Great Britain – Queen, Beatles and Big Ben
England is often equated with Great Britain, but this is fundamentally wrong: Great Britain consists of England, Scotland and Wales.
Together with Northern Ireland it is then the “United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK = United Kingdom)”.
Great Britain’s cultural heritage is indisputably great. The great writers and poets such as William Shakespeare and Charles Dickens, eminent scholars such as Charles Darwin and Isaac Newton are just a few of the many figureheads of this nation. The cultural reach is given by the worldwide spread of the English language and has made Great Britain one of the most traditional European countries.
As a former colonial power, the European island “von Welt” likes to reserve its peculiarities, and not only with regard to left-hand traffic. Perhaps because of the island location, the British are consistently maintaining their traditions, their love for their monarchs and a still very strong understanding of the upper and working classes.
The island state, which is quite small compared to other European countries, also has a variety of different regions and strong cultural and linguistic differences between the parts of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Great Britain offers a diverse range of attractions in terms of landscape; breathtaking beaches and cliffs, mountain ranges as well as numerous nature parks and hiking trails.
Today’s UK is known for its excellent entertainment industries, especially music and film. British music groups regularly set international trends and the BBC and Channel 4 programs set new standards for international entertainment television.
The multiculturalism of the country due to the immigration of numerous members of the Commonwealth of Nations is undoubtedly an immense cultural enrichment for the country today, and not only culinary.
The proximity to the everyday life of Afro-Caribbean, Indian and Pakistani cultures is an exciting aspect of contemporary Great Britain for the visitor.
The British mentality is often perceived by strangers as polite and courteous; you hold the door open for your successor, apologize once too often rather than too little and always express your opinion only indirectly.
British humor is known for its dryness, acrid sarcasm and dark satire. Great Britain’s capital, London, is one of the most exciting international metropolises in the world, but it is by no means representative of the rest of the country.
If you want to get to know the real Great Britain in all its charming facets, you have to move out of the big city and into more rural regions.
The second largest island is Ireland, of which only Northern Ireland belongs to the United Kingdom. The Isle of Man and the Channel Islands are not part of the United Kingdom.
However, they are subject to the British Crown. Although the British government is responsible for their defense and international relations, they are otherwise independent and do not belong to the EU.
Although Great Britain is one of the great European countries, the country does not have its own national football team. There are “only” the national teams of England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.
EU referendum and exit
On June 23, 2016 around 46.5 million citizens of the United Kingdom were able to vote in a referendum on whether the United Kingdom should remain a member of the EU or leave it. The result was clear the next morning:
With a turnout of 72%, 51.9% were in favor of leaving and 48.1% had voted against. The United Kingdom’s exit from the EU has thus been decided. On March 29, 2017, the British EU ambassador presented the EU Council President Tusk with the six-page exit request. Two years of difficult exit negotiations will now follow.
|Name of the country||United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
(United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) (UK)
|Form of government||Parliamentary monarchy with two chambers|
|Head of state||Queen Elizabeth II (since February 6, 1952)|
|UK Prime Minister||Prime Minister in Theresa May (since July 13, 2016)|
|Geographical location||Archipelago in Northwest Europe|
|National anthem||God Save the Queen|
|Election from 8th to 6th 2017||Conservative 318 seats
Labor 262 seats
Scottish Nationalists (SNP) 35 seats
Liberal Democrats 12 seats
Dem. Unionist Party 10 seats
Sin Fein 7 seats
Plaid Cymtu 4 seats
Greens 1 seat
Others 1 seat
|Ethnicities||English (83.7%), Scots (8.5%), Welsh (4.9%), Northern Irish (2.9%)
500,000 people of Turkish origin and 700,000 Poles
|Religions||30 million Anglicans (Church of England); 0.6 million Church of Scotland members;
0.2 million other Protestants; 8 million Catholics; 2 million Muslims
1.2 million Hindus a. Sikhs; 300,000 Jews; 11 million others
|Languages||English, Welsh, Gaelic, Cornish as well as Turkish, Russian and Polish|
|Surface||229,850 km² (island of Great Britain), 244,820 km² (United Kingdom)|
|Highest mountain||Ben Nevis in Scotland with an altitude of 1,344 m|
|longest river||Severn with a length of 354 km|
|largest lake||Lough Neagh with an area of 147.39 km²|
|National currency||1 pound sterling = 100 pence|
|Time difference to CET||-1 h (For historical reasons
the 0. longitude was set in Greenwich, a city near London)
The time GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) is specified here.
|International phone code||0044|
|Mains voltage, frequency||230 volts, 50 hertz. Flat three-pin plug, an adapter is required.|
|International license plate||GB|
|Internet Top Level Domain (TLD)||.uk and.gb|
Great Britain: Population and Cities
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland has a population of around 62.6 million, of which around 49.85 million are British, 2.94 million Welsh, 5.056 million Scots and 1.70 million Northern Irish.
In addition, around 700,000 Poles and 500,000 people of Turkish origin live in the country.
The population is composed of the majority of English (83.7%) and Scots (8.5%), followed by Welsh (4.9%) and Northern Irish (2.9%) and 700,000 Poles
30 million Anglicans (Church of England); 0.6 million Church of Scotland; 0.2 million other Protestants; 8 million Catholics; 2 million Muslims; 1.2 million Hindus a. Sikhs; 300,000 Jews; 11 million others or without religious affiliation.
The official language is English, there is also Welsh, Scottish as independent languages and also taught in schools, as well as a few Gaelic.
Capital, other cities
The capital of Great Britain and England is London, with a population of around 8.2 million.
The capital of Wales is Cardiff with 305,340 residents
The capital of Scotland is Edinburgh with around 448,600 residents
The capital of Northern Ireland is Belfast with around 276,500 residents
Other large cities are:
- Birmingham with around 2.6 million residents
- Manchester with around 2.5 million residents
- Glasgow with around 629,500 residents
- Liverpool with around 441,500 residents
- Sheffield with around 516,100 residents