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Facts about England and London history.
England is the largest and most populous constituent
country of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, to the north west of continental Europe. Its inhabitants account for more than 83% of the total population of the United
Kingdom, whilst the mainland territory of England occupies most of the southern two-thirds of the island of Great Britain and shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west. Elsewhere, it is bordered by the North Sea, Irish Sea, Atlantic Ocean, and English Channel.
England was formed as a country during the 10th century and takes its name from the Angles — one of a number of Germanic tribes who settled in the territory during the 5th and 6th centuries. The capital city of England is London, which is the largest city in the British Isles, capital of the United Kingdom and one of the world's Global Cities.
England ranks as one of the most influential and far-reaching centres of cultural development in the
world. It is the place of origin of both the English language and the Church of England, and was the historic centre of the British Empire, and the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution. Many constitutional, governmental and legal innovations that had their origin in England have been widely adopted by other nations.
England is both the most populous and the most ethnically diverse nation in the United Kingdom
with 50,431,700 inhabitants, or 83.8% of the UK's
total. This would make England the 25th largest country by population if it were a sovereign state. The 2001 census records roughly around 9% of England's inhabitants as being non-white in
origin. The country's population is 'ageing', with a declining percentage of the population under age 16 and a rising one of over 65. Population continues to rise and in every year since 1901, with the exception of 1976, there have been more births than
deaths. England is one of the most densely populated countries in Europe, with 383 people per square
kilometre, making it second only to the Netherlands.
There is a debate over the extent to which the population of England (and indeed that of Britain as a whole) is composed of long-standing indigenous stock or descended from various groups of settlers and immigrants who have arrived over millennia. The Cheddar Man has been cited as demonstrating that a substantial proportion of the present day population may be descended from groups that populated the island in prehistory (The Times, 8 March 1997). The often given view of English ethnicity is that it is a mixed one with large influences from various waves of Celtic, Norse, Roman, Anglo-Saxon and Norman invasions.
The economic prosperity of England has also made it a destination for economic migrants from Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. This was particularly true during the Industrial Revolution.
England has a temperate climate, with plentiful rainfall all year round, though the seasons are quite variable in temperature. However, temperatures rarely fall below −5°C (23°F) or rise above 30°C (86°F). The prevailing wind is from the southwest, bringing mild and wet weather to England regularly from the Atlantic Ocean. It is driest in the east and warmest in the south, which is closest to the European mainland. Snowfall can occur in Winter and early Spring, though it is not that common away from high ground.
The highest temperature ever recorded in England is 38.5 °C (101.3 °F) on August 10, 2003 at
Brogdale, near Faversham, in
Kent. The lowest temperature ever recorded in England is −26.1 °C (−15.0 °F) on January 10, 1982 at
Edgmond, near Newport, in Shropshire.
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