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EnglandNorthern irelandScotland


The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is made up of four countries; England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. TheWorldOfInfo has chosen to deal with each individual country.

Steam engine-powered weaving mill in EnglandSteam engine-powered weaving mill in EnglandPhoto: Publiic domain

The Industrial Revolution in particular made the United Kingdom the first major industrial nation, making it the world's largest economic power. In the areas of trade, transport, industrial production and banking and insurance, there was an unprecedented boom. Around 1900, competition from the United States and certain European countries began to decline. After World War I, many industries proved obsolete and the United Kingdom gradually lost its predominant position. Added to this was the loss of most colonies after 1945, which narrowed the economic base. Read more about the Economy of England

Steel Industry WalesSteel Industry WalesPhoto: Public domain

For years, coal mining and the iron and steel industry have been the pillars of the economy. In 1920, some 300,000 people were still working in the coal mines mainly in South Wales and around Wrexham. The services sector offers the most employment. The energy companies (gas and electricity) are also important. Large dams (Claerwen and Elan Valley) have been constructed in Mid Wales to generate electricity. Read more about the Economy of Wales

Harland and Wolff docks in BelfastHarland and Wolff docks in BelfastPhoto: Ross CC 2.0 Generic no changes made

Northern Ireland has traditionally been the least prosperous part of the United Kingdom. The London government is trying to improve this by making Northern Ireland attractive to foreign investors. The British government itself has also invested billions of euros in the Northern Irish economy in recent decades. Read more about the Economy of Northern-Ireland

Head office of the Bank of Scotland, Edinburgh

Head office of the Bank of Scotland, EdinburghPhoto: Rept0n1x CC 3.0 Unported no changes made

For centuries, the economic development of Scotland, partly due to its peripheral location, has lagged behind that of England, resulting in large-scale emigration. Exploration and exploitation of oil and gas have seen an economic upturn since the 1960s. The services sector has experienced strong growth. Read more about the Economy of Scotland


CIA - World Factbook

BBC - Country Profiles

Last updated February 2024
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