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Basic information about the country
The United Kingdom is not one of the countries that can boast of a big size. Though it is made up of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, it is only twice as large as New York state. The country is the constitutional monarchy.
It has a total area of approximately 243,600 sq km. In 2012, the country’s population was estimated at 63.3 million.
London, the capital of the UK, is also the largest one in the country, while other large cities include Birmingham (approximately 972,000 people), Glasgow (about 1.2 million people), Edinburgh (460,000 people) and Bristol (around 552,000 people), amid others.
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Economy and Energy
The country holds a position of one of the second largest economies in Europe, with only Germany being ahead. It is renowned as a dominant financial as well as trading power hub.
In the UK, the agricultural sector produces approximately two thirds of food needs, though not more than 2 percent of labor force is used. This can be explained by the fact the local agriculture is highly mechanized and intensive.
There are extensive reserves of such natural resources as coal, oil and natural gas in the UK, but they are decreasing.
In 2011, the country produced more than 342 billion kWh of electricity. A year later, the electricity exports were around 1.8 billion kWh, while imports of the same almost reached 13.8 billion kWh.
Most people living in the country work in the service industry, with the most popular segments being business services, insurance and banking.
The most common imported commodities are machinery, fuels, food products as well as manufactured goods.
Germany, China and the Netherlands are the leading import partners of the UK.
As of 2012, there were over 33 million main lines in use in the country, while the total number of local mobile cellular telephone subscribers reached 82.1 million.
In 2009, the number of local Internet users was over 54.4 million. In 2012, the number of local Internet hosts was around 8 million.
In 2013, there were 460 airports and 9 heliports in the country.
The total route length of the railway network is approximately 16,500 kilometers, while the one of waterways is 3,200 kilometers.
Annually, foreign tourists spent approximately GBP 20 billion while visiting the UK. Meanwhile, the total industry (with the domestic tourism taken into account) is estimated at around GBP 130 billion annually. Currently, over 2.95 million people work in the industry.
Inbound tourism is the swiftest growing sector of the industry. Overseas tourists are expected to increase spend by more than 6 percent annually. In 2013, for instance, the sector reached a value of above GBP 20.5 billion and is forecast to grow by GBP 36 billion by 2025.
However, the highest-ever inbound tourism spend was registered during the Olympics in 2012.