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It has a high-income economy and has a "very high" Human Development Index, ranking 16th in the world.
It was the first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries.
The term "Britain" is often used as a synonym for the United Kingdom.
The term "Great Britain", by contrast, refers conventionally to the island of Great Britain, or politically to England, Scotland and Wales in combination.
Subsequent medieval English kings completed the conquest of Wales and made an unsuccessful attempt to annex Scotland.
Following the Declaration of Arbroath, Scotland maintained its independence, albeit in near-constant conflict with England.
The UK is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity.
With an area of 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi), the UK is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world.
It is also the 21st-most populous country, with an estimated 65.5 million inhabitants in 2016.
The UK consists of four countries—England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
based in their capitals Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast, respectively.