36 Facts About The UK


The UK became the world's first industrialised country and was the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries.

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The war left the UK severely weakened and financially dependent on the Marshall Plan, but it was spared the total war that devastated eastern Europe.

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In 1960 the UK was one of the seven founding members of the European Free Trade Association, but in 1973 it left to join the European Communities.

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The UK is still a key global player diplomatically and militarily.

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The UK left the EU on 31 January 2020 and completed its withdrawal in full at the end of that year.

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In 1993 10 per cent of the UK was forested, 46 per cent used for pastures and 25 per cent cultivated for agriculture.

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General elections, the UK is divided into 650 constituencies, each of which is represented by a member of Parliament.

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Scottish Government and Parliament have wide-ranging powers over any matter that has not been specifically reserved to the UK Parliament, including education, healthcare, Scots law and local government.

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The UK Parliament restricts the three devolved parliaments' legislative competence in economic areas through an Act passed in 2020.

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Today the UK has three distinct systems of law: English law, Northern Ireland law and Scots law.

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The UK is said to have a "Special Relationship" with the United States and a close partnership with France – the "Entente cordiale" – and shares nuclear weapons technology with both countries; the Anglo-Portuguese Alliance is considered to be the oldest binding military alliance in the world.

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The UK is closely linked with the Republic of Ireland; the two countries share a Common Travel Area and co-operate through the British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference and the British-Irish Council.

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The UK is a major centre for engine manufacturing: in 2015 around 2.

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Aerospace industry of the UK is the second- or third-largest national aerospace industry in the world depending upon the method of measurement and has an annual turnover of around £30 billion.

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The UK retains a significant, though much reduced fishing industry.

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Between 2004 and 2008 the UK produced 7 per cent of the world's scientific research papers and had an 8 per cent share of scientific citations, the third and second-highest in the world.

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The UK was ranked eighth among national European rail systems in the 2017 European Railway Performance Index assessing intensity of use, quality of service and safety.

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In 2006, the UK was the world's ninth-largest consumer of energy and the 15th-largest producer.

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The UK is home to a number of large energy companies, including two of the six oil and gas "supermajors" – BP and Shell.

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In 2009, the UK was the 13th-largest producer of natural gas in the world and the largest producer in the EU.

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In 2012, the UK had 16 reactors normally generating about 19 per cent of its electricity.

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Unlike Germany and Japan, the UK intends to build a new generation of nuclear plants from about 2018.

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The UK is one of the best sites in Europe for wind energy, and wind power production is its fastest-growing supply, in 2019 it generated almost 20 per cent of the UK's total electricity.

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The number of transgender people in the UK was estimated to be between 65,000 and 300,000 by research between 2001 and 2008.

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The UK has the oldest Chinese community in Europe, dating to the arrival of Chinese seamen in the 19th century.

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Since the 1990s, there has been substantial diversification of the immigrant population, with migrants to the UK coming from a much wider range of countries than previous waves, which tended to involve larger numbers of migrants coming from a relatively small number of countries.

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The UK applied temporary restrictions to citizens of Romania and Bulgaria, which joined the EU in January 2007.

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The late-2000s recession in the UK reduced economic incentive for Poles to migrate to the UK, making migration temporary and circular.

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The proportion of foreign-born people in the UK remains slightly below that of many other European countries.

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The 2018 OECD data, which incorporates in health a chunk of what in the UK is classified as social care, has the UK spending £3,121 per head.

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In 2017 the UK spent £2,989 per person on healthcare, around the median for members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

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The UK's works have dominated London's West End since the late 20th century and have been a commercial success worldwide.

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The UK publishing sector, including books, directories and databases, journals, magazines and business media, newspapers and news agencies, has a combined turnover of around £20 billion and employs around 167,000 people.

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In 2015, the UK published 2,710 book titles per million inhabitants, more than any other country, much of this being exported to other Anglophone countries.

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The UK hosted the first F1 Grand Prix in 1950 at Silverstone, the location of the British Grand Prix held each year in July.

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The UK holds Poseidon's three-pronged trident and a shield, bearing the Union Flag.

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