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United Kingdom Country Facts

TEFL Trainees / ESL Teachers

Size:
Total Area: 243,610 sq km
Land: 241,930 sq km
Water: 1,680 sq km
Note: includes Rockall and Shetland Islands.

Population:
July 2010 estimation: 61,284,806
July 2004 estimation: 60,270,708
Density: 652/km2

Neighboring Country:
Ireland

Currency:
Currency of UK: British Pound (GBP)
Currency Code: GBP
Monetary Unit: Pound Sterling (£)
Subunit: 1/100 penny
Banknotes: Freq. used:£5, £10, £20, £50; Rarely used: £1(Scot. Only), £100 (Scot. & N. Ireland only)
Central Bank: Bank of England
Mint: Royal Mint

Politics: The politics of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland has taken place in the framework of a constitutional monarchy, in which the Monarch is head of state and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom is the head of the Government. Executive power is exercised by the UK government, the devolved governments of Scotland and Wales, and the Executive of Northern Ireland. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the two chambers of Parliament, the House of Commons and the House of Lords, as well as in the Scottish parliament and Welsh and Northern Ireland assemblies. The judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature, the highest national court being the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom.

2 largest political parties: Conservative Party and the Labour Party.
Pro-independence Party: Scottish National Party.
New Formed Party: Scottish Government.
Other Parties: Plaid Cymru, Pro-Belfast Agreement Party, etc.
The system of government, known as the Westminster system, has been adopted by other countries as well, such as Canada, India, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, and Jamaica, countries that made up part of the British Empire.

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

Religion:
Christian (Anglican, Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, Methodist) 71.6%
Muslim 2.7%
Hindu 1%
Other 1.6%
Unspecified or none 23.1%
(2001 census)

Culture: The culture of the United Kingdom refers to the patterns of human activity and symbolism associated with the United Kingdom and the British people. British cultural influence (such as the English language) can be observed in the language and culture of a geographically wide assortment of countries like Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India, Pakistan, the United States, and the British overseas territories. These states are sometimes collectively known as Anglosphere. The Empire also influenced British culture, particularly British cuisine. Innovations and movements within the wider culture of Europe have changed the United Kingdom; Humanism, Protestantism, and representative democracy are borrowed from Western Culture.

The Industrial Revolution, with its origins in the UK, brought about major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, and transportation, and had a great effect on the socio-economic and cultural conditions of the world. During this period, the social structure of Britain played a central cultural role. Recently, popular culture of the UK in the form of the British Invasion, Britpop, and British Television broadcasting, and British Cinema, British Literature and British Poetry is respected across the world.

Sports: National Sport: Football.
A great number of sports originated in the United Kingdom, including Football, Golf, Tennis, Boxing, Rugby League, Rugby Union, Cricket, Field Hockey, Snooker, Billiards, Squash, Curling, and Badminton. All of these are popular in Britain. Another sport invented in the UK was Baseball.

Important Cities:
London 7,615,000 (metro area); 7,429,200 (city proper) [Capital] [2003 estimation]
Glasgow 1,099,400
Birmingham 971,800
Liverpool 461,900
Edinburgh 460,000
Leeds 417,000
Bristol 406,500
Manchester 390,700
Bradford 288,400