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Population And Demographics
The reigning monarch is Queen Elizabeth II whose main residence is in Buckingham Palace in London. Although titled as a kingdom, the UK is in fact a democracy with its seat of Government situated in the capital city London at the Houses of Parliament.
The Government is divided into two levels known as houses – the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The head of the Government is the Prime Minister who leads the House of Commons and it’s in this House where locally elected representatives, known as Members of Parliament, sit and debate issues of national concern and agree national laws. In addition to the national government, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have separate parliamentary bodies to deal with some local matters such as health and education.
The UK is divided into administrative units (often referred to as local government or local authorities) where local issues are addressed by local councils. The community is represented on these authorities by locally elected Councillors. Details of your local Councillor can be obtained from your local authority. All of these authorities need to raise income for the provision of services such as waste collection and road maintenance. This is done through local ‘council tax’.
Over the centuries Britain has welcomed people from all over the world both as residents and as tourists. Having embraced people of different ethnic origin and religion it’s now seen as a genuinely multi-cultural country with a population in excess of 60 million.
Having said that, 92% of the population is white and the predominant religion is Christian, but Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Judaism and others are all practised in various parts of the Country.
The Queen, her links to British law and her role as head of the Church of England demonstrates the link between Christianity and the State.