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United Kingdom Geography Profile 2017

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LocationWestern Europe, islands - including the northern one-sixth of the island of Ireland - between the North Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea; northwest of France
Geographic coordinates54 00 N, 2 00 W
Map referencesEurope
Areatotal: 243,610 sq km
land: 241,930 sq km
water: 1,680 sq km
note: includes Rockall and Shetland Islands
Area - comparativetwice the size of Pennsylvania; slightly smaller than Oregon
Land boundariestotal: 443 km
border countries (1): Ireland 443 km
Coastline12,429 km
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: as defined in continental shelf orders or in accordance with agreed upon boundaries
Climatetemperate; moderated by prevailing southwest winds over the North Atlantic Current; more than one-half of the days are overcast
Terrainmostly rugged hills and low mountains; level to rolling plains in east and southeast
Elevation extremesmean elevation: 162 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: The Fens -4 m
highest point: Ben Nevis 1,343 m
Natural resourcescoal, petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, lead, zinc, gold, tin, limestone, salt, clay, chalk, gypsum, potash, silica sand, slate, arable land
Land useagricultural land: 71%
arable land 25.1%; permanent crops 0.2%; permanent pasture 45.7%
forest: 11.9%
other: 17.1% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land950 sq km (2012)
Population distributionthe core of the population lies in and around London, with significant clusters found in central Britain around Manchester and Liverpool, in the Scotish lowlands between Endinburgh and Glasgow, southern Wales in and around Cardiff, and far eastern Northern Ireland centered on Belfast
Natural hazardswinter windstorms; floods
Environment - current issuescontinues to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; by 2005 the government reduced the amount of industrial and commercial waste disposed of in landfill sites to 85% of 1998 levels and recycled or composted at least 25% of household waste, increasing to 33% by 2015
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - notelies near vital North Atlantic sea lanes; only 35 km from France and linked by tunnel under the English Channel (the Channel Tunnel or Chunnel); because of heavily indented coastline, no location is more than 125 km from tidal waters

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on July 9, 2017

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