Translated's Research Center

United Kingdom

Europe

To localize in the United Kingdom

What we know from our community

There are almost 40 different dialects in the UK, including famous ones like Brummie, Geordie and Cockney. But there is one language to be used for the UK and that is the standard UK or British English. Because of this melting pot of dialects, there are differences in meanings of certain words, which sometimes have to do with geography, but others are influenced by the British class system. For example, many people in the North of England would call their evening meal ‘tea’, where others in the South, would call it ‘supper’ or ‘dinner’ (though dinner is also used to mean ‘lunch’ in some places!).The important thing is to be consistent in the terms used that are commonly understood in the UK, even if some areas use regional words for certain things.

Now, if you need others information about that country to make your decision, below you can find a selection of economic/social/cultural data

Introduction


Language

Official language
English

T-index
3.8%

T-Index ranks countries according to their potential for online sales.

Other languages
Scots 2.5%, Welsh 1%, Irish 0.1%, Punjabi, Bengali, Polish, Urdu,  Gujarati, Chinese, Tamil, Arabic, Somali, Romanian, Italian and Turkish

Most studied languages
French 23%. German 9%, Spanish 8%

Demography

Capital: London
Currency: Pound Sterling
Population: 66.65m
Population density: 270.7/km2

Economy

GDP: 2 708 billion USD (2020)
GDP per capita: 44.916,228 USD ‎(2020) ‎
Exports: $371 billion (2020)

Statistics

Internet users: 98% penetration, 66.9 million
Unemployment rate: 8.1% (2020)
Urbanisation: 80.44% (2018)
Literacy: 99% (2018)

Conventions

Numbering system
Arabic numerals and comma as decimal separator, space as thousands separator

Date format: yyyy-mm-dd / dd-mm-yyyy
Time: 24h time system
Country code: 0044


Language data sources: Worldatlas/Britannica//EF/Wikipedia; Demography data sources: IMF/Worldometers; Conventions data source: Wikipedia; Economy data sources: WTO/OEC/CIA/Esomar/Datareportal; Statistics data sources: Datareportal/WorldBank/UN/UNESCO/CEIC/IMF/Culturalatlas/Commisceoglobal


The new 2021 T-index

The new 2021 T-index

Reach most of the online purchasing power

T-Index ranks countries according to their potential for online sales. It estimates the market share of each country in relation to global e-commerce.

Try it now

Facts and data


Economy

Imports
$610 billion (2020). Gold ($83.7B), Cars ($32.8B), Broadcasting Equipment ($15.8B), Packaged Medicaments ($14.8B), and Crude Petroleum ($14.8B), importing mostly from Germany ($74.4B), China ($73.1B), United States ($48.6B), Netherlands ($40.3B), and France ($30.3B).

Financial inclusion factors (over 15 years of  age)
• 96% have an account with a financial institution
• 65% have a credit card
• 81% make online purchases

Ease of doing business
It is very easy to conduct business (rated 83.5 out of 100) ranked 2nd out of 44 European countries ranked 9th out of 190 countries worldwide (2019, World Bank).

Exports
$371 billion (2020). Cars ($27.1B), Packaged Medicaments ($18.9B), Gas Turbines ($18.1B), Gold ($17.2B), and Crude Petroleum ($16.2B), exporting mostly to United States ($51.7B), Germany ($39.9B), Ireland ($26.8B), Netherlands ($25.1B), and France ($22.4B).

Main local online stores
Amazon, Cdiscount.com and Fnac. Other top retail sites include eBay, Carrefour, Rakuten, Google Shopping, Leroy Merlin, La Redoute and Apple sites.

Economic freedom
‘Mostly free’ (rated 78.9 out of 100) ranked 3rd out of 43 European countries ranked 7th out of 186 countries worldwide (2019, Heritage Foundation and Wall Street Journal).


Service Imports (2018)

Source: OEC


Service Exports (2018)

Source: OEC


Most complex products by PCI Index

Product Complexity Index measures the knowledge intensity of a product by considering the knowledge intensity of its exporters

Source: OEC


Most specialised products by RCA Index

Specialisation is measured using Revealed Comparative Advantage, an index that takes the ratio between the United Kingdom observed and expected exports in each product

Source: OEC


Media

Media language:  English

Information channels:
The UK has a strong tradition of public service broadcasting and an international reputation for creative programme-making. The fledgling BBC began daily radio broadcasts in 1922 and quickly came to play a pivotal role in national life. The Empire Service – the forerunner of the BBC World Service – established a worldwide reputation. The BBC is funded by a licence fee, which all households with a TV set must pay. Commercial TV began in 1955 with the launch of ITV. Commercial radio arrived in the 1970s, although ship-based stations flourished in the 1960s before being outlawed. Hundreds of privately-owned radio and TV stations now compete with the BBC for listeners and viewers. Home-grown soaps top the TV ratings, and many British viewers follow the ups and downs of life in East London’s Albert Square, the setting for the BBC’s EastEnders and Coronation Street – ITV’s soap about northern English working-class life. Reality TV shows attract large audiences. Once-dominant terrestrial TV networks face strong competition from digital satellite and cable, which offer hundreds of channels and digital terrestrial TV (DTT), which carries a smaller number of mainly free-to-air channels. Terrestrial digital radio (DAB) has had a slower start. The media are free and able to report on all aspects of British life. The variety of publications reflects the full spectrum of political opinion. In recent years, printed newspaper circulations have been sliding while online readership has surged. News Corp, owner of The Times through its News UK subsidiary, has spearheaded attempts to make money from online content by charging readers for access.

Press Regulation

In 2012, a judge-led inquiry recommended a new system of self-regulation for the press, backed by legislation. The inquiry followed a phone-hacking scandal at a News Corp title. Politicians agreed to set up a new watchdog with powers to impose heavy fines and force newspapers to publish corrections. In 2013, the system was backed by a Royal Charter, rather than by law. But the industry objected and said the Royal Charter plan would give politicians too much power. Most publishers have stayed outside the system.

The press

The Daily Telegraph – daily
Financial Times – daily, business
The Guardian – daily
The Independent – online, former print daily
The Times – daily
The Sun – daily tabloid
The Mirror – daily tabloid
The Daily Mail – daily tabloid
The Daily Express – daily tabloid
The Scotsman – Scottish daily
Western Mail – Welsh daily

Television

BBC TV – operates BBC1, BBC2 and digital services including BBC News channel
BBC World News – commercially-funded international news channel
ITV – major commercial network, organised around regional franchises
Channel 4 – commercially funded but publicly owned national station
Channel 5 – national commercial channel
Independent Television News (ITN) – supplier of news to ITV, Channel 4 and other outlets
Sky – operator of the Sky digital satellite platform and provider of films, entertainment channels and Sky News

Radio

BBC Radio – national services include contemporary music station Radio 1, adult music station Radio 2, cultural network Radio 3, flagship speech station Radio 4 and news and sport station Five Live
BBC Radio Scotland
BBC Radio nan Gaidheal
– Gaelic-language station for Scotland
BBC Radio Ulster – for Northern Ireland
BBC Radio Wales
BBC Radio Cymru
– Welsh-language
BBC Asian Network – for Asian communities in the UK
BBC World Service – major international broadcaster, heard worldwide via shortwave and on FM relays, programmes in more than 40 languages
LBC – commercial, news and talk
Absolute Radio – commercial, pop and rock
talkSPORT – commercial, sportsClassic FM – commercial, classical

News agency

The Press Association


Media data source: BBC


Internet Data

Internet users
98% penetration, 66.9 million

Share of web traffic by device
42.9% mobile phones, 53% computers (laptops and desktops), 4% tablet devices, others 0.1%

Average speed of mobile Internet connection
35.57 Mbps

Average speed of fixed Internet connection
64.09 Mbps

Mobile connection as a percentage of total population: 107%

Percentage of mobile connections that are broadband (3G-5G): 93%

Most popular web search engines
Google (92.72%), Bing (4.66%), Yahoo (1.51%), Duckduckgo (0.57%), Ecosia (0.35%), Yandex Ru (0.04%), 

Most used social media
Facebook (39.64%), Twitter(35.38%), Instagram (16.01%), Pinterest (6.1%), YouTube (1.63%), reddit (0.51%)


Internet data sources: Datareportal/Statcounter


Most popular online stores in United Kingdom in 2018, by e-commerce net sales

(in million U.S. dollar)

Source: ecommerceDB.com


What is your preferred online payment method?

Source: Attest


Distribution of e-commerce payment methods in the United Kingdom in 2019

Source: Worldopay


Social statistics

Life expectancy
81.16 yrs (2020)

Average age of the population
40.5 yrs (2020)

Healthcare expenditure
9.7% of GDP (2018)

Education spending as a percentage of GDP
4.6% (2017)

Graduates (tertiary education)
In the United Kingdom, the average employment rate among tertiary-educated adults is 5 percentage points higher than among those with only an upper secondary or postsecondary non tertiary qualification. Nearly one-quarter of 25-64 year-olds (23%) have a bachelor’s degree, which is 5 percentage points above the OECD average. The proportion of adults with a master’s or doctoral degree is similar to the OECD average. (2019)

Cultural Curiosities

In the UK, humor, also referred to as banter, tends to be particularly sharp and sometimes a little over the line – it’s important not to take offense. 

Be careful when crossing the street or driving in the UK, since it’s one of those countries where people drive on the left side of the road. Never stand on the left side of an escalator when using the metro unless you’re walking faster than others – the left side is for people who are in a rush.

Religion
The UK is very tolerant in terms of religion. The majority exist in relative harmony. 

Gender
Gender equality is quite well established in the UK, though in some contexts women are still paid less (e.g. Wimbledon tennis champions) or excluded altogether (some conservative clubs). This is an issue that is challenged on a regular basis and can be discussed openly.

Class
Many would like to believe that this does not exist in the UK. Class does not necessarily go hand in hand with money; it has a lot to do with families and schooling etc. As a rule, it is not an issue in the workplace.

Ethnicity
On the whole, ethnicity is less of a social issue than it was 10 years ago. Racial incidents still do occur occasionally, but they are isolated.


Social statistics sources: WorldBank/UN/UNESCO/CEIC/IMF


The Data Factbook is a work in progress project. Our community is helping us to fill it up always with new and updated data. Your contribution is precious. If you want to help us, please write your advices at imminent@translated.com


Languages research


Languages spoken in the United Kingdom

Legend

  • Scottish

  • Ulster Scots

  • Scots

  • English

  • Manx

  • Irish

  • Welsh

  • Cornish


The language research that you will find in the maps published in this section is a work in progress. Our community is helping us to fill it up with always new and updated data. Your contribution is precious. If you want to help us, please write to imminent.factbook@translated.com


Photo credit: Cottonbro, Pexels