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World Mission

United Kingdom

Basic info

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a sovereign country in western Europe. Lying off the north-western coast of the European mainland, it includes the island of Great Britain (the name of which is also loosely applied to the whole country), the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK that shares a land border with another sovereign state—​​the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the UK is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to its east, the English Channel to its south and the Celtic Sea to its south-south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi), the UK is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world and the 11th-largest in Europe. It is also the 21st-most populous country, with an estimated 65.1 million inhabitants. Together, this makes it the fourth most densely populated country in the European Union.
  • Area: 242495km
  • Population: 65110000
  • Infant mortality: 4.3 deaths/1,000 live births
  • Life expectancy: 80.8 years
  • Urbanisation: 83.1% of total population
  • Literacy: 99%

History

In 1066, the Normans invaded England from France and after its conquest, seized large parts of Wales, conquered much of Ireland and were invited to settle in Scotland, bringing to each country feudalism on the Northern French model and Norman-French culture.[64] The Norman elites greatly influenced, but eventually assimilated with, each of the local cultures.[65] Subsequent medieval English kings completed the conquest of Wales and made an unsuccessful attempt to annex Scotland. Following the Declaration of Arbroath, Scotland maintained its independence, albeit in near-constant conflict with England. The English monarchs, through inheritance of substantial territories in France and claims to the French crown, were also heavily involved in conflicts in France, most notably the Hundred Years War, while the Kings of Scots were in an alliance with the French during this period.

Environment

The United Kingdom has a temperate climate, with plentiful rainfall all year round.[129] The temperature varies with the seasons seldom dropping below −11 °C (12 °F) or rising above 35 °C (95 °F).[141] The prevailing wind is from the south-west and bears frequent spells of mild and wet weather from the Atlantic Ocean,[129] although the eastern parts are mostly sheltered from this wind since the majority of the rain falls over the western regions the eastern parts are therefore the driest. Atlantic currents, warmed by the Gulf Stream, bring mild winters;[142] especially in the west where winters are wet and even more so over high ground. Summers are warmest in the south-east of England, being closest to the European mainland, and coolest in the north. Heavy snowfall can occur in winter and early spring on high ground, and occasionally settles to great depth away from the hills.

Economy

The UK has a partially regulated market economy.[218] Based on market exchange rates the UK is today the fifth-largest economy in the world and the second-largest in Europe after Germany. HM Treasury, led by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, is responsible for developing and executing the government's public finance policy and economic policy. The Bank of England is the UK's central bank and is responsible for issuing notes and coins in the nation's currency, the pound sterling. Banks in Scotland and Northern Ireland retain the right to issue their own notes, subject to retaining enough Bank of England notes in reserve to cover their issue. Pound sterling is the world's third-largest reserve currency (after the US Dollar and the Euro).[219] Since 1997 the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee, headed by the Governor of the Bank of England, has been responsible for setting interest rates at the level necessary to achieve the overall inflation target for the economy that is set by the Chancellor each year.[220]

Ethnic groups

Ethnic Groups(%)

White

87.1%

Asian

7%

Black

3%

Mixed

2%

Other

0.9%

Religion

Religion(%)

Christian

59.5%

none

25.7%

unspecified

7.2%

Muslim

4.4%

other

2%

Hindu

1.3%

Protestant Denominations

Quite a large number!

Languages

  • 100%

    English

Other languages: Welsh, Gallic, Gaelic