The United Kingdom
is an island nation located off the western coast of Europe in the North Atlantic Ocean. Comprised of Great Britain (England, Scotland, and Wales) and Northern Ireland, the UK has a population of approximately 67.9 million people as of 2023. Its capital city is London. The UK is a constitutional monarchy with two legislative houses, and its head of state is the sovereign.
The country covers an area of 93,630 square miles and has a variety of terrain, including hill, lowland, upland, highland, and mountain regions. Historically, tin and iron ore deposits were central to the economy, though they have since become exhausted or uneconomical. Coal mining was also once a staple of the economy but began a steady decline in the 1950s and worsened with pit closures in the 1980s. Offshore petroleum and natural gas reserves are significant.
The main ethnic group in the UK is English, though Scots, Irish, and Welsh are also prevalent. Additionally, the country is home to a diverse mix of immigrants and their descendants from India, the West Indies, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Africa. Christianity (Protestant, Roman Catholic, and other Christians) is the main religion, though Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, and Judaism are also practiced.
Agriculture is an important industry in the UK, with chief crops being barley, wheat, sugar beets, and potatoes. Other major industries include motor vehicle manufacturing, aerospace equipment, electronic data-processing and telecommunication equipment, and petrochemicals. Fishing and publishing are also key economic activities.
The official language of the UK is English, though Welsh, Scottish Gaelic, and other languages are spoken. Its currency is the British pound. Life expectancy at birth is 79.6 years for males and 83.1 years for females, while literacy rate stands at 99% for both sexes. The GNI per capita is 45,380 US dollars.