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Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to its east, the English Channel to its south and the Celtic Sea to its south-south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world.The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland.
Other major urban areas in the United Kingdom include the conurbations centred on Birmingham, Leeds, Glasgow, Liverpool and Manchester.Additionally, the United Kingdom's Olympic team competes under the name "Great Britain" or "Team GB".The adjective "British" is commonly used to refer to matters relating to the United Kingdom.The nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the United Kingdom, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation.Prior to the creation of the United Kingdom, Wales had already been conquered and annexed by the Kingdom of England.The UK is considered to have a high-income economy and is categorised as very high in the Human Development Index, ranking 16th in the world.
It was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries.
Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
These are the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed almost a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history.
Together, this makes it the fourth-most densely populated country in the European Union (EU).
The monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 6 February 1952.
However, on 23 June 2016, a non-binding referendum on the UK's membership of the EU resulted with 51.9% of UK voters favouring a leave, and now the country's prospective exit from the EU is being negotiated.