KNOWLEDGE BASE Facts About The United Kingdom

The information on this page was current at the time it was published. Regulations, trends, statistics, and other information are constantly changing. While we strive to update our Knowledge Base, we strongly suggest you use these pages as a general guide and be sure to verify any regulations, statistics, guidelines, or other information that are important to your efforts.


Map of the United Kingdom


January 31st, 2020 Update: On March 29, 2017, UK Prime Minister Theresa May triggered Article 50, which formally started the process whereby the UK would leave the European Union. The original plan was for the UK to leave the EU on March 29th, 2019 but on October 28th, 2019, the EU agreed to push the extension deadline to January 31, 2020. 

The council agreed to conclude the withdrawal, and it  took effect at midnight on January 31st, 2020. After this date, the UK is no  longer an EU member state. This will obviously shift how business is done in the UK. We will keep updating this page to reflect these changes. 

Learn more about Brexit here. 


Facts About The United Kingdom


To help get you started, we've gathered some key information on the UK. These UK stats are designed to give you a quick summary for what you'll learn more about throughout the Globig site. If there's something missing, use Ask Globig to send us your request. We'll let you know when we've added the UK information you'd like to see. 


Conventional long form name: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Note - The United Kingdom includes England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.  Great Britain includes England, Scotland, and Wales)
Conventional short form name: United Kingdom
Dependent areas: Anguilla, Bermuda, British Indian Ocean Territory, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, Pitcairn Islands, Saint Helena, Ascension, and Tristan da Cunha, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands
Official Language: English
People of the UK:
Noun: Britons or British
Adjective: British
Abbreviation: UK
Internet Country Code: .uk
Capital of the UK: London
Capital of Northern Ireland: Belfast
Capital of Scotland: Edinburgh
Capital of Wales: Cardiff
European Union (EU): A member of the EU, UK citizens voted on 23 June, 2016, to leave the EU. This exit will not be completed for at least 2 years. The UK does not use the Euro for its currency
Total Population: 64.6 Million
Urban Population: 82.6% source: World Factbook
Major Urban Areas: LONDON (capital) 10.313 million; Manchester 2.646 million; Birmingham 2.515 million; Glasgow 1.223 million; Southampton/Portsmouth 882,000; Liverpool 870,000 (2015) source: World Factbook
Currency: The British currency is the pound sterling.  The sign for the pound is £ and GBP stands for Great British Pound. They do not use the Euro, though some of the larger shops will accept Euro.  Since 1971, the pound has been divided into 100 pence, often called “pee”. The singular of pence is penny and the symbol is “p”.
Thousands Separator (comma) and Decimal Mark (dot): 1,234,567.89
Clock:  People in the UK use both the 12-hour and the 24-hour clocks. Timetables, such as for for planes and trains, generally use the 24-hour clock, in that after 12:00 noon, the times continue to go up to 24 hours. For example, 3:00 p.m. would be 15:00. In general conversation, the 12-hour clock is used. 
Dates: Day Month Year, with no punctuation.  1 February 2015 or 1/2/2015 or 1st February 2015 or Sunday 1 February 2015
Time Zone: There is one time zone in the UK. The local time in the summer is referred to as BST British Summer Time. In winter it's referred to as GMT (Greenwich Mean Time), and is based upon the UTC (Coordinated Universal Time) time at Greenwich, England
Daylight Saving Time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
note: applies to the United Kingdom proper, not to its overseas dependencies or territories
Phone Number Country Code: 44
Landline Phone Number Format: Area code (2-5) digits + local number (total of 10 digits)
Cell Phone Number Format: 10 digits
Calling to the UK from the US or Canada: 011 44 XX XXXX XXXX
Standard Work Week: 48 hours
Annual Paid Leave: Most people who work 5-day weeks are entitled to 28 days, or 5.6 weeks of paid leave per year
Voting Age: 18 years old in England, Wales and Northern Ireland; 16 years old in Scotland
Drinking Age: 18, though children 16 and 17 can consume alcohol purchased by their parents at licensed premises while together
Smoking: Smoking in all indoor public places (including train station platforms) is illegal in the UK. Only smoke when outside or in a designated smoking area. If you do light up inside a public place - and this includes pubs - you will be quickly thrown out and may be fined or arrested


Globig Resources


UK Office for National Statistics site that creates visuals for their statistics

Population Estimates

For extensive facts and figures on the UK

To view and compare a wide range of economic indicators such as GDP, inflation, health spending, and many more across countries

KNOWLEDGE BASE Facts About The United Kingdom