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The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, more commonly known as the United Kingdom or the UK, is a sovereign state located off the northwestern coast of continental Europe. It spans the whole of the island of Great Britain and the north-east part of the island of Ireland (although the whole of Ireland was part of the United Kingdom between 1801 and 1922).

The United Kingdom is a unitary state consisting of four countries: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Country Population (2011)
England 53.0 million
Scotland 5.3 million
Wales 3.1 million
Northern Ireland 1.3 million

It is governed by a parliamentary system with its seat of government in London, England, but with three devolved national administrations in Belfast, Northern Ireland; Cardiff, Wales and Edinburgh, Scotland. England does not currently have its own national administration.

The United Kingdom is a member of the European Union and the United Nations. The individual countries have no representation in these organisations.

The Isle of Man and the Channel Islands, of Guernsey and Jersey, are not part of the United Kingdom, but are British Crown Dependencies.


For genealogy purposes, see the individual countries:

Wiki articles describing online collections are found at:

Web Sites

  • UKBMD.org.uk - an extensive gateway to numerous online databases for countries and counties throughout the United Kingdom of Great Britain (many cost-free)
  • www.geograph.org.uk - a project which aims to collect geographically representative photographs and information for every square kilometre of Great Britain and Ireland
  • www.deceasedonline.com - The central database for UK burials and cremations

Hands on keyboard.png Genealogy courses: Learn how to research from an expert in UK courses.



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  • This page was last modified on 1 February 2016, at 06:28.
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