The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (known generally as the United Kingdom, the UK, or Britain) is a European sovereign state and a member of the European Union. Great Britain is a constitutional monarchy now led by Queen Elizabeth II. As a Western parliamentary democracy, Great Britain saw its first and, as yet, only female prime minister come to power in 1979, with the election of Margaret Thatcher as leader of the Conservative Party.

As of 2010, the most recent census was taken in 2001, and the total UK population stood at just under 59 million. Boys outnumber girls, while women outnumber men. In 2008, the average total fertility rate stood at 1.96 children per woman, the highest since 1973. The

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