What you need to know about Britain’s four nations

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By AFP
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Britain, officially the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, is made up of four nations: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The kingdom comprises the island of Great Britain — surrounded by the North Sea, the Channel, the Irish Sea and the Atlantic Ocean — and the northeast part of the island of Ireland.

UNITED KINGDOM
-POPULATION: 65.1 million (2015)
-SIZE: 242,500 square kilometres
– CAPITAL: London (population 8.7 million)
– LANGUAGE: English. In Wales, English and Welsh. In Scotland, English and Scots Gaelic.
– RELIGION: 37.6 million Christians (mainly Anglican, then Catholic, Presbyterian and Methodist), 2.8 million Muslims, 835,000 Hindus, 432,000 Sikhs, 270,000 Jews and 262,000 Buddhists (2011).
– NATIONAL ANTHEM: “God Save The Queen”
– HEAD OF STATE: Queen Elizabeth II (since 1952)
– PRIME MINISTER: Theresa May (Conservative, since 2016)
– PARLIAMENT: Britain is a constitutional monarchy, where laws are made in the Houses of Parliament. This comprises the elected lower House of Commons and the upper House of Lords, which is made up of political appointees, hereditary peers and religious leaders.
– 2015 UK ELECTION: 650 MPs – Conservative 330, Labour 232, Scottish Nationalist 56, Liberal Democrat 8, Democratic Unionist 8, Others 16
– BREXIT VOTE: Leave 52 per cent, Remain 48 per cent
– MEMBER OF: European Union, NATO, Commonwealth, G7, G20, United Nations Security Council
– OVERSEAS TERRITORIES: 14 including Bermuda, Gibraltar and the Falkland Islands.
– ECONOMY: Service sector including financial services, industry (manufacturing, coal, oil and natural gas from the North Sea), tourism, agriculture
– CURRENCY: Pound sterling
– UNEMPLOYMENT: 4.6 per cent (Q1, 2017)
– GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT: £1.9 trillion in 2016
– GDP PER CAPITA: £28,448 (Q1, 2017)
– PUBLIC DEBT: £1,722.4 billion — 86.0 per cent of GDP (April)
– TRADE DEFICIT: £39.4 billion (2016)
– GROWTH: 1.8 per cent (2016)
– INFLATION: 2.6 per cent (April)

ENGLAND
– POPULATION: 54.8 million (2015)
– SIZE: 130,000 square kilometres
– CAPITAL: London
– GDP PER CAPITA: £26,160 (2015)
– AUTONOMY: None
– BREXIT VOTE: Leave 53 per cent, Remain 47 per cent
– 2015 UK ELECTION: 533 MPs – Conservative 318, Labour 206, Liberal Democrat 6, UK Independence 1, Green 1, Speaker 1

SCOTLAND
– POPULATION: 5.4 million (2015)
– SIZE: 78,000 square kilometres
– CAPITAL: Edinburgh
– GDP PER CAPITA: £23,690 (2015)
– FIRST MINISTER: Nicola Sturgeon (Scottish Nationalist Party [SNP], since 2014)
– AUTONOMY: 129-seat Scottish Parliament. It can pass laws and change taxes. Its powers include control over education, health, the courts, transport and tourism.
– BREXIT VOTE: Remain 62 per cent, Leave 38 per cent
– 2015 UK ELECTION: 59 MPs — SNP 56, Labour 1, Conservative 1, Liberal Democrat 1

WALES
– POPULATION: 3.1 million (2015)
– SIZE: 21,000 square kilometres
– CAPITAL: Cardiff
– GDP PER CAPITA: £18,000 (2015)
– FIRST MINISTER: Carwyn Jones (Labour, since 2009)
– AUTONOMY: 60-seat National Assembly for Wales. Powers include control of education, health, culture and the environment. It has no tax-varying powers.
– BREXIT VOTE: Leave 53 percent, Remain 47 percent
– 2015 UK ELECTION: 40 MPs – Labour 25, Conservative 11, Plaid Cymru 3, Liberal Democrat 1

NORTHERN IRELAND
– POPULATION: 1.9 million (2015)
– SIZE: 14,000 square kilometres
– CAPITAL: Belfast
– OTHER MAJOR CITIES: Londonderry, Lisburn, Newry
– GDP PER CAPITA: 18,580 (2015)
– FIRST MINISTER: Vacant
– AUTONOMY: 90-seat Northern Ireland Assembly. Powers include control of education, health, justice and agriculture. It has no tax-varying powers.
– BREXIT VOTE: Remain 56 per cent, Leave 44 per cent
– 2015 UK ELECTION: 18 MPs – Democratic Unionist 8, Sinn Fein 4, Social Democratic and Labour 3, Ulster Unionist 2, Independent 1

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