The UK natural resources
The UK has a variety of natural resources including:
· Geological: coal, petroleum, natural gas (the major ones), limestone, chalk, gypsum, silica, rock salt, china clay, iron ore, tin, silver, gold, lead (produced in small quantities). Coal mining is concentrated in Yorkshire, Northumberland-Darem and Southern-Welsh basins. Oil and gas were discovered under the North Sea during the 1960s and new supplies are still being found today.
· Agricultural: arable land, pastures.
· Other natural resources: wind, solar and water power. Due to the island location of the UK, the country has great potential for generating electricity from offshore windfarms, wave power and tidal power, although these have not yet been exploited on a meaningful commercial scale.
4.3. The UK demographics
The UK has a population of about 59 million people (according to the 2001 census). It is the third-largest country in the European Union (behind Germany and metropolitan France) and the 21st-largest in the world. Its overall population density is one of the highest in the world, due to the particularly high population density in England. Almost one-third of the population lives in England’s southeast and is predominantly urban and suburban, with about 8.2 million in the capital of London.
The UK’s population is predominantly white (92%). Other racial groups in the UK include: mixed – 1%; Asian or British Asian – 4%; Black or Black British – 2%; Chinese – 0,5%; other – 0,5%*. Contemporary Britons are descended mainly from the varied ethnic stocks that settled in Great Britain before the 11th century. Prehistoric, Celtic, Roman, Anglo-Saxon, and Norse influences were blended in Britain under the Normans, Scandinavian Vikings from northern France. The English, the Welsh, the Scottish and the Irish were and remain in many ways different peoples, united politically. The notion of Britishness was forged during the Napoleonic Wars between Britain and the France, and came to be superimposed on to much older identities. Considerable migration after the Second World War made the UK an increasingly ethnically and racially diverse state. Most immigrants arrived to the UK from its former colonies, now the Commonwealth countries and belong to Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi nations.
English is the main language spoken in UK, although with many regional variations in terms of accents and phraseology. About one fifth of the population of Wales speaks the Welsh language. Gaelic is spoken by some 70 000 people in Scotland. People in the central lowland of Scotland have for centuries spoken Scots. Many other languages are spoken by the minority ethnic communities of the UK.
Date: 2015-01-02; view: 78