UK Country Information
United Kingdom Travel Information
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (often simply referred to as the "United Kingdom", the "UK" or "Britain") is a kingdom on a group of islands located to the Northwest of mainland Europe. The country consists the island of Great Britain, and the northern section of the island of Ireland, as well as many smaller islands. The UK shares its only border with the Republic of Ireland, although since 1994 it has been connected to 2007, the population of the country was estimated to be over 60 million. The UK actually consist of four main nations - England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, of which, England is by far the most populous - the population of England is about 50.4 million whereas that of Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland are about 5.1 million, 3 million, and 1.7 million respectively.
The capital and largest city of the United Kingdom is London. About 8.5 million people live in the Greater London area, and perhaps as many as 14 million people lived in the combined city and surrounding metropolitan area. Other large towns and cities in the UK include Belfast, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cardiff, Coventry, Derby, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Hull, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Manchester, Nottingham, Plymouth, Reading, Sheffield, Southampton, Stoke-on-Trent and Wolverhampton.
The United Kingdom was the first country to industrialise, and as a result was the world's leading power during the 19th century and early 20th centuries. British industrial and military power, along with trade and finance allowed the establishment of the largest empire in history, the British Empire, which at its height covered about a quarter of the world's land area. Other countries of course subsequently caught up with Britain, and the ruinous costs of fighting two world wars as well independence movement in various colonies, eventually brought an end to the British Empire, but Britain remains a major world power with powerful and modern armed forces, and with strong political and cultural influence in many countries.
The British economy is today perhaps the 5th or 6th largest in the world (depending on the method of calculation used), and the London remains the world's leading financial center. Additionally, Edinburgh, the scottish capital, is also a leading financial center. Other importnat industries in the UK include creative industries (publishing, advertising, film-making, etc.) and manufacturing (including defense equipment and aircraft production, automobiles and vehicles, chemicals and pharmaceuticals), as well as tourism and travel (more than 27 million tourists visit the UK annually, and London's Heathrow Airport is the busiest international airport in the world).
The UK choose not to join the eurozone and adopt the euro at the currency's inception, and has chosen to retain its own currency, the pound symbol, respresented by the £ symbol. It looks unlikely that the UK will join in the immediate future, since even if economic circumstances were to make it possible for the UK to join, a referendum on the issue has been promised before joining, but opinion polls indicate that most of the population would vote against joining.
United Kingdom Country Details
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