Difference between England, Great Britain and The United Kingdom

Difference between England, Great Britain and The United Kingdom

One of the most common misnomers is the very way people distinguish between England, the United Kingdom and Great Britain. While there are some fundamental similarities, there are also a lot of differences which make the 3 terms exist on their own with good reason behind them.

It is quite easy, without knowing the actual geography and meaning of each term, to mistake the actual identity of a person and either class them under false information tags or simply create even more confusion without exactly wanting to.

That being said, in order to avoid future problems and to get a more accurate picture of what these terms mean, we have to first ask the question: “what is the difference between England, Great Britain and The United Kingdom?”

What is England?

england english flag

England is one of the countries that forms Great Britain and The United Kingdom. Out of all of them, though, it is probably the most famous and most well known.

Its primary language is English, its currency is the Sterling Pound, London is its capital and has a population of 54,786,300 people. It is also known as being the birthplace of William Shakespeare, The Beatles and Sir Isaac Newton.

Often times England is wrongly used to describe both Great Britain and the United Kingdom, however this mistake is often times overlooked by more knowledgeable people, often times using the excuse “he or she does not know better”.

What is Great Britain?

great britain cliff sunset

Great Britain is not actually a country but rather an island. In fact, it is the largest of the islands located in the British Isles Archipelago, northeast of the European Continent. It is also the third most densely populated island in the world and the ninth biggest island in the world.

It has a population of 60,800,000, an area of 209,331 square kilometers (80,823 square miles), its highest elevation point is 1,344 m (4,409 ft) and it is comprised of 3 countries namely England, Scotland and Wales.

Ironically, a lot of people use the term “Great Britain” to describe The United Kingdom, a mistake which often times goes overlooked and uncorrected.

What is The United Kingdom?

united kingdom flag

The United Kingdom is a collection of English Speaking countries located in the British isles Archipelago. These countries are England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

It has a total population of 65,110,000 and occupies an area of 242,495 square kilometers (93,628 square miles). The common currency used between these countries is the Sterling Pound, the common national anthem is “God Save the Queen” and its capital is the city of London.

The United Kingdom, while made up of 3 countries, is recognized as having a common monarch and a common government. As such it is often referred to as a single country rather than a collection of countries.


While it is easy to mistake them because of how closely related they are in significance, these terms are actually rather different from one another. England is the country, Great Britain is one of the islands in the archipelago and The United Kingdom is a collection of countries as well as often times the term that people were actually intending to use.

Now we know what each individual term refers to and we know how and when to properly use them.

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