STATISTICS: United Kingdom

United Kingdom

11.8% —or about 2,845,000 hectares—of United Kingdom is forested. Of this, none is classified as primary forest, the most biodiverse form of forest.

Change in Forest Cover: Between 1990 and 2000, United Kingdom gained an average of 18,200 hectares of forest per year. The amounts to an average annual reforestation rate of 0.70%. Between 2000 and 2005, the rate of forest change decreased by 46.6% to 0.37% per annum. In total, between 1990 and 2005, United Kingdom gained 9.0% of its forest cover, or around 234,000 hectares. Measuring the total rate of habitat conversion (defined as change in forest area plus change in woodland area minus net plantation expansion) for the 1990-2005 interval, United Kingdom gained 24.8% of its forest and woodland habitat.

Biodiversity and Protected Areas: United Kingdom has some 688 known species of amphibians, birds, mammals and reptiles according to figures from the World Conservation Monitoring Centre. Of these, 1.7% are endemic, meaning they exist in no other country, and 2.9% are threatened. United Kingdom is home to at least 1623 species of vascular plants, of which 1.0% are endemic. 15.3% of United Kingdom is protected under IUCN categories I-V.


United Kingdom: Forest Cover, 2005
Total Land Area (ha)24,088,000
Total Forest Area (ha)2,845,000
Percent Forest Cover11.81%
Primary Forest Cover (ha)-
Primary Forest, % total forest0.00%
Primary Forest, % total land0.00%
Other wooded land (ha)20,000

United Kingdom : Forest types
Tropical (% forest area)0%
Subtropical (% forest area)0%
Temperate (% forest area)87%
Boreal/polar (% forest area)13%

United Kingdom: Breakdown of forest types, 2005
Primary forest (ha | %)-0.0%
Modified natural (ha | %)646,00022.7%
Semi-natural (ha | %)275,0009.7%
Production plantation (ha | %)1,902,00066.9%
Production plantation (ha | %)22,0000.8%

United Kingdom: Change in Forest Cover
Forest 1990 (ha)2,611,000
Forest 2000 (ha)2,793,000
Forest 2005 (ha)2,845,000
Annual Change 1990-2000 (ha | %)18,2000.70%
Annual Change 2000-2005 (ha | %)10,4000.37%
Total Change 1990-2005 (ha | %)234,0008.96%
Change in rate (%)-46.58%
Primary 1990 (ha)-
Primary 2000 (ha)-
Primary 2005 (ha)-
Annual Change 1990-2000 (ha | %)-#DIV/0!
Annual Change 2000-2005 (ha | %)-#DIV/0!
Total Change 1990-2005 (ha | %)-#DIV/0!
Change in rate (%)#DIV/0!
Other 1990 (ha)20,000
Other 2000 (ha)20,000
Other 2005 (ha)20,000
Annual Change 1990-2000 (ha | %)-0.00%
Annual Change 2000-2005 (ha | %)-0.00%
Total Change 1990-2005 (ha | %)-0.00%
Change in rate (%)#DIV/0!
Other 1990 (ha)1,877,000
Other 2000 (ha)1,934,000
Other 2005 (ha)1,924,000
Annual Change 1990-2000 (ha | %)5,7000.30%
Annual Change 2000-2005 (ha | %)(2,000)-0.10%
Total Change 1990-2005 (ha | %)47,0002.50%
Change in rate (%)-134.05%
Forest area+Wooded Area-Plantations
Other 1990 (ha)754,000
Other 2000 (ha)879,000
Other 2005 (ha)941,000
Annual Change 1990-2000 (ha | %)12,5001.66%
Annual Change 2000-2005 (ha | %)12,4001.41%
Total Change 1990-2005 (ha | %)187,00024.80%
Change in rate (%)-14.91%

United Kingdom: Primary
Primary or "old-growth" vegetation
Primary Forest 2005 (ha)0
Other primary wooded land 2005 (ha)0
Other primary wooded land 2005 (ha)0
Undisturbed vegetation 2005 (% land area)0.00%

United Kingdom: Forest designation
Ownership of forest land, 2000
Public (%)36.2%
Private (%)63.8%
Other (%)0.0%
Ownership of other wooded land, 2000
Public (%)0.0%
Private (%)100.0%
Other (%)0.0%
Designated functions of forest – primary function 2005
Production (%)33.7%
Protection (%)0.2%
Conservation (%)5.1%
Social Services (%)3.7%
Multiple Services (%)53.1%
None of Unknown (%)4.2%

United Kingdom: Disturbances affecting forest land 2000
Forest Area annually affected by
Fire (%)0.04%
Insects (ha)0.04%
Diseases (ha)0.00%
Other (ha)0.21%

United Kingdom: Protected areas
Protected areas
Biosphere reserves, 2005
Wetlands of international importance (Ramsar sites), 2005159
World Heritage sites, 200423
Protected Areas: IUCN categories I-V, percent of total land15.3%
Protected Areas: IUCN categories Ia, Ib, and II, extent, percent of total land0.00%
Protected Areas: IUCN categories III, IV, and V, percent of total land, 200415.36%
Protected Areas: IUCN categories VI and other, percent of total land, 20040.00%

United Kingdom: Biodiversity - Wildlife
total species12
endemic species0
threatened species0
total species557
endemic species11
threatened species10
total species103
endemic species1
threatened species10
total species16
endemic species0
threatened species0
Wildlife diversity
total species688
endemic species12
threatened species20

United Kingdom: Biodiversity - Plants
Growing stock composition
3 most common species
% of total growing stock
Growing stock composition
3 most common species
% of total growing stock
Number of Native tree species
Native tree species66
Number of tree species in IUCN red list
Critically Endangered3
Vascular Plant Species, 2004
Number endemic16
Number of Threatened Plant Species, 2004
Species threatened13

United Kingdom: Value of forests
Biomass stock in forest, 2005
Above-ground biomass (M t)190
Below-ground biomass (M t)34
Dead wood (M t)3
Total (M t)227
Carbon stock in forest, 2005
Carbon in above-ground biomass (M t)95
Carbon in below-ground biomass (M t)17
Carbon in dead wood (M t)2
Carbon in litter (M t)25
Soil carbon (M t)719
Change in growing stock 1990 - 2005
Annual change rate (1000 cubic m/yr)
Growing stock per hectare 1990 - 2005
Annual change rate ( cubic m/ha per yr)
Wood removal 2005
Industrial roundwood (1000 cubic m)8,630
Wood fuel (1000 cubic m)265
Total wood removal 2005 (1000 cubic m)8,895
Total wood removal 2005 (% of growing stock)3
Plant products 2005
Food (t)162
Fodder (t)-
Raw material for medicine and aromatic products (t)15
Raw material for colorants and dyes (t)14
Raw material for utensils, handicrafts & construction (t)-
Ornamental plants (t)162,545
Exudates (t)-
Other plant products (t)13
Animal products 2005
Living animals (units)0
Hides, skins and trophies (units)-
Wild honey and bee-wax (t)183
Bush meat (t)3,500
Raw material for medicine and aromatic products (t)-
Raw material for colorants and dyes (t)-
Other edible animal products (t)-
Other non-edible animal products (t)-
Value of wood and non-wood forest product removal 2005
Industrial roundwood (US$)$343,000,000
Wood fuel (US$)$7,000,000
Non-wood forest products (US$)$101,733,000
Total value (US$)$451,733,000
Total value ($USD/ha)$159
Employment in forestry 2000
Total people employed12,000

United Kingdom : Production, trade and consumption of forest products, 2002
Woodfuel ('000 cubic m), 2002
Industrial roundwood ('000 cubic m), 2002
Sawnwood ('000 cubic m), 2002
Wood-based panels ('000 cubic m), 2002
Pulp for paper ('000 metric tons), 2002
Paper and paperboard ('000 metric tons), 2002
United Kingdom: Environment
Environment - current issuescontinues to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (has met Kyoto Protocol target of a 12.5% reduction from 1990 levels and intends to meet the legally binding target and move towards a domestic goal of a 20% cut in emissions by 2010); by 2005 the government aims to reduce the amount of industrial and commercial waste disposed of in landfill sites to 85% of 1998 levels and to recycle or compost at least 25% of household waste, increasing to 33% by 2015; between 1998-99 and 1999-2000, household recycling increased from 8.8% to 10.3%
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants
Natural hazardswinter windstorms; floods

United Kingdom: Land use / Resources
Land use (%)arable land: 23.46%
permanent crops: 0.21%
other: 76.33% (2001)
Natural resourcescoal, petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, lead, zinc, gold, tin, limestone, salt, clay, chalk, gypsum, potash, silica sand, slate, arable land

United Kingdom: Economy
Economy - overview: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 reserves; primary energy production accounts for 10% of GDP, one of the highest shares of any industrial nation. Services, particularly banking, insurance, and business services, account by far for the largest proportion of GDP while industry continues to decline in importance. GDP growth slipped in 2001-03 as the global downturn, the high value of the pound, and the bursting of the "new economy" bubble hurt manufacturing and exports. Output recovered in 2004, to 3.2% growth, but fell in 2005, to 1.8%. Despite slower growth, the economy is one of the strongest in Europe; inflation, interest rates, and unemployment remain low. The relatively good economic performance has complicated the BLAIR government's efforts to make a case for Britain to join the European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). Critics point out that the economy is doing well outside of EMU, and they cite public opinion polls that continue to show a majority of Britons opposed to the euro. Meantime, the government has been speeding up the improvement of education, transport, and health services, at a cost in higher taxes and a widening public deficit.
GDP - per capita$30,900 (2005 est.)
GDP - real growth rate (%)1.8% (2005 est.)
Agriculture - productscereals, oilseed, potatoes, vegetables; cattle, sheep, poultry; fish
GDP - composition by sector (%)agriculture: 1.1%, industry: 26%, services: 72.9% (2005 est.)
Industries machine tools, electric power equipment, automation equipment, railroad equipment, shipbuilding, aircraft, motor vehicles and parts, electronics and communications equipment, metals, chemicals, coal, petroleum, paper and paper products, food processing, textiles, clothing, and other consumer goods
Population below poverty line (%)17% (2002 est.)
Debt - external$7.107 trillion (30 June 2005)
Labor force - by occupation (%)agriculture 1.5%, industry 19.1%, services 79.5% (2004)

United Kingdom: Population / Demographics
Population (July 2005)60,441,457
Population growth rate (%) (2005)0.28%
Population density (people/sq km) (2005)250.2
Percent rural (2003)10.9%
Median age (years)total: 38.99 years
Total fertility rate (children born/woman)1.66 (2005 est.)
Ethnic groups (%)white (English 83.6%, Scottish 8.6%, Welsh 4.9%, Northern Irish 2.9%) 92.1%, black 2%, Indian 1.8%, Pakistani 1.3%, mixed 1.2%, other 1.6% (2001 census)

Largest Cities in United Kingdom

Cities and urban areas in United Kingdom with population over 100,000 All figures are estimates for 2002.

CityCountryCity PopulationUrban Area Population
LondonUnited Kingdom739380011230500
BirminghamUnited Kingdom9859003202800
GlasgowUnited Kingdom6094001086200
LiverpoolUnited Kingdom4666003630100
SheffieldUnited Kingdom4218001104900
LeedsUnited Kingdom4203001498500
BristolUnited Kingdom409300614800
ManchesterUnited Kingdom394300394300
EdinburghUnited Kingdom380500665600
LeicesterUnited Kingdom319100319100
Kingston upon HullUnited Kingdom309100309100
CoventryUnited Kingdom295000411200
BradfordUnited Kingdom290400290400
CardiffUnited Kingdom279500677700
NottinghamUnited Kingdom271400632300
Stoke-on-TrentUnited Kingdom266700266700
WolverhamptonUnited Kingdom258100258100
BelfastUnited Kingdom255100489500
PlymouthUnited Kingdom249900249900
DerbyUnited Kingdom227900227900
ReadingUnited Kingdom222700222700
SouthamptonUnited Kingdom211500733600
AberdeenUnited Kingdom188300188300
Newcastle upon TyneUnited Kingdom1872001147200
PrestonUnited Kingdom183400183400
SunderlandUnited Kingdom180700180700
LutonUnited Kingdom179700179700
PortsmouthUnited Kingdom176300176300
NorwichUnited Kingdom173300173300
SwanseaUnited Kingdom170500170500
BournemouthUnited Kingdom161800161800
Southend-on-SeaUnited Kingdom160900160900
SwindonUnited Kingdom153700153700
DundeeUnited Kingdom148500148500
BlackpoolUnited Kingdom147500147500
PooleUnited Kingdom146000146000
MiddlesbroughUnited Kingdom144800692500
PeterboroughUnited Kingdom144800144800
HuddersfieldUnited Kingdom143500143500
BoltonUnited Kingdom138400138400
StockportUnited Kingdom133000133000
IpswichUnited Kingdom131400131400
YorkUnited Kingdom126200126200
BrightonUnited Kingdom122500122500
RotherhamUnited Kingdom122000122000
OxfordUnited Kingdom121700121700
GloucesterUnited Kingdom117900117900
NewportUnited Kingdom115400115400
WatfordUnited Kingdom115400115400
SloughUnited Kingdom113300113300
BlackburnUnited Kingdom105600105600
BasildonUnited Kingdom104600104600
Saint HelensUnited Kingdom104400104400
NorthamptonUnited Kingdom104100104100
OldhamUnited Kingdom103700103700
Woking-ByfleetUnited Kingdom102800102800
ChelmsfordUnited Kingdom100700100700
ColchesterUnited Kingdom100300100300

 Environment, Land use / Resources, Economy, Population / Demographics, Infrastructure, Health -- CIA World Factbook, 2005
 Forest Cover, Forest types, Breakdown of forest types, Change in Forest Cover, Primary forests, Forest designation, Disturbances affecting forest land, Value of forests, Production, trade and consumption of forest products -- The FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS's Global Forest Resources Assessment (2005) and the State of the World’s Forests (2005, 2003, 2001)
 Protected Areas, Plant and animal biodiversity -- United Nations Environment Programme - World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC). 2004. World Database on Protected Areas.
 Biosphere reservers -- United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) - Man and Biosphere Program. 2004. UNESCO - MAB Biosphere Reserves Directory.
 RAMSAR sites -- The Bureau of the Convention on Wetlands . 2005. The Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance.
 World Resources Institute's EarthTrends web site
 The 2004 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
 Population Data -- United Nations Population Fund
 With additional analysis by Rhett Butler of

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