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United Kingdom: Facts & Stats

DEMOGRAPHICS | Economy | Transportation | Culture

Demographics

Population:

62 million inhabitants (2009) Density: 246 inhabitants per sq. km United Kingdom has over 65 urban areas with over 100,000 inhabitants. 

The five largest are: 
  1. London 8,2 million
  2. Birmingham 2,3 million 
  3. Glasgow 1,1 million 
  4. Liverpool 0,83 million 
  5. Leeds 1,4 million

Welfare:

Social welfare is administered in three ways in Great Britain, the National Health Service, the Social Services program, and the Pensions Service program all play a part in the providing social welfare.

The National Health Service provides a system of government supplied health care. The agency employs over two million doctors, pharmacists, nurses, and other health care workers to achieve this end. It has at its disposal a budget of over £ 60 billion. The National Health Service is the primary implementation mechanism of Department of Health policy. Welfare administration dealing with Social Services, a major branch of welfare, also fall under NHS jurisdiction.

Welfare in Great Britain also consists of a Social Security program that is administered by the Pension Service, and it provides financial aid to individuals and families that qualify. It also promotes what it calls an "equality scheme."

The recent actions taken towards reforming the welfare system in Britain begin with 1997's New Deal Program. The Labour Party focused on increasing employment through requiring that recipients of aid actively consider seeking employment. This movement is similar in ideal to a workfare system. The Labour Party also introduced a system of tax credits for low-income workers.

The most recent act on welfare reform in Great Britain is the Welfare Act of 2007. The act provides for "an employment and support allowance, a contributory allowance, an income-based allowance."

Education:

Education in the United Kingdom is a devolved matter with each of the countries of the United Kingdom having separate systems under separate governments: the UK Government is responsible for education in England, the Scottish Government is responsible for education in Scotland, the Welsh Assembly Government is responsible for education in Wales and the Northern Ireland Executive is responsible for education in Northern Ireland.

In each country, education, though not school attendance, is mandatory and attendance at primary and secondary is nearly universal, with most pupils attending state schools. However, there are major differences between the school systems in terms of the curriculum, examinations and final qualifications, as well as differences at University level in terms of the nature of some degrees and the issue of tuition fees.

Religion:

Religion in The United Kingdom is about the development of religion in Great Britain since its formation in 1707. The Treaty of Union that led to the formation of Great Britain (which became The United Kingdom in 1801 when Great Britain signed an Act of Union with Ireland) ensured that there would be a protestant succession as well as a link between church and state that still remains.

According to the 2001 UK census, Christianity is the major religion, followed by Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, Judaism and Buddhism in terms of number of adherents. Though each country that makes up the UK has a long tradition of Christianity that pre-dates the UK itself, in practice all have relatively low levels of religious observance and today are secular societies.

At the 2001 census, there were 1,536,015 Muslims in England and Wales, forming 3% of the population. Muslims in Scotland numbered 42,557 representing 0.84% of the population. There were a further 1,943 Muslims in Northern Ireland. The biggest groups of Muslims are of Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Indian origin. According to a Labour Force Survey estimate, the total number of Muslims in Great Britain in 2008 was 2,422,000.

Over 1 million people follow religions of Indian origin: 560,000 Hindus, 340,000 Sikhs with about 150,000 practising Buddhism. One non-governmental organisation estimates that there are 800,000 Hindus in the UK. Leicester houses one of the world's few Jain temples that are outside of India.

There are approximately 270,000 Jews in Britain, according to the 2001 census.




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