Local government in the United Kingdom has origins that pre-date the United Kingdom itself, as each of the four countries of the United Kingdom has its own separate system. For an overview, see Administrative geography of the United Kingdom. For details, see:
For the history of local government in each country, see:
For local government entities in each country, see
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom, or Britain, is a sovereign country in north-western Europe, off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands within the British Isles. Northern Ireland shares a land border with the Republic of Ireland. Otherwise, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea separates Great Britain and Ireland. The total area of the United Kingdom is 94,000 square miles (240,000 km2).
In the 2011 UK Census, the total population of the United Kingdom was about 63,182,000. It is the 21st most populated country in the world. Its population density is 259 people per square kilometre, with England having significantly greater density than Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. Almost a third of the population lives in England's southeast, which is predominantly urban and suburban, with about 9,000,000 in the capital city, London, whose population density is just over 5,200 per square kilometre. The population of the UK reached 66.4 million in mid-2019, with growth slowing in the last few years.
The United Kingdom has four legal systems, each of which derives from a particular geographical area for a variety of historical reasons: English law, Scots law, Northern Ireland law, and, since 2007, purely Welsh law. However, unlike the other three, Welsh law is not a separate legal system per se, merely the primary and secondary legislation generated by the Welsh Parliament, interpreted in accordance with the doctrines of English law and not impacting upon English common law. There is a substantial overlap between these three legal systems and the three legal jurisdictions of the United Kingdom: England and Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. Each legal system defaults to its jurisdiction, each of whose courts further that law through jurisprudence. Choice of which jurisdiction's law to use is possible in private law: for example a company in Edinburgh, Scotland and a company in Belfast, Northern Ireland are free to contract in English law. This is not so in public law, where there are set rules of procedure in each jurisdiction. Overarching these systems is the law of the United Kingdom, also known as United Kingdom law. UK law arises from laws applying to the United Kingdom and/or its citizens as a whole, most obviously constitutional law, but also other areas, for instance tax law.
A listed building, or listed structure, is one that has been placed on one of the four statutory lists maintained by Historic England in England, Historic Environment Scotland in Scotland, Cadw in Wales, and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency in Northern Ireland.
The administrative geography of the United Kingdom is complex, multi-layered and non-uniform. The United Kingdom, a sovereign state to the northwest of continental Europe, consists of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. For local government in the United Kingdom, England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales each have their own system of administrative and geographic demarcation. Consequently, there is "no common stratum of administrative unit encompassing the United Kingdom".
The boundary commissions in the United Kingdom are non-departmental public bodies responsible for determining the boundaries of constituencies for elections to the House of Commons. There are four separate boundary commissions:
Politics of England forms the major part of the wider politics of the United Kingdom, with England being more populous than all the other countries of the United Kingdom put together. As England is also by far the largest in terms of area and GDP, its relationship to the UK is somewhat different from that of Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. The English capital London is also the capital of the UK, and English is the dominant language of the UK. Dicey and Morris (p26) list the separate states in the British Islands. "England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man, Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney, and Sark.... is a separate country in the sense of the conflict of laws, though not one of them is a State known to public international law." But this may be varied by statute.
Local nature reserve (LNR) is a designation for nature reserves in Great Britain. The designation has its origin in the recommendations of the Wild Life Conservation Special Committee which established the framework for nature conservation in the United Kingdom and suggested a national suite of protected areas comprising national nature reserves, conservation areas, national parks, geological monuments, local nature reserves and local educational nature reserves.
White British is an ethnicity classification used in the 2011 United Kingdom Census. In the 2011 census, the White British population was 51,736,290, 86.1% of the UK total population.
The fire services in the United Kingdom operate under separate legislative and administrative arrangements in England and Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland.
The history of local government in the United Kingdom covers the development of local government in the United Kingdom since its formation in 1707. Each of the four countries of the United Kingdom has a separate system of local government with origins that predate the UK itself. Little changed until the 19th century after which each system experienced a constant evolution of organisation and function. Following devolution at the end of the 20th century, the Scottish Parliament exercises power over local government in Scotland, the Northern Ireland Assembly exercises power over local government in Northern Ireland, the Welsh Assembly exercises power over local government in Wales and the UK Parliament continues to exercise power over local government in England.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; a sovereign state in Europe, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK), or Britain. Lying off the north-western coast of the European mainland, it includes the island of Great Britain—a term also applied loosely to refer to the whole country—the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland and many smaller islands
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK), since 1922, comprises four constituent countries: England, Scotland, and Wales, as well as Northern Ireland. The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom. Some statistical summaries, such as those for the twelve NUTS 1 regions of the United Kingdom, refer to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as "regions". With regard to Northern Ireland and Scotland particularly, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice often revealing one's political preferences".
A census of the population of the United Kingdom is taken every ten years. The 2011 census was held in all countries of the UK on 27 March 2011. It was the first UK census which could be completed online via the Internet. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is responsible for the census in England and Wales, the General Register Office for Scotland (GROS) is responsible for the census in Scotland, and the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) is responsible for the census in Northern Ireland.
In the United Kingdom, devolution is the Parliament of the United Kingdom statutory granting of a greater level of self-government to the Scottish Parliament, the Welsh Parliament, the Northern Ireland Assembly and the London Assembly and to their associated executive bodies the Scottish Government, the Welsh Government, the Northern Ireland Executive and in England, the Greater London Authority and combined authorities.
Central government spending in the United Kingdom, also called public expenditure, is the responsibility of the UK government, the Scottish Government, the Welsh Government and the Northern Ireland Executive. In the budget for financial year 2019–20, proposed total government spending was £842 billion.
Federalism in the United Kingdom refers to the distribution of power between countries and regions of the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom, despite being composed of four countries, three of which have their own cabinet, legislature and First Minister, has traditionally been a unitary state, governed by the Parliament of the United Kingdom in Westminster. Instead of adopting a federal model, such as that of the United States, the United Kingdom continues to employ a system of devolution, in which political power is gradually decentralised. Devolution differs from federalism in that authority ultimately remains with the British Government, and as such the United Kingdom remains a de jure unitary state, where an Act of Parliament could theoretically remove these powers. Devolution has only been extended to Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Greater London, and London remains the only region of England to have significantly devolved power.
White Gypsy or Irish Traveller is an ethnicity classification used in the 2011 United Kingdom Census. In the 2011 census, the White Gypsy or Irish Traveller population was 63,181 or about 0.01 percent of the total population of the country. The ethnicity category may encompass populace from the distinct ethnic groups of Romanichal Travellers or Irish Travellers, and their respective related subgroupings, who identify as, or are perceived to be, white people in the United Kingdom.