Great Britain – key figures
Area: 243,610 km² (of which land: 241,930 km², water: 1,680 km²)
Population: 62.7 million people (2011 estimate, CIA). Composition: White 92.1% (of whichEnglish people 83.6%, Scots 8.6%, Welsh 4.9%, Northern Irish 2.9%), Blacks 2%, Indians 1.8%, Pakistani 1.3%, mixed 1.2%, others 1.6 % (2001 census)
Population density: 257 residents per km²
Population growth: 0.557% per year (2011, CIA)
Capital city: London (7.5 million residents, 2006, Metropolitan Area 13.9 million residents, 2001)
Highest point: Ben Nevis, 1,343 m
Lowest point: The Fens, -4 m
Form of government: Great Britain has been a parliamentary monarchy since 1921, represented in the Commonwealth. The country is a hereditary monarchy, but the ruling monarch mainly has representative tasks. Great Britain does not have a written constitution, but certain laws are constitutional. The British houses of Parliament consists of the House of Commons (House of Commons, 659 MPs who are elected every five years) and the House of Lords (House of Lords with 1,200 members, made up of hereditary lords, appointed lords, judges, bishops and archbishops). The party leader of the strongest faction is the prime minister, he heads the cabinet. Great Britain has been a member of the EU since 1973.
Administrative division: In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, regional sub-governments and parliaments have ruled with a first minister (comparable to a prime minister in Germany) since the 1990s. There is no national administration in England, with the exception of London.
Head of State: Queen Elizabeth II, since February 6, 1952
Head of Government: Prime Minister David Cameron, since May 11, 2010
Language: the official language is English. Welsh (about 26% of the Welsh population), a Scottish form of Gaelic (about 60,000 people in Scotland) and some French dialects (on the Channel Islands) are also spoken. The ethnic minorities also speak their own languages such as Hindi, Greek, Turkish, Cantonese, Mandarin, Urdu and Greek.
Religion: Christian 71.6% (Anglican, Roman Catholic, Presbyteric, Methodist), Muslim 2.7%, Hindu 1%, other 1.6%, no information or no confession 23.1% (2001 census)
Local time: CET -1 h. The UK has daylight saving time (CET) between the last Sunday in March and the last Sunday in October.
The time difference to Central Europe is -1 hour in both winter and summer.
International phone code: +44
Internet identifier:.uk and.gb (but not used)
Mains voltage: in England, Wales and Scotland 240 V, 50 Hz, in Northern Ireland 230 V, 50 Hz, in Belfast 220 V, 50 Hz. Three-pole plugs are used.
That United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, or Great Britain for short, is an island nation off the northwest coast of mainland Europe, from which it is separated by the English Channel and the North Sea. The national territory, which covers 244,050 square kilometers, includes England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The island nation’s only land border is between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
The landscape of Great Britain is predominantly made up of rolling hills in the south and mountainous regions in Wales as well as central and western regions of Northern England. The most important mountains in England are the Pennines or Pennines, which stretch like a backbone from northern England up to Scotland. The Pennines are not only the most important mountain range in the north of England, here are also the gigantic coal deposits that made the cities of this region grow into large cities in the industrial age. An equally important part of Britain is its enormous length of coastline which is about 1000 kilometers along the British main island, but its total length is about 7,500 kilometers. The coasts are very varied with picturesque cliff landscapes in southern England, flat marshland in eastern England and picturesque fjord coasts in Scotland. Because of the rugged coastline with its deep indentations, you are nowhere in Great Britain further than 120 kilometers from the sea.
The geography of southern England is predominantly dominated by gently rolling hills interspersed with rivers, pastures and forest areas. The hills of Devon and Cornwall in south-west England are covered with large areas of heathland, which are repeatedly interrupted by impressive moorland. The formerly dense forests of England receded into solitary forest areas due to intensive deforestation and in the east the agricultural landscape gives way to flat marshland.
Wales is mostly mountainous and only has a few flat regions in the immediate vicinity of the coast. The Welsh landscape is shaped by the Cambrian Mountains, the highest point of which, the Snowdown, is 1,085 meters. Sheep is raised on the highland heathland and only about a fifth of the total area of Wales is used for agriculture.
Scotland’s countryside shows itself with the almost uninhabited mountains, the fascinating fjords and its high moors and heathland regions extremely spectacular. While the South Scottish mountainous country, known as the Lowlands, is still relatively flat, the mountains of the Highlands rise considerably, the highest mountain of which, Ben Nevis, is 1,343 meters high. The Highlands are divided by the Caledonian Trench, the most famous lake of which is the legendary Loch Ness.
The landscape of the very small Northern Ireland also appears very varied, albeit less rugged. The inland is characterized by many loughs, as lakes or bays are called in the Irish-speaking area. Green floodplains and mountainous regions make the Northern Irish landscape so attractive, the rocky coast of which features deep sea bays.
Countless small islands, some of which consist only of rocks, but some of which are very scenic, are scattered around the main British island. The Isle of Wight off the south coast, the small Isles of Scilly off Cornwall and Anglesey off Wales with their beautiful sandy beaches are among the most popular British holiday islands. The Channel Islands are characterized by their almost Mediterranean vegetation, while the island groups of the Inner and Outer Hebrides, which belong to Scotland, the Shetlands and the Orkney Islands with their moors and heathlands can be described as barren.