Economy overview: Great Britain is one of four Western European countries with a GDP exceeding a trillion dollars, a world trade and financial center. Over the past two decades, the government has significantly reduced the share of state ownership and has held back the development of welfare programs. Agriculture is intensive, highly mechanized and efficient by European standards: 60% of the food needed is produced with only 1% of the workforce. Great Britain has large reserves of coal, natural gas and oil; energy production is 10% of GDP – one of the highest rates among all industrial states. The service sector, especially banking, insurance and business services, is increasing its share of GDP, while the share of industrial production is falling. The economy has been growing steadily over the past few years by about 3% per year. The BLAIR government delays the decision to join the euro system; Chancellor of the Exchequer BROWN has identified the key economic indicators on which the issue of joining the UK to the single currency system should be decided, but this requires a political decision. A major short-term problem is mad cow disease, which by early 2001 had infected nearly 600 farms and slaughterhouses and killed 400,000 animals. See topb2bwebsites.com to know more about United Kingdom in 2004.
GDP: Purchasing Power Parity $1.36 trillion (2000 est.)
Real GDP growth rate: 3% (2000 est.).
GDP per capita: PPP $22,800 (2000 est.)
The composition of GDP by sectors of the economy: agriculture: 1.7%; industry: 24.9%; service sector: 73.4% (1999).
Proportion of population below the poverty line: 17%.
Percentage distribution of household income or consumption: per 10% of the poorest families: 2.6%; by the top 10% of families: 27.3% (1991).
Inflation rate at consumer prices: 2.4% (2000).
Labor force: 29.2 million people (1999).
Employment structure: services 80%, industry 19%, agriculture 1% (1996).
Unemployment rate: 5.5% (2000).
Budget: revenues: $555.2 billion; expenditures: $510.8 billion, including capital expenditures of $37.7 billion (FY99-2000).
Economic sectors: equipment manufacturing, including machine tools, electrical equipment, automatic equipment, railway equipment, shipbuilding, aircraft, automobile and spare parts, electronic equipment and communications, metallurgy, chemical industry, coal mining, oil, paper and paper products, food and textile industries, production of clothing and other consumer goods.
Growth in industrial production: 2% (2000).
Electricity generation: 342.771 billion kWh (1999)
Sources of electricity generation: fossil fuels: 69.38%; hydropower: 1.55%; nuclear fuel: 26.68%; others: 2.39% (1999).
Electricity consumption: 333.012 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity export: 265 million kWh (1999).
Electricity import: 14.5 billion kWh (1999).
Agricultural products: cereals and oilseeds, potatoes, vegetables; cattle, sheep, poultry; fish.
Export: $282 billion (free on board, 2000)
Exports: manufactured goods, fuels, chemicals; food products, drinks, tobacco.
Export partners: EU 58% (Germany 12%, France 10%, Netherlands 8%), US 15% (1999).
Imports: $324 billion (free on board, 2000)
Import articles: manufactured goods, machinery, fuel; Food.
Import partners: EU 53% (Germany 14%, France 9%, Netherlands 7%), US 13%, Japan 5% (1999).
External debt: no data.
Economic Aid Donor: Official Development Support $3.4 billion (1997).
Currency: English pound.
Currency code: GBP.
Exchange rate: GBP/USD – 0.6764 (January 2001), 0.6596 (2000), 0.6180 (1999), 0.6037 (1998), 0.6106 (1997), 0.6403 (1996).
Fiscal year: April 1-March 31.
Telecommunications Telephone lines: 34.878 million (1997).
Mobile cell phones: 13 million (end 1998)
Telephone system: technologically advanced domestic and international system; domestic: balanced combination of cable, microwave radio relay and fiber optic systems; international: 40 coaxial submarine cables; ground satellite stations – 10 Intelsat (7 Atlantic Ocean and 3 Indian Ocean), 1 Inmarsat (Atlantic Ocean region) and 1 Evtepsat; there are at least 8 major international exchanges.
Broadcast stations: AM -219, FM – 431, shortwave -3 (1998).
Radio receivers: 84.5 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations: 228 (and 3,523 repeaters) (1995).
Televisions: 30.5 million (1997)
Internet country code: uk
Internet service providers: 245 (2000).
Number of users: 19.47 million (2000)
Transport Railways: total: 16,878 km; with a broad gauge: 342 km (1,600 m gauge), of which 190 km are double-gauge roads; note – all 342 km are in Northern Ireland; with standard gauge: 16,536 km (1.435 m gauge), of which 4,928 km are electrified; 12,591 km of double or multi-track (1996).
Roads: total: 371,603 km; paved: 371,603 km (including 3,303 km of expressways); unpaved: 0 km (1998 est.).
Waterways: 3,200 km.
Pipelines: for crude oil: 933 km; for oil products: 2,993 km; for natural gas: 12,800 km.
Ports and harbours: Aberdeen, Belfast, Bristol, Cardiff, Dover, Fapmouth, Fepikstowe, Glasgow, Grand Gemmouth, Happ, Leith, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Peterhead, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Scapa Flow, Southampton, Sullom Vo, Tees, Tyne.
Merchant navy: total: 200 ships (1,000 tons displacement or more) with a total displacement of 3,934,776 gross register tons / 3,760,240 long tons of gross tonnage; ships of various types: bulk carriers – 4, cargo ships – 31, chemical tankers – 11, combination ships carrying ore and oil – 1, container ships – 47, liquefied gas tankers – 3, passenger ships – 14, cargo-passenger ships – 1, oil tankers – 52, refrigerated ships – 4, ferries for the transport of loaded vehicles – 1 19, coastal passenger ships – 10, specialized tankers – 1, cargo ships for the transport of vehicles – 2; note: including foreign vessels registered here for flag of convenience reasons: Denmark 1 (2000 est.).
Airports: 489 (2000 est.).
Airports with paved runways: total: 349; over 3,047 m: 10; from 2438 to 3047 m: 33; from 1524 to 2437 m: 162; from 914 to 1523 m: 89; less than 914 m: 55 (2000 est.).
Airports with unpaved runways: total: 140; from 1524 to 2437 m:1; from 914 to 1523 m:23; less than 914 m: 116 (2000 est.). Helipads: 11 (2000 est.).
Branches of the Armed Forces: Army, Royal Navy (including Royal Marines), Royal Air Force.
Total military manpower: men 15 to 49 pets: 14,599,199 (2001 est.).
Eligible for military service: men aged 15 to 49: 12,139,930 (2001 est.).
Number of persons reaching military age each year:
Military spending in dollar terms: $36.884 billion (FY97-98).
Military spending as part of GDP: 2.7% (FY97-98)
International issues International disputes: dispute over Northern Ireland with Ireland (historic peace agreement signed on 10 April 1998); dispute over Gibraltar with Spain; Argentina claims the Falkland (Malvinas) Islands; Argentina claims South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands; Mauritius and the Seychelles claim the Chagos Archipelago (British Indian Ocean Territory); the Rokople continental shelf dispute is with Denmark and Iceland; territorial claims in Antarctica (British Antarctic Territory), Argentina claims the same territories in Antarctica and Chile claims part of the territories; dispute with Iceland, Denmark and Ireland over the border of the Faroe Islands continental shelf.
Illicit drugs: transit point for Latin American cocaine entering the European market; a major user of synthetic drugs; limited production of synthetic drugs and synthetic drugs needed for the manufacture of drugs; a major heroin user from South-West Asia; money laundering center.