United kingdom

of these articles describes the today's State of united kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, for other meanings of Great Britain sees Great Britain (term clarifying).
United Kingdom OF Great Britain
and Northern Irish country

United Kingdom of
Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Flagge des Vereinigten Königreichs
Wappen des Vereinigten Königreichs
(detail) (Detail)
Wahlspruch: „Dieu Et Mon Droit “
frz., „God and my right “
office language none, in fact English
capital London
system of government constitutional monarchy
head of state queen Elizabeth II.
Prime minister Tony Blair
surface 244,101 km ²
number of inhabitants 60.441.457 (2005)
population density of 248 inhabitantsper km ²
- total
- BIP/Einw.
2005 (estimated)
$2,295 billion (4.)
$38,098 (13.)
Currency Pound of Sterling, £, GBP
time belt UTC+0
national anthem God save the Queen
Kfz characteristic GB
Internet TLD .uk, .gb
international telephone preselection +44
Lage des Vereinigten Königreichs in Europa
Karte des Vereinigten Königreichs

that Combined Kingdom of (English. United Kingdom, briefly UK) or in the long form combined Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (English. United Kingdom OF Great Britain and Northern Irish country) is a constitutional monarchy in the northwest of Europe. The largest island state of Europeconsist of the regions England, Wales and Scotland on the island Great Britain and Northern Ireland on the island Ireland.

Table of contents

the united kingdom consists of the regions England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and unite overseas Teritorien. Thoseofficial long form of the national name reads “united Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland”. In the German linguistic usage usually the designation Great Britain is falsely used as synonym for the united kingdom. This is not completely correct, however even by politicians and newscasters is by the majority used.Great Britain in the actual sense covers only England, Scotland and Wales and designates the largest of the British islands. On the second largest island - Ireland - are Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland.
The colloquial name England for the united kingdomparticularly continuing dominance of England is within the kingdom to be led back in Continental Europe and is on the centuries.

The island one and the channel islands do not belong to the united kingdom. They are subordinate however to the British crown. They are crowning possession. ThoseBritish government is responsible for its defense and international relations, it is otherwise however independent and does not belong not to the European Union.

From where „the large comes “in „Great Britain “, becomes clear in the French: „Great Britain “is „Grande Brittany “, in contrast to alsoin German „Brittany so mentioned “. The designation Britannia however originates from late ancient times, i.e. from the vocabulary of the Urengländer, which celtic Brith, which means multicolored-colored or gefleckt. Obviously it was there once custom to paint itself.

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the largest part of England consists of flat levels. An imaginary line between the rivers teas (with Middlesbrough) and Exe (with Exeter) divides England into a very flat and into a rather hilly part. The most importantHill courses (mountain chains) from north to south are the Cumbrian Mountains, the Pennines, the peak District, the Cotswolds and the Chilterns. The most important rivers are Themse, Severn, Trent, Great Ouse and Humber. Thoselargest cities are London, Birmingham, Manchester, Sheffield, Liverpool, Leeds, Bristol and Newcastle upon Tyne.

Wales is extremely hilly apart from a flat level in the south. The highest mountain, the Snowdon, is 1,085 meters high.North the mainland lies the island Anglesey. The largest city is Cardiff at the south coast.

The geography of Scotland is very different, with the flat Lowlands in the south and the east as well as partly gebirgigen Highlands in the north and the west. That Ben Nevis (1,344 meters) is the highest mountain of the united kingdom. There is numerous long and deep arms of the sea, Firths and hole. At the north and west coast there is a stately number of islands, under it the Hebriden, the Orkney- and the Shetlandinseln. The largest cities are Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen.

Northern Ireland covers the northeast part of the island Ireland. The area is hilly. Rather accurately in the center of the territory the Lough Neagh lies,the largest lake of the British islands. The most important cities are Belfast and Derry.

See also: List of the lakes in the united Kingdom of, list of the mountains in the united Kingdom of

climate and vegetation

the climate in the united one Kingdom varied, is however moderate. It is saliently warmer due to the gulf stream than in other areas on the same degrees of latitude (like z. B. Poland). Generally the climate is warmer and drier in the south than in the north.

The wind blowsmainly of southwest, from the Atlantic ocean . During more than half of the yearly the sky is cloudy. The country is relatively rarely by natural catastrophes affected, particularly in the winter can however strong storm hoist and inundations occur.

The rain quantity amounts toin the north on the average 1,000 mm per year, in the south 700 mm. The county Essex is the driest area of the country. The annual rain quantity amounts to here only 600 mm, although over 100 days in the year rain falls on. In some yearsthe rain quantity can amount to only 450 mm, less than z. B. in Jerusalem or Beirut.

In former times wide-spread leaves and mixed woodland were back-pushed because of predatory exploitation and agriculture on 8%. Now one tries the forests again up forests.The mountains are covered with moorlands and heaths.


the united kingdom had 2004 60.294.000 inhabitants during the last census in the year. Its citizens are called the British. The population is divided into the part-autonomous Unternationalitäten Englishman (83.6%), Scot (8.6%), Irish (2.9%), Welshman (4.9%) as well as member of other States of (7.9%).


official office language has languages the united kingdom. English however in fact official language is and becomes from 95% of the population as only language spoken. As „high-level language “the discussion variant in such a way specified of the Received Pronunciation, however of under 10% the Englishman , is considered mainly in the south of the country, in the region around London, in the everyday life spokenbecomes. This English is informed also in most schools of Germany. However two partial states have official languages: In Wales both English and Walisisch are official languages. In Northern Ireland are this English, Irish and Ulster Scots. Becomes additional upexterior the Hebriden the Scottish Gäli language recognition. Besides there is various local of dialects of the English , which have however no official status and usually purely verbal nature are in the united kingdom. Still into the recent past inside one felt dialectsand dialektal colored discussion in the class-conscious kingdom as social fault.

The minority languages are recognized and protected by the European Charter for regional and minority languages. Walisisch enjoys in of Wales equal rights with English; in Scotland this Scots is, in Cornwall the Korni language, in Northern Ireland the Ulster Scots.

In the united kingdom as bearing language of the hearing-impaired ones the so-called British Sign LANGUAGE is used.

According to the census of 2001 Walisisch is spoken of approximately 20% of the population in Wales(approx. 600,000 humans), Scottish Gälisch of approximately 60,000 humans, Irish from approximately 20,000 humans (7% of the population of Northern Ireland) and Kornisch of 3.500 humans (about 0.6% of the population of Cornwall).

Way of writing of the national name in the officially recognized languages:

  • UnitedKingdom OF Great Britain and Northern Irish country (English)
  • Teyrnas Unedig Prydain Fawr A Gogledd Iwerddon (Walisisch)
  • at Rìoghachd Aonaichte well Breatainn Mhòr agus Eirinn A Tuath (Scottish Gälisch)
  • Ríocht Aontaithe well Breataine Móire agusThuaisceart Éireann (Irish)
  • at Rywvaneth Unys A Vreten Veur hag Iwerdhon Glédh (Kornisch)
  • Unitit Kinrick o Great Breetain at Northren Irish country (Scots)


gives several ethnical minorities in the united kingdom,those approx. 7.9% of the population constitute. Too over 50% their members in the united kingdom were born. The relatively large portion of these minorities explains itself from the immigration of a large number of inhabitants of former British colonies in the Karibik and the Indian Subkontinents, particularly into the 1950ern and the 1960ern. There are the following main minorities:

Caribbean or African descent („Black Caribbean “and/or. „Black African “- over 1.1 million)

the majority of the immigrated west Indian cameinto the 1950er - years to escape in hope for work and around the bad quality of life in their homelands. Most came from Jamaica, Dominica as well as Trinidad and Tobago. During the last census 2001 1.148.738 humans were counted(of it 565,876 from the Caribbean Region and 485,277 from Africa), which corresponds to about 2.1% of the total population.

Indian (over 1 million - 2001)

the Indian place the largest group of immigrants from only one country. Their portion of the population amounts to1,8 %. During the last census (2001) 1.053.411 humans were counted. Although they are summarized as only one Minderheitengruppe, there are further differences within the same. 45% of the British Indian are Hindus, the Sikhs follow with 29% and in third place the Indian Muslims with 13%. Various reasons caused the Indian to emigrate in the united kingdom; apart from economic reasons such as poverty, search for employment or the desire for a higher standard of living also political pursuit plays oneRole.

Pakistani (747,285 - 2001)

Pakistaner are the second largest southasiatic minority. They came with sailors into the united kingdom and searched there for short time work, in order to make money for their families, and drove then again back to Pakistan.Many of them however remained in the united kingdom. The largest part of the Pakistaner are trailers Islam.

Bengalen (283,063 - 2001)

the Bengalen belong to Asian just like the Indian and Pakistaner to the so-called „Asian or British People “.The reasons for their immigration were the civil war and the splitting off Bangladeschs from Pakistan 1971 just like those the search for work and hope for a higher standard of living. Most Bengalen is likewise Muslims.

Chinese (247,403 - 2001)

Majority of the Chinese immigrants immigrierte after the Second World War in the united kingdom, particularly due to the price purge of rice in Hong Kong. In the year 2001 lived 247,403 Chinese in the united kingdom, which corresponds to 0.4% of the total population. Nowadays those belongChinese to the bestverdienenden and best-trained inhabitants of the united kingdom.

Sinti and Roma (approx. 120.000)

By the English term „Gypsy “or „Traveller “one understands a multiplicity of ethnical minorities. The minority, which comes the traditional „gypsies “in its way of life next,is the Roma, whose origin lies in north India. The Hauptprobleme of the Roma and also that relatively few British Sinti are discrimination, poverty and a high child number of deaths rate.

Poland according to estimations of the UN several hundredthousand humans live in the united kingdomPolish origin. Many refugees served Poland during the II of world war on the side of the allied ones and fought in the British army or were. Many remained in Great Britain as Poland after the Second World War of the Russians were occupied and ofthe communist party (PZPR) Poland one controlled. To Poland European Union member became, is many Poland to Great Britain immigrated around work to be searched.


the majority of the inhabitants of the united kingdom (approx. 74%) understand itself as a Christian. During the last census 2001 92% the inhabitant answered the freiwillige question about the religion. As in other countries also the church membership is not to be equated with the religion. Exact statistics of the church membership are with difficulty to provide, there onein the united kingdom usually only then member of a church becomes official, if one wants to take part beyond the occasional service attendance in the municipality life.1995 was only 14% of the population such members of churches. According to inquiries from the year 1995feel still approx. 27 million (45%) of the anglikanischen church associated, 11 million (19%) other Protestant churches in the broadest sense and scarcely 6 million (10%) of the catholic church. Catholics were often felt in former times as strange minority(see. z. B.Evelyn Waughs seeing again in Brideshead), became today however somewhat relatively normal. Among the large churches (roughly arranged according to size and influence) the Church

over 9 million inhabitant do not belong to a religion on (Agnostiker, Atheisten and heaths).

Besides are also Islam, Hinduismus, Sikhismus and other religions spread:

Islam (Muslims) 1.591.000 - 2.7%
Hindu 559,000 - 1.0%
Sikhs 336,000 - 0.6%
Jew 267,000 - 0.5%
Buddhisten 152,000 - 0.3%
other 179,000 - 0.3%


major item: History of the British islands, history of the united kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Joan Blaeu: Karte des Vereinigten Königreichs (aus dem Atlas Maior, 17. Jh.)
Joan blue: Map of the united kingdom (from the Atlas Maior, 17. Jh.)

in the antique one were far parts of the islandGreat Britain, apart from the area of today's Scotland, for approximately 350 years from the Romans occupies. When these withdrew themselves, formed several small kingdoms, later which controls from the immigrated fishing rods and Saxonia (fishing rod Saxonia) and also from the Wikingernbecame. The celtic Urbevölkerung was displaced into the western peripheral areas. In 10. From each other the independent Kingdoms of Scotland and England developed for century. 1066 conquered the Normannen, französisierte Wikinger from normandy, the island and coined/shaped them for the followingCenturies.

Wales, which was since 1284 under control of England, became with the act OF union 1536 part of the English of kingdom. With the act OF union 1707 the Kingdoms of Scotland and England were combined to the Kingdom of Great Britain; both stateshad since 1603 by personnel union the same monarch. The act OF union 1800 combined the Kingdom of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland, which was come under English control from 1169 to 1603 more and more. From this fusion the united resultedKingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. 1922 formed the Irish Free State for 26 Irish counties (starting from 1937 Éire, starting from 1949 Republic of Ireland). The remaining 6 counties in the province Ulster remain with the united kingdom. The today's state State of “united kingdomfrom Great Britain and Northern Ireland “since 1927 one uses.

The united kingdom, the dominating industrie and navigation nation in 19. Century, played an important role with the development of the parliamentary monarchy, with literature and science. Under the principle with regard to foreign policythe balance OF power Great Britain occurred over many centuries for a power equilibrium on the European continent and closed for it changing alliances. On its high point the British Imperium covered two fifth of the land surface of the earth, which conquers in many warswere. By the two world wars the country lost its world powerful position, although it stood both marks on the winner side. In the second half 20. Century the Imperium up to some small remainders was dissolved. The united kingdom was forced,more Europes (Continental Europe) to turn, it holds back itself however until today with the integration. The country is member of the European union, however the euro because of resistances relating to domestic affairs did not introduce. In the course of a constitutional reform received Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in the year of 1999 own parliaments.

See also: History of the united Kingdom of, history of England, history of Ireland, history of Northern Ireland, history of Scotland, history of Wales, British Imperium, Commonwealth OF nation, British House of Commons elections 2005


major item: Political system of the united Kingdom of, British monarchy

the united kingdom is a constitutional monarchy. The head of state and the sovereign are queen Elizabeth II., the head of the government is a prime minister Tony Blair. The parliamentOF lord consists (upper house) of the monarch , the House as well as the House OF Commons (House of Commons). The members of the House OF lord are member of the not-paled earnings/service aristocracy today to a large extent, some aristocrat with inheritable titles of nobility as well as 26 anglikanische bishops. The delegatesthe House OF Commons are selected after the Mehrheitswahlrecht. The democratically legitimized House OF Commons is the branch of the parliament dominating nowadays, in which the predominant number of the laws are brought in and discharged. The region England is in Europe thatCountry with the oldest continuous parliamentary tradition, which goes back in the Middle Ages (Magna Charter). A written condition does not give it, it gives however laws with condition rank. Scotland and Wales have since the 1990er years own state parliaments and - governments.In Scotland and Wales already the European human right explanation applies, in England stands it before the introduction. The united kingdom is one of the initial members of NATO and the Commonwealth OF nation. In addition it is constant member of the UN security council as well asPart the European union.


the united kingdom has the highest defence expenditure in Europe with 53 billion euro (2005/06 ) and is its most important military nation. Traditionally the British military concentrates more strongly on the war navy, Royal Navy, and the Air Force, Royal air Force, as on the army, British the Army. The united kingdom possesses since 1952 nuclear weapons, whose existence was reduced clearly in the past years, however constantly modernizedbecomes.

The united kingdom maintains besides some Militärbasen abroad. To it several Basen in Germany with altogether 27,000 soldiers as well as two British territories on Cyprus with approximately 7,000 soldiers belong. Except the USA no more state has soldiers inForeign country stations as the united kingdom. Up-to-date 67,000 British soldiers are abroad stationed, among them 8,900 in the Iraq.

administrative arrangement

major item: Administrative arrangement of the united Kingdom of

the united kingdom consists of the four regions: England (kingdom), Wales (principality), Scotland (kingdom) and Northern Ireland (province). Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland possess since the 1990er years own region parliaments and - governments with a so-called. First Minister as a boss (comparable an Prime Minister in Germany or a national captain in Austria). England possesses, with exception of London(still) no Landesverwaltung. One „Northern assembly “(north English meeting) is present in the discussion. The tasks of a state point of England are noticed by parliament and government united of the kingdom with. It became usual in the meantime that itself in the parliamentthe delegates of the other regions contain, if a decision concerns only England (see also west Lothian Question).

The lower management levels are since late 19. Century structured several times new, further changes are to be expected in the future. Traditionally existedEngland since the Middle Ages from 39, Scotland from 34, Wales from 13 and Northern Ireland from 6 counties (English. counties). Today (2004) there are 35 counties, 40 „Unitary so mentioned Authories in England “, 6 metropolitan Counties as well as Greater London with its mayor Ken Livingstone (see also for this administrative arrangement of England). Wales consists of 22, Scotland of 32 Unitary Authorities. In Northern Ireland there are 26 districts (District). The names of the old counties become however in the everyday life useall regions often further uses.

Dependent areas (official overseas territories/Overseas of territories OF the United Kingdom):

of areas, which are subordinate only to the British crown and not the united Kingdom of (Crown of dependencies):

both have own legislations and juridical systems, become however within the range defense and international relations of the British government represented.

The British monarch is a head of state not only the united kingdom, but also a whole number of further, independent Commonwealth - states.

See also: List of the cities in the united Kingdom of, crowning colony


traffic orients itself in north south direction.In the traffic left one drives, contrary to most other European countries. Roundabouts are with British traffic planners particularly like, since there is no right preleft or left privilege rule; at crossings without roundabout always one of the roads is marked as right of way road.

Of importance the motorways ( Motorways) are, which open the country (in particular England) very well. Besides one began the motorways into the 1990er years with the building of mehrspuriger highways, over both as well as the places which were because of smaller roadsto relieve. The islands Great Britain and Ireland are connected by ferries.

The united kingdom is the most important turntable of world air traffic. The entire aircraft passenger arising is with approximately 200 millions Passengers per year (of it 125 millions on the Londoner airports) thatlargest of Europe. Altogether it has eight international and many regional airports.Heathrow in the west of London was with 64 million passengers 2003 the airport with the largest international passenger arising of the world and at the same time also with most flight movements. Further one important airports are Gatwick and Stansted with London as well as Birmingham and Manchester.

The close, 1994 denationalized, oldest Eisenbahnnetz of the world shrank in the 1960er and 1970er-Jahren for profitability reasons strongly. By the euro tunnel connection exists to the Eisenbahnnetz of theEuropean continent. In order to improve this connection, the first part of the Channel tunnel Rail was taken to 2003 left in enterprise. This first high-speed distance of the united kingdom is to shorten the travel time clearly.

End of the 1990er-Jahre and at the beginning of the current decadeit came repeated to heavy Eisenbahnunfällen, which were led back by specialists also to an unsatisfactory organization with the privatisation of the railway system. This was also a reason for the fact that the rail infrastructure was again put under state control 2002. Also it comes again and againsubstantial delays in the passenger traffic. The official explanations for the delays and losses provide on the island again and again for amusement: Times there is „sheets on the rails “(in the autumn), times is it „the wrong sort snow “(in the winter), in the remainderthe yearly are there „switch problems “or „missing engine drivers “. The rail goods traffic in Northern Ireland was stopped in the year 2004, while in Great Britain in the last years increases could be obtained.

By the island situation of the united Kingdom of, the spatial separation of Northern Ireland from the remainingNational territory and the many pre-aged islands possesses the sea-going vessel travel traditionally a great importance. The most important ports are Dover, Southampton, London and Belfast. Already since the antique one regular shipping connections between the islands and (island) the mainland are well-known. Itwas simpler, by ship of a place on the other hand to come than over the hard-to-travel hilly country.

see also


the united kingdom ranks among the most strongly deregulierten and denationalized national economies of the world.

The economy of the united kingdom is service. Most important export goods are machines, computer and above all the Bodenschätze of the North Sea, i.e. the oil and natural gas.

In the past years experienced above all the armaments industry and shipbuilding a large upswing. Also in the aircraft industry the united kingdom is again strengthened represented, and. A. in the airbus - consortium and by numerous co-operation with Boeing and Lockheed Martin.

The united kingdom places besides several of the largest companies of the world, under it BAE of system, BP, Shell and HSBC.

The gross domestic product (GROS DOMESTIC PRODUCT) grew 2004 in relation to the previous year by 3,1%. With 23.080 euro lies the GROS DOMESTIC PRODUCT perHead within the upper European reference framework. The unemployment ratio amounts to 4.7% (2005).


1992 and 2000 the portion of the public expenditures for the health service


highest buildings

of Square (London), 210 meters

further topics

Web on the left of

Wiktionary: United kingdom - word origin,Synonymous one and translations

coordinates: 50°-61° N, 8°W -2°O


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