Area: 243,000 sq. km. (93,000 sq. mi.); slightly smaller than
Cities: Capital--London (metropolitan pop. about 7.2
million). Other cities--Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds,
Sheffield, Liverpool, Bradford, Manchester, Edinburgh, Bristol,
Terrain: 30% arable, 50% meadow and pasture, 12% waste or urban, 7%
forested, 1% inland water.
Land use: 25% arable, 46% meadows and pastures, 10% forests and
woodland, 19% other.
Climate: Generally mild and temperate; weather is subject to
frequent changes but to few extremes of temperature.
Nationality: Noun--Briton(s). Adjective--British.
Population (2004 est.): 60.27 million.
Annual population growth rate (2004 est.): 0.29%.
Major ethnic groups: British, Irish, West Indian, South Asian.
Major religions: Church of England (Anglican), Roman Catholic,
Church of Scotland (Presbyterian), Muslim.
Major languages: English, Welsh, Irish Gaelic, Scottish Gaelic.
Education: Years compulsory--12. Attendance--nearly
Health: Infant mortality rate (2004 est.)--5.22/1,000.
Life expectancy (2004 est.)--males 75.84 yrs.; females 80.83
yrs.; total 78.27 years
Work force (2003, 29.8 million): Services--80.4%; industry--18.7%;
Type: Constitutional monarchy.
Constitution: Unwritten; partly statutes, partly common law and
Branches: Executive--monarch (head of state), prime minister
(head of government), cabinet. Legislative--bicameral
Parliament: House of Commons, House of Lords; Scottish Parliament,
Welsh Assembly, and Northern Ireland Assembly. Judicial--magistrates'
courts, county courts, high courts, appellate courts, House of
Subdivisions: Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland (municipalities,
counties, and parliamentary constituencies).
Political parties: Great Britain--Conservative, Labour, Liberal
Democrats; also, in Scotland--Scottish National Party. Wales--Plaid
Cymru (Party of Wales). Northern Ireland--Ulster Unionist Party,
Social Democratic and Labour Party, Democratic Unionist Party, Sinn
Fein, Alliance Party, and other smaller parties.
Suffrage: British subjects and citizens of other Commonwealth
countries and the Irish Republic resident in the U.K., at 18.
GDP (at current market prices, 2003 est.): $1.664 trillion.
Annual growth rate (2003 est.): 2.1%.
Per capita GDP (2003 est.): $27,700.
Natural resources: Coal, oil, natural gas, tin, limestone, iron ore,
salt, clay, chalk, gypsum, lead, silica.
Agriculture (1.1% of GDP): Products--cereals, oilseed,
potatoes, vegetables, cattle, sheep, poultry, fish.
Industry: Types--steel, heavy engineering and metal
manufacturing, textiles, motor vehicles and aircraft, construction
(5.2% of GDP), electronics, chemicals.
Trade (2003 est.): Exports of goods and services--$304.5
billion: manufactured goods, fuels, chemicals; food, beverages,
tobacco. Major markets--U.S., European Union. Imports of
goods and services--$363.6 billion: manufactured goods,
machinery, fuels, foodstuffs. Major suppliers--U.S., European