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United Kingdom vs. United States

Introduction

United KingdomUnited States
BackgroundThe United Kingdom has historically played a leading role in developing parliamentary democracy and in advancing literature and science. At its zenith in the 19th century, the British Empire stretched over one-fourth of the earth's surface. The first half of the 20th century saw the UK's strength seriously depleted in two world wars and the Irish Republic's withdrawal from the union. The second half witnessed the dismantling of the Empire and the UK rebuilding itself into a modern and prosperous European nation. As one of five permanent members of the UN Security Council and a founding member of NATO and the Commonwealth, the UK pursues a global approach to foreign policy. The Scottish Parliament, the National Assembly for Wales, and the Northern Ireland Assembly were established in 1998.
The UK has been an active member of the EU since its accession in 1973, although it chose to remain outside the Economic and Monetary Union. However, motivated in part by frustration at a remote bureaucracy in Brussels and massive migration into the country, UK citizens on 23 June 2016 narrowly voted to leave the EU. The UK and the EU are currently negotiating the terms of the UK's withdrawal and will discuss a framework for their future relationship ahead of the UK's scheduled departure from the bloc on 29 March 2019.
Britain's American colonies broke with the mother country in 1776 and were recognized as the new nation of the United States of America following the Treaty of Paris in 1783. During the 19th and 20th centuries, 37 new states were added to the original 13 as the nation expanded across the North American continent and acquired a number of overseas possessions. The two most traumatic experiences in the nation's history were the Civil War (1861-65), in which a northern Union of states defeated a secessionist Confederacy of 11 southern slave states, and the Great Depression of the 1930s, an economic downturn during which about a quarter of the labor force lost its jobs. Buoyed by victories in World Wars I and II and the end of the Cold War in 1991, the US remains the world's most powerful nation state. Since the end of World War II, the economy has achieved relatively steady growth, low unemployment and inflation, and rapid advances in technology.

Geography

United KingdomUnited States
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
North America, bordering both the North Atlantic Ocean and the North Pacific Ocean, between Canada and Mexico
Geographic coordinates54 00 N, 2 00 W
38 00 N, 97 00 W
Map referencesEurope
North America
Areatotal: 243,610 sq km
land: 241,930 sq km
water: 1,680 sq km
note: includes Rockall and Shetland Islands
total: 9,833,517 sq km
land: 9,147,593 sq km
water: 685,924 sq km
note: includes only the 50 states and District of Columbia, no overseas territories (2010)
Area - comparativetwice the size of Pennsylvania; slightly smaller than Oregon
about half the size of Russia; about three-tenths the size of Africa; about half the size of South America (or slightly larger than Brazil); slightly larger than China; more than twice the size of the European Union
Land boundariestotal: 443 km
border countries (1): Ireland 443 km
total: 12,048 km
border countries (2): Canada 8,893 km (including 2,477 km with Alaska), Mexico 3,155 km
note: US Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba is leased by the US and is part of Cuba; the base boundary is 28.5 km
Coastline12,429 km
19,924 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
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: not specified
Climatetemperate; moderated by prevailing southwest winds over the North Atlantic Current; more than one-half of the days are overcast
mostly temperate, but tropical in Hawaii and Florida, arctic in Alaska, semiarid in the great plains west of the Mississippi River, and arid in the Great Basin of the southwest; low winter temperatures in the northwest are ameliorated occasionally in January and February by warm chinook winds from the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains
Terrainmostly rugged hills and low mountains; level to rolling plains in east and southeast
vast central plain, mountains in west, hills and low mountains in east; rugged mountains and broad river valleys in Alaska; rugged, volcanic topography in Hawaii
Elevation extremesmean elevation: 162 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: The Fens -4 m
highest point: Ben Nevis 1,343 m
mean elevation: 760 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Death Valley -86 m (lowest point in North America)
highest point: Denali (Mount McKinley) 6,190 m (highest point in North America)
note: the peak of Mauna Kea (4,205 m above sea level) on the island of Hawaii rises about 10,200 m above the Pacific Ocean floor; by this measurement, it is the world's tallest mountain - higher than Mount Everest (8,850 m), which is recognized as the tallest mountain above sea level
Natural resourcescoal, petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, lead, zinc, gold, tin, limestone, salt, clay, chalk, gypsum, potash, silica sand, slate, arable land
coal, copper, lead, molybdenum, phosphates, rare earth elements, uranium, bauxite, gold, iron, mercury, nickel, potash, silver, tungsten, zinc, petroleum, natural gas, timber, arable land
note: the US has the world's largest coal reserves with 491 billion short tons accounting for 27% of the world's total
Land useagricultural land: 71%
arable land 25.1%; permanent crops 0.2%; permanent pasture 45.7%
forest: 11.9%
other: 17.1% (2011 est.)
agricultural land: 44.5%
arable land 16.8%; permanent crops 0.3%; permanent pasture 27.4%
forest: 33.3%
other: 22.2% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land950 sq km (2012)
264,000 sq km (2012)
Natural hazardswinter windstorms; floods
tsunamis; volcanoes; earthquake activity around Pacific Basin; hurricanes along the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts; tornadoes in the Midwest and Southeast; mud slides in California; forest fires in the west; flooding; permafrost in northern Alaska, a major impediment to development
volcanism: volcanic activity in the Hawaiian Islands, Western Alaska, the Pacific Northwest, and in the Northern Mariana Islands; both Mauna Loa (4,170 m) in Hawaii and Mount Rainier (4,392 m) in Washington have been deemed Decade Volcanoes by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior, worthy of study due to their explosive history and close proximity to human populations; Pavlof (2,519 m) is the most active volcano in Alaska's Aleutian Arc and poses a significant threat to air travel since the area constitutes a major flight path between North America and East Asia; St. Helens (2,549 m), famous for the devastating 1980 eruption, remains active today; numerous other historically active volcanoes exist, mostly concentrated in the Aleutian arc and Hawaii; they include: in Alaska: Aniakchak, Augustine, Chiginagak, Fourpeaked, Iliamna, Katmai, Kupreanof, Martin, Novarupta, Redoubt, Spurr, Wrangell; in Hawaii: Trident, Ugashik-Peulik, Ukinrek Maars, Veniaminof; in the Northern Mariana Islands: Anatahan; and in the Pacific Northwest: Mount Baker, Mount Hood
Environment - current issuescontinues to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but air pollution remains a concern, particularly in the London region; soil pollution from pesticides and heavy metals; decline in marine and coastal habitats brought on by pressures from housing, tourism, and industry
large emitter of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels; air pollution resulting in acid rain in both the US and Canada; water pollution from runoff of pesticides and fertilizers; limited natural freshwater resources in much of the western part of the country require careful management; desertification
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
party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Biodiversity, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Hazardous Wastes
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
world's third-largest country by size (after Russia and Canada) and by population (after China and India); Denali (Mt. McKinley) is the highest point in North America and Death Valley the lowest point on the continent
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
large urban clusters are spread throughout the eastern half of the US (particularly the Great Lakes area, northeast, east, and southeast) and the western tier states; mountainous areas, principally the Rocky Mountains and Appalachian chain, deserts in the southwest, the dense boreal forests in the extreme north, and the central prarie states are less densely populated; Alaska's population is concentrated along its southern coast - with particular emphasis on the city of Anchorage - and Hawaii's is centered on the island of Oahu

Demographics

United KingdomUnited States
Population64,769,452 (July 2017 est.)
326,625,791 (July 2017 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 17.53% (male 5,819,363/female 5,532,123)
15-24 years: 11.9% (male 3,938,643/female 3,770,511)
25-54 years: 40.55% (male 13,387,903/female 12,873,090)
55-64 years: 11.98% (male 3,843,268/female 3,918,244)
65 years and over: 18.04% (male 5,246,475/female 6,439,832) (2017 est.)
0-14 years: 18.73% (male 31,255,995/female 29,919,938)
15-24 years: 13.27% (male 22,213,952/female 21,137,826)
25-54 years: 39.45% (male 64,528,673/female 64,334,499)
55-64 years: 12.91% (male 20,357,880/female 21,821,976)
65 years and over: 15.63% (male 22,678,235/female 28,376,817) (2017 est.)
Median agetotal: 40.5 years
male: 39.3 years
female: 41.7 years (2017 est.)
total: 38.1 years
male: 36.8 years
female: 39.4 years (2017 est.)
Population growth rate0.52% (2017 est.)
0.81% (2017 est.)
Birth rate12.1 births/1,000 population (2017 est.)
12.5 births/1,000 population (2017 est.)
Death rate9.4 deaths/1,000 population (2017 est.)
8.2 deaths/1,000 population (2017 est.)
Net migration rate2.5 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)
3.9 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.81 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
at birth: NA
0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.93 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.79 male(s)/female
total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 4.3 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 4.7 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 3.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2017 est.)
total: 5.8 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 6.3 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 5.3 deaths/1,000 live births (2017 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 80.8 years
male: 78.6 years
female: 83.1 years (2017 est.)
total population: 80 years
male: 77.7 years
female: 82.2 years (2017 est.)
Total fertility rate1.88 children born/woman (2017 est.)
1.87 children born/woman (2017 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rateNA
NA
Nationalitynoun: Briton(s), British (collective plural)
adjective: British
noun: American(s)
adjective: American
Ethnic groupswhite 87.2%, black/African/Caribbean/black British 3%, Asian/Asian British: Indian 2.3%, Asian/Asian British: Pakistani 1.9%, mixed 2%, other 3.7% (2011 est.)
white 72.4%, black 12.6%, Asian 4.8%, Amerindian and Alaska native 0.9%, native Hawaiian and other Pacific islander 0.2%, other 6.2%, two or more races 2.9% (2010 estimate)
note: a separate listing for Hispanic is not included because the US Census Bureau considers Hispanic to mean persons of Spanish/Hispanic/Latino origin including those of Mexican, Cuban, Puerto Rican, Dominican Republic, Spanish, and Central or South American origin living in the US who may be of any race or ethnic group (white, black, Asian, etc.); an estimated 16.3% of the total US population is Hispanic as of 2010
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDSNA
NA
ReligionsChristian (includes Anglican, Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, Methodist) 59.5%, Muslim 4.4%, Hindu 1.3%, other 2%, unspecified 7.2%, none 25.7% (2011 est.)
Protestant 46.5%, Roman Catholic 20.8%, Jewish 1.9%, Mormon 1.6%, other Christian 0.9%, Muslim 0.9%, Jehovah's Witness 0.8%, Buddhist 0.7%, Hindu 0.7%, other 1.8%, unaffiliated 22.8%, don't know/refused 0.6% (2014 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deathsNA
NA
LanguagesEnglish
note: the following are recognized regional languages: Scots (about 30% of the population of Scotland), Scottish Gaelic (about 60,000 in Scotland), Welsh (about 20% of the population of Wales), Irish (about 10% of the population of Northern Ireland), Cornish (some 2,000 to 3,000 in Cornwall) (2012 est.)
English 79%, Spanish 13%, other Indo-European 3.7%, Asian and Pacific island 3.4%, other 1% (2015 est.)
note: data represent the language spoken at home; the US has no official national language, but English has acquired official status in 32 of the 50 states; Hawaiian is an official language in the state of Hawaii, and 20 indigenous languages are official in Alaska
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)total: 18 years
male: 17 years
female: 18 years (2014)
total: 17 years
male: 16 years
female: 17 years (2014)
Education expenditures5.8% of GDP (2014)
4.9% of GDP (2013)
Urbanizationurban population: 83.1% of total population (2017)
rate of urbanization: 0.82% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
urban population: 82% of total population (2017)
rate of urbanization: 0.99% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Drinking water sourceimproved:
urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population
unimproved:
urban: 0% of population
rural: 0% of population
total: 0% of population (2015 est.)
improved:
urban: 99.4% of population
rural: 98.2% of population
total: 99.2% of population
unimproved:
urban: 0.6% of population
rural: 1.8% of population
total: 0.8% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility accessimproved:
urban: 99.1% of population
rural: 99.6% of population
total: 99.2% of population
unimproved:
urban: 0.9% of population
rural: 0.4% of population
total: 0.8% of population (2015 est.)
improved:
urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population
unimproved:
urban: 0% of population
rural: 0% of population
total: 0% of population (2015 est.)
Major cities - populationLONDON (capital) 10.313 million; Manchester 2.646 million; Birmingham 2.515 million; Glasgow 1.223 million; Southampton/Portsmouth 882,000; Liverpool 870,000 (2015)
New York-Newark 18.593 million; Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana 12.31 million; Chicago 8.745 million; Miami 5.817 million; Dallas-Fort Worth 5.703 million; WASHINGTON, D.C. (capital) 4.955 million (2015)
Maternal mortality rate9 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
14 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Health expenditures9.1% of GDP (2014)
17.1% of GDP (2014)
Physicians density2.81 physicians/1,000 population (2015)
2.55 physicians/1,000 population (2013)
Hospital bed density2.9 beds/1,000 population (2011)
2.9 beds/1,000 population (2011)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate27.8% (2016)
36.2% (2016)
Mother's mean age at first birth28.5 years
note: data represent England and Wales only (2014 est.)
26.4 years (2015 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate84%
note: percent of women aged 16-49 (2008/09)
74.1%
note: percent of women aged 15-44 (2011/13)
Dependency ratiostotal dependency ratio: 55.5
youth dependency ratio: 27.4
elderly dependency ratio: 28.2
potential support ratio: 3.5 (2015 est.)
total dependency ratio: 51.2
youth dependency ratio: 29
elderly dependency ratio: 22.1
potential support ratio: 4.5 (2015 est.)

Government

United KingdomUnited States
Country name"conventional long form: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; note - the island of Great Britain includes England, Scotland, and Wales
conventional short form: United Kingdom
abbreviation: UK
etymology: self-descriptive country name; the designation ""Great Britain,"" in the sense of ""Larger Britain,"" dates back to medieval times and was used to distinguish the island from ""Little Britain,"" or Brittany in modern France; the name Ireland derives from the Gaelic ""Eriu,"" the matron goddess of Ireland (goddess of the land)
"
conventional long form: United States of America
conventional short form: United States
abbreviation: US or USA
etymology: the name America is derived from that of Amerigo VESPUCCI (1454-1512) - Italian explorer, navigator, and cartographer - using the Latin form of his name, Americus, feminized to America
Government typeparliamentary constitutional monarchy; a Commonwealth realm
constitutional federal republic
Capitalname: London
geographic coordinates: 51 30 N, 0 05 W
time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
note: applies to the United Kingdom proper, not to its Crown dependencies or overseas territories
name: Washington, DC
geographic coordinates: 38 53 N, 77 02 W
time difference: UTC-5 (during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins second Sunday in March; ends first Sunday in November
note: the 50 United States cover six time zones
Administrative divisionsEngland: 27 two-tier counties, 32 London boroughs and 1 City of London or Greater London, 36 metropolitan districts, 56 unitary authorities (including 4 single-tier counties*)
two-tier counties: Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Cumbria, Derbyshire, Devon, Dorset, East Sussex, Essex, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Norfolk, North Yorkshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Somerset, Staffordshire, Suffolk, Surrey, Warwickshire, West Sussex, Worcestershire
London boroughs and City of London or Greater London: Barking and Dagenham, Barnet, Bexley, Brent, Bromley, Camden, Croydon, Ealing, Enfield, Greenwich, Hackney, Hammersmith and Fulham, Haringey, Harrow, Havering, Hillingdon, Hounslow, Islington, Kensington and Chelsea, Kingston upon Thames, Lambeth, Lewisham, City of London, Merton, Newham, Redbridge, Richmond upon Thames, Southwark, Sutton, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest, Wandsworth, Westminster
metropolitan districts: Barnsley, Birmingham, Bolton, Bradford, Bury, Calderdale, Coventry, Doncaster, Dudley, Gateshead, Kirklees, Knowlsey, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne, North Tyneside, Oldham, Rochdale, Rotherham, Salford, Sandwell, Sefton, Sheffield, Solihull, South Tyneside, St. Helens, Stockport, Sunderland, Tameside, Trafford, Wakefield, Walsall, Wigan, Wirral, Wolverhampton
unitary authorities: Bath and North East Somerset, Blackburn with Darwen, Bedford, Blackpool, Bournemouth, Bracknell Forest, Brighton and Hove, City of Bristol, Central Bedfordshire, Cheshire East, Cheshire West and Chester, Cornwall, Darlington, Derby, Durham County*, East Riding of Yorkshire, Halton, Hartlepool, Herefordshire*, Isle of Wight*, Isles of Scilly, City of Kingston upon Hull, Leicester, Luton, Medway, Middlesbrough, Milton Keynes, North East Lincolnshire, North Lincolnshire, North Somerset, Northumberland*, Nottingham, Peterborough, Plymouth, Poole, Portsmouth, Reading, Redcar and Cleveland, Rutland, Shropshire, Slough, South Gloucestershire, Southampton, Southend-on-Sea, Stockton-on-Tees, Stoke-on-Trent, Swindon, Telford and Wrekin, Thurrock, Torbay, Warrington, West Berkshire, Wiltshire, Windsor and Maidenhead, Wokingham, York
Northern Ireland: 5 borough councils, 4 district councils, 2 city councils
borough councils: Antrim and Newtownabbey; Ards and North Down; Armagh, Banbridge, and Craigavon; Causeway Coast and Glens; Mid and East Antrim
district councils: Derry and Strabane; Fermanagh and Omagh; Mid Ulster; Newry, Murne, and Down
city councils: Belfast; Lisburn and Castlereagh
Scotland: 32 council areas
council areas: Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire, Angus, Argyll and Bute, Clackmannanshire, Dumfries and Galloway, Dundee City, East Ayrshire, East Dunbartonshire, East Lothian, East Renfrewshire, City of Edinburgh, Eilean Siar (Western Isles), Falkirk, Fife, Glasgow City, Highland, Inverclyde, Midlothian, Moray, North Ayrshire, North Lanarkshire, Orkney Islands, Perth and Kinross, Renfrewshire, Shetland Islands, South Ayrshire, South Lanarkshire, Stirling, The Scottish Borders, West Dunbartonshire, West Lothian
Wales: 22 unitary authorities
unitary authorities: Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Caerphilly, Cardiff, Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire, Gwynedd, Isle of Anglesey, Merthyr Tydfil, Monmouthshire, Neath Port Talbot, Newport, Pembrokeshire, Powys, Rhondda Cynon Taff, Swansea, The Vale of Glamorgan, Torfaen, Wrexham
50 states and 1 district*; Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia*, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
Dependent areasAnguilla, 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
American Samoa, Baker Island, Guam, Howland Island, Jarvis Island, Johnston Atoll, Kingman Reef, Midway Islands, Navassa Island, Northern Mariana Islands, Palmyra Atoll, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Wake Island
note: from 18 July 1947 until 1 October 1994, the US administered the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands; it entered into a political relationship with all four political entities: the Northern Mariana Islands is a commonwealth in political union with the US (effective 3 November 1986); the Republic of the Marshall Islands signed a Compact of Free Association with the US (effective 21 October 1986); the Federated States of Micronesia signed a Compact of Free Association with the US (effective 3 November 1986); Palau concluded a Compact of Free Association with the US (effective 1 October 1994)
Independence12 April 1927 (Royal and Parliamentary Titles Act establishes current name of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland); notable earlier dates: 927 (minor English kingdoms united); 3 March 1284 (enactment of the Statute of Rhuddlan uniting England and Wales); 1536 (Act of Union formally incorporates England and Wales); 1 May 1707 (Acts of Union formally unite England, Scotland, and Wales as Great Britain); 1 January 1801 (Acts of Union formally unite Great Britain and Ireland as the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland); 6 December 1921 (Anglo-Irish Treaty formalizes partition of Ireland; six counties remain part of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland)
4 July 1776 (declared independence from Great Britain); 3 September 1783 (recognized by Great Britain)
National holidaythe UK does not celebrate one particular national holiday
Independence Day, 4 July (1776)
Constitutionhistory: unwritten; partly statutes, partly common law and practice
amendments: proposed as a “bill” for an “Act of Parliament” by the government, by the House of Commons, or by the House of Lords; passage requires agreement by both houses and by the monarch (Royal Assent); note - recent additions include the Human Rights Act of 1998, the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010, the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act 2011, the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011, and the House of Lords (Expulsion and Suspension) Act 2015 (2016)
previous 1781 (Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union); latest drafted July - September 1787, submitted to the Congress of the Confederation 20 September 1787, submitted for states' ratification 28 September 1787, ratification completed by nine states 21 June 1788, effective 4 March 1789; amended many times, last in 1992 (2016)
Legal systemcommon law system; has nonbinding judicial review of Acts of Parliament under the Human Rights Act of 1998
common law system based on English common law at the federal level; state legal systems based on common law except Louisiana, which is based on Napoleonic civil code; judicial review of legislative acts
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
18 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); Heir Apparent Prince CHARLES, son of the queen (born 14 November 1948)
head of government: Prime Minister Theresa MAY (Conservative) (since 13 July 2016)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the prime minister
elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or majority coalition usually becomes the prime minister; election last held on 8 June 2017 (next to be held by 5 May 2022)
chief of state: President Donald J. TRUMP (since 20 January 2017); Vice President Michael R. PENCE (since 20 January 2017); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Donald J. TRUMP (since 20 January 2017); Vice President Michael R. PENCE (since 20 January 2017)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president, approved by the Senate
elections/appointments: president and vice president indirectly elected on the same ballot by the Electoral College of 'electors' chosen from each state; president and vice president serve a 4-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 8 November 2016 (next to be held on 10 November 2020)
election results: Donald J. TRUMP elected president; electoral vote - Donald J. TRUMP (Republican Party) 304, Hillary D. CLINTON (Democratic Party) 227, other 7; percent of direct popular vote - Hillary D. CLINTON 48.2%, Donald J. TRUMP 46.1%, other 5.7%
Legislative branchdescription: bicameral Parliament consists of the House of Lords (membership not fixed; as of December 2016, 809 lords were eligible to participate in the work of the House of Lords - 692 life peers, 91 hereditary peers, and 26 clergy; members are appointed by the monarch on the advice of the prime minister and non-party political members recommended by the House of Lords Appointments Commission), and the House of Commons (650 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority popular vote to serve 5-year terms unless the House is dissolved earlier)
elections: House of Lords - no elections; note - in 1999, as provided by the House of Lords Act, elections were held in the House of Lords to determine the 92 hereditary peers who would remain; elections held only as vacancies in the hereditary peerage arise); House of Commons - last held on 8 June 2017 (next to be held by 5 May 2022)
election results: House of Commons - percent of vote by party - Conservative 42.3%, Labor 40.0%, SNP 43.0%, Lib Dems 7.4%, DUP 0.9%, Sinn Fein 0.7%, Plaid Cymru 0.5%,other 0.6%; seats by party - Conservative 317, Labor 262, SNP 35, Lib Dems 12, DUP 10, Sinn Fein 7, Plaid Cymru 4, other 3
description: bicameral Congress consists of the Senate (100 seats; 2 members directly elected in each of the 50 state constituencies by simple majority vote except in Georgia and Louisiana which require an absolute majority vote with a second round if needed; members serve 6-year terms with one-third of membership renewed every 2 years) and the House of Representatives (435 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote except in Georgia which requires an absolute majority vote with a second round if needed; members serve 2-year terms)
elections: Senate - last held on 8 November 2016 (next to be held on 6 November 2018); House of Representatives - last held on 8 November 2016 (next to be held on 6 November 2018)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Republican Party 24, Democratic Party 10; House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Republican Party 241, Democratic Party 194,
note: in addition to the regular members of the House of Representatives there are 6 non-voting delegates elected from the District of Columbia and the US territories of American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Virgin Islands; these are single seat constituencies directly elected by simple majority vote to serve a 2-year term (except for the resident commissioner of Puerto Rico who serves a 4-year term); the delegate can vote when serving on a committee and when the House meets as the Committee of the Whole House, but not when legislation is submitted for a “full floor” House vote; election of delegates last held on 8 November 2016 (next to be held on 6 November 2018)
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of 12 justices including the court president and deputy president); note - the Supreme Court was established by the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 and implemented in October 2009, replacing the Appellate Committee of the House of Lords as the highest court in the United Kingdom
judge selection and term of office: judge candidates selected by an independent committee of several judicial commissions, followed by their recommendations to the prime minister, and appointed by the monarch; justices appointed for life
subordinate courts: England and Wales - Court of Appeal (civil and criminal divisions); High Court; Crown Court; County Courts; Magistrates' Courts; Scotland - Court of Sessions; Sheriff Courts; High Court of Justiciary; tribunals; Northern Ireland - Court of Appeal in Northern Ireland; High Court; county courts; magistrates' courts; specialized tribunals
highest court(s): US Supreme Court (consists of 9 justices - the chief justice and 8 associate justices)
judge selection and term of office: president nominates and, with the advice and consent of the Senate, appoints Supreme Court justices; justices appointed for life
subordinate courts: Courts of Appeal (includes the US Court of Appeal for the Federal District and 12 regional appeals courts); 94 federal district courts in 50 states and territories
note: the US court system consists of the federal court system and the state court systems; although each court system is responsible for hearing certain types of cases, neither is completely independent of the other, and the systems often interact
Political parties and leadersAlliance Party (Northern Ireland) [Naomi LONG]
Conservative and Unionist Party [Theresa MAY]
Democratic Unionist Party or DUP (Northern Ireland) [Arlene FOSTER]
Green Party of England and Wales or Greens [Caroline LUCAS and Jonathan BARTLEY]
Labor (Labour) Party [Jeremy CORBYN]
Liberal Democrats (Lib Dems) [Sir Vince CABLE]
Party of Wales (Plaid Cymru) [Leanne WOOD]
Scottish National Party or SNP [Nicola STURGEON]
Sinn Fein (Northern Ireland) [Gerry ADAMS]
Social Democratic and Labor Party or SDLP (Northern Ireland) [Colum EASTWOOD]
Ulster Unionist Party or UUP (Northern Ireland) [Robin SWANN]
UK Independence Party or UKIP [Henry BOLTON]
Democratic Party [Tom PEREZ]
Green Party [collective leadership]
Libertarian Party [Nicholas SARWARK]
Republican Party [Ronna Romney MCDANIEL]
Political pressure groups and leadersCampaign for Nuclear Disarmament
Confederation of British Industry
National Farmers' Union
Trades Union Congress
environmentalists; business groups; labor unions; churches; ethnic groups; political action committees or PACs; health groups; education groups; civic groups; youth groups; transportation groups; agricultural groups; veterans groups; women's groups; reform lobbies
International organization participationADB (nonregional member), AfDB (nonregional member), Arctic Council (observer), Australia Group, BIS, C, CBSS (observer), CD, CDB, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECB, EIB, EITI (implementing country), ESA, EU, FAO, FATF, G-5, G-7, G-8, G-10, G-20, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD (partners), IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MINUSMA, MONUSCO, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Pacific Alliance (observer), Paris Club, PCA, PIF (partner), SELEC (observer), SICA (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNHCR, UNMISS, UNRWA, UNSC (permanent), UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
ADB (nonregional member), AfDB (nonregional member), ANZUS, APEC, Arctic Council, ARF, ASEAN (dialogue partner), Australia Group, BIS, BSEC (observer), CBSS (observer), CD, CE (observer), CERN (observer), CICA (observer), CP, EAPC, EAS, EBRD, EITI (implementing country), FAO, FATF, G-5, G-7, G-8, G-10, G-20, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD (partners), IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MINUSMA, MINUSTAH, MONUSCO, NAFTA, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS, OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Pacific Alliance (observer), Paris Club, PCA, PIF (partner), SAARC (observer), SELEC (observer), SICA (observer), SPC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNITAR, UNMIL, UNMISS, UNRWA, UNSC (permanent), UNTSO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
Flag descriptionblue field with the red cross of Saint George (patron saint of England) edged in white superimposed on the diagonal red cross of Saint Patrick (patron saint of Ireland), which is superimposed on the diagonal white cross of Saint Andrew (patron saint of Scotland); properly known as the Union Flag, but commonly called the Union Jack; the design and colors (especially the Blue Ensign) have been the basis for a number of other flags including other Commonwealth countries and their constituent states or provinces, and British overseas territories
13 equal horizontal stripes of red (top and bottom) alternating with white; there is a blue rectangle in the upper hoist-side corner bearing 50 small, white, five-pointed stars arranged in nine offset horizontal rows of six stars (top and bottom) alternating with rows of five stars; the 50 stars represent the 50 states, the 13 stripes represent the 13 original colonies; the blue stands for loyalty, devotion, truth, justice, and friendship; red symbolizes courage, zeal, and fervency, while white denotes purity and rectitude of conduct; commonly referred to by its nickname of Old Glory
note: the design and colors have been the basis for a number of other flags, including Chile, Liberia, Malaysia, and Puerto Rico
National anthem"name: ""God Save the Queen""
lyrics/music: unknown
note: in use since 1745; by tradition, the song serves as both the national and royal anthem of the UK; it is known as either ""God Save the Queen"" or ""God Save the King,"" depending on the gender of the reigning monarch; it also serves as the royal anthem of many Commonwealth nations
"
"name: ""The Star-Spangled Banner""
lyrics/music: Francis Scott KEY/John Stafford SMITH
note: adopted 1931; during the War of 1812, after witnessing the successful American defense of Fort McHenry in Baltimore following British naval bombardment, Francis Scott KEY wrote the lyrics to what would become the national anthem; the lyrics were set to the tune of ""The Anacreontic Song""; only the first verse is sung
"
International law organization participationaccepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
withdrew acceptance of compulsory ICJ jurisdiction in 2005; withdrew acceptance of ICCt jurisdiction in 2002
National symbol(s)lion (Britain in general); lion, Tudor rose, oak (England); lion, unicorn, thistle (Scotland); dragon, daffodil, leek (Wales); shamrock, flax (Northern Ireland); national colors: red, white, blue (Britain in general); red, white (England); blue, white (Scotland); red, white, green (Wales)
bald eagle; national colors: red, white, blue
Citizenshipcitizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of the United Kingdom
dual citizenship recognized: yes
residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years
citizenship by birth: yes
citizenship by descent: yes
dual citizenship recognized: no, but the US government acknowledges such situtations exist; US citizens are not encouraged to seek dual citizenship since it limits protection by the US
residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years

Economy

United KingdomUnited States
Economy - overviewThe UK, a leading trading power and financial center, is the third largest economy in Europe after Germany and France. Agriculture is intensive, highly mechanized, and efficient by European standards, producing about 60% of food needs with less than 2% of the labor force. The UK has large coal, natural gas, and oil resources, but its oil and natural gas reserves are declining; the UK has been a net importer of energy since 2005. Services, particularly banking, insurance, and business services, are key drivers of British GDP growth. Manufacturing, meanwhile, has declined in importance but still accounts for about 10% of economic output.

In 2008, the global financial crisis hit the economy particularly hard, due to the importance of its financial sector. Falling home prices, high consumer debt, and the global economic slowdown compounded the UK’s economic problems, pushing the economy into recession in the latter half of 2008 and prompting the then BROWN (Labour) government to implement a number of measures to stimulate the economy and stabilize the financial markets. Facing burgeoning public deficits and debt levels, in 2010 the then CAMERON-led coalition government (between Conservatives and Liberal Democrats) initiated an austerity program, which has continued under the Conservative government. However, the deficit still remains one of the highest in the G7, standing at 3.6% of GDP as of 2017, and the UK has pledged to lower its corporation tax from 20% to 17% by 2020. The UK had a debt burden of 90.4% GDP at the end of 2017.

The UK’s economy has begun to slow since the referendum vote to leave the EU in June 2016. A sustained depreciation of the British pound has increased consumer and producer prices, weighing on consumer spending without spurring a meaningful increase in exports. The UK has an extensive trade relationship with other EU members through its single market membership and economic observers have warned the exit will jeopardize its position as the central location for European financial services. Prime Minister MAY is seeking a new “deep and special” trade relationship with the EU following the UK’s exit. However, economists doubt that the UK will be able to preserve the benefits of EU membership without the obligations.
"The US has the most technologically powerful economy in the world, with a per capita GDP of $57,300. US firms are at or near the forefront in technological advances, especially in computers, pharmaceuticals, and medical, aerospace, and military equipment; however, their advantage has narrowed since the end of World War II. Based on a comparison of GDP measured at purchasing power parity conversion rates, the US economy in 2014, having stood as the largest in the world for more than a century, slipped into second place behind China, which has more than tripled the US growth rate for each year of the past four decades.

In the US, private individuals and business firms make most of the decisions, and the federal and state governments buy needed goods and services predominantly in the private marketplace. US business firms enjoy greater flexibility than their counterparts in Western Europe and Japan in decisions to expand capital plant, to lay off surplus workers, and to develop new products. At the same time, businesses face higher barriers to enter their rivals' home markets than foreign firms face entering US markets.

Long-term problems for the US include stagnation of wages for lower-income families, inadequate investment in deteriorating infrastructure, rapidly rising medical and pension costs of an aging population, energy shortages, and sizable current account and budget deficits.

The onrush of technology has been a driving factor in the gradual development of a ""two-tier"" labor market in which those at the bottom lack the education and the professional/technical skills of those at the top and, more and more, fail to get comparable pay raises, health insurance coverage, and other benefits. But the globalization of trade, and especially the rise of low-wage producers such as China, has put additional downward pressure on wages and upward pressure on the return to capital. Since 1975, practically all the gains in household income have gone to the top 20% of households. Since 1996, dividends and capital gains have grown faster than wages or any other category of after-tax income.

Imported oil accounts for nearly 55% of US consumption and oil has a major impact on the overall health of the economy. Crude oil prices doubled between 2001 and 2006, the year home prices peaked; higher gasoline prices ate into consumers' budgets and many individuals fell behind in their mortgage payments. Oil prices climbed another 50% between 2006 and 2008, and bank foreclosures more than doubled in the same period. Besides dampening the housing market, soaring oil prices caused a drop in the value of the dollar and a deterioration in the US merchandise trade deficit, which peaked at $840 billion in 2008. Because the US economy is energy-intensive, falling oil prices since 2013 have alleviated many of the problems the earlier increases had created.

The sub-prime mortgage crisis, falling home prices, investment bank failures, tight credit, and the global economic downturn pushed the US into a recession by mid-2008. GDP contracted until the third quarter of 2009, making this the deepest and longest downturn since the Great Depression. To help stabilize financial markets, the US Congress established a $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) in October 2008. The government used some of these funds to purchase equity in US banks and industrial corporations, much of which had been returned to the government by early 2011. In January 2009, Congress passed and President Barack OBAMA signed a bill providing an additional $787 billion fiscal stimulus to be used over 10 years - two-thirds on additional spending and one-third on tax cuts - to create jobs and to help the economy recover. In 2010 and 2011, the federal budget deficit reached nearly 9% of GDP. In 2012, the Federal Government reduced the growth of spending and the deficit shrank to 7.6% of GDP. US revenues from taxes and other sources are lower, as a percentage of GDP, than those of most other countries.

Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan required major shifts in national resources from civilian to military purposes and contributed to the growth of the budget deficit and public debt. Through 2014, the direct costs of the wars totaled more than $1.5 trillion, according to US Government figures.

In March 2010, President OBAMA signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a health insurance reform that was designed to extend coverage to an additional 32 million Americans by 2016, through private health insurance for the general population and Medicaid for the impoverished. Total spending on healthcare - public plus private - rose from 9.0% of GDP in 1980 to 17.9% in 2010.

In July 2010, the president signed the DODD-FRANK Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, a law designed to promote financial stability by protecting consumers from financial abuses, ending taxpayer bailouts of financial firms, dealing with troubled banks that are ""too big to fail,"" and improving accountability and transparency in the financial system - in particular, by requiring certain financial derivatives to be traded in markets that are subject to government regulation and oversight.

In December 2012, the Federal Reserve Board (Fed) announced plans to purchase $85 billion per month of mortgage-backed and Treasury securities in an effort to hold down long-term interest rates, and to keep short-term rates near zero until unemployment dropped below 6.5% or inflation rose above 2.5%. In late 2013, the Fed announced that it would begin scaling back long-term bond purchases to $75 billion per month in January 2014 and further reduce them as conditions warranted; the Fed ended the purchases during the summer of 2014. In 2014, the unemployment rate dropped to 6.2%, and continued to fall to 5.5% by mid-2015, the lowest rate of joblessness since before the global recession began; inflation stood at 1.7%, and public debt as a share of GDP continued to decline, following several years of increases. In December 2015, the Fed raised its target for the benchmark federal funds rate by 0.25%, the first increase since the recession began. With US GDP growth below 2%, the Fed opted to raise rates three times since then, and in mid-June 2017, the range for the target rate stood at 1% to 1.25%.
"
GDP (purchasing power parity)$2.88 trillion (2017 est.)
$2.833 trillion (2016 est.)
$2.783 trillion (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
$19.36 trillion (2017 est.)
$18.95 trillion (2016 est.)
$18.67 trillion (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP - real growth rate1.7% (2017 est.)
1.8% (2016 est.)
2.2% (2015 est.)
2.2% (2017 est.)
1.5% (2016 est.)
2.9% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$43,600 (2017 est.)
$43,200 (2016 est.)
$42,700 (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
$59,500 (2017 est.)
$58,600 (2016 est.)
$58,200 (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 0.6%
industry: 19%
services: 80.4%
(2017 est.)
agriculture: 0.9%
industry: 18.9%
services: 80.2%
(2017 est.)
Population below poverty line15% (2013 est.)
15.1% (2010 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 1.7%
highest 10%: 31.1% (2012)
lowest 10%: 2%
highest 10%: 30% (2007 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)2.6% (2017 est.)
0.7% (2016 est.)
2.1% (2017 est.)
1.3% (2016 est.)
Labor force33.5 million (2017 est.)
160.4 million
note: includes unemployed (2017 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 1.3%
industry: 15.2%
services: 83.5% (2014 est.)
farming, forestry, and fishing: 0.7%
manufacturing, extraction, transportation, and crafts: 20.3%
managerial, professional, and technical: 37.3%
sales and office: 24.2%
other services: 17.6%
note: figures exclude the unemployed
(2009)
Unemployment rate4.4% (2017 est.)
4.9% (2016 est.)
4.4% (2017 est.)
4.9% (2016 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index32.4 (2012)
33.4 (2010)
45 (2007)
40.8 (1997)
Budgetrevenues: $984.4 billion
expenditures: $1.076 trillion (2017 est.)
revenues: $3.336 trillion
expenditures: $3.991 trillion
note: for the US, revenues exclude social contributions of approximately $1.0 trillion; expenditures exclude social benefits of approximately $2.3 trillion (2017 est.)
Industriesmachine tools, electric power equipment, automation equipment, railroad equipment, shipbuilding, aircraft, motor vehicles and parts, electronics and communications equipment, metals, chemicals, coal, petroleum, paper and paper products, food processing, textiles, clothing, other consumer goods
highly diversified, world leading, high-technology innovator, second-largest industrial output in the world; petroleum, steel, motor vehicles, aerospace, telecommunications, chemicals, electronics, food processing, consumer goods, lumber, mining
Industrial production growth rate0.7% (2017 est.)
1.8% (2017 est.)
Agriculture - productscereals, oilseed, potatoes, vegetables; cattle, sheep, poultry; fish
wheat, corn, other grains, fruits, vegetables, cotton; beef, pork, poultry, dairy products; fish; forest products
Exports$436.5 billion (2017 est.)
$407.3 billion (2016 est.)
$1.576 trillion (2017 est.)
$1.456 trillion (2016 est.)
Exports - commoditiesmanufactured goods, fuels, chemicals; food, beverages, tobacco
agricultural products (soybeans, fruit, corn) 9.2%, industrial supplies (organic chemicals) 26.8%, capital goods (transistors, aircraft, motor vehicle parts, computers, telecommunications equipment) 49.0%, consumer goods (automobiles, medicines) 15.0% (2008 est.)
Exports - partnersUS 14.8%, Germany 10.7%, France 6.4%, Netherlands 6.2%, Ireland 5.6%, Switzerland 4.6%, China 4.4% (2016)
Canada 18.3%, Mexico 15.9%, China 8%, Japan 4.4% (2016)
Imports$602.5 billion (2017 est.)
$588.4 billion (2016 est.)
$2.352 trillion (2017 est.)
$2.208 trillion (2016 est.)
Imports - commoditiesmanufactured goods, machinery, fuels; foodstuffs
agricultural products 4.9%, industrial supplies 32.9% (crude oil 8.2%), capital goods 30.4% (computers, telecommunications equipment, motor vehicle parts, office machines, electric power machinery), consumer goods 31.8% (automobiles, clothing, medicines, furniture, toys) (2008 est.)
Imports - partnersGermany 13.6%, US 9.3%, China 9.2%, Netherlands 7.4%, France 5.2%, Belgium 4.9%, Switzerland 4.5% (2016)
China 21.1%, Mexico 13.4%, Canada 12.7%, Japan 6%, Germany 5.2% (2016)
Debt - external$8.126 trillion (31 March 2016 est.)
$8.642 trillion (31 March 2015 est.)
$17.91 trillion (31 March 2016 est.)
$17.85 trillion (31 March 2015 est.)
note: approximately 4/5ths of US external debt is denominated in US dollars; foreign lenders have been willing to hold US dollar denominated debt instruments because they view the dollar as the world's reserve currency
Exchange ratesBritish pounds (GBP) per US dollar -
0.7836 (2017 est.)
0.738 (2016 est.)
0.738 (2015 est.)
0.607 (2014 est.)
0.6391 (2013 est.)
British pounds per US dollar: 0.7836 (2017 est.), 0.738 (2016 est.), 0.738 (2015 est.), 0.607 (2014 est), 0.6391 (2013 est.)
Canadian dollars per US dollar: 1, 1.308 (2017 est.), 1.3256 (2016 est.), 1.3256 (2015 est.), 1.2788 (2014 est.), 1.0298 (2013 est.)
Chinese yuan per US dollar: 1, 6.7588 (2017 est.), 6.6445 (2016 est.), 6.2275 (2015 est.), 6.1434 (2014 est.), 6.1958 (2013 est.)
euros per US dollar: 0.906 (2017 est.), 0.9214 (2016 est.), 0.9214(2015 est.), 0.885 (2014 est.), 0.7634 (2013 est.)
Japanese yen per US dollar: 111.10 (2017 est.), 108.76 (2016 est.), 108.76 (2015 est.), 121.02 (2014 est.), 97.44 (2013 est.)
Fiscal year6 April - 5 April
1 October - 30 September
Public debt90.4% of GDP (2017 est.)
89.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
note: data cover general government debt, and include debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data include debt issued by subnational entities, as well as intra-governmental debt; intra-governmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as for retirement, medical care, and unemployment; debt instruments for the social funds are not sold at public auctions
"77.4% of GDP (2017 est.)
76.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
note: data cover only what the United States Treasury denotes as ""Debt Held by the Public,"" which includes all debt instruments issued by the Treasury that are owned by non-US Government entities; the data include Treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data exclude debt issued by individual US states, as well as intra-governmental debt; intra-governmental debt consists of Treasury borrowings from surpluses in the trusts for Federal Social Security, Federal Employees, Hospital and Supplemental Medical Insurance (Medicare), Disability and Unemployment, and several other smaller trusts; if data for intra-government debt were added, ""gross debt"" would increase by about one-third of GDP
"
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$135 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$129.6 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$117.3 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$117.6 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Current Account Balance-$91.42 billion (2017 est.)
-$114.5 billion (2016 est.)
-$462 billion (2017 est.)
-$451.7 billion (2016 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)$2.565 trillion (2016 est.)
$19.36 trillion (2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$2.027 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$1.858 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
$4.084 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$3.614 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$1.634 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$1.611 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
$5.644 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$5.352 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$3.019 trillion (31 December 2012 est.)
$2.903 trillion (31 December 2011 est.)
$3.107 trillion (31 December 2010 est.)
$25.07 trillion (31 December 2015 est.)
$26.33 trillion (31 December 2014 est.)
$24.03 trillion (31 December 2013 est.)
Central bank discount rate0.25% (31 December 2016)
0.5% (31 December 2015)
0.5% (31 December 2010)
0.5% (31 December 2009)
Commercial bank prime lending rate4.3% (31 December 2017 est.)
4.44% (31 December 2016 est.)
4.3% (31 December 2017 est.)
3.51% (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$3.042 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$2.785 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
$21.59 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$20.24 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of narrow money$104.8 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$96.15 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$3.627 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$3.25 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of broad money$3.066 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$2.778 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
$14 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$12.84 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues38.4% of GDP (2017 est.)
17.2% of GDP
note: excludes contributions for social security and other programs; if social contributions were added, taxes and other revenues would amount to approximately 22% of GDP (2017 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-3.6% of GDP (2017 est.)
-3.4% of GDP (2017 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 14.6%
male: 16.2%
female: 12.9% (2015 est.)
total: 10.4%
male: 11.4%
female: 9.3% (2016 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 65.3%
government consumption: 19%
investment in fixed capital: 16.6%
investment in inventories: 0.7%
exports of goods and services: 30.1%
imports of goods and services: -31.7% (2017 est.)
household consumption: 69.1%
government consumption: 17.2%
investment in fixed capital: 16.3%
investment in inventories: 0.3%
exports of goods and services: 12.2%
imports of goods and services: -15.1% (2017 est.)
Gross national saving13.4% of GDP (2017 est.)
12.6% of GDP (2016 est.)
13% of GDP (2015 est.)
17.5% of GDP (2017 est.)
18% of GDP (2016 est.)
19.4% of GDP (2015 est.)

Energy

United KingdomUnited States
Electricity - production309.8 billion kWh (2015 est.)
4.088 trillion kWh (2015 est.)
Electricity - consumption301.6 billion kWh (2015 est.)
3.911 trillion kWh (2015 est.)
Electricity - exports2.153 billion kWh (2016 est.)
9.695 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - imports19.7 billion kWh (2016 est.)
80.66 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Oil - production933,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
8.853 million bbl/day (2016 est.)
Oil - imports808,800 bbl/day (2016 est.)
7.85 million bbl/day (2016 est.)
Oil - exports636,200 bbl/day (2016 est.)
590,900 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Oil - proved reserves2.564 billion bbl (1 January 2017 es)
36.52 billion bbl (1 January 2017 es)
Natural gas - proved reserves207.2 billion cu m (1 January 2017 es)
8.714 trillion cu m (1 January 2016 es)
Natural gas - production41.34 billion cu m (2015 est.)
766.2 billion cu m (2015 est.)
Natural gas - consumption186.2 billion cu m (2015 est.)
773.2 billion cu m (2015 est.)
Natural gas - exports14.22 billion cu m (2015 est.)
50.52 billion cu m (2015 est.)
Natural gas - imports44.5 billion cu m (2015 est.)
76.96 billion cu m (2015 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity94.64 million kW (2015 est.)
1.074 billion kW (2015 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels55.6% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
70.6% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants1.9% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
7.4% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels9.4% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
9.2% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources33.4% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
10.7% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production1.28 million bbl/day (2016 est.)
20.08 million bbl/day (2016 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption1.586 million bbl/day (2016 est.)
19.69 million bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports632,200 bbl/day (2016 est.)
4.67 million bbl/day (2016 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports941,200 bbl/day (2016 est.)
2.205 million bbl/day (2016 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy568.3 million Mt (2013 est.)
5.402 billion Mt (2013 est.)
Electricity accesselectrification - total population: 100% (2016)
electrification - total population: 100% (2016)

Telecommunications

United KingdomUnited States
Telephones - main lines in usetotal subscriptions: 33,510,796
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 52 (July 2016 est.)
total subscriptions: 121.53 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 38 (July 2016 est.)
Telephones - mobile cellulartotal: 78,529,373
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 122 (July 2016 est.)
total: 416.684 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 129 (July 2016 est.)
Telephone systemgeneral assessment: technologically advanced domestic and international system
domestic: equal mix of buried cables, microwave radio relay, and fiber-optic systems
international: country code - 44; numerous submarine cables provide links throughout Europe, Asia, Australia, the Middle East, and US; satellite earth stations - 10 Intelsat (7 Atlantic Ocean and 3 Indian Ocean), 1 Inmarsat (Atlantic Ocean region), and 1 Eutelsat; at least 8 large international switching centers (2016)
general assessment: a large, technologically advanced, multipurpose communications system
domestic: a large system of fiber-optic cable, microwave radio relay, coaxial cable, and domestic satellites carries every form of telephone traffic; a rapidly growing cellular system carries mobile telephone traffic throughout the country
international: country code - 1; multiple ocean cable systems provide international connectivity; satellite earth stations - 61 Intelsat (45 Atlantic Ocean and 16 Pacific Ocean), 5 Intersputnik (Atlantic Ocean region), and 4 Inmarsat (Pacific and Atlantic Ocean regions) (2016)
Internet country code.uk
.us
Internet userstotal: 61,064,454
percent of population: 94.8% (July 2016 est.)
total: 246,809,221
percent of population: 76.2% (July 2016 est.)
Broadcast mediapublic service broadcaster, British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), is the largest broadcasting corporation in the world; BBC operates multiple TV networks with regional and local TV service; a mixed system of public and commercial TV broadcasters along with satellite and cable systems provide access to hundreds of TV stations throughout the world; BBC operates multiple national, regional, and local radio networks with multiple transmission sites; a large number of commercial radio stations, as well as satellite radio services are available (2008)
4 major terrestrial TV networks with affiliate stations throughout the country, plus cable and satellite networks, independent stations, and a limited public broadcasting sector that is largely supported by private grants; overall, thousands of TV stations broadcasting; multiple national radio networks with many affiliate stations; while most stations are commercial, National Public Radio (NPR) has a network of some 600 member stations; satellite radio available; overall, nearly 15,000 radio stations operating (2008)

Transportation

United KingdomUnited States
Railwaystotal: 16,837 km
broad gauge: 303 km 1.600-m gauge (in Northern Ireland)
standard gauge: 16,534 km 1.435-m gauge (5,357 km electrified) (2015)
total: 293,564.2 km
standard gauge: 293,564.2 km 1.435-m gauge (2014)
Roadwaystotal: 394,428 km
paved: 394,428 km (includes 3,519 km of expressways) (2009)
total: 6,586,610 km
paved: 4,304,715 km (includes 76,334 km of expressways)
unpaved: 2,281,895 km (2012)
Waterways3,200 km (620 km used for commerce) (2009)
41,009 km (19,312 km used for commerce; Saint Lawrence Seaway of 3,769 km, including the Saint Lawrence River of 3,058 km, is shared with Canada) (2012)
Pipelinescondensate 502 km; condensate/gas 9 km; gas 28,603 km; liquid petroleum gas 59 km; oil 5,256 km; oil/gas/water 175 km; refined products 4,919 km; water 255 km (2013)
natural gas 1,984,321 km; petroleum products 240,711 km (2013)
Ports and terminalsmajor seaport(s): Dover, Felixstowe, Immingham, Liverpool, London, Southampton, Teesport (England); Forth Ports (Scotland); Milford Haven (Wales)
oil terminal(s): Fawley Marine terminal, Liverpool Bay terminal (England); Braefoot Bay terminal, Finnart oil terminal, Hound Point terminal (Scotland)
container port(s) (TEUs): Felixstowe (3,676,000), London (1,185,000), Southampton (2,349,000) (2015)
LNG terminal(s) (import): Isle of Grain, Milford Haven, Teesside
cargo ports: Baton Rouge, Corpus Christi, Hampton Roads, Houston, Long Beach, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, Plaquemines (LA), Tampa, Texas City
container port(s) (TEUs): Hampton Roads (2,549,000), Houston (2,131,000), Long Beach (7,192,000), Los Angeles (8,160,000), New York/New Jersey (6,372,000), Oakland (2,278,000), Savannah (3,737,000), Seattle (3,531,000) (2015)
cruise departure ports (passengers): Miami (2,032,000), Port Everglades (1,277,000), Port Canaveral (1,189,000), Seattle (430,000), Long Beach (415,000) (2009)
oil terminal(s): LOOP terminal, Haymark terminal
LNG terminal(s) (import): Cove Point (MD), Elba Island (GA), Everett (MA), Freeport (TX), Golden Pass (TX), Hackberry (LA), Lake Charles (LA), Neptune (offshore), Northeast Gateway (offshore), Pascagoula (MS), Sabine Pass (TX)
LNG terminal(s) (export): Kenai (AK)
Merchant marinetotal: 1,551
by type: bulk carrier 117, container ship 112, general cargo 175, oil tanker 173, other 974
note: includes Isle of Man (2017)
total: 3,611
by type: bulk carrier 5, container ship 61, general cargo 114, oil tanker 66, other 3,365 (2017)
Airports460 (2013)
13,513 (2013)
Airports - with paved runwaystotal: 271
over 3,047 m: 7
2,438 to 3,047 m: 29
1,524 to 2,437 m: 89
914 to 1,523 m: 80
under 914 m: 66 (2013)
total: 5,054
over 3,047 m: 189
2,438 to 3,047 m: 235
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1,478
914 to 1,523 m: 2,249
under 914 m: 903 (2013)
Airports - with unpaved runwaystotal: 189
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 26
under 914 m: 160 (2013)
total: 8,459
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 6
1,524 to 2,437 m: 140
914 to 1,523 m: 1,552
under 914 m: 6,760 (2013)
Heliports9 (2013)
5,287 (2013)
National air transport systemnumber of registered air carriers: 28
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 1,242
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 131,449,680
annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 5,466,504,676 mt-km (2015)
number of registered air carriers: 92
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 6,817
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 798.23 million
annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 37.219 billion mt-km (2015)
Civil aircraft registration country code prefixG (2016)
N (2016)

Military

United KingdomUnited States
Military branchesArmy, Royal Navy (includes Royal Marines), Royal Air Force (2013)
United States Armed Forces: US Army, US Navy (includes Marine Corps), US Air Force, US Coast Guard; note - Coast Guard administered in peacetime by the Department of Homeland Security, but in wartime reports to the Department of the Navy (2017)
Military service age and obligation16-33 years of age (officers 17-28) for voluntary military service (with parental consent under 18); no conscription; women serve in military services including ground combat roles; must be citizen of the UK, Commonwealth, or Republic of Ireland; reservists serve a minimum of 3 years, to age 45 or 55; 17 years 6 months of age for voluntary military service by Nepalese citizens in the Brigade of Gurkhas; 16-34 years of age for voluntary military service by Papua New Guinean citizens (2016)
18 years of age (17 years of age with parental consent) for male and female voluntary service; no conscription; maximum enlistment age 42 (Army), 27 (Air Force), 34 (Navy), 28 (Marines); 8-year service obligation, including 2-5 years active duty (Army), 2 years active (Navy), 4 years active (Air Force, Marines); all military occupations and positions open to women (2016)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP2.2% of GDP (2016)
2.05% of GDP (2015)
2.22% of GDP (2014)
2.25% of GDP (2013)
2.51% of GDP (2012)
3.29% of GDP (2016)
3.3% of GDP (2015)
3.51% of GDP (2014)
3.83% of GDP (2013)
4.24% of GDP (2012)

Transnational Issues

United KingdomUnited States
Disputes - international"in 2002, Gibraltar residents voted overwhelmingly by referendum to reject any ""shared sovereignty"" arrangement between the UK and Spain; the Government of Gibraltar insisted on equal participation in talks between the two countries; Spain disapproved of UK plans to grant Gibraltar greater autonomy; Mauritius and Seychelles claim the Chagos Archipelago (British Indian Ocean Territory); in 2001, the former inhabitants of the archipelago, evicted 1967 - 1973, were granted UK citizenship and the right of return, followed by Orders in Council in 2004 that banned rehabitation, a High Court ruling reversed the ban, a Court of Appeal refusal to hear the case, and a Law Lords' decision in 2008 denied the right of return; in addition, the UK created the world's largest marine protection area around the Chagos islands prohibiting the extraction of any natural resources therein; UK rejects sovereignty talks requested by Argentina, which still claims the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands; territorial claim in Antarctica (British Antarctic Territory) overlaps Argentine claim and partially overlaps Chilean claim; Iceland, the UK, and Ireland dispute Denmark's claim that the Faroe Islands' continental shelf extends beyond 200 nm
"
the US has intensified domestic security measures and is collaborating closely with its neighbors, Canada and Mexico, to monitor and control legal and illegal personnel, transport, and commodities across the international borders; abundant rainfall in recent years along much of the Mexico-US border region has ameliorated periodically strained water-sharing arrangements; 1990 Maritime Boundary Agreement in the Bering Sea still awaits Russian Duma ratification; Canada and the United States dispute how to divide the Beaufort Sea and the status of the Northwest Passage but continue to work cooperatively to survey the Arctic continental shelf; The Bahamas and US have not been able to agree on a maritime boundary; US Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay is leased from Cuba and only mutual agreement or US abandonment of the area can terminate the lease; Haiti claims US-administered Navassa Island; US has made no territorial claim in Antarctica (but has reserved the right to do so) and does not recognize the claims of any other states; Marshall Islands claims Wake Island; Tokelau included American Samoa's Swains Island among the islands listed in its 2006 draft constitution
Illicit drugsproducer of limited amounts of synthetic drugs and synthetic precursor chemicals; major consumer of Southwest Asian heroin, Latin American cocaine, and synthetic drugs; money-laundering center
world's largest consumer of cocaine (shipped from Colombia through Mexico and the Caribbean), Colombian heroin, and Mexican heroin and marijuana; major consumer of ecstasy and Mexican methamphetamine; minor consumer of high-quality Southeast Asian heroin; illicit producer of cannabis, marijuana, depressants, stimulants, hallucinogens, and methamphetamine; money-laundering center
Refugees and internally displaced personsrefugees (country of origin): 14,363 (Iran); 13,720 (Eritrea); 9,752 (Afghanistan); 8,790 (Zimbabwe); 8,269 (Syria); 7,326 (Sudan); 6,814 (Pakistan); 5,954 (Somalia); 5,809 (Sri Lanka) (2016)
stateless persons: 64 (2016)
refugees (country of origin): the US admitted 84,994 refugees during FY2016 including: 16,370 (Democratic Republic of the Congo); 12,587 (Syria); 12,347 (Burma); 9,880 (Iraq); 9,020 (Somalia); 5,817 (Bhutan); 3,750 (Iran)
note: more than 46,000 Venezuelans have claimed asylum since 2014 because of the economic and political crisis (2017)

Source: CIA Factbook