Location North West Europe
Coordinates 53.826°N 2.422°W
Archipelago British Isles

- Total 243,610 km2 (79th)
- Water (%) 1.34
- 2010 estimate 62,008,048 (22nd)
 - 2001 census 58,789,194 
 - Density 254.7/km2 

Highest elevation 1,344 m 
Highest point Ben Nevis

United Kingdom consists of:



Nothern Ireland

The capital and the largest city: London

Official language
English (de facto)
Recognised regional languages Irish, Ulster Scots, Scottish Gaelic, Scots, Welsh, Cornish

Ethnic groups 
92.1% White
4.0% South Asian
2.0% Black
1.2% Mixed
0.4% Chinese
0.4% Other

Government Unitary parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy
- Monarch Elizabeth II
- Prime Minister David Cameron MP

- Acts of Union 1707 1 May 1707
- Acts of Union 1800 1 January 1801
- Anglo-Irish Treaty 12 April 1922

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (commonly known as the United Kingdom, the UK or Britain) is a constitutional monarchy and unitary state consisting of four countries: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Located to the north-western coast of continental Europe, the country is part of an archipelago that includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK that shares a land border with another sovereign state—the Republic of Ireland.Apart from this land border the UK is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the North Sea, the English Channel and the Irish Sea.

The United Kingdom is governed under a parliamentary system, with its seat of government in the capital city of London. There are three devolved national administrations, each with varying powers, situated in Belfast, Cardiff and Edinburgh; the capitals of Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland respectively. Associated with the UK, but not constitutionally part of it, are three Crown Dependencies and fourteen overseas territories. These are remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in 1922, encompassed almost a quarter of the world's land surface and was the largest empire in history. British influence can still be observed in the language, culture and legal systems of many of its former territories.

The UK is a highly developed country and has the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP and seventh-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries although the economic and social cost of two world wars and the decline of its empire in the latter half of the 20th century diminished its leading role in global affairs. The UK nevertheless remains a great power with leading economic, cultural, military, scientific and political influence. It is a recognised nuclear weapons state and its military expenditure ranks third or fourth in the world, depending on the method of calculation. It is a member state of the European Union, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, and is also a member of: the Commonwealth of Nations, G8, G20, NATO, the OECD, the Council of Europe and the World Trade Organization.