Around 65.5 million people live in the UK. 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.
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.
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. 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.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.