The United Kingdom

Country Name:

Conventional long form: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; note - Great Britain includes England, Scotland, and Wales
Conventional short form:
United Kingdom
Abbreviation: UK


Western Europe, islands including the northern one-sixth of the island of Ireland between the North Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea, northwest of France. Lies near vital North Atlantic sea lanes; only 35 km from France and linked by tunnel under the English Channel; because of heavily indented coastline, no location is more than 125 km from tidal waters

Area – Comparative:

Slightly smaller than Oregon.


Temperate; moderated by prevailing southwest winds over the North Atlantic Current; more than one-half of the days are overcast.

Natural resources:

Coal, petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, lead, zinc, gold, tin, limestone, salt, clay, chalk, gypsum, potash, silica sand, slate, arable land


61,113,205 (July 2009 est.)

The Economy:

The UK, a leading trading power and financial center, is one of the quintet of trillion dollar economies of Western Europe. Over the past two decades, the government has greatly reduced public ownership and contained the growth of social welfare programs. Agriculture is intensive, highly mechanized, and efficient by European standards, producing about 60% of food needs with less than 2% of the labor force. The UK has large coal, natural gas, and oil resources, but its oil and natural gas reserves are declining and the UK became a net importer of energy in 2005; energy industries now contribute about 4% to GDP. Services, particularly banking, insurance, and business services, account by far for the largest proportion of GDP while industry continues to decline in importance. Since emerging from recession in 1992, Britain's economy enjoyed the longest period of expansion on record during which time growth outpaced most of Western Europe. The global economic slowdown, tight credit, and falling home prices, however, pushed Britain back into recession in the latter half of 2008 and prompted the BROWN government to implement a number of new measures to stimulate the economy and stabilize the financial markets; these include part-nationalizing the banking system, cutting taxes, suspending public sector borrowing rules, and bringing forward public spending on capital projects. The Bank of England periodically coordinates interest rate moves with the European Central Bank, but Britain remains outside the European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), and opinion polls show a majority of Britons oppose joining the euro.

Also see: “Doing Business 2010 United Kingdom” by The World Bank Group.

Telephone System:

General assessment: technologically advanced domestic and international system
domestic: equal mix of buried cables, microwave radio relay, and fiber-optic systems
international: country code - 44; numerous submarine cables provide links throughout Europe, Asia, Australia, the Middle East, and US; satellite earth stations - 10 Intelsat (7 Atlantic Ocean and 3 Indian Ocean), 1 Inmarsat (Atlantic Ocean region), and 1 Eutelsat; at least 8 large international switching centers

Representation in USA:

Consulate(s) General: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco
Consulate(s): Dallas, Denver, Orlando

The connection between Bristol (UK) and Colorado Springs 

The Inmos company was founded by Iann Barron, a British computer consultant, Richard Petritz and Paul Schroeder, both American semiconductor industry veterans. Initial funding of £50M was provided by the UK government via the National Enterprise Board A US subsidiary, Inmos Corporation, was also established in Colorado. Semiconductor fabrication facilities were built in Colorado Springs and in Newport, Wales near BristolUnder the privatization policy of Margaret Thatcher the National Enterprise Board was merged into the British Technology Group and had to sell its shares in Inmos. Offers for Inmos from AT&T and a Dutch consortium had been turned down. In July 1984 Thorn EMI made a bid for £124.1 million for the state's 76 percent interest in the company (the remaining 24% had been held by Inmos founders and employees). Later it was raised to £192 million, approved August 1984 and finalized in September.

In total, Inmos had received £211 million from the government, but did not become profitable.

In April 1989, Inmos was sold to SGS-Thomson (now STMicroelectronics). Around the same time, work was started on an enhanced “transputer”, the T9000. Unfortunately, this encountered various technical problems and delays, and was eventually abandoned, signalling the end of the development of the transputer as a parallel processing platform. However, transputer derivatives such as the ST20 were later incorporated into chipsets for embedded applications such as set-top boxes.
David May, the father of the transputer (1979), continues to teach at the University of Bristol. The transputer, in essence, was the first “multicore” chip. The transputer and INMOS both not only left a legacy on the computing world but also established Bristol, UK as a hub for microelectronic design and innovation.

In December 1994, Inmos was fully assimilated into STMicroelectronics, and the usage of the Inmos brand name was discontinued.


Information has been compiled using information made available by The CIA - The World Fact Book, The World Bank: Doing Business and the Southwest of England Regional development Agency.