Scotland

Scotland (Scots: Scotland, Scottish Gaelic: Alba [ˈal̪ˠapə] (listen)) is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Covering the northern third of the island of Great Britain,[15][16][17] mainland Scotland has a 96-mile (154 km) border with England to the southeast and is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, the North Sea to the northeast and the Irish Sea to the south. The country also contains more than 790 islands,[18] principally in the archipelagos of the Hebrides and the Northern Isles. Most of the population, including the capital Edinburgh, is concentrated in the Central Belt – the plain between the Scottish Highlands and the Southern Uplands – in the Scottish Lowlands.

Scotland
Scotland (Scots)
Alba (Scottish Gaelic)
Motto: "In My Defens God Me Defend" (Scots)[a]
"In my defence God me defend"
Anthem: Various[b]
Location of Scotland (dark green)

 in Europe (green & dark grey)
 in the United Kingdom (green)

StatusCountry
CapitalEdinburgh
55°57′11″N 3°11′20″W
Largest cityGlasgow
Recognised languages[c]
Ethnic groups
(2011)
List of ethnicities
  • 96.0% White
  • 2.7% Asian
  • 0.7% Black
  • 0.4% Mixed
  • 0.2% Arab
  • 0.1% other[1]
Religion
(2011)
53.8% Christianity
—32.4% Church of Scotland
—15.9% Roman Catholic
—5.5% Other Christian
36.7% No religion
1.4% Islam
0.3% Hinduism
0.2% Buddhism
0.2% Sikhism
0.1% Judaism
0.3% Other[2][3][4]
Demonym(s)
GovernmentDevolved parliamentary legislature within a constitutional monarchy[e]
 Monarch
Elizabeth II
Nicola Sturgeon
John Swinney
Parliament of the United Kingdom
 Secretary of StateAlister Jack
 House of Commons59 MPs (of 650)
LegislatureScottish Parliament
Formation
9th century (traditionally 843)
17 March 1328
3 October 1357[5]
1 May 1707
19 November 1998
Area
 Land
77,933 km2 (30,090 sq mi)[6]
 Water (%)
3.00%
Population
 2019 estimate
5,463,300[7]
 2011 census
5,313,600[8]
 Density
67.5/km2 (174.8/sq mi)
GDP (nominal)2019 estimate
 Total
£166 billion
($212B)[9]
 Per capita
£30,560
($39007)
HDI (2019)0.925[10]
very high · 4th
CurrencyPound sterling (GBP; £)
Time zoneUTC (Greenwich Mean Time)
 Summer (DST)
UTC+1 (British Summer Time)
Date formatdd/mm/yyyy (AD)
Driving sideleft
Calling code+44
ISO 3166 codeGB-SCT
Internet TLD.scot [f]
  1. ^ Often shown abbreviated as "In Defens".
  2. ^ See National anthem of Scotland.
  3. ^ Scotland has no official language. English is the main language by custom and usage, with Scots, Scottish Gaelic and British Sign Language also recognised as the main linguistic groups in Scotland, according to the Scottish Government.[11] Both Scots and Scottish Gaelic are officially recognised as regional languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages.[12] Under the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005, Bòrd na Gàidhlig is tasked with securing Gaelic as an official language of Scotland.[13] British Sign Language is officially recognised as a language under the British Sign Language (Scotland) Act 2015.[14]
  4. ^ Historically, the use of "Scotch" as an adjective comparable to "Scottish" or "Scots" was commonplace. Modern use of the term describes products of Scotland (usually food or drink-related).
  5. ^ The head of state of the United Kingdom is the monarch (currently Queen Elizabeth II, since 1952). Scotland has limited self-government within the UK as well as representation in the UK Parliament. Certain executive and legislative powers have been devolved to, respectively, the Scottish Government and the Scottish Parliament.
  6. ^ .scot is not a ccTLD, but a GeoTLD, open to use by all people in Scotland and related to Scotland. .uk as part of the United Kingdom is also used. ISO 3166-1 is GB, but .gb is unused.

Scotland is divided into 32 administrative subdivisions or local authorities, known as council areas.[19] Glasgow City is the largest council area in terms of population, with Highland being the largest in terms of area. Limited self-governing power, covering matters such as education, social services and roads and transportation, is devolved from the Scottish Government to each subdivision.[19] Scotland is the second largest country in the United Kingdom, and accounted for 8.3% of the population in 2012.[20]

The Kingdom of Scotland emerged as an independent sovereign state in the Early Middle Ages and continued to exist until 1707. By inheritance in 1603, James VI of Scotland became king of England and Ireland, thus forming a personal union of the three kingdoms. Scotland subsequently entered into a political union with the Kingdom of England on 1 May 1707 to create the new Kingdom of Great Britain.[21][22] The union also created the Parliament of Great Britain, which succeeded both the Parliament of Scotland and the Parliament of England. In 1801, the Kingdom of Great Britain entered into a political union with the Kingdom of Ireland to create the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (in 1922, the Irish Free State seceded from the United Kingdom, leading to the latter being officially renamed the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in 1927).[23]

Within Scotland, the monarchy of the United Kingdom has continued to use a variety of styles, titles and other royal symbols of statehood specific to the pre-union Kingdom of Scotland. The legal system within Scotland has also remained separate from those of England and Wales and Northern Ireland; Scotland constitutes a distinct jurisdiction in both public and private law.[24] The continued existence of legal, educational, religious and other institutions distinct from those in the remainder of the UK have all contributed to the continuation of Scottish culture and national identity since the 1707 incorporating union with England.[25]

In 1999, a Scottish Parliament was re-established, in the form of a devolved unicameral legislature comprising 129 members, having authority over many areas of domestic policy.[26] The head of the Scottish Government is the first minister of Scotland, who is supported by the deputy first minister of Scotland.[27] Scotland is represented in the United Kingdom Parliament by 59 MPs. Scotland is also a member of the British–Irish Council,[28] sending five members of the Scottish Parliament to the British–Irish Parliamentary Assembly,[29] as well as being part of the Joint Ministerial Committee, represented by the first minister.[30]