England is a part of Europe's United Kingdom and it is located on the island of Great Britain. It is not considered a separate nation, but it is an independent country within the UK. It is bordered by Scotland to the north and Wales to the west - both of which are also regions within the UK (map). England has coastlines along Celtic, North and Irish Seas and the English Channel and its area includes over 100 small islands.
England has a long history with human settlement dating back to pre-historic times and it became a unified region in 927 C.E. It was then the independent Kingdom of England until 1707 when the Kingdom of Great Britain was founded. In 1800 the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was formed and after some political and social instability in Ireland, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland was formed in 1927, of which England is a part.
The following is a list of ten geographic facts to know about England:
1) Today England is governed as a constitutional monarchy under a parliamentary democracy within the United Kingdom and it is controlled directly by the Parliament of the United Kingdom. England has not had its own government since 1707 when it joined Scotland to form the Kingdom of Great Britain.
2) England has several different political subdivisions for local administration within its borders. There are four different levels within these divisions - the highest of which are the nine regions of England. These include the North East, North West, Yorkshire and the Humber, East Midlands, West Midlands, East, South East, South West and London. Below the regions are England's 48 ceremonial counties followed by metropolitan counties and civil parishes.
3) England has one of the largest economies in the world and it is very mixed with sectors in manufacturing and service. London, the capital of England and the UK, is also one of the world's largest financial centers. England's economy is the largest in the UK and the main industries are chemicals, pharmaceuticals, aerospace and software manufacturing.
4) England has a population of over 51 million people, which makes it the largest geographical region in the UK (2008 estimate). It has a population density of 1,022 persons per square mile (394.5 persons per square kilometer) and the largest city in England is London.
5) The main language spoken in England is English; however there are many regional dialects of English used throughout England. In addition, recent large numbers of immigrants have introduced several new languages to England. The most common of these are Punjabi and Urdu.
6) Throughout most of its history, the people of England have been mainly Christian in religion and today the Anglican Christian Church of England is England's established church. This church also has a constitutional position within the United Kingdom. Other religions practiced in England include Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, Judaism, Buddhism, the Bahá'í Faith, the Rastafari Movement and Neopaganism.
7) England makes up about two-thirds of the island of Great Britain and the offshore areas of the Isle of Wight and the Isles of Scilly. It has a total area of 50,346 square miles (130,395 sq km) and a topography that consists mainly of gently rolling hills and lowlands. There are also several large rivers in England - one of which is the famous Thames River which runs through London. This river is also the longest river in England.
8) The climate of England is considered temperate maritime and it has mild summers and winters. Precipitation is also common throughout much of the year. England's climate is moderated by its maritime location and the presence of the Gulf Stream. The average January low temperature is 34°F (1°C) and the average July high temperature is 70°F (21°C).
9) England is separated from France and continental Europe by a 21 mile (34 km) gap. However they are physically connected to each other by the Channel Tunnel near Folkestone. The Channel Tunnel is the longest undersea tunnel in the world.
10) England is known for its educational system and large number of colleges and universities. Many of the Universities within England are some of the world's highest ranked. These include the University of Cambridge, Imperial College London, the University of Oxford and University College London.
Wikipedia.org. (14 April 2011). England - Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/England
Wikipedia.org. (12 April 2011). Religion in England - Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_England