United Kingdom

United Kingdom  (dark green)

– on the European continent  (green & dark grey)
– in the European Union  (green)

Capital
and largest city
London
51°30′N 0°7′W / 51°30′N 0°7′W / 51.500; -0.117
Official language
and national language
English
Recognised regional languages[note 3]
Ethnic groups (2011)
  • 87.1% White
  • 7.0% Asian
  • 3.0% Black
  • 2.0% Mixed
  • 0.9% others
Religion (2011)
  • 59.5% Christian
  • 25.7% Irreligious
  • 4.4% Muslim
  • 1.3% Hindu
  • 0.4% Jewish
  • 1.5% other religions
  • 7.2% unknown[3]
Demonym
  • British
  • Briton
Countries (constituent parts)
GovernmentUnitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy
• Monarch
Elizabeth II
Theresa May
LegislatureParliament
House of Lords
House of Commons
Formation
• Laws in Wales Acts
1535 and 1542
• Union of the Crowns under James, King of Scots
24 March 1603
• Acts of Union of England and Scotland
1 May 1707
• Acts of Union of Great Britain and Ireland
1 January 1801
• Irish Free State Constitution Act
5 December 1922
• EC accession[note 4]
1 January 1973
Area
• Total
242,495 km2 (93,628 sq mi)[4] (78th)
• Water (%)
1.34
Population
• 2016 estimate
Increase 65,648,000[5] (22nd)
• 2011 census
63,181,775[6] (22nd)
• Density
270.7/km2 (701.1/sq mi) (50th)
GDP (PPP)2016 estimate
• Total
$2.79 trillion (9th)
• Per capita
$42,514[7] (25th)
GDP (nominal)2016 estimate
• Total
$2.63 trillion (5th)
• Per capita
$40,096[8] (19th)
Gini (2014) 31.6[9]
medium · 33rd
HDI (2015)Increase 0.909[10]
very high · 16th
CurrencyPound sterling[note 5] (GBP; £)
Time zoneGreenwich Mean Time[note 6] (UTC⁠)
• Summer (DST)
British Summer Time (UTC+1)
Date formatdd/mm/yyyy (AD)
Drives on theleft
Calling code+44[note 7]
ISO 3166 codeGB
Internet TLD.uk[note 8]

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, simply called the United Kingdom or UK, is a sovereign state in Northern Europe. It is a constitutional monarchy that is made up of four separate countries: England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. It is a member of the European Union, United Nations, the Commonwealth, NATO and the G8. It has the fifth largest economy in the world.

Around 65.5 million people live in the UK.[11] They can be divided into four big nationalities based on the countries where they live. These countries, and the names of the people and language spoken there, are as follows:

  • England is the biggest country, and the one where most people in the UK live. People who live in England are called English. Their native language is called English, which is spoken by almost everyone in the UK and has become a global lingua franca. A few people in the southwest part of England can speak Cornish, a Celtic language.
  • Scotland, to the north of England, is the second biggest country. People who live here are called Scottish, and some speak languages called Scottish Gaelic, a Celtic language, or Scots, which is a lot like English but is different from it.
  • Wales is to the west of England. Its people are called Welsh and have their own Celtic language which is also called Welsh. Not everyone in Wales can speak Welsh, but almost everyone can speak English.
  • Northern Ireland is on the island of Ireland, which is west of Great Britain where the other three countries are on. Some Irish people live here and speak Irish, another Celtic language, or Ulster Scots, a dialect of the language spoken in Scotland.

Between the 17th and mid 20th-centuries, Britain was a world power. It became a colonial empire that controlled large areas of Africa, Asia, North America and Oceania.[12] Many countries left and became independent from the empire in the 20th century, although Britain keeps links with most countries of its former empire.

The UK has many cities. England is home to London, the biggest city in the UK and also its capital city. There are also many other big cities in England including Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Bristol and Newcastle upon Tyne. Scotland has the big cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow. Cardiff and Swansea are in Wales and Belfast is in Northern Ireland. The UK had a dominating empire named the British Empire. At its height in 1922, more than 458 million people lived in the British Empire, one-fifth of the Earth's population. Its area was 13,012,000 sq mi, almost a quarter of the Earth's land area. The British Empire was often called 'the empire on which the sun never sets', that describes a large empire, because the sun is always shining on at least one of its territories.

Prehistory

Stonehenge in the United Kingdom

Archaeological remains show that the first group of modern people to live in the British Isles were hunter-gatherers after the last ice age ended.[13] The date is not known: perhaps as early as 8000BC but certainly by 5000BC. They built mesolithic wood and stone monuments. Stonehenge was built between 3000 and 1600BC.[14] Celtic tribes arrived from mainland Europe. Britain was a changing collection of tribal areas, with no overall leader. Julius Caesar tried to invade (take over) the island in 55BC but was not able to do so. The Romans successfully invaded in 43AD.[15]

Other Languages
Адыгэбзэ: Британиэшхуэ
Аҧсшәа: Британиа Ду
aragonés: Reino Unito
armãneashti: Britania Mari
arpetan: Royômo-Uni
অসমীয়া: যুক্তৰাজ্য
asturianu: Reinu Xuníu
Avañe'ẽ: Tavetã Joaju
azərbaycanca: Böyük Britaniya
Bahasa Banjar: Britania Raya
Bân-lâm-gú: Liân-ha̍p Ông-kok
башҡортса: Бөйөк Британия
беларуская: Вялікабрытанія
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Вялікабрытанія
Bikol Central: Reyno Unido
буряад: Ехэ Британи
català: Regne Unit
Чӑвашла: Аслă Британи
Chamoru: Reinu Unidu
Chi-Chewa: United Kingdom
chiShona: United Kingdom
davvisámegiella: Ovttastuvvan gonagasriika
emiliàn e rumagnòl: Régn Unî
español: Reino Unido
estremeñu: Reinu Uníu
فارسی: بریتانیا
Fiji Hindi: United Kingdom
føroyskt: Stóra Bretland
français: Royaume-Uni
furlan: Ream Unît
galego: Reino Unido
ГӀалгӀай: Великобритани
贛語: 英國
गोंयची कोंकणी / Gõychi Konknni: युनायटेड किंगडम
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Yîn-koet
한국어: 영국
Hausa: Birtaniya
hornjoserbsce: Zjednoćene kralestwo
বিষ্ণুপ্রিয়া মণিপুরী: তিলপারাজ্য
Bahasa Indonesia: Britania Raya
interlingua: Regno Unite
Interlingue: Reyatu Unit
ᐃᓄᒃᑎᑐᑦ/inuktitut: ᑐᓗᐃᑦ ᓄᓈᑦ
íslenska: Bretland
italiano: Regno Unito
kalaallisut: Tuluit Nunaat
къарачай-малкъар: Уллу Британия
kaszëbsczi: Wiôlgô Britanijô
қазақша: Ұлыбритания
kernowek: Ruwvaneth Unys
Kinyarwanda: Ubwongereza
Kreyòl ayisyen: Wayòm Ini
кырык мары: Кого Британи
Ladino: Reyno Unido
لۊری شومالی: بريتانيا
latgaļu: Lelbrytaneja
Lëtzebuergesch: Vereenegt Kinnekräich
Ligure: Regno Unïo
Lingua Franca Nova: Rena Unida
Livvinkarjala: Yhtys Kuningaskundu
la .lojban.: ritygu'e
lumbaart: Regn Ünì
Malti: Renju Unit
مازِرونی: بریتانیا
Bahasa Melayu: United Kingdom
Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄: Ĭng-guók
Mirandés: Reino Ounido
монгол: Их Британи
Dorerin Naoero: Ingerand
Nedersaksies: Verienigd Keuninkriek
日本語: イギリス
Napulitano: Gran Vretagna
Nordfriisk: Feriind Kiningrik
Norfuk / Pitkern: Yunitid Kingdum
norsk nynorsk: Storbritannia
Nouormand: Rouoyaume Unni
occitan: Reialme Unit
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Birlashgan Qirollik
Pangasinan: Reino Unido
پنجابی: برطانیہ
Papiamentu: Reino Uni
Перем Коми: Ыджыт Бритму
ភាសាខ្មែរ: សហរាជាណាចក្រ
Piemontèis: Regn Unì
Tok Pisin: Yunaitet Kingdom
português: Reino Unido
qırımtatarca: Büyük Britaniya
reo tahiti: Paratāne
Ripoarisch: Jrußbritannie
rumantsch: Reginavel Unì
русиньскый: Велика Брітанія
саха тыла: Улуу Британия
ᱥᱟᱱᱛᱟᱲᱤ: ᱥᱮᱞᱮᱫ ᱫᱤᱥᱟᱹᱢ
Gagana Samoa: Peretānia
Sesotho sa Leboa: United Kingdom
sicilianu: Regnu Unitu
словѣньскъ / ⰔⰎⰑⰂⰡⰐⰠⰔⰍⰟ: Вєлика Британїꙗ
Sranantongo: Ingriskondre
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Ujedinjeno Kraljevstvo
Basa Sunda: Britania
Taqbaylit: Legliz
tarandíne: Regne Aunìte
татарча/tatarça: Бөекбритания
тоҷикӣ: Британия
lea faka-Tonga: Pilitānia
ᏣᎳᎩ: ᎩᎵᏏᏲ
Tsetsêhestâhese: United Kingdom
Thuɔŋjäŋ: Amatnhom Mäcŋaknhom
ᨅᨔ ᨕᨘᨁᨗ: United Kingdom
українська: Велика Британія
ئۇيغۇرچە / Uyghurche: بۈيۈك بېرىتانىيە
Vahcuengh: Yinghgoz
vèneto: Regno Unìo
vepsän kel’: Sur' Britanii
Volapük: Regän Pebalöl
文言: 英國
Winaray: Reino Unido
吴语: 英国
Xitsonga: United Kingdom
粵語: 英國
žemaitėška: Jongtėnė Karalīstė
中文: 英国