Great Britain

Island northwest of continental Europe / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Great Britain is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean off the north-west coast of continental Europe. With an area of 209,331 km2 (80,823 sq mi), it is the largest of the British Isles, the largest European island and the ninth-largest island in the world.[6][note 1] It is dominated by a maritime climate with narrow temperature differences between seasons. The 60% smaller island of Ireland is to the west—these islands, along with over 1,000 smaller surrounding islands and named substantial rocks, form the British Isles archipelago.[8]

Quick facts: Other native names Breten Veur (Cornish...
Great Britain
Other native names
Satellite image, 2012, with Ireland to the west and France to the south-east
LocationNorth-western Europe
Coordinates54°N 2°W
ArchipelagoBritish Isles
Adjacent toAtlantic Ocean
Area209,331 km2 (80,823 sq mi)[1]
Area rank9th
Highest elevation1,345 m (4413 ft)
Highest pointBen Nevis[2]
Largest cityLondon (pop. 8,878,892)
Population60,800,000 (2011 census)[3]
Population rank3rd
Pop. density302/km2 (782/sq mi)
Ethnic groups
Additional information
Time zone
  Summer (DST)

Connected to mainland Europe until 9,000 years ago by a landbridge now known as Doggerland,[9] Great Britain has been inhabited by modern humans for around 30,000 years. In 2011, it had a population of about 61 million, making it the world's third-most-populous island after Java in Indonesia and Honshu in Japan.[10][11]

The term "Great Britain" can also refer to the political territory of England, Scotland and Wales, which includes their offshore islands.[12] This territory and Northern Ireland constitute the United Kingdom.[13] The single Kingdom of Great Britain resulted from the 1707 Acts of Union between the kingdoms of England (which at the time incorporated Wales) and Scotland.