Statistical information United Kingdom 1996United%20Kingdom

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United Kingdom in the World
United Kingdom in the World


United Kingdom - Introduction 1996
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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 1996
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Location: Western Europe, islands including the northern one-sixth of the island of Ireland between the North Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea, northwest of France

Geographic coordinates

Map reference

Total: 244,820 km²
Land: 241,590 km²
Comparative: slightly smaller than Oregon
Comparative note: Includes Rockall and Shetland Islands

Land boundaries: Total 360 km, Ireland 360 km

Coastline: 12,429 km

Maritime claims
Continental shelf: as defined in continental shelf orders or in accordance with agreed upon boundaries
Exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
Territorial sea: 12 nm

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
Lowest point: Fenland -4 m
Highest point: Ben Nevis 1,343 m


Natural resources:
Natural gas
Iron ore

Land use

Land use
Arable land: 29%
Permanent crops: 0%
Permanent pastures: 48%
Forests and woodland: 9%
Other: 14%

Irrigated land: 1,570 km² (1989)

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards


United Kingdom - People 1996
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58,489,975 (July 1996 est.)
58,295,119 (July 1995 est.)

Growth rate:
0.22% (1996 est.)
0.27% (1995 est.)

Noun: Briton(s), British (collective plural)
Adjective: British

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

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

Religions: Anglican 27 million, Roman Catholic 9 million, Muslim 1 million, Presbyterian 800,000, Methodist 760,000, Sikh 400,000 Hindu 350,000, Jewish 300,000 (1991 est.)
Note: The U.K. does not include a question on religion in its census

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure
0-14 years:
20% (male 5,853,545; female 5,565,153) (1996 est.)
19% (male 5,843,192; female 5,572,189) (1995 est.)

15-64 years:
65% (male 19,050,420; female 18,797,406) (1996 est.)
65% (male 18,935,931; female 18,723,583) (1995 est.)

65 years and over:
15% (male 3,753,361; female 5,470,090) (July 1996 est.)
16% (male 3,748,841; female 5,471,383) (July 1995 est.)

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate:
0.22% (1996 est.)
0.27% (1995 est.)

Birth rate:
13.12 births/1000 population (1996 est.)
13.18 births/1000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate:
11.24 deaths/1000 population (1996 est.)
10.66 deaths/1000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate:
0.3 migrant(s)/1000 population (1996 est.)
0.17 migrant(s)/1000 population (1995 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: sulfur dioxide emissions from power plants contribute to air pollution; some rivers polluted by agricultural wastes and coastal waters polluted because of large-scale disposal of sewage at sea
Current issues Natural hazards: NA
International agreements: party to_Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Wetlands, Whaling; signed, but not ratified_Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Desertification
International agreements note: Lies near vital North Atlantic sea lanes; only 35 km from France and now linked by tunnel under the English Channel; because of heavily indented coastline, no location is more than 125 km from tidal waters

Air pollutants

Sex ratio: at birth:1.05 male(s)/female
Under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.69 male(s)/female
All ages:
0.96 male(s)/female (1996 est.) Infant Mortality Rate:6.4 deaths/1000 live births (1996 est.)
7 deaths/1000 live births (1995 est.)

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 76.41 years (1996) 77 years (1995)
Male: 73.78 years (1996) 74.18 years (1995)
Female: 79.17 years (1996 est.) 79.95 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate:
1.82 children born/woman (1996 est.)
1.82 children born/woman (1995 est.)

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

Definition: age 15 and over that can read and write (1991 est.)
Total population: 99%

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

United Kingdom - Government 1996
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Country name
Conventional long form: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Conventional short form: United Kingdom of U.K. Abbreviation:U.K.

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:Anguilla, Bermuda, British Indian Ocean Territory, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Jersey, Isle of Man, Montserrat, Pitcairn Islands, Saint Helena, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands

Dependent areas

Independence: 1 January 1801 (United Kingdom established)

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

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: 18 years of age; universal

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 John MAJOR (since 28 November 1990)
Cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers was appointed by the prime minister

Legislative branch: Bicameral Parliament House of Lords:Consists of a 1,200-member body, four-fifths are hereditary peers, 2 archbishops, 24 other senior bishops, serving and retired Lords of Appeal in Ordinary, other life peers, Scottish peers House of Commons:Elections last held 9 April 1992 (next to be held by NA April 1997; results_Conservative 41.9%, Labor 34.5%, Liberal Democratic 17.9%, other 5.7%; seats_(651 total) Conservative 336, Labor 271, Liberal Democratic 20, other 24

Judicial branch: House of Lords

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation: AfDB, AG (observer), AsDB, Australia Group, BIS, C, CCC, CDB (non-regional), CE, CERN, EBRD, ECA (associate), ECE, ECLAC, EIB, ESA, ESCAP, EU, FAO, G- 5, G- 7, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO, ITU, MTCR, NACC, NATO, NEA, NSG, OECD, OSCE, PCA, SPC, UN, UN Security Council, UNAVEM III, UNCRO, UNCTAD, UNFICYP, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIKOM, UNITAR, UNOMIG, UNPREDEP, UNPROFOR, UNRWA, UNU, UPU, WCL, WEU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO, ZC

Diplomatic representation

Flag descriptionflag of United%20Kingdom: Blue with the red cross of Saint George (patron saint of England) edged in white superimposed on the diagonal red cross of Saint Patrick (patron saint of Ireland) which is superimposed on the diagonal white cross of Saint 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 1996
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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 Western Europe. The economy is essentially capitalistic; over the past 13 years the ruling Tories have greatly reduced public ownership and contained the growth of social welfare programs. Agriculture is intensive, highly mechanized, and efficient by European standards, producing about 60% of food needs with only about 1% of the labor force. The UK has large coal, natural gas, and oil reserves, and primary energy production accounts for 12% of GDP, one of the highest shares of any industrial nation. Services, particularly banking, insurance, and business services, account by far for the largest proportion of GDP while industry continues to decline in importance, now employing only 25% of the work force. The economy registered 3.9% GDP growth in 1994, the best rate for six years, but slipped back to 2.7% in 1995. Exports and manufacturing output have been the primary engines of growth. Unemployment is gradually falling. Inflation is at a tolerable 3%. A major economic policy question for the UK in the 1990s is the terms on which it participates in the financial and economic integration of Europe.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate:
1.8% (1999 est.)
1.7% (1998 est.)
3.3% (1997)
2.2% (1996)
2.3% (1985-1995)

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 GDP; wide variety of crops and livestock products

Production machinery including machine tools
Electric power equipment
Automation equipment
Railroad equipment
Motor vehicles and parts
Electronics and communications equipment
Paper and paper products
Food processing
And other consumer goods

Industrial production growth rate: Growth rate 1.9% (1995 est.) 5.6% (1994)

Labor force: 28.048 million
By occupation Services: 62.8%
By occupation Manufacturing and construction: 25.0%
By occupation Government: 9.1%
By occupation Energy: 1.9%
By occupation Agriculture: 1.2% (June 1992)
Labor force

Unemployment rate:
7.1% (1997)
8.2% (1996)
8.8% (1995)
9.6% (1994)
10.5% (1993)

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Revenues: $388.9 billion (1996) $325.5 billion (1995)

$447.6 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (FY94/95 est.)
$400.9 billion, including capital expenditures of $33 billion (FY93/94 est.)

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: total value. $200.4 billion (f.o.b., 1994)
Manufactured goods
Semifinished goods
Transport equipment

EU countries 56.4% (Germany 12.7%
France 9.9%
Netherlands 7.0%)
U.S. 13.1%

Imports: total value:$221.9 billion (c.i.f., 1994)
Manufactured goods
Semifinished goods
Consumer goods

EU countries 54.9% (Germany 14.6%
France 10.0%
Netherlands 6.7%)
U.S. 12.2%

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $16.2 billion (June 1992)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: British pounds (£) per US$1_0.6535 (January 1996), 0.6335 (1995), 0.6529 (1994), 0.6658 (1993), 0.5664 (1992), 0.5652 (1991), 0.5603 (1990)

United Kingdom - Energy 1996
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 303 billion kWh

Electricity consumption
Per capita: 5,123 kWh (1993)

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 1996
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system: 29.5 million (1987) telephones; technologically advanced domestic and international system
Local: NA
Intercity: NA equal mix of buried cables, microwave and optical-fiber systems
International: 40 coaxial submarine cables; 10 INTELSAT (7 Atlantic Ocean and 3 Indian Ocean), 1 INMARSAT, and 1 EUTELSAT earth satellite; at least 8 large international switching centers

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

United Kingdom - Military 1996
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Military expenditures
Dollar figure: $35.1 billion, 3.1% of GDP (FY95/96)

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

United Kingdom - Transportation 1996
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

With paved runways over 3047 m: 9
With paved runways 2438 to 3047 m: 29
With paved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 0
With paved runways 914 to 1523 m: 22
With paved runways under 914 m: 166

Airports with paved runways
Over 3047 m: 9
2438 to 3047 m: 29
15-24 to 2437 m: 0
914 to 1523 m: 22
Under 914 m: 166

Airports with unpaved runways

Heliports: :10 (1995 est.)

Pipelines: Crude oil (almost all insignificant) 933 km; petroleum products 2,993 km; natural gas 12,800 km



Waterways: 3.200 km total; British Waterways Board, 606 km; Port Authorities, 706 km; other, 979 km

Merchant marine
151 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 3,191,969 GRT/3,861,239 DWT

Ports and terminals

United Kingdom - Transnational issues 1996
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Disputes international

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs: Gateway country for Latin American cocaine entering the European market; producer of synthetic drugs; transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin; money-laundering center


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