The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a sovereign country in western Europe.The United Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary​ democracy. The capital of the United Kingdom and its largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million, the fourth-largest in Europe and second-largest in the European Union.

 

The United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world’s fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. The UK is considered to have a high-income economy and is categorized as very high in the Human Development Index, ranking 16th in the world. It was the world’s first industrialized country and the world’s foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power with considerable economic, cultural, military, scientific and political influence internationally. It is a recognized nuclear weapons state and is seventh in military expenditure in the world.

 

Education in the United Kingdom is a devolved matter, with each country having a separate education system. About 38 percent of the United Kingdom population has a university or college degree, which is the highest percentage in Europe, and among the highest percentages in the world. The United Kingdom trails only the United States in terms of representation on lists of top 100 universities. Healthcare in the United Kingdom is a devolved matter and each country has its own system of private and publicly funded health care, together with alternative, holistic and complementary treatments. Public healthcare is provided to all UK permanent residents and is mostly free at the point of need, being paid for from general taxation. The World Health Organization, in 2000, ranked the provision of healthcare in the United Kingdom as fifteenth best in Europe and eighteenth in the world.