United Kingdom

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GENERAL INFORMATION

 

Population - Local time - Languages - Religion - Political context - Climate - Tourism - Food


Population


Total population (millions): 59.4
Source : World Bank - World Development Indicators

Urban population: 89%
Source : World Bank - World Development Indicators

Average annual population growth: 0.1%
Source : World Bank - World Development Indicators

Surface area (km˛) : 242,91


Population origin

Origin of the population% Of the population
English 81.2
Scottish 9.6
Irish 2.4
Welsh 1.9
Northern Irish 1.8
Indian 1.3
Other 1.8



Main Cities Population
London 8 278 251
Birmingham 2 284 093
Manchester 2 244 931
Leeds 1 499 465
Glasgow 1 168 270
Newcastle upon Tyne 879 996



Local time

It is  %T:%M %A  in London (GMT in winter, GMT+1 in summer).
Summer time from March to October



Languages
Official language: English
The English language is probably the biggest contribution of England to the modern world. However, in the capital, you can hear an infinity of other languages but it is very unlikely that you meet residents who do not understand English. as for the cockney slang used by Londonians, it is said it was invented by 4-seasons salers, wanting to communicate together without being understood by the police. This word also designates a local accent that does not pronounce the T nor the H.

Free translation tools

Eurodicautom
The European Union Dictionary (12 languages avalaible)





Religion
Religious practises : Anglicans 46.3%
Catholics 21.5%
Sunni Muslims 10.8%
Sikhs 4.2%
Protestants 2.6%
Hinduists 1.4%
Jews 1.3%
Others 11.9%.


Political context

United Kingdom (UK) is a constitutional monarchy based on parliamentary democracy. United Kingdom (official name: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) is divided into four parts called constituent countries which are: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. UK is a unitary state with partial devolution of power in Scotland, Wales, and sometimes Northern Ireland.
Queen is the chief of the state. The monarchy is hereditary. Queen is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. Though the role of Queen in reality is largely ceremonial, but Queen does continue to exercise three essential rights: the right to be consulted, the right to advice and the right to warn. Following legislative elections of the lower house of the parliament, the leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority coalition is usually appointed as Prime minister by the Queen to serve a five-year term. Prime Minister is the head of the government and enjoys all the executive powers which include implementation of the law in the country and running the day-to-day affairs. The Cabinet of Ministers is appointed by the Prime Minister.
The legislature is bicameral in UK. The Parliament consists of: House of Lords (the upper house) having approximately 500 life peers, 92 hereditary peers and 26 clergy, and House of Commons (the lower house) having 646 seats with its members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms. The government is directly answerable to and dependent on the Parliament. A successful vote of no confidence will force the government either to resign or to seek a parliamentary dissolution and a general election. The people of UK have considerable political rights.
Judiciary is completely independent in U.K. In the absence of a written constitution, the main source of the law in the country is the common law with early Roman and modern continental influences. Scotland has a separate legal system. UK accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction but with reservations. Being a member of the EU, the national law in UK needs to comply with the conditions of the Community legislation. English is the judicial language used in the country.
United Kingdom is ruled by law. Foreign nationals can expect an impartial trial from the country’s judicial system. The country is largely free of pervasive corruption.


Major political parties

Three parties dominate politics in the House of Commons. They all operate throughout Great Britain (only the Conservative Party stands candidates in Northern Ireland). These are:
- Labour Party - traditionally left-wing, allied to trade unions;
- Conservative Party - centre-right , believes in free-market economy;
- Liberal Democrats - centrist, moderate pro-European, opposes the Iraq war and strong on civil rights.


Major political leaders

Queen: ELIZABETH II (since February 1952) – hereditary
Prime Minister: Gordon Brown (since June 2007) – Labour Party


Next political election dates

House of Commons: May 2010




Climate

 

 

 


Tourism


Number of visitors in United Kingdom 2004 2005 2006 World rank
Number of visitors (1000) 27,755 28,039 30,654 7
Source : World Tourisme Organization, data available in November 2005

 

Tourist sites
-The Tower of London,
-Westminster's abbey (London),
-The British museum (London),
-The National Gallery (London),
-The Tate Gallery ( London),
-The Victoria and Albert museum (London),
-Hyde Park (London),
-The Canterbury Cathedral (Canterbury) .

For more information about tourism in United Kingdom , check out the following web site(s) :
British Tourist Authority
Official on-line Guide to England



Food


Traditional dishes
Corned Beef Hash
Apple Chutney
Christmas Pudding or Plum Pudding
Mincemeat pie
Stilton: English cheese
Baked beans
Jelly: Many dishes are jelly-based.


Last modified on December 2006

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