Statistical information United Kingdom 1990United%20Kingdom

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United Kingdom - Introduction 1990
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Background: Britain, the dominant industrial and maritime power of the nineteenth century, played a leading role in developing parliamentary democracy and in advancing literature and science. The British Empire covered approximately one-fourth of the earth's surface at its zenith. In the first half of the twentieth century its strength was seriously depleted by two world wars. Since the end of World War II, the British Empire has been dismantled, and Britain has rebuilt itself into a prosperous, modern European nation with significant international political, cultural, and economic influence.

United Kingdom - Geography 1990
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Geographic coordinates

Map reference


Land boundaries: Ireland 360 km

Coastline: 12,429 km

Maritime claims: Continental shelf:200 meters or to depth of exploitation or in accordance with agreed upon boundaries;

Climate: temperate; moderated by prevailing southwest winds over the North Atlantic Current; more than half of the days are overcast

Terrain: mostly rugged hills and low mountains; level to rolling plains in east and southeast


Natural resources: coal, crude oil, natural gas, tin, limestone, iron ore, salt, clay, chalk, gypsum, lead, silica
Land use

Land use: 29% arable land; NEGL% permanent crops; 48% meadows and pastures; 9% forest and woodland; 14% other; includes 1% irrigated

Irrigated land

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards

Note: lies near vital North Atlantic sea lanes; only 35 km from France

United Kingdom - People 1990
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Population: 57,365,665 (July 1990), growth rate 0.3% (1990)

Nationality: noun--Briton(s), British (collective pl.; adjective--British

Ethnic groups: 81.5% English, 9.6% Scottish, 2.4% Irish, 1.9% Welsh, 1.8% Ulster, 2.8% West Indian, Indian, Pakistani, and other

Languages: English, Welsh (about 26% of population of Wales), Scottish form of Gaelic (about 60,000 in Scotland)

Religions: 27.0 million Anglican, 5.3 million Roman Catholic, 2.0 million Presbyterian, 760,000 Methodist, 410,000 Jewish

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate

Birth rate: 14 births/1000 population (1990)

Death rate: 11 deaths/1000 population (1990)

Net migration rate: 0 migrants/1000 population (1990)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: pollution control measures improving air, water quality; because of heavily indented coastline, no location is more than 125 km from tidal waters

Air pollutants

Sex ratio

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 7 deaths/1000 live births (1990)

Life expectancy at birth: 73 years male, 79 years female (1990)

Total fertility rate: 1.8 children born/woman (1990)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access


Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Literacy: 99%

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

United Kingdom - Government 1990
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Country name: conventional long form: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; abbreviated UK

Government type: constitutional monarchy

Capital: London

Administrative divisions: 47 counties, 7 metropolitan counties, 26 districts, 9 regions, and 3 islands areas England--39 counties, 7 metropolitan counties*; Avon, Bedford, Berkshire, Buckingham, Cambridge, Cheshire, Cleveland, Cornwall, Cumbria, Derby, Devon, Dorset, Durham, East Sussex, Essex, Gloucester, Greater London*, Greater Manchester*, Hampshire, Hereford and Worcester, Hertford, Humberside, Isle of Wight, Kent, Lancashire, Leicester, Lincoln, Merseyside*, Norfolk, Northampton, Northumberland, North Yorkshire, Nottingham, Oxford, Shropshire, Somerset, South Yorkshire*, Stafford, Suffolk, Surrey, Tyne and Wear*, Warwick, West Midlands*, West Sussex, West Yorkshire*, Wiltshire Northern Ireland--26 districts; Antrim, Ards, Armagh, Ballymena, Ballymoney, Banbridge, Belfast, Carrickfergus, Castlereagh, Coleraine, Cookstown, Craigavon, Down, Dungannon, Fermanagh, Larne, Limavady, Lisburn, Londonderry, Magherafelt, Moyle, Newry and Mourne, Newtownabbey, North Down, Omagh, Strabane Scotland--9 regions, 3 islands areas*; Borders, Central, Dumfries and Galloway, Fife, Grampian, Highland, Lothian, Orkney*, Shetland*, Strathclyde, Tayside, Western Isles* Wales--8 counties; Clwyd, Dyfed, Gwent, Gwynedd, Mid Glamorgan, Powys, South Glamorgan, West Glamorgan

Dependent areas: (16) Anguilla, Bermuda, British Indian Ocean Territory, British U.S. U.S. U.S. U.S. U.S. Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Hong Kong (scheduled to become a Special Administrative Region of China in 1997), Jersey, Isle of Man, Montserrat, Pitcairn Islands, St. Helena, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands

Independence: 1 January 1801, United Kingdom established

National holiday: Celebration of the Birthday of the Queen (second Saturday in June), 10 June 1989

Constitution: unwritten; partly statutes, partly common law and practice

Legal system: common law tradition with early Roman and modern continental influences; no judicial review of Acts of Parliament; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations

International law organization participation


Suffrage: universal at age 18

Executive branch: Chief of State--Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952; Heir Apparent Prince CHARLES (son of the Queen, born 14 November 1948; Head of Government--Prime Minister Margaret THATCHER (since 4 May 1979; Deputy Prime Minister Geoffrey HOWE (since 24 July 1989)

Legislative branch: Royal Navy (includes Royal Marines), Army, Royal Air Force

Judicial branch: House of Lords

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation: ADB, CCC, Colombo Plan, Council of Europe, DAC, EC, ESCAP, ESA, FAO, GATT, IAEA, IBRD, ICAC, ICAO, ICES, ICO, IDA, IDB--Inter-American Development Bank, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IHO, ILO, ILZSG, IMF, IMO, INTELSAT, INTERPOL, IOOC, IPU, IRC, ISO, ITC, ITU, IWC--International Whaling Commission, IWC--International Wheat Council, NATO, OECD, UN, UPU, WEU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WSG

Diplomatic representation
In the us: Ambassador Sir Antony ACLAND; Chancery at 3,100 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington DC 20,008; telephone (202) 462-1340; there are British Consulates General in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco, and Consulates in Dallas, Miami, and Seattle; US--Ambassador Henry E. CATTO; Embassy at 24/31 Grosvenor Square, London, W.1A1AE, (mailing address is Box 40, FPO New York 9,509; telephone p44o (01) 499-9,000; there are US Consulates General in Belfast and Edinburgh

Flag descriptionflag of United%20Kingdom: blue with the red cross of St. George (patron saint of England) edged in white superimposed on the diagonal red cross of St. Patrick (patron saint of Ireland) which is superimposed on the diagonal white cross of St. Andrew (patron saint of Scotland; known as the Union Flag or Union Jack; the design and colors (especially the Blue Ensign) have been the basis for a number of other flags including dependencies, Commonwealth countries, and others

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

United Kingdom - Economy 1990
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Economy overview: The UK is one of the world's great trading powers and financial centers, and its economy ranks among the four largest in Europe. The economy is essentially capitalistic with a generous admixture of social welfare programs and government ownership. Over the last decade the Thatcher government has halted the expansion of welfare measures and has promoted extensive reprivatization of the government economic sector. Agriculture is intensive, highly mechanized, and efficient by European standards, producing about 60% of food needs with only 1% of the labor force. Industry is a mixture of public and private enterprises, employing about 24% of the work force and generating 22% of GDP. The UK is an energy-rich nation with large coal, natural gas, and oil reserves; primary energy production accounts for 12% of GDP, one of the highest shares of any industrial nation. Following the recession of 1979-81, the economy has enjoyed the longest period of continuous economic growth it has had during the last 30 years. During the period 1982-89 real GDP grew by about 25%, while the inflation rate of 14% was nearly halved. Between 1986 and 1989 unemployment fell from 11% to about 6%. As a major trading nation, the UK will continue to be greatly affected by world boom or recession; swings in the international oil market; productivity trends in domestic industry; and the terms on which the economic integration of Europe proceeds.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use

Gdp composition by sector of origin

Agriculture products: accounts for only 1.5% of GNP and 1% of labor force; highly mechanized and efficient farms; wide variety of crops and livestock products produced; about 60% self-sufficient in food and feed needs; fish catch of 665,000 metric tons (1987)

Industries: machinery and transportation equipment, metals, food processing, paper and paper products, textiles, chemicals, clothing, other consumer goods, motor vehicles, aircraft, shipbuilding, petroleum, coal

Industrial production growth rate: 0.9% (1989)

Labor force:
28,120,000; 53.3%
services, 23.6% manufacturing and construction, 10.8% self-employed, 6.8% government, 1.0% agriculture (1988)

Labor force

Unemployment rate: 6.4% (1989)

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Budget: revenues $348.7 billion; expenditures $327.8 billion, including capital expenditures of $42.0 billion (FY89)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: 1 April-31 March

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance

Exports: $151.0 billion (f.o.b., 1989)
Commodities: manufactured goods, machinery, fuels, chemicals, semifinished goods, transport equipment
Partners: EC 50.4% (FRG 11.7%, France 10.2%, Netherlands 6.8%), US 13.0%, Communist countries 2.3%

Imports: $189.2 billion (c.i.f., 1989)
Commodities: manufactured goods, machinery, semifinished goods, foodstuffs, consumer goods
Partners: EC 52.5% (FRG 16.6%, France 8.8%, Netherlands 7.8%), US 10.2%, Communist countries 2.1%

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $15.7 billion (1988)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: British pounds (L) per US$1--0.6055 (January 1990), 0.6099 (1989) 0.5614 (1988), 0.6102 (1987), 0.6817 (1986), 0.7714 (1985)

United Kingdom - Energy 1990
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Electricity access

Electricity production

Electricity consumption

Electricity exports

Electricity imports

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

United Kingdom - Communication 1990
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

United Kingdom - Military 1990
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Military expenditures
Percent of gdp: 4.3% of GDP, or $35 billion (1989 est.)

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

United Kingdom - Transportation 1990
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 522 total, 379 usable; 245 with permanent-surface runways; 1 with runways over 3,659 m; 37 with runways 2,440-3,659 m; 132 with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Airports with paved runways

Airports with unpaved runways


Pipelines: 933 km crude oil, almost all insignificant; 2,993 km refined products; 12,800 km natural gas



Waterways: 2,291 total; British Waterways Board, 606 km; Port Authorities, 706 km; other, 979 km

Merchant marine: 285 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 6,174,142GRT/9,024,090 DWT; includes 7 passenger, 22 short-sea passenger, 44 cargo, 44 container, 21 roll-on/roll-off cargo, 9 refrigerated cargo, 1 vehicle carrier, 1 railcar carrier, 78 petroleum, oils, and lubricants (POL) tanker, 4 chemical tanker, 5 liquefied gas, 2 combination ore/oil, 1 specialized tanker, 45 bulk, 1 combination bulk

Ports and terminals

United Kingdom - Transnational issues 1990
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Disputes international: maritime boundary with Ireland; Northern Ireland question with Ireland; Gibraltar question with Spain; Argentina claims Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas; Argentina claims South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands; Mauritius claims island of Diego Garcia in British Indian Ocean Territory; Hong Kong is scheduled to become a Special Administrative Region of China in 1997; Rockall continental shelf dispute involving Denmark, Iceland, and Ireland (Ireland and the UK have signed a boundary agreement in the Rockall area; territorial claim in Antarctica (British Antarctic Territory)

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs


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