
Gini (2019)Negative increase 36.6[15]
HDI (2021)Increase 0.929[16]
very high · 18th
CurrencyPound sterling[f] (GBP)
Time zoneUTC+0 (Greenwich Mean Time, WET)
• Summer (DST)
UTC+1 (British Summer Time, WEST)
Date format
  • dd/mm/yyyy
  • yyyy-mm-dd (AD)
Driving sideleft[h]
Calling code+44[i]
ISO 3166 codeGB
Internet TLD.uk[j]

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,[k][17] is a country in Northwestern Europe, off the north-western coast of the continental mainland.[18] It comprises England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.[19] The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands within the British Isles.[20] Northern Ireland shares a land border with the Republic of Ireland; otherwise, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the North Sea, the English Channel, the Celtic Sea and the Irish Sea. The total area of the United Kingdom is 242,495 square kilometres (93,628 sq mi), with an estimated 2023 population of over 68 million people.

The United Kingdom has evolved from a series of annexations, unions and separations of constituent countries over several hundred years. The Treaty of Union between the Kingdom of England (which also included Wales) and the Kingdom of Scotland in 1707 resulted in their unification to become the Kingdom of Great Britain. Its union in 1801 with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Most of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, which formally adopted its name in 1927.[l] The nearby Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown Dependencies, but the British government is responsible for their defence and international representation.[21]

The UK became the world's first industrialised country and was the foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries, a period of unchallenged global hegemony known as "Pax Britannica".[22][23] The 14 British Overseas Territories[24] are the last remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed almost a quarter of the world's landmass and population, and was the largest empire in history. A part of the core Anglophonic world, British influence can be observed in the language, culture, legal and political systems of many of its former colonies.

The United Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy.[m][26] Its capital and largest city is London, the capital of England, a global city and financial centre with a metropolitan population of over 14 million people. Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast are the national capitals of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland respectively. Other major cities include Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Glasgow and Liverpool.[27] Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers.[28]

The UK has the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal gross domestic product (GDP), and the tenth-largest by purchasing power parity. It is a recognised nuclear state and is ranked fourth globally in military expenditure.[29][30] The UK has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946. It is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the OECD, Five Eyes, NATO and AUKUS. The UK is set to join the CPTPP, a major trade bloc in the Indo-Pacific, after negotiations regarding its accession concluded in March 2023.[31] It was a member state of the European Communities (EC) and its successor, the European Union (EU), from its accession in 1973 until its withdrawal in 2020 with a free trade deal.[32]

  1. ^ "The Royal Coat of Arms". The Royal Family. 15 January 2016. Retrieved 19 November 2018.
  2. ^ Berry, Ciara (15 January 2016). "National Anthem". The Royal Family. Retrieved 4 June 2016.
  3. ^ "List of declarations made with respect to treaty No. 148". Council of Europe. Retrieved 12 December 2013.
  4. ^ "Welsh language on GOV.UK – Content design: planning, writing and managing content – Guidance". www.gov.uk. Retrieved 3 August 2018.; "Welsh language scheme". GOV.UK. Retrieved 3 August 2018.; "Welsh language scheme". GOV.UK. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  5. ^ Weller, Paul (2016). "Balancing within Three Dimensions: Christianity, Secularity, and Religious Plurality in Social Policy and Theology". Studies in Interreligious Dialogue. 26 (2): 131–146. doi:10.2143/SID.26.2.3200411.
  6. ^ Cusick, Edmund; Storry, Mike (2017). "Religion". In Storry, Mike; Childs, Peter (eds.). British Cultural Identities (5th ed.). London: Routledge. pp. 239–266. ISBN 9781315440590.
  7. ^ Bradbury, Jonathan (2021). Constitutional Policy and Territorial Politics in the UK: Volume 1: Union and Devolution 1997–2012. Policy Press. pp. 19–20. ISBN 978-1-5292-0588-6.
  8. ^ Leith, Murray Stewart (2012). Political Discourse and National Identity in Scotland. Edinburgh University Press. p. 39. ISBN 978-0-7486-8862-3.
  9. ^ Gagnon, Alain-G.; Tully, James (2001). Multinational Democracies. Cambridge University Press. p. 47. ISBN 978-0-521-80473-8.; Bogdanor, Vernon (1998). "Devolution: the Constitutional Aspects". In Beatson, Jack (ed.). Constitutional Reform in the United Kingdom: Practice and Principles. Oxford: Hart Publishing. p. 18. ISBN 978-1-901362-84-8.
  10. ^ Demographic Yearbook – Table 3: Population by sex, rate of population increase, surface area and density (PDF) (Report). United Nations Statistics Division. 2012. Retrieved 9 August 2015.
  11. ^ "Surface water and surface water change". Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Retrieved 11 October 2021.
  12. ^ "United Kingdom". The World Factbook (2023 ed.). Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved 21 March 2023.
  13. ^ "2011 UK censuses". Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 17 December 2012.
  14. ^ a b c d "World Economic Outlook database: April 2023". International Monetary Fund. April 2023.
  15. ^ "Inequality – Income inequality". us.oecd.org. OECD. Retrieved 25 July 2021.
  16. ^ "Human Development Report 2021/2022" (PDF). United Nations Development Programme. 8 September 2022. Retrieved 8 September 2022.
  17. ^ "Great Britain | island, Europe". Encyclopedia Britannica. 2 April 2023.
  18. ^ United Kingdom Permanent Committee on Geographical Names (May 2017). "Toponymic guidelines for the United Kingdom". GOV.UK. 10.2 Definitions. usually shortened to United Kingdom ... The abbreviation is UK or U.K.; "United Kingdom". Encyclopedia Britannica. 27 May 2023.
  19. ^ "Countries within a country". Prime Minister's Office. 10 January 2003. Archived from the original on 9 September 2008. Retrieved 8 March 2015.
  20. ^ "Definition of Great Britain in English". Oxford University Press. Archived from the original on 4 October 2013. Retrieved 29 October 2014. Great Britain is the name for the island that comprises England, Scotland and Wales, although the term is also used loosely to refer to the United Kingdom.
  21. ^ "Key facts about the United Kingdom". Directgov. Archived from the original on 15 October 2012. Retrieved 6 March 2015. The full title of this country is 'the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland'. Great Britain is made up of England, Scotland and Wales. The United Kingdom (UK) is made up of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. 'Britain' is used informally, usually meaning the United Kingdom.
    The Channel Islands and the Isle of Man are not part of the UK.
  22. ^ Mathias, P. (2001). The First Industrial Nation: the Economic History of Britain, 1700–1914. London: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-26672-7.; Ferguson, Niall (2004). Empire: The rise and demise of the British world order and the lessons for global power. New York: Basic Books. ISBN 978-0-465-02328-8.
  23. ^ McDougall, Walter A. (4 May 2023). "20th-century international relations". Britannica. Retrieved 6 May 2023.
  24. ^ "The UK Overseas Territories and their Governors". House of Commons Library. Retrieved 6 May 2023.
  25. ^ What is the UK Constitution?, The Constitution Unit of UCL, 9 August 2018, retrieved 6 February 2020
  26. ^ The British Monarchy, "What is constitutional monarchy?". Retrieved 17 July 2013; "United Kingdom" CIA The World Factbook. Retrieved 17 July 2013
  27. ^ "Population of Cities in United Kingdom 2023". World Population Review. Retrieved 21 February 2023.
  28. ^ "Devolution of powers to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland". United Kingdom Government. Retrieved 17 April 2013. In a similar way to how the government is formed from members from the two Houses of Parliament, members of the devolved legislatures nominate ministers from among themselves to comprise executives, known as the devolved administrations...; "Country Overviews: United Kingdom". Transport Research Knowledge Centre. Archived from the original on 4 April 2010. Retrieved 28 March 2010.
  29. ^ "IISS Military Balance 2021". The Military Balance. 121 (1): 23–29. January 2021. doi:10.1080/04597222.2021.1868791. S2CID 232050862. Retrieved 1 October 2021.
  30. ^ Silva, Diego Lopes da; Tian, Nan; Béraud-Sudreau, Lucie; Marksteiner, Alexandra; Liang, Xiao (April 2022). Trends in World Military Expenditure, 2021 (fact sheet). SIPRI. doi:10.55163/DZJD8826. S2CID 248305949.
  31. ^ "UK strikes biggest trade deal since Brexit to join major free trade bloc in Indo-Pacific". GOV.UK. Retrieved 3 April 2023.
  32. ^ "The EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement". Archived from the original on 25 March 2023. Retrieved 25 March 2023.

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