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Great Britain

Introduction

Great Britain, officially United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, constitutional monarchy (2011 pop. 63,181,775), 94,226 sq mi (244,044 sq km), on the British Isles, off W Europe. The country is often referred to simply as Britain. Technically, Great Britain comprises England (1991 pop. 46,382,050), 50,334 sq mi (130,365 sq km); Wales (1991 pop. 2,798,200), 8,016 sq mi (20,761 sq km); and Scotland (1991 pop. 4,957,000), 30,414 sq mi (78,772 sq km) on the island of Great Britain, while the United Kingdom includes Great Britain as well as Northern Ireland (1991 pop. 1,577,836), 5,462 sq mi (14,146 sq km) on the island of Ireland. The Isle of Man (1991 pop. 69,788), 227 sq mi (588 sq km), in the Irish Sea and the Channel Islands (1991 pop. 145,821), 75 sq mi (195 sq km), in the English Channel, are dependencies of the crown, with their own systems of government. For physical geography and local administrative divisions, see England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland, Northern. The capital of Great Britain and its largest city is London.

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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: British and Irish Political Geography

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