Basic facts about the United Kingdom
Officially – United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, meaning that the United Kingdom consists of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Great Britain, which is a separate island, consists of England, Scotland and Wales. So, altogether there are four countries as semi-separate parts of Great Britain; all of them have their own flags, coat of arms, symbols etc. The total area of the United Kingdom is 240,000 km2 – a bit smaller than New Zealand and a little bit bigger than Romania.
There are nearly 70 million inhabitants in the UK – a bit less than in Thailand and a bit more than either in France or Italy (according to 2019 data). Approximately 84% of the UK’s population live in England. Capital of the United Kingdom and England is London; Capital of Scotland is Edinburgh, capital of Wales is Cardiff and capital of Northern Ireland is Belfast.
Other interesting facts
National flower of England is rose, national flower of Scotland is thistle, flower of Whales is daffodil and flower of Northern Ireland is shamrock. Coat of arms of England features three lions, unicorn is officially recognised as Scotland’s national animal and is represented in its coat of arms; national animal of Wales is the Red Dragon but Northern Ireland does not have recognised national animal. However, there are some officially not recognised animals of Northern Ireland – Irish Hare, red deer and Irish Elk (giant deer). There also are different Patron Saints for each of the four countries – St. George for England, St. Andrew for Scotland, St. David for Wales and St. Patrick for Northern Ireland.
You may wish to watch on YouTube my video about Isle of May and bird habitat on it (opens in new window).
There are quite a few reasons why UK is separated on this blog. Firstly, British island was connected to the mainland Europe and become separated about 8000 years ago; at that time some five thousand people lived on the island. Secondly, from 2020, the UK is not a part of the EU anymore. However, the main reason is that the UK is our home country. After living some time in Scotland, we now live in England and travel a lot around different parts of the UK.