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Introduction United Kingdom
Background:
As the dominant industrial and maritime power of the 19th century, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland played a leading role in developing parliamentary democracy and in advancing literature and science. At its zenith, 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 withdraw 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, a founding member of NATO, and of the Commonwealth, the UK pursues a global approach to foreign policy; it currently is weighing the degree of its integration with continental Europe. A member of the EU, it chose to remain outside the Economic and Monetary Union for the time being. Constitutional reform is also a significant issue in the UK. The Scottish Parliament, the National Assembly for Wales, and the Northern Ireland Assembly were established in 1999, but the latter is suspended due to wrangling over the peace process.
Geography United Kingdom
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:
54 00 N, 2 00 W
Map references:
Europe
Area:
total: 244,820 sq km
land: 241,590 sq km
water: 3,230 sq km
note: includes Rockall and Shetland Islands
Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than Oregon
Land boundaries:
total: 360 km
border countries: Ireland 360 km
Coastline:
12,429 km
Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: as defined in continental shelf orders or in accordance with agreed upon boundaries
Climate:
temperate; moderated by prevailing southwest winds over the North Atlantic Current; more than one-half of the days are overcast
Terrain:
mostly rugged hills and low mountains; level to rolling plains in east and southeast
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: The Fens -4 m
highest point: Ben Nevis 1,343 m
Natural resources:
coal, petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, lead, zinc, gold, tin, limestone, salt, clay, chalk, gypsum, potash, silica sand, slate, arable land
Land use:
arable land: 23.23%
permanent crops: 0.2%
other: 76.57% (2005)
Irrigated land:
1,700 sq km (2003)
Natural hazards:
winter windstorms; floods
Environment - current issues:
continues to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (has met Kyoto Protocol target of a 12.5% reduction from 1990 levels and intends to meet the legally binding target and move toward a domestic goal of a 20% cut in emissions by 2010); by 2005 the government aims to reduce the amount of industrial and commercial waste disposed of in landfill sites to 85% of 1998 levels and to recycle or compost at least 25% of household waste, increasing to 33% by 2015; between 1998-99 and 1999-2000, household recycling increased from 8.8% to 10.3%
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants
Geography - note:
lies near vital North Atlantic sea lanes; only 35 km from France and linked by tunnel under the English Channel; because of heavily indented coastline, no location is more than 125 km from tidal waters
People United Kingdom
Population:
60,609,153 (July 2006 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 17.5% (male 5,417,663/female 5,161,714)
15-64 years: 66.8% (male 20,476,571/female 19,988,959)
65 years and over: 15.8% (male 4,087,020/female 5,477,226) (2006 est.)
Median age:
total: 39.3 years
male: 38.2 years
female: 40.4 years (2006 est.)
Population growth rate:
0.28% (2006 est.)
Birth rate:
10.71 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Death rate:
10.13 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Net migration rate:
2.18 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)
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: 0.75 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2006 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 5.08 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 5.67 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 4.47 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 78.54 years
male: 76.09 years
female: 81.13 years (2006 est.)
Total fertility rate:
1.66 children born/woman (2006 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.2% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
51,000 (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
less than 500 (2003 est.)
Nationality:
noun: 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)
Religions:
Christian (Anglican, Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, Methodist) 71.6%, Muslim 2.7%, Hindu 1%, other 1.6%, unspecified or none 23.1% (2001 census)
Languages:
English, Welsh (about 26% of the population of Wales), Scottish form of Gaelic (about 60,000 in Scotland)
Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over has completed five or more years of schooling
total population: 99%
male: 99%
female: 99% (2003 est.)
Government United Kingdom
Country name:
conventional long form: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; note - Great Britain includes England, Scotland, and Wales
conventional short form: United Kingdom
local long form: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
local short form: United Kingdom
abbreviation: UK
Government type:
constitutional monarchy
Capital:
name: London
geographic coordinates: 51 30 N, 0 10 W
time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
Administrative divisions:
England: 47 boroughs, 36 counties, 29 London boroughs, 12 cities and boroughs, 10 districts, 12 cities, 3 royal boroughs
boroughs: Barnsley, Blackburn with Darwen, Blackpool, Bolton, Bournemouth, Bracknell Forest, Brighton and Hove, Bury, Calderdale, Darlington, Doncaster, Dudley, Gateshead, Halton, Hartlepool, Kirklees, Knowsley, Luton, Medway, Middlesbrough, Milton Keynes, North Tyneside, Oldham, Poole, Reading, Redcar and Cleveland, Rochdale, Rotherham, Sandwell, Sefton, Slough, Solihull, Southend-on-Sea, South Tyneside, St. Helens, Stockport, Stockton-on-Tees, Swindon, Tameside, Thurrock, Torbay, Trafford, Walsall, Warrington, Wigan, Wirral, Wolverhampton
counties (or unitary authorities): Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Cheshire, Cornwall, Cumbria, Derbyshire, Devon, Dorset, Durham, East Sussex, Essex, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Herefordshire, Hertfordshire, Isle of Wight, Kent, Lancashire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Norfolk, North Yorkshire, Northamptonshire, Northumberland, Nottinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Shropshire, Somerset, Staffordshire, Suffolk, Surrey, Warwickshire, West Sussex, Wiltshire, Worcestershire
London boroughs: Barking and Dagenham, Barnet, Bexley, Brent, Bromley, Camden, Croydon, Ealing, Enfield, Greenwich, Hackney, Hammersmith and Fulham, Haringey, Harrow, Havering, Hillingdon, Hounslow, Islington, Lambeth, Lewisham, Merton, Newham, Redbridge, Richmond upon Thames, Southwark, Sutton, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest, Wandsworth
cities and boroughs: Birmingham, Bradford, Coventry, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne, Salford, Sheffield, Sunderland, Wakefield, Westminster
districts: Bath and North East Somerset, East Riding of Yorkshire, North East Lincolnshire, North Lincolnshire, North Somerset, Rutland, South Gloucestershire, Telford and Wrekin, West Berkshire, Wokingham
cities: City of Bristol, Derby, City of Kingston upon Hull, Leicester, City of London, Nottingham, Peterborough, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Southampton, Stoke-on-Trent, York
royal boroughs: Kensington and Chelsea, Kingston upon Thames, Windsor and Maidenhead
Northern Ireland: 24 districts, 2 cities, 6 counties
districts: Antrim, Ards, Armagh, Ballymena, Ballymoney, Banbridge, Carrickfergus, Castlereagh, Coleraine, Cookstown, Craigavon, Down, Dungannon, Fermanagh, Larne, Limavady, Lisburn, Magherafelt, Moyle, Newry and Mourne, Newtownabbey, North Down, Omagh, Strabane
cities: Belfast, Londonderry (Derry)
counties: County Antrim, County Armagh, County Down, County Fermanagh, County Londonderry, County Tyrone
Scotland: 32 council areas: Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire, Angus, Argyll and Bute, Clackmannanshire, Dumfries and Galloway, Dundee City, East Ayrshire, East Dunbartonshire, East Lothian, East Renfrewshire, City of Edinburgh, Eilean Siar (Western Isles), Falkirk, Fife, Glasgow City, Highland, Inverclyde, Midlothian, Moray, North Ayrshire, North Lanarkshire, Orkney Islands, Perth and Kinross, Renfrewshire, Shetland Islands, South Ayrshire, South Lanarkshire, Stirling, The Scottish Borders, West Dunbartonshire, West Lothian;
Wales: 11 county boroughs, 9 counties, 2 cities and counties
county boroughs: Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Caerphilly, Conwy, Gwynedd, Merthyr Tydfil, Neath Port Talbot, Newport, Rhondda Cynon Taff, Torfaen, Wrexham
counties: Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Denbighshire, Flintshire, Isle of Anglesey, Monmouthshire, Pembrokeshire, Powys, The Vale of Glamorgan
cities and counties: Cardiff, Swansea
Dependent areas:
Anguilla, Bermuda, British Indian Ocean Territory, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, Pitcairn Islands, Saint Helena and Ascension, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands
Independence:
England has existed as a unified entity since the 10th century; the union between England and Wales, begun in 1284 with the Statute of Rhuddlan, was not formalized until 1536 with an Act of Union; in another Act of Union in 1707, England and Scotland agreed to permanently join as Great Britain; the legislative union of Great Britain and Ireland was implemented in 1801, with the adoption of the name the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland; the Anglo-Irish treaty of 1921 formalized a partition of Ireland; six northern Irish counties remained part of the United Kingdom as Northern Ireland and the current name of the country, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, was adopted in 1927
National holiday:
the UK does not celebrate one particular national holiday
Constitution:
unwritten; partly statutes, partly common law and practice
Legal system:
common law tradition with early Roman and modern continental influences; has nonbinding judicial review of Acts of Parliament under the Human Rights Act of 1998; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations
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 Anthony (Tony) BLAIR (since 2 May 1997)
cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers appointed by the prime minister
elections: none; the monarchy is hereditary; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority coalition is usually the prime minister
Legislative branch:
bicameral Parliament comprised of House of Lords (consists of approximately 500 life peers, 92 hereditary peers and 26 clergy) and House of Commons (646 seats since 2005 elections; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms unless the House is dissolved earlier)
elections: House of Lords - no elections (note - in 1999, as provided by the House of Lords Act, elections were held in the House of Lords to determine the 92 hereditary peers who would remain there; elections are held only as vacancies in the hereditary peerage arise); House of Commons - last held 5 May 2005 (next to be held by May 2010)
election results: House of Commons - percent of vote by party - Labor 35.2%, Conservative 32.3%, Liberal Democrats 22%, other 10.5%; seats by party - Labor 356, Conservative 197, Liberal Democrat 62, other 31; note - as of 10 February 2006 party by seat in the House of Commons: Labor 353, Conservative 196, Liberal Democrat 63, Scottish National Party/Plaid Cymru 9, Democratic Unionist 9, Sinn Fein 5 (but cannot vote), other 11
note: in 1998 elections were held for a Northern Ireland Assembly (because of unresolved disputes among existing parties, the transfer of power from London to Northern Ireland came only at the end of 1999 and has been suspended four times the latest occurring in October 2002); in 1999 there were elections for a new Scottish Parliament and a new Welsh Assembly
Judicial branch:
House of Lords (highest court of appeal; several Lords of Appeal in Ordinary are appointed by the monarch for life); Supreme Courts of England, Wales, and Northern Ireland (comprising the Courts of Appeal, the High Courts of Justice, and the Crown Courts); Scotland's Court of Session and Court of the Justiciary
Political parties and leaders:
Conservative and Unionist Party [David CAMERON]; Democratic Unionist Party (Northern Ireland) [Rev. Ian PAISLEY]; Labor Party [Anthony (Tony) BLAIR]; Liberal Democrats [Sir Menzies CAMPBELL]; Party of Wales (Plaid Cymru) [Dafydd IWAN]; Scottish National Party or SNP [Alex SALMOND]; Sinn Fein (Northern Ireland) [Gerry ADAMS]; Social Democratic and Labor Party or SDLP (Northern Ireland) [Mark DURKAN]; Ulster Unionist Party (Northern Ireland) [Sir Reg EMPEY]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament; Confederation of British Industry; National Farmers' Union; Trades Union Congress
International organization participation:
AfDB, Arctic Council (observer), AsDB, Australia Group, BIS, C, CBSS (observer), CDB, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, EIB, ESA, EU, FAO, G- 5, G- 7, G- 8, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITU, MIGA, MONUC, NAM (guest), NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, PIF (partner), UN, UN Security Council, UNAMSIL, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIL, UNMIS, UNMOVIC, UNOMIG, UNRWA, UPU, WCO, WEU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador David G. MANNING
chancery: 3100 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 588-6500
FAX: [1] (202) 588-7870
consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Orlando, San Francisco
consulate(s): Dallas, Denver, Miami, Seattle
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Robert Holmes TUTTLE
embassy: 24/31 Grosvenor Square, London, W1A 1AE
mailing address: PSC 801, Box 40, FPO AE 09498-4040
telephone: [44] (0) 20 7499-9000
FAX: [44] (0) 20 7629-9124
consulate(s) general: Belfast, Edinburgh
Flag description:
blue field 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); properly known as the Union Flag, but commonly called the Union Jack; the design and colors (especially the Blue Ensign) have been the basis for a number of other flags including other Commonwealth countries and their constituent states or provinces, and British overseas territories
Economy United Kingdom
Economy - overview:
The UK, a leading trading power and financial center, is one of the quintet of trillion dollar economies of Western Europe. Over the past two decades, the government has 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 less than 2% of the labor force. The UK has large coal, natural gas, and oil reserves; primary energy production accounts for 10% 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. GDP growth slipped in 2001-03 as the global downturn, the high value of the pound, and the bursting of the "new economy" bubble hurt manufacturing and exports. Output recovered in 2004, to 3.2% growth, but fell in 2005, to 1.7%. Despite slower growth, the economy is one of the strongest in Europe; inflation, interest rates, and unemployment remain low. The relatively good economic performance has complicated the BLAIR government's efforts to make a case for Britain to join the European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). Critics point out that the economy is doing well outside of EMU, and public opinion polls show a majority of Britons are opposed to the euro. Meantime, the government has been speeding up the improvement of education, transport, and health services, at a cost in higher taxes and a widening public deficit.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$1.83 trillion (2005 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
$2.228 trillion (2005 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
1.8% (2005 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$30,300 (2005 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 0.5%
industry: 23.7%
services: 75.8% (2005 est.)
Labor force:
30.07 million (2005 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 1.5%
industry: 19.1%
services: 79.5% (2004)
Unemployment rate:
4.7% (2005 est.)
Population below poverty line:
17% (2002 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 2.1%
highest 10%: 28.5% (1999)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
36.8 (1999)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
2.1% (2005 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
16.6% of GDP (2005 est.)
Budget:
revenues: $881.4 billion
expenditures: $951 billion; including capital expenditures of $NA (2005 est.)
Public debt:
43.1% of GDP (2005 est.)
Agriculture - products:
cereals, oilseed, potatoes, vegetables; cattle, sheep, poultry; fish
Industries:
machine tools, electric power equipment, automation equipment, railroad equipment, shipbuilding, aircraft, motor vehicles and parts, electronics and communications equipment, metals, chemicals, coal, petroleum, paper and paper products, food processing, textiles, clothing, other consumer goods
Industrial production growth rate:
-1.9% (2005 est.)
Electricity - production:
369.9 billion kWh (2003)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 73.8%
hydro: 0.9%
nuclear: 23.7%
other: 1.6% (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
346.1 billion kWh (2003)
Electricity - exports:
3 billion kWh (2003)
Electricity - imports:
5.1 billion kWh (2003)
Oil - production:
2.393 million bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - consumption:
1.722 million bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - exports:
1.498 million bbl/day (2001)
Oil - imports:
1.084 million bbl/day (2003)
Oil - proved reserves:
4.5 billion bbl (31 December 2004)
Natural gas - production:
102.8 billion cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
95.15 billion cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
15.75 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
2.7 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
628.6 billion cu m (31 December 2004)
Current account balance:
-$57.61 billion (2005 est.)
Exports:
$372.7 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Exports - commodities:
manufactured goods, fuels, chemicals; food, beverages, tobacco
Exports - partners:
US 15.1%, Germany 10.5%, France 8.9%, Ireland 7.3%, Netherlands 5.5%, Belgium 5%, Spain 4.4% (2005)
Imports:
$483.7 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Imports - commodities:
manufactured goods, machinery, fuels; foodstuffs
Imports - partners:
Germany 12.8%, US 8.7%, France 7.1%, Netherlands 6.6%, China 5%, Norway 4.7%, Belgium 4.6%, Italy 4% (2005)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$48.66 billion (2005 est.)
Debt - external:
$7.107 trillion (30 June 2005)
Economic aid - donor:
ODA, $7.9 billion (2004)
Currency (code):
British pound (GBP)
Currency code:
GBP
Exchange rates:
British pounds per US dollar - 0.55 (2005), 0.5462 (2004), 0.6125 (2003), 0.6672 (2002), 0.6947 (2001)
Fiscal year:
6 April - 5 April
Communications United Kingdom
Telephones - main lines in use:
32.943 million (2005)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
61.091 million (2004)
Telephone system:
general assessment: technologically advanced domestic and international system
domestic: equal mix of buried cables, microwave radio relay, and fiber-optic systems
international: country code - 44; 40 coaxial submarine cables; satellite earth stations - 10 Intelsat (7 Atlantic Ocean and 3 Indian Ocean), 1 Inmarsat (Atlantic Ocean region), and 1 Eutelsat; at least 8 large international switching centers
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 219, FM 431, shortwave 3 (1998)
Radios:
84.5 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
228 (plus 3,523 repeaters) (1995)
Televisions:
30.5 million (1997)
Internet country code:
.uk
Internet hosts:
4,688,307 (2005)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
more than 400 (2000)
Internet users:
37.8 million (2005)
Transportation United Kingdom
Airports:
471 (2006)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 334
over 3,047 m: 8
2,438 to 3,047 m: 33
1,524 to 2,437 m: 149
914 to 1,523 m: 86
under 914 m: 58 (2006)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 137
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 23
under 914 m: 112 (2006)
Heliports:
11 (2006)
Pipelines:
condensate 370 km; gas 21,446 km; liquid petroleum gas 59 km; oil 6,420 km; oil/gas/water 63 km; refined products 4,474 km (2004)
Railways:
total: 17,156 km
standard gauge: 16,814 km 1.435-m gauge (5,384 km electrified)
broad gauge: 342 km 1.600-m gauge (in Northern Ireland) (2005)
Roadways:
total: 387,674 km
paved: 387,674 km (including 3,523 km of expressways) (2004)
Waterways:
3,200 km (620 km used for commerce) (2003)
Merchant marine:
total: 444 ships (1000 GRT or over) 10,775,537 GRT/11,464,492 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 20, cargo 64, chemical tanker 45, container 143, liquefied gas 14, passenger 9, passenger/cargo 66, petroleum tanker 31, refrigerated cargo 20, roll on/roll off 26, vehicle carrier 6
foreign-owned: 208 (Australia 4, Canada 12, Denmark 41, Finland 2, France 3, Germany 63, Greece 7, Ireland 1, Italy 5, Netherlands 2, NZ 1, Norway 40, South Africa 4, Sweden 15, Taiwan 1, Turkey 1, US 6)
registered in other countries: 365 (Antigua and Barbuda 5, Argentina 4, Australia 2, The Bahamas 68, Barbados 7, Belgium 1, Bermuda 8, Brazil 1, Brunei 8, Canada 1, Cape Verde 1, Cayman Islands 9, China 1, Cyprus 8, Faroe Islands 1, French Southern and Antarctic Lands 1, Georgia 5, Gibraltar 4, Greece 8, Hong Kong 35, India 1, Indonesia 2, Ireland 1, Italy 6, South Korea 2, Liberia 49, Malta 6, Marshall Islands 20, Morocco 1, Netherlands 21, Netherlands Antilles 2, Norway 4, Panama 36, Papua New Guinea 6, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 16, Singapore 10, Slovakia 1, Tonga 1, US 2) (2005)
Ports and terminals:
Hound Point, Immingham, Milford Haven, Liverpool, London, Southampton, Sullom Voe, Teesport
Military United Kingdom
Military branches:
Army, Royal Navy (includes Royal Marines), Royal Air Force
Military service age and obligation:
16 years of age for voluntary military service; women serve in military services, but are excluded from ground combat positions and some naval postings (2004)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 14,607,724
females age 16-49: 14,028,738 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 12,046,268
females age 16-49: 11,555,893 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$42,836.5 million (2003)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
2.4% (2003)
Transnational Issues United Kingdom
Disputes - international:
in 2002, Gibraltar residents voted overwhelmingly by referendum to reject any "shared sovereignty" arrangement between the UK and Spain; the Government of Gibraltar insists on equal participation in talks between the two countries; Spain disapproves of UK plans to grant Gibraltar greater autonomy; Mauritius and Seychelles claim the Chagos Archipelago (British Indian Ocean Territory), and its former inhabitants since their eviction in 1965; most Chagossians reside in Mauritius, and in 2001 were granted UK citizenship but no right to patriation in the UK; UK rejects sovereignty talks requested by Argentina, which still claims the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands; territorial claim in Antarctica (British Antarctic Territory) overlaps Argentine claim and partially overlaps Chilean claim; Iceland, the UK, and Ireland dispute Denmark's claim that the Faroe Islands' continental shelf extends beyond 200 nm
Illicit drugs:
producer of limited amounts of synthetic drugs and synthetic precursor chemicals; major consumer of Southwest Asian heroin, Latin American cocaine, and synthetic drugs; money-laundering center

This page was last updated on 19 September, 2006