United Kingdom

Country Summary

2022 population pyramid



The United Kingdom 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. With the dismantling of the Empire, the UK rebuilt itself into a modern and prosperous European nation. The Scottish Parliament, the National Assembly for Wales, and the Northern Ireland Assembly were established in 1998.



total: 243,610 sq km

land: 241,930 sq km

water: 1,680 sq km


temperate; moderated by prevailing southwest winds over the North Atlantic Current; more than one-half of the days are overcast

Natural resources

coal, petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, lead, zinc, gold, tin, limestone, salt, clay, chalk, gypsum, potash, silica sand, slate, arable land

People and Society


67,791,400 (2022 est.)

Ethnic groups

White 87.2%, Black/African/Caribbean/black British 3%, Asian/Asian British: Indian 2.3%, Asian/Asian British: Pakistani 1.9%, mixed 2%, other 3.7% (2011 est.)




Christian (includes Anglican, Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, Methodist) 59.5%, Muslim 4.4%, Hindu 1.3%, other 2%, unspecified 7.2%, none 25.7% (2011 est.)

Population growth rate

0.53% (2022 est.)


Government type

parliamentary constitutional monarchy; a Commonwealth realm


name: London

Executive branch

chief of state: King CHARLES III (since 8 September 2022); Heir Apparent Prince WILLIAM (son of the king, born 21 June 1982); note - CHARLES succeeded his mother, Queen ELIZABETH II, after serving as Prince of Wales (heir apparent) for over 64 years - the longest such tenure in British history

head of government: Prime Minister Rishi SUNAK (Conservative) (since 25 October 2022)

Legislative branch

description: bicameral Parliament consists of:
House of Lords (membership not fixed; as of October 2021, 787 lords were eligible to participate in the work of the House of Lords - 673 life peers, 88 hereditary peers, and 26 clergy; members are appointed by the monarch on the advice of the prime minister and non-party political members recommended by the House of Lords Appointments Commission); note - House of Lords total does not include ineligible members or members on leave of absence
House of Commons (650 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority popular vote to serve 5-year terms unless the House is dissolved earlier)


Economic overview

high-income, diversified non-EU European economy; fifth-largest importer and exporter globally; after 2016 EU Brexit, increased quantitative easing avoided economic decline; 10% GDP contraction from COVID-19; global financial and diplomacy leader

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$2,797,980,000,000 (2020 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$41,600 (2020 est.)

Agricultural products

wheat, milk, barley, sugar beet, potatoes, rapeseed, poultry, oats, pork, beef


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


$741.95 billion (2020 est.)

Exports - partners

United States 15%, Germany 10%, China 7%, Netherlands 7%, France 7%, Ireland 6% (2019)

Exports - commodities

cars, gas turbines, gold, crude petroleum, packaged medicines (2019)


$752.77 billion (2020 est.)

Imports - partners

Germany 13%, China 10%, United States 8%, Netherlands 7%, France 6%, Belgium 5% (2019)

Imports - commodities

gold, cars, crude petroleum, refined petroleum, broadcasting equipment (2019)

Exchange rates

British pounds (GBP) per US dollar -

Page last updated: Tuesday, October 25, 2022