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Demographics of the United Kingdom

In mid-2000, the United Kingdom's population was estimated at more than 59.8 million-- the second-largest in the European Union and the 20th-largest in the world. Its overall population density is one of the highest in the world. Almost one-third of the population lives in England's prosperous and fertile southeast and is predominantly urban and suburban--with about 7.2 million in the capital of London. The United Kingdom's high literacy rate (99%) is attributable to universal public education introduced for the primary level in 1870 and secondary level in 1900. Education is mandatory from ages 5 through 16. About one-fifth of British students go on to post-secondary education. The Church of England and the Church of Scotland are the official churches in their respective parts of the country, but most religions found in the world are represented in the United Kingdom.

A group of islands close to continental Europe, the British Isles have been subject to many invasions and migrations, especially from Scandinavia and the continent, including Roman occupation for several centuries. Contemporary Britons are descended mainly from the varied ethnic stocks that settled there before the 11th century. The pre-Celtic, Celtic, Roman, Anglo-Saxon, and Norse influences were blended in Britain under the Normans, Scandinavian Vikings who had lived in Northern France. Although Celtic languages persist in Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland, the predominant language is English, which is primarily a blend of Anglo-Saxon and Norman French.

59,511,464 (July 2000 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 19% (male 5,816,313; female 5,519,479)
15-64 years: 65% (male 19,622,152; female 19,228,938)
65 years and over: 16% (male 3,864,612; female 5,459,970) (2000 est.)

Population growth rate:
0.25% (2000 est.)

Birth rate:
11.76 births/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Death rate:
10.38 deaths/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Net migration rate:
1.07 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.71 male(s)/female
total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2000 est.)

Infant mortality rate:
5.63 deaths/1,000 live births (2000 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 77.66 years
male: 74.97 years
female: 80.49 years (2000 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.74 children born/woman (2000 est.)

noun: Briton(s), British (collective plural)
adjective: British

Ethnic groups:


English, Welsh (about 26% of the population of Wales), Scottish form of Gaelic (about 60,000 in Scotland)

definition: age 15 and over has completed five or more years of schooling
total population: 99% (1978 est.)
male: NA%
female: NA%

See also