United Kingdom Guide

United Kingdom Guide

Great Britain – country information

Country name Great Britain
Official name United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Capital London
Continent Europe
Area 242,900 km2
Population 63,705,000 (2012)
Foundation of a state 1/1/1707
The highest mountains Ben Nevis 1,343 m
Longest rivers Thames 340 km
State system constitutional monarchy with a bicameral parliament
The biggest cities (conurbation) London (capital city) 6,825,000, Birmingham 2,625,000, Greater Manchester 2,560,000
Official language English
Ethnicity/National Composition British 94% (English 79.8%, Scots 9%, Irish 4%, Welsh 1.2%), Indians 1.4%, population from the Caribbean 1.0%, Pakistani 0.8%, Bangladeshi 0.2%, Chinese 0.2%, African 0.1%, other 2.2%
Religious affiliation Anglicans 56%, Roman Catholics 13%, Scottish Presbyterians 7%, Methodists 4.5%, Other Christians 5.5%, Muslims 1.5%, Jews 0.8%, Hindus 0.7%, Sikhs 0.4%, others 1.0%
Currency 1 pound sterling = 100 new pence
gross domestic product (GDP) US$36,569 (2012)
Average life expectancy of the population 78.54 years (2006)
Structure of GDP agriculture, forestry and fishing 1.6%, mining 1.9%, industry 24.8%, construction 6.2%, services 65.5%

Great Britain – Neighboring States

State Capital Area Population
Ireland Dublin 70,273 km2 4,593,100

State system

According to Abbreviationfinder, the United Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy ruled by a parliamentary democracy, but without a written constitution. Law is based on laws passed by Parliament, their judicial interpretation and also common law (does not apply in Scotland).

The legislative body – the parliament consists of the Lower House (House of Commons, 635 MPs) headed by the Speaker and the Upper House (House of Lords) headed by the Lord Chancellor. The members of the first of them are elected in elections by the majority system. Most of the approximately 1,000 seats in the House of Lords are hereditary, other members are appointed, and some seats are reserved for representatives of the Church of England. The monarch’s right to veto legislation has not been used since the 18th century. Executive power rests with the government headed by the Prime Minister.

Self-governing elected bodies have counties (regions in Scotland) and lower units – counties (districts). As a result of the 1998 referendum, the government agreed to the establishment of a locally elected parliament in Scotland and a national assembly in Wales, which would no longer be governed from London.


The English, Irish, Scots and Welsh make up a mix of people with centuries of history. The English are by far the most numerous, and English is also the official language. Gaelic (an old Celtic language) survives in some parts of Scotland; the use of Welsh in Wales has boomed since it was introduced in schools.

Since 1946, immigration from Commonwealth countries, mainly from the Caribbean, India and Pakistan, has created a multiracial and culturally diverse society. The number of Muslims and residents of other faiths is increasing. 90% of the population formally profess Christianity, but there are few active believers. Britain is one of the most urbanized countries in the world. Only 8% of the population lives in the countryside. Regional differences in population density are huge. While central England has up to 1,000 inhabitants per km2, there are fewer than 10 in northern Scotland.

Country data

Location: Western Europe

Time zone: CET – 1

Total area: 243,610 km²

Land area: 241,930 km²

Water area: 1,680 km²

Length of the state border: 360 km

Bordering countries: Ireland: 360 km

Coastline: 12,429 km

Capital: London

Electric current: 240 V / 50 Hz

Telephone code: 00 44 (Source: Allcitycodes)

Highest point: Ben Nevis 1,343 m


Population: approx. 63.7 million residents (Countryaah, 2021)

Population growth: 0.5% per year

Population density (residents per km²): 261

Life expectancy: 78 (male), 83 (female)

Official language: English


  • 60% Christians
  • 4% Muslim
  • 1% Hindus
  • 35% other


During the summer months the average temperature is around 20 ° C. In the east of the country it is usually a little warmer than in the west.

United Kingdom

With temperatures of around 3 ° C, winter is quite mild.

The humidity is high all year round. Precipitation must always be expected.

Currency / finance

Currency unit: pound sterling (GBP)

Division: 1 pound = 100 pence

ATMs: Available in many cities.

International credit cards: These are accepted by many hotels and shops.

Regulations: Foreign and national currencies can be imported and exported in unlimited amounts.

Customs regulations

The following may be carried duty-free:

  • 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250 g of tobacco
  • 1 liter of alcoholic beverages

(Information applies to people aged 18 and over)

Tourists and people in transit can bring items of personal use with them duty-free.

Travel advice

Due to the threat posed by international terrorism, increased security controls are in place. Longer waiting times at airports should be planned for when traveling.


As one of the leading industrial countries, the UK has a diversified economy.

Industries: chemistry, vehicle construction, aircraft construction, wood processing, mechanical engineering, oil production, shipbuilding, tourism

Natural resources: iron ore, natural gas, oil, lime, coal, farmland, salt

Land use:

  • Usable land: 25%
  • Grain cultivation: 0%
  • Pasture area: 46%
  • Forests: 10%
  • other: 19%


In the marshland and moors there are many different types of grass and plants that are typical of Great Britain.

The humid climate is ideal for the flora to grow.

Due to human settlement and the associated expansion of the cities, the flora was also strongly pushed back. Many forests were cut down to obtain agricultural land.


Most of the large wild animals are extinct. Only a few red deer can still be found in the forests.

Many small vertebrates, insects and bird species populate all areas of the island.

Biodiversity is also still very high in the waters in and around Great Britain.

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