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The UK is also a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7 finance ministers, the G7 forum, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and the World Trade Organization (WTO).

The 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain", though the new state is also referred to in the Acts as the "Kingdom of Great Britain", "United Kingdom of Great Britain" and "United Kingdom".

The United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity.

The UK is considered to have a high-income economy and is categorised as very high in the Human Development Index, ranking 16th in the world.

These are the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed almost a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history.

British influence can be observed in the language, culture and legal systems of many of its former colonies.

With an area of 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi), the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world and the 11th-largest in Europe.

It is also the 21st-most populous country, with an estimated 65.1 million inhabitants.

However, on 23 June 2016, a national referendum on the UK's membership of the EU resulted in a decision to leave, and its exit from the EU is currently being negotiated.

Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to its east, the English Channel to its south and the Celtic Sea to its south-south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world.

The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland.

The term "Britain" is often used as synonym for the United Kingdom.

The term "Great Britain", by contrast, refers conventionally to the island of Great Britain, or politically to England, Scotland and Wales in combination.

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