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History, facts and figures about Indonesia

In this section you can find an overview of Indonesia, facts and figures,  comparative figures for UK, and you could also try the following links:

Spread across an archipelago of thousands of islands between Asia and Australia, Indonesia is a diverse society with more than 300 languages.  The people range from stone-age hunter-gatherers to a modern urban elite.  Islam is the dominant religion and the national language Bahasa Indonesian is the official means of communication.

Sophisticated kingdoms existed in Indonesia before Dutch traders arrived in the sixteenth century.  The Dutch gradually consolidated their hold on the area, eventually uniting the archipelago in around 1900.  After an armed struggle, Indonesia gained independence in 1949 under the leadership of Sukarno.

General Suharto seized power from Sukarno in 1965, imposing authoritarian rule while allowing technocracts to run the economy with considerable success.  His policy of allowing army involvement in all levels of government down to village level fostered corruption.  His "transmigration" programmes - which moved large numbers of landless farmers from Java to other parts of the country - fanned ethnic conflict.

Indonesia has seen unprecedented turmoil over the past four years, facing first the Asian financial crisis, then the fall of President Suharto after 32 years in office; Suharto fell from power after widespread rioting in 1998 and has so far escaped efforts to bring him to justice for decades of dictatorship.

The country has also had to manage the first free elections since the 1960s, the loss of East Timor, independence demands from restive provinces, bloody inter-ethnic and religious conflict and unending corruption scandals.

Indonesia now faces growing demands for independence among several provinces, where secessionists have been encouraged by East Timor's 1999 success in breaking away after a traumatic 25 years of occupation.

It is a potentially wealthy country with vast natural resources but corruption and conflict have kept it relatively poor.  Nevertheless, it is a beautiful part of the world with incredible natural beauty - this can be seen particularly on islands such as Bali and Sumatra.  In term of variety of culture and geography, there are few countries which can match Indonesia.


Facts and figures from the CIA of all things ....

Introduction   Geography   People   Government   Economy   Communications   Transportation   Military   Transnational Issues

Indonesia    Introduction   Top of Page
Background The world's largest archipelago, Indonesia achieved independence from the Netherlands in 1949. Current issues include: implementing IMF-mandated reforms of the banking sector, effecting a transition to a popularly elected government after four decades of authoritarianism, addressing charges of cronyism and corruption, holding the military accountable for human rights violations, and resolving growing separatist pressures in Aceh and Irian Jaya. The democracy is still unstable.
Indonesia    Geography Top of Page
Location Southeastern Asia, archipelago between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean
Geographic coordinates 5 00 S, 120 00 E
Map references Southeast Asia
Area total:  1,919,440 sq km

land:  1,826,440 sq km

water:  93,000 sq km
Area - comparative slightly less than three times the size of Texas (!!)
Land boundaries total:  2,602 km

border countries:  Malaysia 1,782 km, Papua New Guinea 820 km
Coastline 54,716 km
Maritime claims measured from claimed archipelagic baselines

exclusive economic zone:  200 NM

territorial sea:  12 NM
Climate tropical; hot, humid; more moderate in highlands
Terrain mostly coastal lowlands; larger islands have interior mountains
Elevation extremes lowest point:  Indian Ocean 0 m

highest point:  Puncak Jaya 5,030 m
Natural resources petroleum, tin, natural gas, nickel, timber, bauxite, copper, fertile soils, coal, gold, silver
Land use arable land:  10%

permanent crops:  7%

permanent pastures:  7%

forests and woodland:  62%

other:  14% (1993 est.)
Irrigated land 45,970 sq km (1993 est.)
Natural hazards occasional floods, severe droughts, tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanoes
Environment - current issues deforestation; water pollution from industrial wastes, sewage; air pollution in urban areas; smoke and haze from forest fires
Environment - international agreements party to:  Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified:  Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Marine Life Conservation
Geography - note archipelago of 17,000 islands (6,000 inhabited); straddles Equator; strategic location astride or along major sea lanes from Indian Ocean to Pacific Ocean
Indonesia    People Top of Page
Population 228,437,870 (July 2001 est.)
Age structure 0-14 years:  30.26% (male 35,144,702; female 33,973,879)

15-64 years:  65.11% (male 74,273,519; female 74,458,291)

65 years and over:  4.63% (male 4,641,816; female 5,945,663) (2001 est.)
Population growth rate 1.6% (2001 est.)
Birth rate 22.26 births/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Death rate 6.3 deaths/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Net migration rate 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Sex ratio at birth:  1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years:  1.03 male(s)/female

15-64 years:  1 male(s)/female

65 years and over:  0.78 male(s)/female

total population:  1 male(s)/female (2001 est.)
Infant mortality rate 40.91 deaths/1,000 live births (2001 est.)
Life expectancy at birth total population:  68.27 years

male:  65.9 years

female:  70.75 years (2001 est.)
Total fertility rate 2.58 children born/woman (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate 0.05% (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS 52,000 (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths 3,100 (1999 est.)
Nationality noun:  Indonesian(s)

adjective:  Indonesian
Ethnic groups Javanese 45%, Sundanese 14%, Madurese 7.5%, coastal Malays 7.5%, other 26%
Religions Muslim 88%, Protestant 5%, Roman Catholic 3%, Hindu 2%, Buddhist 1%, other 1% (1998)
Languages Bahasa Indonesia (official, modified form of Malay), English, Dutch, local dialects, the most widely spoken of which is Javanese
Literacy definition:  age 15 and over can read and write

total population:  83.8%

male:  89.6%

female:  78% (1995 est.)
Indonesia    Government Top of Page
Country name conventional long form:  Republic of Indonesia

conventional short form:  Indonesia

local long form:  Republik Indonesia

local short form:  Indonesia

former:  Netherlands East Indies; Dutch East Indies
Government type republic
Capital Jakarta
Administrative divisions 27 provinces (propinsi-propinsi, singular - propinsi), 2 special regions* (daerah-daerah istimewa, singular - daerah istimewa), and 1 special capital city district** (daerah khusus ibukota); Aceh*, Bali, Banten, Bengkulu, Gorontalo, Irian Jaya, Jakarta Raya**, Jambi, Jawa Barat, Jawa Tengah, Jawa Timur, Kalimantan Barat, Kalimantan Selatan, Kalimantan Tengah, Kalimantan Timur, Kepulauan Bangka Belitung, Lampung, Maluku, Maluku Utara, Nusa Tenggara Barat, Nusa Tenggara Timur, Riau, Sulawesi Selatan, Sulawesi Tengah, Sulawesi Tenggara, Sulawesi Utara, Sumatera Barat, Sumatera Selatan, Sumatera Utara, Yogyakarta*; note - the province of Irian Jaya may have been divided into two new provinces - Central Irian Jaya and West Irian Jaya; with the implementation of decentralization on 1 January 2001, the 357 districts (regencies) may become the key administrative units

note:  following the 30 August 1999 provincial referendum for independence which was overwhelmingly approved by the people of Timor Timur and the October 1999 concurrence of Indonesia's national legislature, the name East Timor was adopted as a provisional name for the political entity formerly known as Propinsi Timor Timur; East Timor is under UN administration pending its formal independence
Independence 17 August 1945 (proclaimed independence; on 27 December 1949, Indonesia became legally independent from the Netherlands)
National holiday Independence Day, 17 August (1945)
Constitution August 1945, abrogated by Federal Constitution of 1949 and Provisional Constitution of 1950, restored 5 July 1959
Legal system based on Roman-Dutch law, substantially modified by indigenous concepts and by new criminal procedures code; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage 17 years of age; universal and married persons regardless of age
Executive branch chief of state:  President MEGAWATI Sukarnoputri (since 23 July 2001) and Vice President Hamzah HAZ (since 26 July 2001); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government

head of government:  President MEGAWATI Sukarnoputri (since 23 July 2001) and Vice President Hamzah HAZ (since 26 July 2001); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government

cabinet:  Cabinet appointed by the president

elections:  president and vice president elected separately by the 700-member People's Consultative Assembly or MPR for five-year terms; election for president last held 23 July 2001 (next to be held NA 2006); election for vice president last held 26 July 2001 (next to be held NA 2006)

election results:  MEGAWATI Sukarnoputri elected president, receiving 591 votes in favor (91 abstentions); Hamzah HAZ elected vice president, receiving 340 votes in favor (237 against)

note:  the People's Consultative Assembly (Majelis Permusyawaratan Rakyat or MPR) includes the House of Representatives (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat or DPR) plus 200 indirectly selected members; it meets every five years to elect the president and vice president and to approve the broad outlines of national policy
Legislative branch unicameral House of Representatives or Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat (DPR) (500 seats; 462 elected by popular vote, 38 are appointed military representatives; members serve five-year terms)

elections:  last held 7 June 1999 (next to be held NA June 2004)

election results:  percent of vote by party - PDI-P 37.4%, Golkar 20.9%, PKB 17.4%, PPP 10.7%, PAN 7.3%, PBB 1.8%, other 4.5%; seats by party - PDI-P 154, Golkar 120, PPP 58, PKB 51, PAN 35, PBB 14, other 30
Judicial branch Supreme Court or Mahkamah Agung (justices appointed by the president from a list of candidates approved by the legislature)
Political parties and leaders Crescent Moon and Star Party or PBB [Yusril Ihza MAHENDRA, chairman]; Development Unity Party or PPP (federation of former Islamic parties) [Hamzah HAZ, chairman]; Federation of Functional Groups or Golkar [Akbar TANJUNG, general chairman]; Indonesia Democracy Party or PDI (federation of former Nationalist and Christian Parties) [Budi HARDJONO, chairman]; Indonesia Democracy Party-Struggle or PDI-P [MEGAWATI Sukarnoputri, chairperson]; National Awakening Party or PKB [Matori Abdul DJALIL, chairman]; National Mandate Party or PAN [Amien RAIS, chairman]
Flag description two equal horizontal bands of red (top) and white; similar to the flag of Monaco, which is shorter; also similar to the flag of Poland, which is white (top) and red
Indonesia    Economy Top of Page
Economy - overview Indonesia, a vast polyglot nation, faces severe economic problems, stemming from secessionist movements and the low level of security in the regions, the lack of reliable legal recourse in contract disputes, corruption, weaknesses in the banking system, and strained relations with the IMF. Investor confidence will remain low and few new jobs will be created under these circumstances. Growth of 4.8% in 2000 is not sustainable, being attributable to favorable short-term factors, including high world oil prices, a surge in non-oil exports, and increased domestic demand for consumer durables.
GDP purchasing power parity - $654 billion (2000 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 4.8% (2000 est.)
GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $2,900 (2000 est.)
GDP - composition by sector agriculture:  21%

industry:  35%

services:  44% (1999 est.)
Population below poverty line 20% (1998)
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%:  3.6%

highest 10%:  30.3% (1996)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 9% (2000 est.)
Labor force 99 million (1999)
Labor force - by occupation agriculture 45%, industry 16%, services 39% (1999 est.)
Unemployment rate 15%-20% (1998 est.)
Budget revenues:  $26 billion

expenditures:  $30 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (2000 est.)
Industries petroleum and natural gas; textiles, apparel, and footwear; mining, cement, chemical fertilizers, plywood; rubber; food; tourism
Industrial production growth rate 7.5% (2000 est.)
Electricity - production 78.674 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - production by source fossil fuel:  80.36%

hydro:  14.63%

nuclear:  0%

other:  5.01% (1999)
Electricity - consumption 73.167 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - exports 0 kWh (1999)
Electricity - imports 0 kWh (1999)
Agriculture - products rice, cassava (tapioca), peanuts, rubber, cocoa, coffee, palm oil, copra; poultry, beef, pork, eggs
Exports $64.7 billion (f.o.b., 2000 est.)
Exports - commodities oil and gas, plywood, textiles, rubber
Exports - partners Japan 21%, US 14%, Singapore 10%, South Korea 7%, Netherlands 3%, Australia 3%, Hong Kong, China, Taiwan (1999 est.)
Imports $40.4 billion (c.i.f., 2000 est.)
Imports - commodities machinery and equipment; chemicals, fuels, foodstuffs
Imports - partners Japan 12%, US 12%, Singapore 10%, Germany 6%, Australia 6%, South Korea 6%, Taiwan, China (1999 est.)
Debt - external $144 billion (2000 est.)
Economic aid - recipient $43 billion from IMF program and other official external financing (1997-2000)
Currency Indonesian rupiah (IDR)
Currency code IDR
Exchange rates Indonesian rupiahs per US dollar - 10,000 (January 2001), 8,421.8 (2000), 7,855.2 (1999), 10,013.6 (1998), 2,909.4 (1997), 2,342.3 (1996)
Fiscal year calendar year; note - previously was 1 April - 31 March, but starting with 2001, has been changed to calendar year
Indonesia    Communications Top of Page
Telephones - main lines in use 5,588,310 (1998)
Telephones - mobile cellular 1.07 million (1998)
Telephone system general assessment:  domestic service fair, international service good

domestic:  interisland microwave system and HF radio police net; domestic satellite communications system

international:  satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean and 1 Pacific Ocean)
Radio broadcast stations AM 678, FM 43, shortwave 82 (1998)
Radios 31.5 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations 41 (1999)
Televisions 13.75 million (1997)
Internet country code .id
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) 24 (2000)
Internet users 400,000 (2000)
Indonesia    Transportation Top of Page
Railways total:  6,458 km

narrow gauge:  5,961 km 1.067-m gauge (101 km electrified; 101 km double-track); 497 km 0.750-m gauge (2001)
Highways total:  342,700 km

paved:  158,670 km

unpaved:  184,030 km (1997)
Waterways 21,579 km total

note:  Sumatra 5,471 km, Java and Madura 820 km, Kalimantan 10,460 km, Sulawesi (Celebes) 241 km, Irian Jaya 4,587 km
Pipelines crude oil 2,505 km; petroleum products 456 km; natural gas 1,703 km (1989)
Ports and harbors Cilacap, Cirebon, Jakarta, Kupang, Makassar, Palembang, Semarang, Surabaya
Merchant marine total:  609 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 2,698,157 GRT/3,723,933 DWT

ships by type:  bulk 36, cargo 357, chemical tanker 10, container 25, liquefied gas 3, livestock carrier 1, passenger 7, passenger/cargo 14, petroleum tanker 117, refrigerated cargo 1, roll on/roll off 15, short-sea passenger 8, specialized tanker 10, vehicle carrier 5 (2000 est.)
Airports 453 (2000 est.)
Airports - with paved runways total:  136

over 3,047 m:  4

2,438 to 3,047 m:  12

1,524 to 2,437 m:  39

914 to 1,523 m:  44

under 914 m:  37 (2000 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways total:  317

1,524 to 2,437 m:  6

914 to 1,523 m:  28

under 914 m:  283 (2000 est.)
Heliports 4 (2000 est.)
Indonesia    Military Top of Page
Military branches Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines

note:  as of 1 July 2000, the National Police became an independent organization that reports directly to the president
Military manpower - military age 18 years of age
Military manpower - availability males age 15-49:  64,046,049 (2001 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service males age 15-49:  37,418,755 (2001 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually males:  2,263,706 (2001 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure $1 billion (FY98/99)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 1.3% (FY98/99)
Indonesia    Transnational Issues Top of Page
Disputes - international Sipadan and Ligitan Islands in dispute with Malaysia
Illicit drugs illicit producer of cannabis largely for domestic use; possible growing role as transshipment point for Golden Triangle heroin


Comparative figures for UK



United Kingdom  

United Kingdom    Introduction Top of Page
Background: Great Britain, the dominant industrial and maritime power of the 19th century, played a leading role in developing parliamentary democracy and in advancing literature and science. At its zenith, 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. 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, a founding member of NATO, and of the Commonwealth, the UK pursues a global approach to foreign policy; it currently is weighing the degree of its integration with continental Europe. A member of the EU, it chose to remain outside of the European Monetary Union for the time being. Constitutional reform is also a significant issue in the UK. Regional assemblies with varying degrees of power opened in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland in 1999.
United Kingdom    Geography Top of Page
Location: Western Europe, islands including the northern one-sixth of the island of Ireland between the North Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea, northwest of France
Geographic coordinates: 54 00 N, 2 00 W
Map references: Europe
Area: total:  244,820 sq km

land:  241,590 sq km

water:  3,230 sq km

note:  includes Rockall and Shetland Islands
Area - comparative: slightly smaller than Oregon
Land boundaries: total:  360 km

border countries:  Ireland 360 km
Coastline: 12,429 km
Maritime claims: continental shelf:  as defined in continental shelf orders or in accordance with agreed upon boundaries

exclusive fishing zone:  200 NM

territorial sea:  12 NM
Climate: temperate; moderated by prevailing southwest winds over the North Atlantic Current; more than one-half of the days are overcast
Terrain: mostly rugged hills and low mountains; level to rolling plains in east and southeast
Elevation extremes: lowest point:  Fenland -4 m

highest point:  Ben Nevis 1,343 m
Natural resources: coal, petroleum, natural gas, tin, limestone, iron ore, salt, clay, chalk, gypsum, lead, silica, arable land
Land use: arable land:  25%

permanent crops:  0%

permanent pastures:  46%

forests and woodland:  10%

other:  19% (1993 est.)
Irrigated land: 1,080 sq km (1993 est.)
Natural hazards: NA
Environment - current issues: continues to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (has meet Kyoto Protocol target of a 12.5% reduction from 1990 levels and hopes to reduce even more); small particulate emissions, largely from vehicular traffic, remain a problem; solid waste continues to rise and recycling is very limited
Environment - international agreements: party to:  Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified:  Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol
Geography - note: lies near vital North Atlantic sea lanes; only 35 km from France and now linked by tunnel under the English Channel; because of heavily indented coastline, no location is more than 125 km from tidal waters
United Kingdom    People Top of Page
Population: 59,647,790 (July 2001 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years:  18.89% (male 5,778,415; female 5,486,114)

15-64 years:  65.41% (male 19,712,932; female 19,304,771)

65 years and over:  15.7% (male 3,895,921; female 5,469,637) (2001 est.)
Population growth rate: 0.23% (2001 est.)
Birth rate: 11.54 births/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Death rate: 10.35 deaths/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Net migration rate: 1.07 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth:  1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years:  1.05 male(s)/female

15-64 years:  1.02 male(s)/female

65 years and over:  0.71 male(s)/female

total population:  0.97 male(s)/female (2001 est.)
Infant mortality rate: 5.54 deaths/1,000 live births (2001 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population:  77.82 years

male:  75.13 years

female:  80.66 years (2001 est.)
Total fertility rate: 1.73 children born/woman (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.11% (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 31,000 (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 450 (1999 est.)
Nationality: noun:  Briton(s), British (collective plural)

adjective:  British
Ethnic groups: English 81.5%, Scottish 9.6%, Irish 2.4%, Welsh 1.9%, Ulster 1.8%, West Indian, Indian, Pakistani, and other 2.8%
Religions: Anglican 27 million, Roman Catholic 9 million, Muslim 1 million, Presbyterian 800,000, Methodist 760,000, Sikh 400,000, Hindu 350,000, Jewish 300,000 (1991 est.)
Languages: English, Welsh (about 26% of the population of Wales), Scottish form of Gaelic (about 60,000 in Scotland)
Literacy: definition:  age 15 and over has completed five or more years of schooling

total population:  99% (1978 est.)

male:  NA%

female:  NA%
United Kingdom    Government Top of Page
Country name: conventional long form:  United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

conventional short form:  United Kingdom

abbreviation:  UK
Government type: constitutional monarchy
Capital: London
Administrative divisions: England - 47 boroughs, 36 counties*, 29 London boroughs**, 12 cities and boroughs***, 10 districts****, 12 cities*****, 3 royal boroughs******; Barking and Dagenham**, Barnet**, Barnsley, Bath and North East Somerset****, Bedfordshire*, Bexley**, Birmingham***, Blackburn with Darwen, Blackpool, Bolton, Bournemouth, Bracknell Forest, Bradford***, Brent**, Brighton and Hove, City of Bristol*****, Bromley**, Buckinghamshire*, Bury, Calderdale, Cambridgeshire*, Camden**, Cheshire*, Cornwall*, Coventry***, Croydon**, Cumbria*, Darlington, Derby*****, Derbyshire*, Devon*, Doncaster, Dorset*, Dudley, Durham*, Ealing**, East Riding of Yorkshire****, East Sussex*, Enfield**, Essex*, Gateshead, Gloucestershire*, Greenwich**, Hackney**, Halton, Hammersmith and Fulham**, Hampshire*, Haringey**, Harrow**, Hartlepool, Havering**, Herefordshire*, Hertfordshire*, Hillingdon**, Hounslow**, Isle of Wight*, Islington**, Kensington and Chelsea******, Kent*, City of Kingston upon Hull*****, Kingston upon Thames******, Kirklees, Knowsley, Lambeth**, Lancashire*, Leeds***, Leicester*****, Leicestershire*, Lewisham**, Lincolnshire*, Liverpool***, City of London*****, Luton, Manchester***, Medway, Merton**, Middlesbrough, Milton Keynes, Newcastle upon Tyne***, Newham**, Norfolk*, Northamptonshire*, North East Lincolnshire****, North Lincolnshire****, North Somerset****, North Tyneside, Northumberland*, North Yorkshire*, Nottingham*****, Nottinghamshire*, Oldham, Oxfordshire*, Peterborough*****, Plymouth*****, Poole, Portsmouth*****, Reading, Redbridge**, Redcar and Cleveland, Richmond upon Thames**, Rochdale, Rotherham, Rutland****, Salford***, Shropshire*, Sandwell, Sefton, Sheffield***, Slough, Solihull, Somerset*, Southampton*****, Southend-on-Sea, South Gloucestershire****, South Tyneside, Southwark**, Staffordshire*, St. Helens, Stockport, Stockton-on-Tees, Stoke-on-Trent*****, Suffolk*, Sunderland***, Surrey*, Sutton**, Swindon, Tameside, Telford and Wrekin****, Thurrock, Torbay, Tower Hamlets**, Trafford, Wakefield***, Walsall, Waltham Forest**, Wandsworth**, Warrington, Warwickshire*, West Berkshire****, Westminster***, West Sussex*, Wigan, Wiltshire*, Windsor and Maidenhead******, Wirral, Wokingham****, Wolverhampton, Worcestershire*, York*****; Northern Ireland - 24 districts, 2 cities*; Antrim, Ards, Armagh, Ballymena, Ballymoney, Banbridge, Belfast*, Carrickfergus, Castlereagh, Coleraine, Cookstown, Craigavon, Down, Dungannon, Fermanagh, Larne, Limavady, Lisburn, Derry*, Magherafelt, Moyle, Newry and Mourne, Newtownabbey, North Down, Omagh, Strabane; Scotland - 32 council areas; Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire, Angus, Argyll and Bute, The Scottish Borders, Clackmannanshire, Dumfries and Galloway, Dundee City, East Ayrshire, East Dunbartonshire, East Lothian, East Renfrewshire, City of Edinburgh, 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, West Dunbartonshire, Eilean Siar (Western Isles), West Lothian; Wales - 11 county boroughs, 9 counties*, 2 cities and counties**; Isle of Anglesey*, Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Caerphilly, Cardiff**, Ceredigion*, Carmarthenshire*, Conwy, Denbighshire*, Flintshire*, Gwynedd, Merthyr Tydfil, Monmouthshire*, Neath Port Talbot, Newport, Pembrokeshire*, Powys*, Rhondda Cynon Taff, Swansea**, Torfaen, The Vale of Glamorgan*, Wrexham
Dependent areas: Anguilla, Bermuda, British Indian Ocean Territory, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Jersey, Isle of Man, Montserrat, Pitcairn Islands, Saint Helena, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands
Independence: England has existed as a unified entity since the 10th century; the union between England and Wales was enacted under the Statute of Rhuddlan in 1284; in the Act of Union of 1707, England and Scotland agreed to permanent union as Great Britain; the legislative union of Great Britain and Ireland was implemented in 1801, with the adoption of the name the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland; the Anglo-Irish treaty of 1921 formalized a partition of Ireland; six northern Irish counties remained part of the United Kingdom as Northern Ireland and the current name of the country, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, was adopted in 1927
National holiday: Birthday of Queen ELIZABETH II, celebrated on the second Saturday in June (1926)
Constitution: unwritten; partly statutes, partly common law and practice
Legal system: common law tradition with early Roman and modern continental influences; no judicial review of Acts of Parliament; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations; British courts and legislation are increasingly subject to review by European Union courts
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief 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 Anthony C. L. (Tony) BLAIR (since 2 May 1997)

cabinet:  Cabinet of Ministers appointed by the prime minister

elections:  none; the monarch is hereditary; the prime minister is the leader of the majority party in the House of Commons (assuming there is no majority party, a prime minister would have a majority coalition or at least a coalition that was not rejected by the majority)
Legislative branch: bicameral Parliament comprised of House of Lords (consists of approximately 500 life peers, 92 hereditary peers and 26 clergy) and House of Commons (659 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms unless the House is dissolved earlier)

elections:  House of Lords - no elections (some proposals for further reform include elections); House of Commons - last held 7 June 2001 (next to be held by NA May 2006)

election results:  House of Commons - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - Labor 412, Conservative and Unionist 166, Liberal Democrat 52, other 29

note:  in 1998 elections were held for a Northern Ireland Parliament (because of unresolved disputes among existing parties, the transfer of power from London to Northern Ireland came only at the end of 1999 and was rescinded in February 2000); in 1999 there were elections for a new Scottish Parliament and a new Welsh Assembly
Judicial branch: House of Lords (highest court of appeal; several Lords of Appeal in Ordinary are appointed by the monarch for life); Supreme Courts of England, Wales, and Northern Ireland (comprising the Courts of Appeal, the High Courts of Justice, and the Crown Courts); Scotland's Court of Session and Court of the Justiciary
Political parties and leaders: Conservative and Unionist Party [Iain Duncan SMITH]; Democratic Unionist Party (Northern Ireland) [Rev. Ian PAISLEY]; Labor Party [Anthony (Tony) Blair]; Liberal Democrats [Charles KENNEDY]; Party of Wales (Plaid Cymru) [Ieuan Wyn JONES]; Scottish National Party or SNP [John SWINNEY]; Sinn Fein (Northern Ireland) [Gerry ADAMS]; Social Democratic and Labor Party or SDLP (Northern Ireland) [John HUME]; Ulster Unionist Party (Northern Ireland) [David TRIMBLE]
Political pressure groups and leaders: Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament; Confederation of British Industry; National Farmers' Union; Trades Union Congress
International organization participation: AfDB, AsDB, Australia Group, BIS, C, CCC, CDB (non-regional), CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECA (associate), ECE, ECLAC, EIB, ESA, ESCAP, EU, FAO, G- 5, G- 7, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO, ITU, MONUC, NAM (guest), NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, SPC, UN, UN Security Council, UNAMSIL, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIKOM, UNMIBH, UNMIK, UNOMIG, UNRWA, UNTAET, UNU, UPU, WCL, WEU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO, ZC
Flag description: blue 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) and which is superimposed on the diagonal white cross of Saint Andrew (patron saint of Scotland); known as the Union Flag or 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, as well as British overseas territories
United Kingdom    Economy Top of Page
Economy - overview: The UK, a leading trading power and financial center, deploys an essentially capitalistic economy, one of the quartet of trillion dollar economies of Western Europe. Over the past two decades the government has greatly reduced public ownership and contained the growth of social welfare programs. Agriculture is intensive, highly mechanized, and efficient by European standards, producing about 60% of food needs with only 1% of the labor force. The UK has large coal, natural gas, and oil reserves; primary energy production accounts for 10% of GDP, one of the highest shares of any industrial nation. Services, particularly banking, insurance, and business services, account by far for the largest proportion of GDP while industry continues to decline in importance. The economy has grown steadily, at just above or below 3%, for the last several years. The BLAIR government has put off the question of participation in the euro system until after the next election, in June of 2001; Chancellor of the Exchequer BROWN has identified some key economic tests to determine whether the UK should join the common currency system, but it will largely be a political decision. A serious short-term problem is foot-and-mouth disease, which by early 2001 had broken out in nearly 600 farms and slaughterhouses and had resulted in the killing of 400,000 animals.
GDP: purchasing power parity - $1.36 trillion (2000 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 3% (2000 est.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $22,800 (2000 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture:  1.7%

industry:  24.9%

services:  73.4% (1999)
Population below poverty line: 17%
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%:  2.6%

highest 10%:  27.3% (1991)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2.4% (2000 est.)
Labor force: 29.2 million (1999)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 1%, industry 19%, services 80% (1996 est.)
Unemployment rate: 5.5% (2000 est.)
Budget: revenues:  $555.2 billion

expenditures:  $510.8 billion, including capital expenditures of $37.7 billion (FY00)
Industries: machine 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, and other consumer goods
Industrial production growth rate: 2% (2000)
Electricity - production: 342.771 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel:  69.38%

hydro:  1.55%

nuclear:  26.68%

other:  2.39% (1999)
Electricity - consumption: 333.012 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - exports: 265 million kWh (1999)
Electricity - imports: 14.5 billion kWh (1999)
Agriculture - products: cereals, oilseed, potatoes, vegetables; cattle, sheep, poultry; fish
Exports: $282 billion (f.o.b., 2000)
Exports - commodities: manufactured goods, fuels, chemicals; food, beverages, tobacco
Exports - partners: EU 58% (Germany 12%, France 10%, Netherlands 8%), US 15% (1999)
Imports: $324 billion (f.o.b., 2000)
Imports - commodities: manufactured goods, machinery, fuels; foodstuffs
Imports - partners: EU 53% (Germany 14%, France 9%, Netherlands 7%), US 13%, Japan 5% (1999)
Debt - external: $NA
Economic aid - donor: ODA, $3.4 billion (1997)
Currency: British pound (GBP)
Currency code: GBP
Exchange rates: British pounds per US dollar - 0.6764 (January 2001), 0.6596 (2000), 0.6180 (1999), 0.6037 (1998), 0.6106 (1997), 0.6403 (1996)
Fiscal year: 1 April - 31 March
United Kingdom    Communications Top of Page
Telephones - main lines in use: 34.878 million (1997)
Telephones - mobile cellular: 13 million (yearend 1998)
Telephone system: general assessment:  technologically advanced domestic and international system

domestic:  equal mix of buried cables, microwave radio relay, and fiber-optic systems

international:  40 coaxial submarine cables; 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
Radio broadcast stations: AM 219, FM 431, shortwave 3 (1998)
Radios: 84.5 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations: 228 (plus 3,523 repeaters) (1995)
Televisions: 30.5 million (1997)
Internet country code: .uk
Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 245 (2000)
Internet users: 19.47 million (2000)
United Kingdom    Transportation Top of Page
Railways: total:  16,878 km

broad gauge:  342 km 1.600-m gauge (190 km double-track); note - all 1.600-m gauge track, of which 342 km is in common carrier use, and is in Northern Ireland

standard gauge:  16,536 km 1.435-m gauge (4,928 km electrified; 12,591 km double- or multiple-track) (1996)
Highways: total:  371,603 km

paved:  371,603 km (including 3,303 km of expressways)

unpaved:  0 km (1998 est.)
Waterways: 3,200 km
Pipelines: crude oil (almost all insignificant) 933 km; petroleum products 2,993 km; natural gas 12,800 km
Ports and harbors: Aberdeen, Belfast, Bristol, Cardiff, Dover, Falmouth, Felixstowe, Glasgow, Grangemouth, Hull, Leith, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Peterhead, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Scapa Flow, Southampton, Sullom Voe, Tees, Tyne
Merchant marine: total:  200 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 3,934,776 GRT/3,760,240 DWT

ships by type:  bulk 4, cargo 31, chemical tanker 11, combination ore/oil 1, container 47, liquefied gas 3, passenger 14, passenger/cargo 1, petroleum tanker 52, refrigerated cargo 4, roll on/roll off 19, short-sea passenger 10, specialized tanker 1, vehicle carrier 2

note:  includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of convenience: Denmark 1 (2000 est.)
Airports: 489 (2000 est.)
Airports - with paved runways: total:  349

over 3,047 m:  10

2,438 to 3,047 m:  33

1,524 to 2,437 m:  162

914 to 1,523 m:  89

under 914 m:  55 (2000 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways: total:  140

1,524 to 2,437 m:  1

914 to 1,523 m:  23

under 914 m:  116 (2000 est.)
Heliports: 11 (2000 est.)
United Kingdom    Military Top of Page
Military branches: Army, Royal Navy (includes Royal Marines), Royal Air Force
Military manpower - availability: males age 15-49:  14,599,199 (2001 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service: males age 15-49:  12,139,930 (2001 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure: $36.884 billion (FY97)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 2.7% (FY97)
United Kingdom    Transnational Issues Top of Page
Disputes - international: Northern Ireland issue with Ireland (historic peace agreement signed 10 April 1998); Gibraltar issue with Spain; Argentina claims Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas); Argentina claims South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands; Mauritius and the Seychelles claim Chagos Archipelago (UK-administered British Indian Ocean Territory); Rockall continental shelf dispute involving Denmark and Iceland; territorial claim in Antarctica (British Antarctic Territory) overlaps Argentine claim and partially overlaps Chilean claim; disputes with Iceland, Denmark, and Ireland over the Faroe Islands continental shelf boundary outside 200 NM
Illicit drugs: gateway country for Latin American cocaine entering the European market; major consumer of synthetic drugs, producer of limited amounts of synthetic drugs and synthetic precursor chemicals; major consumer of Southwest Asian heroin; money-laundering center