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People and Society






The United Kingdom has historically played a leading role in developing parliamentary democracy and in advancing literature and science. At its zenith in the 19th century, the British Empire stretched over one-fourth of the earth's surface. The first half of the 20th century saw the UK's strength seriously depleted in two world wars and the Irish Republic's withdrawal from the union. The second half witnessed the dismantling of the Empire and the UK rebuilding itself into a modern and prosperous European nation. As one of five permanent members of the UN Security Council and a founding member of NATO and the Commonwealth, the UK pursues a global approach to foreign policy. The UK is also an active member of the EU, although it chose to remain outside the Economic and Monetary Union. The Scottish Parliament, the National Assembly for Wales, and the Northern Ireland Assembly were established in 1999. The latter was suspended until May 2007 due to wrangling over the peace process, but devolution was fully completed in March 2010.


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People And Society

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

Ethnic groups
White (of which English 83.6%, Scottish 8.6%, Welsh 4.9%, Northern Irish 2.9%) 92.1%, black 2%, Indian 1.8%, Pakistani 1.3%, mixed 1.2%, other 1.6% (2001 census)

The following are recognized regional languages: Scots (about 30% of the population of Scotland), Scottish Gaelic (about 60,000 in Scotland), Welsh (about 20% of the population of Wales), Irish (about 10% of the population of Northern Ireland), Cornish (some 2,000 to 3,000 in Cornwall)

Christian (Anglican, Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, Methodist) 71.6%, Muslim 2.7%, Hindu 1%, other 1.6%, unspecified or none 23.1% (2001 census)

Population World Ranking: 22
63,047,162 (July 2012 est.)

Age structure
0-14 years
17.3% (male 5,575,119/female 5,301,301)
15-64 years
66.2% (male 20,979,401/female 20,500,913)
65 years and over
16.5% (male 4,564,375/female 5,777,253) (2011 est.)

Median age
Total 40.2 years
Male 39 years
Female 41.2 years (2012 est.)

Population growth rate World Ranking: 146
0.553% (2012 est.)

Birth rate World Ranking: 160
12.27 births/1,000 population (2012 est.)

Death rate World Ranking: 61
9.33 deaths/1,000 population (July 2012 est.)

Net migration rate World Ranking: 29
2.59 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2012 est.)

Urban population 80% of total population (2010)
Rate of urbanization
0.7% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major cities - population
LONDON (capital) 8.615 million; Birmingham 2.296 million; Manchester 2.247 million; West Yorkshire 1.541 million; Glasgow 1.166 million (2009)

Sex ratio
At birth 1.05 male(s)/female
Under 15 years 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years 1.02 male(s)/female
65 years and over 0.8 male(s)/female
Total population
0.99 male(s)/female (2011 est.)

Maternal mortality rate World Ranking: 146
12 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)

Infant mortality rate World Ranking: 188
Total 4.56 deaths/1,000 live births
Male 5 deaths/1,000 live births
4.1 deaths/1,000 live births (2012 est.)

Life expectancy at birth World Ranking: 30
Total population 80.17 years
Male 78.05 years
Female 82.4 years (2012 est.)

Total fertility rate World Ranking: 138
1.91 children born/woman (2012 est.)

Health expenditures World Ranking: 39
9.3% of GDP (2009)

Physicians density
2.739 physicians/1,000 population (2009)

Hospital bed density
3.38 beds/1,000 population (2008)

Hiv/aids - adult prevalence rate World Ranking: 104
0.2% (2009 est.)

Hiv/aids - people living with hiv/aids World Ranking: 44
85,000 (2009 est.)

Hiv/aids - deaths World Ranking: 68
Fewer than 1,000 (2009 est.)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate World Ranking: 16
22.7% (2002)

Education expenditures World Ranking: 43
5.5% of GDP (2007)

Age 15 and over has completed five or more years of schooling
Total population 99%
Male 99%
Female 99% (2003 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)
Total 16 years
Male 16 years
Female 17 years (2008)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 World Ranking: 62
Total 18.9%
Male 21.7%
Female 15.6% (2009)


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Melton Ross United Kingdom (general)

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