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United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
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Flag of United Kingdom
British Union Flag - The Union Jack

Country Profile

Capital City: London (metropolitan pop. about 7.2 million)

Other Cities: Belfast, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield.

Local Time
: UTC No UTC offset

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
Area: 243,000 sq. km. (93,000 sq. mi.)
Terrain: 30% arable, 50% meadow and pasture, 12% waste or urban, 7% forested, 1% inland water.
Land use: 25% arable, 46% meadows and pastures, 10% forests and woodland, 19% other.

Very British: more than one-half of the days are overcast;
generally mild and temperate; moderated by prevailing southwest winds over the North Atlantic Current.

Constitutional monarchy.
Constitution: Unwritten; partly statutes, partly common law and practice.

Nationality: Noun--Briton(s). Adjective--British.
Population (2003 est.): 60.1 million.
Major ethnic groups: British, Irish, West Indian, South Asian.
Major religions: Church of England (Anglican), Roman Catholic, Church of Scotland (Presbyterian), Muslim.
Major languages: English, Welsh, Irish Gaelic, Scottish Gaelic.
Literacy: 99%.


Currency: British Pound (GBP)

Natural resources: Coal, oil, natural gas, tin, limestone, iron ore, salt, clay, chalk, gypsum, lead, silica.

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, and other consumer goods.

Exports partners:
USA 15.7%, Germany 10.5%, France 9.5%, Netherlands 6.9%, Ireland 6.5%, Belgium 5.6%, Spain 4.4%, Italy 4.4% (2003)

Imports partners: Germany 13.5%, USA 10.2%, France 8.1%, Netherlands 6.3%, Belgium 4.9%, Italy 4.7% (2003)

Internet Links

Official Sites of United Kingdom

The British Monarchy

United Kingdom Parliament

House of Commons

House of Lords

Number 10 Downing Street


Foreign & Commonwealth Office Britain and the EU

Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO)

Diplomatic Missions
United Kingdom Mission to the United Nations


UK Embassies Overseas

Foreign Embassies in the UK

National Statistics

The Met Office

UK Maps
Map of the United Kingdom


United Kingdom

Background:  Great Britain, the dominant industrial and maritime power
of the 19th century, 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. 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 European 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.

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 water: 3,230 sq km note: includes Rockall
and Shetland Islands land: 241,590 sq km

Area - comparative:  slightly smaller than Oregon

Land boundaries:  total: 360 km border countries: 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 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: Fenland -4 m highest point: Ben Nevis
1,343 m

Natural resources:  coal, petroleum, natural gas, tin, limestone, iron
ore, salt, clay, chalk, gypsum, lead, silica, arable land

Land use:  arable land: 26% permanent crops: 0% other: 74% (1998 est.)

Irrigated land:  1,080 sq km (1998 est.)

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 towards 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-Sulphur 94, Air
Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol,
Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty,
Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species,
Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine
Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer
Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94,
Wetlands, Whaling signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent
Organic Pollutants, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol

Geography - 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

People United Kingdom

Population:  59,778,002 (July 2002 est.)

Age structure:  0-14 years: 18.7% (male 5,732,385; female 5,443,900) 15-64
years: 65.5% (male 19,803,478; female 19,381,734) 65 years and over: 15.8%
(male 3,931,463; female 5,485,042) (2002 est.)

Population growth rate:  0.21% (2002 est.)

Birth rate:  11.34 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Death rate:  10.3 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Net migration rate:  1.06 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 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:
0.72 male(s)/female total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2002 est.)

Infant mortality rate:  5.45 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:   80.84 years (2002 est.)  male: Total fertility
rate:  1.73 children born/woman (2002 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:  0.11% (1999 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:  20,800 (1999)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:  450 (1999 est.)

Nationality:  noun: Briton(s), British (collective plural) adjective:

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%

Religions:  Anglican and Roman Catholic 40 million, Muslim 1.5 million,
Presbyterian 800,000, Methodist 760,000, Sikh 500,000, Hindu 500,000,
Jewish 350,000

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% (2000 est.)  male: NA% female: NA%

Government United Kingdom

Country name:  conventional long form: United Kingdom of Great Britain and
Northern Ireland conventional short form: United Kingdom abbreviation: UK

Government type:  constitutional monarchy

Capital:  London

Administrative divisions:  England - 47 boroughs, 36 counties*, 29 London
boroughs**, 12 cities and boroughs***, 10 districts****, 12 cities*****,
3 royal boroughs******; Barking and Dagenham**, Barnet**, Barnsley, Bath
and North East Somerset****, Bedfordshire*, Bexley**, Birmingham***,
Blackburn with Darwen, Blackpool, Bolton, Bournemouth, Bracknell
Forest, Bradford***, Brent**, Brighton and Hove, City of Bristol*****,
Bromley**, Buckinghamshire*, Bury, Calderdale, Cambridgeshire*, Camden**,
Cheshire*, Cornwall*, Coventry***, Croydon**, Cumbria*, Darlington,
Derby*****, Derbyshire*, Devon*, Doncaster, Dorset*, Dudley, Durham*,
Ealing**, East Riding of Yorkshire****, East Sussex*, Enfield**, Essex*,
Gateshead, Gloucestershire*, Greenwich**, Hackney**, Halton, Hammersmith
and Fulham**, Hampshire*, Haringey**, Harrow**, Hartlepool, Havering**,
Herefordshire*, Hertfordshire*, Hillingdon**, Hounslow**, Isle of Wight*,
Islington**, Kensington and Chelsea******, Kent*, City of Kingston upon
Hull*****, Kingston upon Thames******, Kirklees, Knowsley, Lambeth**,
Lancashire*, Leeds***, Leicester*****, Leicestershire*, Lewisham**,
Lincolnshire*, Liverpool***, City of London*****, Luton, Manchester***,
Medway, Merton**, Middlesbrough, Milton Keynes, Newcastle upon Tyne***,
Newham**, Norfolk*, Northamptonshire*, North East Lincolnshire****, North
Lincolnshire****, North Somerset****, North Tyneside, Northumberland*,
North Yorkshire*, Nottingham*****, Nottinghamshire*, Oldham, Oxfordshire*,
Peterborough*****, Plymouth*****, Poole, Portsmouth*****, Reading,
Redbridge**, Redcar and Cleveland, Richmond upon Thames**, Rochdale,
Rotherham, Rutland****, Salford***, Shropshire*, Sandwell, Sefton,
Sheffield***, Slough, Solihull, Somerset*, Southampton*****,
Southend-on-Sea, South Gloucestershire****, South Tyneside,
Southwark**, Staffordshire*, St. Helens, Stockport, Stockton-on-Tees,
Stoke-on-Trent*****, Suffolk*, Sunderland***, Surrey*, Sutton**, Swindon,
Tameside, Telford and Wrekin****, Thurrock, Torbay, Tower Hamlets**,
Trafford, Wakefield***, Walsall, Waltham Forest**, Wandsworth**,
Warrington, Warwickshire*, West Berkshire****, Westminster***, West
Sussex*, Wigan, Wiltshire*, Windsor and Maidenhead******, Wirral,
Wokingham****, Wolverhampton, Worcestershire*, York*****; Northern Ireland
- 24 districts, 2 cities*, 6 counties**; Antrim, County Antrim**,
Ards, Armagh, County Armagh**, Ballymena, Ballymoney, Banbridge,
Belfast*, Carrickfergus, Castlereagh, Coleraine, Cookstown, Craigavon,
Down, County Down**, Dungannon, Fermanagh, County Fermanagh**, Larne,
Limavady, Lisburn, County Londonderry**, Derry*, Magherafelt, Moyle,
Newry and Mourne, Newtownabbey, North Down, Omagh, Strabane, County
Tyrone**; Scotland - 32 council areas; Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire,
Angus, Argyll and Bute, The Scottish Borders, Clackmannanshire, Dumfries
and Galloway, Dundee City, East Ayrshire, East Dunbartonshire, East
Lothian, East Renfrewshire, City of Edinburgh, 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, West Dunbartonshire,
Eilean Siar (Western Isles), West Lothian; Wales - 11 county boroughs,
9 counties*, 2 cities and counties**; Isle of Anglesey*, Blaenau Gwent,
Bridgend, Caerphilly, Cardiff**, Ceredigion*, Carmarthenshire*, Conwy,
Denbighshire*, Flintshire*, Gwynedd, Merthyr Tydfil, Monmouthshire*,
Neath Port Talbot, Newport, Pembrokeshire*, Powys*, Rhondda Cynon Taff,
Swansea**, Torfaen, The Vale of Glamorgan*, Wrexham

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

Independence:  England has existed as a unified entity since the 10th
century; the union between England and Wales was enacted under the
Statute of Rhuddlan in 1284; in the Act of Union of 1707, England and
Scotland agreed to permanent union 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:  Birthday of Queen ELIZABETH II, celebrated on the
second Saturday in June (1926)

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; British courts and
legislation are increasingly subject to review by European Union courts

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 of Ministers appointed by the prime minister elections:  majority
 party in the House of Commons (assuming there is no majority
party, a prime minister would have a majority coalition or at least a
coalition that was not rejected by the majority)

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 (659 seats; members are elected by popular
vote to serve five-year terms unless the House is dissolved earlier)
elections:  elections); House of Commons - last held 7 June 2001 (next
to be held by NA May 2006) election results: House of Commons - percent
of vote by party - Labor 42.1%, Conservative and Unionist 32.7%, Liberal
Democrats 18.8%, other 6.4%; seats by party - Labor 412, Conservative
and Unionist 166, Liberal Democrat 52, other 29; note - seating as of 15
February 2002:  1998 elections were held for a Northern Ireland Parliament
(because of unresolved disputes among existing parties, the transfer of
power from London to Northern Ireland came only at the end of 1999 and
was twice rescinded before reinstatement in November 2001); 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 [Iain
Duncan SMITH]; Democratic Unionist Party (Northern Ireland) [Rev. Ian
PAISLEY]; Labor Party [Anthony (Tony) BLAIR]; Liberal Democrats [Charles
KENNEDY]; Party of Wales (Plaid Cymru) [Ieuan Wyn JONES]; Scottish
National Party or SNP [John SWINNEY]; Sinn Fein (Northern Ireland) [Gerry
ADAMS]; Social Democratic and Labor Party or SDLP (Northern Ireland)
[Mark DURKAN]; Ulster Unionist Party (Northern Ireland) [David TRIMBLE]

Political pressure groups and leaders:  Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament;
Confederation of British Industry; National Farmers' Union; Trades
Union Congress

International organization participation:  AfDB, AsDB, Australia Group,
ESA, ESCAP, EU, FAO, G- 5, G- 7, G- 8, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC,
IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, MONUC, NAM (guest), NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer),

Diplomatic representation in the US:  chief of mission: Ambassador
Sir Christopher J. R. MEYER chancery: 3100 Massachusetts Avenue NW,
Washington, DC 20008 FAX: [1] (202) 588-7870
 Dallas, Denver, Miami, and Seattle consulate(s) general:  and San
 Francisco telephone: [1] (202) 588-6500

Diplomatic representation from the US:  chief of mission: Ambassador
William S. FARISH embassy: 24/31 Grosvenor Square, London, W1A1AE
mailing address: PSC 801, Box 40, FPO AE 09498-4040 telephone: [44]
(0) 207499-9000 (switchboard) FAX: [44] (0) 207 629-8288 consulate(s)
general: Belfast, Edinburgh

Flag description:  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) and 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
other Commonwealth countries and their constituent states or provinces,
as well as British overseas territories

Economy United Kingdom

Economy - overview:  The UK, a leading trading power and financial center,
is one of the quartet 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 only 1% 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
as the global downturn, the high value of the pound, and the bursting
of the "new economy" bubble hurt manufacturing and exports. Still, the
economy is one of the strongest in Europe; inflation, interest rates,
and unemployment remain low, and the government expects growth of 2% to
2.5% in 2002. 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). The Prime Minister has
pledged to hold a public referendum if membership meets Chancellor of
the Exchequer BROWN's five economic "tests." Scheduled for assessment
by mid-2003, the tests will determine whether joining EMU would have a
positive effect on British investment, employment, and growth. Critics
point out, however, that the economy is thriving outside of EMU, and
they point to public opinion polls that continue to show a majority of
Britons opposed to the single currency.

GDP:  purchasing power parity - $1.47 trillion (2001 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:  2.4% (2001 est.)

GDP - per capita:  purchasing power parity - $24,700 (2001 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:  agriculture: 1.7% industry: 24.9% services:
73.4% (1999)

Population below poverty line:  17%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:  lowest 10%: 2.6%
highest 10%: 27.3% (1991)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:  36.1 (1991)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):  1.8% (2001 est.)

Labor force:  29.7 million (2001)

Labor force - by occupation:  agriculture 1%, industry 25%, services 74%

Unemployment rate:  5.1% (2001 est.)

Budget:  revenues: $565 billion expenditures: $540 billion, including
capital expenditures of $NA (FY01)

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, and other consumer goods

Industrial production growth rate:  -1.6% (2001 est.)

Electricity - production:  355.761 billion kWh (2000)

Electricity - production by source:  fossil fuel: 73.26% hydro: 1.46%
other: 2.31% (2000) nuclear: 22.97%

Electricity - consumption:  345.032 billion kWh (2000)

Electricity - exports:  134 million kWh (2000)

Electricity - imports:  14.308 billion kWh (2000)

Agriculture - products:  cereals, oilseed, potatoes, vegetables; cattle,
sheep, poultry; fish

Exports:  $287 billion (f.o.b., 2001)

Exports - commodities:  manufactured goods, fuels, chemicals; food,
beverages, tobacco

Exports - partners:  EU 54% (Germany 11%, France 9%, Netherlands 7%,
Ireland 7%), US 15% (2000)

Imports:  $337 billion (c.i.f., 2001)

Imports - commodities:  manufactured goods, machinery, fuels; foodstuffs

Imports - partners:  EU 48% (Germany 11%, France 7%, Netherlands 6%),
US 13%, Japan 5% (2000)

Debt - external:  $NA

Economic aid - donor:  ODA, $4.5 billion (2000)

Currency:  British pound (GBP)

Currency code:  GBP

Exchange rates:  British pounds per US dollar - 0.6981 (January 2002),
0.6944 (2001), 0.6596 (2000), 0.6180 (1999), 0.6037 (1998), 0.6106 (1997)

Fiscal year:  1 April - 31 March

Communications United Kingdom

Telephones - main lines in use:  34.878 million (1997)

Telephones - mobile cellular:  13 million (yearend 1998)

Telephone system:  general assessment: technologically advanced domestic
and international system domestic: equal mix of buried cables, microwave
radio relay, and fiber-optic systems international: 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 Service Providers (ISPs):  245 (2000)

Internet users:  33 million (2001)

Transportation United Kingdom

Railways:  total: 16,878 km standard gauge: 16,536 km 1.435-m gauge
(4,928 km electrified; 12,591 km double- or multiple-tracked) broad
gauge: 342 km 1.600-m gauge (190 km double-tracked) note: all 1.600-m
gauge track is in common carrier service in Northern Ireland (1996)

Highways:  total: 371,603 km paved: 371,603 km (including 3,303 km of
expressways) unpaved: 0 km (1998 est.)

Waterways:  3,200 km

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

Ports and harbors:  Aberdeen, Belfast, Bristol, Cardiff, Dover, Falmouth,
Felixstowe, Glasgow, Grangemouth, Hull, Leith, Liverpool, London,
Manchester, Peterhead, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Scapa Flow, Southampton,
Sullom Voe, Tees, Tyne

Merchant marine:  total: 212 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 4,308,232
GRT/4,171,757 DWT ships by type: bulk 7, cargo 32, chemical tanker 13,
combination ore/oil 1, container 53, liquefied gas 3, passenger 13,
passenger/cargo 1, petroleum tanker 48, refrigerated cargo 4, roll on/roll
off 26, short-sea passenger 10, specialized tanker 1 note: includes some
foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of convenience: Bermuda 1,
Cyprus 1, Denmark 21, Germany 6, Greece 3, Hong Kong 4, Italy 1, Monaco 4,
Netherlands 1, Norway 9, Russia 1, South Africa 2, Sweden 11, Taiwan 2,
United States 5 (2002 est.)

Airports:  470 (2001)

Airports - with paved runways:  total: 332 over 3,047 m: 8 2,438 to 3,047
m: 33 914 to 1,523 m: 84 under 914 m: 57 (2001) 1,524 to 2,437 m: 150

Airports - with unpaved runways:  total: 138 1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 914 to
1,523 m: 23 under 914 m: 114 (2001)

Heliports:  13 (2001)

Military United Kingdom

Military branches:  Army, Royal Navy (including Royal Marines), Royal
Air Force

Military manpower - availability:  males age 15-49: 14,632,418 (2002 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:  males age 15-49: 12,151,734
(2002 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure:  $31.7 billion (2002)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP:  2.32% (2002)

Transnational Issues United Kingdom

Disputes - international:  Spain and UK are discussing "total shared
sovereignty" over Gibraltar, subject to a constitutional referendum
by Gibraltarians, who have largely expressed opposition to any form of
cession to Spain; Mauritius and Seychelles claim the Chagos Archipelago
(British Indian Ocean Territory) and its former inhabitants, who
reside chiefly in Mauritius, but in 2001 were granted UK citizenship
and the right to repatriation since eviction in 1965; Argentina claims
the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) and South Georgia and the South
Sandwich Islands; Rockall continental shelf dispute involving Denmark and
Iceland; territorial claim in Antarctica (British Antarctic Territory)
overlaps Argentine claim and partially overlaps Chilean claim; disputes
with Iceland, Denmark, and Ireland over the Faroe Islands continental
shelf boundary outside 200 NM

Illicit drugs:  gateway country for Latin American cocaine entering
the European market; major consumer of synthetic drugs, producer of
limited amounts of synthetic drugs and synthetic precursor chemicals;
major consumer of Southwest Asian heroin; money-laundering center

This page was last updated on 1 January 2002


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