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Capital: London
Population: 58,586,000
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United Kingdom Map


Location: Western Europe, islands including the northern one-sixth of the island of Ireland between the North Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea, northwest of France

Geographic coordinates: 54 00 N, 2 00 W

Map references: Europe

total: 244,820 sq km
land: 241,590 sq km
water : 3,230 sq km
note: includes Rockall and Shetland Islands

Area - comparative: slightly smaller than Oregon

Land boundaries:
total: 360 km
border countries : Ireland 360 km

Coastline: 12,429 km

Maritime claims:
continental shelf : as defined in continental shelf orders or in accordance with agreed upon boundaries
exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate: temperate; moderated by prevailing southwest winds over the North Atlantic Current; more than one-half of the days are overcast

Terrain: mostly rugged hills and low mountains; level to rolling plains in east and southeast

Elevation extremes:
lowest point : Fenland -4 m
highest point: Ben Nevis 1,343 m

Natural resources: coal, petroleum, natural gas, tin, limestone, iron ore, salt, clay, chalk, gypsum, lead, silica

Land use:
arable land: 25%
permanent crops: 0%
permanent pastures: 46%
forests and woodland : 10%
other: 19% (1998 est.)

Irrigated land: 1,080 sq km (1998 est.)

Natural hazards: NA

Environment - current issues: sulfur dioxide emissions from power plants contribute to air pollution; some rivers polluted by agricultural wastes and coastal waters polluted because of large-scale disposal of sewage at sea

Environment - international agreements:
party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note: lies near vital North Atlantic sea lanes; only 35 km from France and now linked by tunnel under the English Channel; because of heavily indented coastline, no location is more than 125 km from tidal waters


Population: 59,778,002 (July 2002 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 18.7% (male 5,732,385; female 5,443,900)
15-64 years : 65.5% (male 19,803,478; female 19,381,734)
65 years and over: 15.8% (male 3,931,463; female 5,485,042) (2002 est.)

Population growth rate: 0.21% (2002 est.)

Birth rate: 11.34 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Death rate: 10.3 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Net migration rate:1.06 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth : 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years :1.02 male(s)/female
65 years and over:0.72 male(s)/female
total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2002 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 5.45 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population:77.99 years
male: 75.29 years
female: 80.84 years (2002 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.73 children born/woman (2002 est.)

noun: Briton(s), British (collective plural)
adjective: British

Ethnic groups: English 81.5%, Scottish 9.6%, Irish 2.4%, Welsh 1.9%, Ulster 1.8%, West Indian, Indian, Pakistani, and other 2.8%

Religions: Anglican and Roman Catholic 40 million, Muslim 1.5 million, Presbyterian 800,000, Methodist 760,000, Sikh 500,000, Hindu 500,000, Jewish 350,000
note: the UK does not include a question on religion in its census

Languages: English, Welsh (about 26% of the population of Wales), Scottish form of Gaelic (about 60,000 in Scotland)

definition: age 15 and over has completed five or more years of schooling
total population:99% (2000 est.)
male: NA%
female : NA%


Country name:
conventional long form: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
conventional short form: United Kingdom
abbreviation: UK

Data code: UK

Government type: constitutional monarchy

National capital: London

Administrative divisions:England - 47 boroughs, 36 counties*, 29 London boroughs**, 12 cities and boroughs***, 10 districts****, 12 cities*****, 3 royal boroughs******; Barking and Dagenham**, Barnet**, Barnsley, Bath and North East Somerset****, Bedfordshire*, Bexley**, Birmingham***, Blackburn with Darwen, Blackpool, Bolton, Bournemouth, Bracknell Forest, Bradford***, Brent**, Brighton and Hove, City of Bristol*****, Bromley**, Buckinghamshire*, Bury, Calderdale, Cambridgeshire*, Camden**, Cheshire*, Cornwall*, Coventry***, Croydon**, Cumbria*, Darlington, Derby*****, Derbyshire*, Devon*, Doncaster, Dorset*, Dudley, Durham*, Ealing**, East Riding of Yorkshire****, East Sussex*, Enfield**, Essex*, Gateshead, Gloucestershire*, Greenwich**, Hackney**, Halton, Hammersmith and Fulham**, Hampshire*, Haringey**, Harrow**, Hartlepool, Havering**, Herefordshire*, Hertfordshire*, Hillingdon**, Hounslow**, Isle of Wight*, Islington**, Kensington and Chelsea******, Kent*, City of Kingston upon Hull*****, Kingston upon Thames******, Kirklees, Knowsley, Lambeth**, Lancashire*, Leeds***, Leicester*****, Leicestershire*, Lewisham**, Lincolnshire*, Liverpool***, City of London*****, Luton, Manchester***, Medway, Merton**, Middlesbrough, Milton Keynes, Newcastle upon Tyne***, Newham**, Norfolk*, Northamptonshire*, North East Lincolnshire****, North Lincolnshire****, North Somerset****, North Tyneside, Northumberland*, North Yorkshire*, Nottingham*****, Nottinghamshire*, Oldham, Oxfordshire*, Peterborough*****, Plymouth*****, Poole, Portsmouth*****, Reading, Redbridge**, Redcar and Cleveland, Richmond upon Thames**, Rochdale, Rotherham, Rutland****, Salford***, Shropshire*, Sandwell, Sefton, Sheffield***, Slough, Solihull, Somerset*, Southampton*****, Southend-on-Sea, South Gloucestershire****, South Tyneside, Southwark**, Staffordshire*, St. Helens, Stockport, Stockton-on-Tees, Stoke-on-Trent*****, Suffolk*, Sunderland***, Surrey*, Sutton**, Swindon, Tameside, Telford and Wrekin****, Thurrock, Torbay, Tower Hamlets**, Trafford, Wakefield***, Walsall, Waltham Forest**, Wandsworth**, Warrington, Warwickshire*, West Berkshire****, Westminster***, West Sussex*, Wigan, Wiltshire*, Windsor and Maidenhead******, Wirral, Wokingham****, Wolverhampton, Worcestershire*, York*****; Northern Ireland - 24 districts, 2 cities*, 6 counties**; Antrim, County Antrim**, Ards, Armagh, County Armagh**, Ballymena, Ballymoney, Banbridge, Belfast*, Carrickfergus, Castlereagh, Coleraine, Cookstown, Craigavon, Down, County Down**, Dungannon, Fermanagh, County Fermanagh**, Larne, Limavady, Lisburn, County Londonderry**, Derry*, Magherafelt, Moyle, Newry and Mourne, Newtownabbey, North Down, Omagh, Strabane, County Tyrone**; Scotland - 32 council areas; Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire, Angus, Argyll and Bute, The Scottish Borders, Clackmannanshire, Dumfries and Galloway, Dundee City, East Ayrshire, East Dunbartonshire, East Lothian, East Renfrewshire, City of Edinburgh, Falkirk, Fife, Glasgow City, Highland, Inverclyde, Midlothian, Moray, North Ayrshire, North Lanarkshire, Orkney Islands, Perth and Kinross, Renfrewshire, Shetland Islands, South Ayrshire, South Lanarkshire, Stirling, West Dunbartonshire, Eilean Siar (Western Isles), West Lothian; Wales - 11 county boroughs, 9 counties*, 2 cities and counties**; Isle of Anglesey*, Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Caerphilly, Cardiff**, Ceredigion*, Carmarthenshire*, Conwy, Denbighshire*, Flintshire*, Gwynedd, Merthyr Tydfil, Monmouthshire*, Neath Port Talbot, Newport, Pembrokeshire*, Powys*, Rhondda Cynon Taff, Swansea**, Torfaen, The Vale of Glamorgan*, Wrexham

Dependent areas: Anguilla, Bermuda, British Indian Ocean Territory, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Hong Kong (scheduled to become a Special Administrative Region of China on 1 July 1997), Jersey, Isle of Man, Montserrat, Pitcairn Islands, Saint Helena, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands

Independence: 1 January 1801 (United Kingdom established)

National holiday: Celebration of the Birthday of the Queen (second Saturday in June)

Constitution: unwritten; partly statutes, partly common law and practice

Legal system: common law tradition with early Roman and modern continental influences; no judicial review of Acts of Parliament; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); Heir Apparent Prince CHARLES (son of the queen, born 14 November 1948)
head of government: Prime Minister Tony BLAIR (since 2 May 1997)
cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers appointed by the prime minister
elections: none; the queen is a hereditary monarch; prime minister is the leader of the majority party in the House of Commons and must have the consent of the monarch

Legislative branch: bicameral Parliament consists of House of Lords (1,200 seats; four-fifths of the members are hereditary peers, two archbishops, 24 other senior bishops, serving and retired Lords of Appeal in Ordinary, other life peers, Scottish peers) and House of Commons (659 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: House of Lords - no elections (some proposals for further reform include elections); House of Commons - last held 7 June 2001 (next to be held by NA May 2006)
election results:House of Commons - percent of vote by party - Labor 42.1%, Conservative and Unionist 32.7%, Liberal Democrats 18.8%, other 6.4%; seats by party - Labor 412, Conservative and Unionist 166, Liberal Democrat 52, other 29; note - seating as of 15 February 2002: Labor 410, Conservative 164, Liberal Democrats 53, other 32

Judicial branch: House of Lords (highest court of appeal; several Lords of Appeal in Ordinary are appointed by the monarch for life); Supreme Courts of England, Wales, and Northern Ireland (comprising the Courts of Appeal, the High Courts of Justice, and the Crown Courts); Scotland's Court of Session and Court of the Justiciary

Political parties and leaders:Conservative and Unionist Party [Iain Duncan SMITH]; Democratic Unionist Party (Northern Ireland) [Rev. Ian PAISLEY]; Labor Party [Anthony (Tony) BLAIR]; Liberal Democrats [Charles KENNEDY]; Party of Wales (Plaid Cymru) [Ieuan Wyn JONES]; Scottish National Party or SNP [John SWINNEY]; Sinn Fein (Northern Ireland) [Gerry ADAMS]; Social Democratic and Labor Party or SDLP (Northern Ireland) [Mark DURKAN]; Ulster Unionist Party (Northern Ireland) [David TRIMBLE]

Political pressure groups and leaders: Trades Union Congress; Confederation of British Industry; National Farmers' Union; Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament

International organization participation: AfDB, AG (observer), AsDB, Australia Group, BIS, C, CCC, CDB (non-regional), CE, CERN, EBRD, ECA (associate), ECE, ECLAC, EIB, ESA, ESCAP, EU, FAO, G- 5, G- 7, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO, ITU, MTCR, NACC, NATO, NEA, NSG, OECD, OSCE, PCA, UN, UN Security Council, UNAVEM III, UNCTAD, UNFICYP, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIKOM, UNOMIG, UNRWA, UNTAES, UNU, UPU, WCL, WEU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO, ZC

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Sir Christopher J. R. MEYER
chancery: 3100 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone : [1] (202) 588-6500
FAX: [1] (202) 588-7870
consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco
consulate(s): Dallas, Miami, and Seattle

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador William S. FARISH
embassy: 24/31 Grosvenor Square, London, W. 1A1AE
mailing address: PSC 801, Box 40, London; FPO AE 09498-4040
telephone: [44] (71) 499-9000
FAX : [44] (71) 409-1637
consulate(s) general: Belfast, Edinburgh

Flag description: blue with the red cross of Saint George (patron saint of England) edged in white superimposed on the diagonal red cross of Saint Patrick (patron saint of Ireland) which is superimposed on the diagonal white cross of Saint Andrew (patron saint of Scotland); known as the Union Flag or Union Jack; the design and colors (especially the Blue Ensign) have been the basis for a number of other flags including dependencies, Commonwealth countries, and others


Economy - overview:The UK, a leading trading power and financial center, is one of the quartet of trillion dollar economies of Western Europe. Over the past two decades the government has greatly reduced public ownership and contained the growth of social welfare programs. Agriculture is intensive, highly mechanized, and efficient by European standards, producing about 60% of food needs with only 1% of the labor force. The UK has large coal, natural gas, and oil reserves; primary energy production accounts for 10% of GDP, one of the highest shares of any industrial nation. Services, particularly banking, insurance, and business services, account by far for the largest proportion of GDP while industry continues to decline in importance. GDP growth slipped in 2001 as the global downturn, the high value of the pound, and the bursting of the "new economy" bubble hurt manufacturing and exports. Still, the economy is one of the strongest in Europe; inflation, interest rates, and unemployment remain low, and the government expects growth of 2% to 2.5% in 2002. The relatively good economic performance has complicated the BLAIR government's efforts to make a case for Britain to join the European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). The Prime Minister has pledged to hold a public referendum if membership meets Chancellor of the Exchequer BROWN's five economic "tests." Scheduled for assessment by mid-2003, the tests will determine whether joining EMU would have a positive effect on British investment, employment, and growth. Critics point out, however, that the economy is thriving outside of EMU, and they point to public opinion polls that continue to show a majority of Britons opposed to the single currency.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $1.47 trillion (2001 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 2.4% (2001 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $24,700 (2001 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 1.7%
industry: 24.9%
services : 73.4% (1999)

Inflation rate - consumer price index: 1.8% (2001 est.)

Labor force:
total : 29.7 million (2001)
by occupation: agriculture 1%, industry 25%, services 74% (1999)

Unemployment rate:5.1% (2001 est.)

revenues : $565 billion
expenditures:$540 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (FY01)

Industries: production machinery including machine tools, electric power equipment, automation equipment, railroad equipment, shipbuilding, aircraft, motor vehicles and parts, electronics and communications equipment, metals, chemicals, coal, petroleum, paper and paper products, food processing, textiles, clothing, and other consumer goods

Industrial production growth rate: -1.6% (2001 est.)

Electricity - capacity: 66.15 million kW (1994)

Electricity - production: 355.761 billion kWh (2000)

Electricity - consumption per capita:345.032 billion kWh (2000)

Agriculture - products: cereals, oilseed, potatoes, vegetables; cattle, sheep, poultry; fish

total value: $287 billion (f.o.b., 2001)
commodities : manufactured goods, machinery, fuels, chemicals, semifinished goods, transport equipment
partners: EU 54% (Germany 11%, France 9%, Netherlands 7%, Ireland 7%), US 15% (2000)

total value : $337 billion (c.i.f., 2001)
commodities: manufactured goods, machinery, semifinished goods, foodstuffs, consumer goods
partners: EU 48% (Germany 11%, France 7%, Netherlands 6%), US 13%, Japan 5% (2000)

Debt - external: $NA

Economic aid:
donor: ODA, $4.5 billion (2000)

Currency: 1 British pound (GBP) = 100 pence

Exchange rates: British pounds per US dollar - 0.6981 (January 2002), 0.6944 (2001), 0.6596 (2000), 0.6180 (1999), 0.6037 (1998), 0.6106 (1997)

Fiscal year: 1 April - 31 March


Telephones: 34.878 million (1997)

Telephone system: technologically advanced domestic and international system
domestic: equal mix of buried cables, microwave radio relay, and fiber-optic systems
international: 40 coaxial submarine cables; satellite earth stations - 10 Intelsat (7 Atlantic Ocean and 3 Indian Ocean), 1 Inmarsat (Atlantic Ocean region), and 1 Eutelsat; at least 8 large international switching centers

Radio broadcast stations: AAM 219, FM 431, shortwave 3 (1998)

Radios: 84.5 million (1997)

Television broadcast stations: 228 (plus 3,523 repeaters) (1995)

Televisions: 30.5 million (1997)


total : 16,878 km
broad gauge: 1342 km 1.600-m gauge (190 km double-tracked)
standard gauge: 16,536 km 1.435-m gauge (4,928 km electrified; 12,591 km double- or multiple-tracked)

total: 371,603 km
paved: 371,603 km (including 3,303 km of expressways)
unpaved: 0 km (1998 est.)

Waterways: 3,200 km under British Waterways Board

Pipelines: crude oil (almost all insignificant) 933 km; petroleum products 2,993 km; natural gas 12,800 km

Ports and harbors: Aberdeen, Belfast, Bristol, Cardiff, Grangemouth, Hull, Leith, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Sullom Voe, Tees, Tyne

Merchant marine:
total:212 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 4,308,232 GRT/4,171,757 DWT
ships by type: bulk 7, cargo 32, chemical tanker 13, combination ore/oil 1, container 53, liquefied gas 3, passenger 13, passenger/cargo 1, petroleum tanker 48, refrigerated cargo 4, roll on/roll off 26, short-sea passenger 10, specialized tanker 1

Airports: 470 (2001)

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 332
over 3,047 m:8
2,438 to 3,047 m: 33
1,524 to 2,437 m:150
914 to 1,523 m:84
under 914 m: 57 (2001)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total : 138
1,524 to 2,437 m:1
914 to 1,523 m: 23
under 914 m:114 (2001)

Heliports: 13 (2001)


Military branches: Army, Royal Navy (includes Royal Marines), Royal Air Force

Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 14,632,418 (2002 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:
males : 12,151,734 (2002 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $31.7 billion (2002)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 2.32% (2002)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international:Spain and UK are discussing "total shared sovereignty" over Gibraltar, subject to a constitutional referendum by Gibraltarians, who have largely expressed opposition to any form of cession to Spain; Mauritius and Seychelles claim the Chagos Archipelago (British Indian Ocean Territory) and its former inhabitants, who reside chiefly in Mauritius, but in 2001 were granted UK citizenship and the right to repatriation since eviction in 1965; Argentina claims the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands; Rockall continental shelf dispute involving Denmark and Iceland; territorial claim in Antarctica (British Antarctic Territory) overlaps Argentine claim and partially overlaps Chilean claim; disputes with Iceland, Denmark, and Ireland over the Faroe Islands continental shelf boundary outside 200 NM

Illicit drugs: gateway country for Latin American cocaine entering the European market; major consumer of synthetic drugs, producer of limited amounts of synthetic drugs and synthetic precursor chemicals; major consumer of Southwest Asian heroin; money-laundering center