AberdeenAberdoniana city in NE Scotland, on the North Sea: centre for processing North Sea oil and gas; university (1494). Pop: 184 788 (2001) AfghanistanAfghana republic in central Asia: became independent in 1919; occupied by Soviet troops, 1979–89; controlled by mujaheddin forces from 1992 until 1996 when Taliban forces seized power; in the US-led 'war on terror' (2001) the Taliban were overthrown although their insurgency continues; generally arid and mountainous, with the Hindu Kush range rising over 7500 m (25 000 ft) and fertile valleys of the Amu Darya, Helmand, and Kabul Rivers. Official languages: Pashto and Dari (Persian), Tajik also widely spoken. Religion: Muslim. Currency: afghani. Capital: Kabul. Pop: 31 108 077 (2013 est). Area: 657 500 sq km (250 000 sq miles) AlabamaAlabaman or Alabamiana state of the southeastern US, on the Gulf of Mexico: consists of coastal and W lowlands crossed by the Tombigbee, Black Warrior, and Alabama Rivers, with parts of the Tennessee Valley and Cumberland Plateau in the north; noted for producing cotton and white marble. Capital: Montgomery. Pop: 4 500 752 (2003 est). Area: 131 333 sq km (50 708 sq miles) AlaskaAlaskanthe largest state of the US, in the extreme northwest of North America: the aboriginal inhabitants are Inuit and Yupik; the earliest White settlements were made by the Russians; it was purchased by the US from Russia in 1867. It is mostly mountainous and volcanic, rising over 6000 m (20 000 ft), with the Yukon basin in the central region; large areas are covered by tundra; it has important mineral resources (chiefly coal, oil, and natural gas). Capital: Juneau. Pop: 648 818 (2003 est). Area: 1 530 694 sq km (591 004 sq miles) AlbaniaAlbaniana republic in SE Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula: became independent in 1912 after more than four centuries of Turkish rule; established as a republic (1946) under Communist rule; multiparty constitution adopted in 1991. It is generally mountainous, rising over 2700 m (9000 ft), with extensive forests. Language: Albanian. Religion: Muslim majority. Currency: lek. Capital: Tirana. Pop: 3 011 405 (2013 est). Area: 28 749 sq km (11 100 sq miles) AlbertaAlbertana province of W Canada: mostly prairie, with the Rocky Mountains in the southwest. Capital: Edmonton. Pop: 3 645 257 (2011 est). Area: 661 188 sq km (255 285 sq miles) AlgeriaAlgerianAlsaceAlsatiana region and former province of NE France, between the Vosges mountains and the Rhine: famous for its wines. Area: 8280 sq km (3196 sq miles) American continentAmericanAmerican SamoaAmerican SamoanAmsterdamAmsterdammerthe commercial capital of the Netherlands, a major industrial centre and port on the IJsselmeer, connected with the North Sea by canal: built on about 100 islands within a network of canals. Pop: 737 000 (2003 est) AnatoliaAnatolianthe Asian part of Turkey, occupying the peninsula between the Black Sea, the Mediterranean, and the Aegean: consists of a plateau, largely mountainous, with salt lakes in the interior AndorraAndorrana mountainous principality in SW Europe, between France and Spain: according to tradition, given independence by Charlemagne in the 9th century for helping to fight the Moors; placed under the joint sovereignty of the Comte de Foix and the Spanish bishop of Urgel in 1278; under the joint overlordship of the French head of state and the bishop of Urgel from the 16th century; adopted a constitution reducing the powers of the overlords in 1993. Languages: Catalan (official), French, and Spanish. Religion: Roman Catholic. Currency: euro. Capital: Andorra la Vella. Pop: 85 293 (2013 est). Area: 464 sq km (179 sq miles) AngolaAngolana republic in SW Africa, on the Atlantic: includes the enclave of Cabinda, north of the River Congo; a Portuguese possession from 1575 until its independence in 1975; multiparty constitution adopted in 1991; factional violence. It consists of a narrow coastal plain with a large fertile plateau in the east. Currency: kwanza. Religion: Christian majority. Capital: Luanda. Pop: 18 565 269 (2013 est). Area: 1 246 693 sq km (481 351 sq miles) AnjouAngevina former province of W France, in the Loire valley: a medieval countship from the 10th century, belonging to the English crown from 1154 until 1204; annexed by France in 1480 AntiguaAntiguanan island in the Caribbean, one of the Leeward Islands: a British colony, with its dependency Barbuda, until 1967, when it became a British associated state; it became independent in 1981 as part of the state of Antigua and Barbuda. Area: 279 sq km (108 sq miles) ArgentinaArgentine or Argentiniana republic in southern South America: colonized by the Spanish from 1516 onwards; gained independence in 1816 and became a republic in 1852; ruled by military dictatorships for much of the 20th century; civilian rule restored in 1983; consists chiefly of subtropical plains and forests (the Chaco) in the north, temperate plains (the pampas) in the central parts, the Andes in the west, and an infertile plain extending to Tierra del Fuego in the south (Patagonia); an important meat producer. Language: Spanish. Religion: Roman Catholic. Currency: peso. Capital: Buenos Aires. Pop: 42 610 981 (2013 est). Area: 2 776 653 sq km (1 072 067 sq miles) ArizonaArizonana state of the southwestern US: consists of the Colorado plateau in the northeast, including the Grand Canyon, divided from desert in the southwest by mountains rising over 3750 m (12 500 ft). Capital: Phoenix. Pop: 5 580 811 (2003 est). Area: 293 750 sq km (113 417 sq miles) ArkansasArkansan or (informal) Arkiea state of the southern US: mountainous in the north and west, with the alluvial plain of the Mississippi in the east; has the only diamond mine in the US; the chief US producer of bauxite. Capital: Little Rock. Pop: 2 725 714 (2003 est). Area: 134 537 sq km (51 945 sq miles) ArmeniaArmeniana republic in NW Asia: originally part of the historic Armenian kingdom; acquired by Russia in 1828; became the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1936; gained independence in 1991. It is mountainous, rising over 4000 m (13 000 ft). Language: Armenian. Religion: Christian (Armenian Apostolic) majority. Currency: dram. Capital: Yerevan. Pop: 2 974 184 (2013 est). Area: 29 800 sq km (11 490 sq miles) AsiaAsianthe largest of the continents, bordering on the Arctic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, the Indian Ocean, and the Mediterranean and Red Seas in the west. It includes the large peninsulas of Asia Minor, India, Arabia, and Indochina and the island groups of Japan, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Sri Lanka; contains the mountain ranges of the Hindu Kush, Himalayas, Pamirs, Tian Shan, Urals, and Caucasus, the great plateaus of India, Iran, and Tibet, vast plains and deserts, and the valleys of many large rivers including the Mekong, Irrawaddy, Indus, Ganges, Tigris, and Euphrates. Pop: 4 164 252 000 (2011 est). Area: 44 391 162 sq km (17 139 445 sq miles) AssamAssamesea state of NE India, situated in the central Brahmaputra valley: tropical forest, with the heaviest rainfall in the world; produces large quantities of tea. Capital: Dispur. Pop: 26 638 407 (2001 est). Area: 78 438 sq km (30 673 sq miles) AssyriaAssyrianan ancient kingdom of N Mesopotamia: it established an empire that stretched from Egypt to the Persian Gulf, reaching its greatest extent between 721 and 633 bc. Its chief cities were Assur and Nineveh AustraliaAustralian or (informal) Aussiea country and the smallest continent, situated between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific: a former British colony, now an independent member of the Commonwealth, constitutional links with Britain formally abolished in 1986; consists chiefly of a low plateau, mostly arid in the west, with the basin of the Murray River and the Great Dividing Range in the east and the Great Barrier Reef off the NE coast. Official language: English. Religion: Christian majority. Currency: dollar. Capital: Canberra. Pop: 23 029 674 (2013 est). Area: 7 682 300 sq km (2 966 150 sq miles) AustriaAustriana republic in central Europe: ruled by the Hapsburgs from 1282 to 1918; formed a dual monarchy with Hungary in 1867 and became a republic in 1919; a member of the European Union; contains part of the Alps, the Danube basin in the east, and extensive forests. Official language: German. Religion: Roman Catholic majority. Currency: euro. Capital: Vienna. Pop: 8 221 646 (2013 est). Area: 83 849 sq km (32 374 sq miles) AzerbaijanAzerbaijani or Azeria republic in NW Asia: the region was acquired by Russia from Persia in the early 19th century; became the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic in 1936 and gained independence in 1991; consists of dry subtropical steppes around the Aras and Kura rivers, surrounded by the Caucasus; contains the extensive Baku oilfields. Language: Azerbaijani (or Azeri). Religion: Shiite Muslim. Currency: manat. Capital: Baku. Pop: 9 590 159 (2013 est). Area: 86 600 sq km (33 430 sq miles) BabylonBabylonianthe chief city of ancient Mesopotamia: first settled around 3000 bc BahamasBahamiancountry on a group of islands (Bahama Islands) in the West Indies, southeast of Fla. & north of Cuba: formerly a British possession, it became independent (1973) & a member of the Commonwealth: 5,353 sq mi (13,864 sq km); pop. 264,000; cap. Nassau BahrainBahrainian independent sheikhdom on the Persian Gulf, consisting of several islands: under British protection until the declaration of independence in 1971. It has large oil reserves. Language: Arabic. Religion: Muslim. Currency: dinar. Capital: Manama. Pop: 1 281 332 (2013 est). Area: 678 sq km (262 sq miles) BangladeshBangladeshia republic in S Asia: formerly the Eastern Province of Pakistan; became independent in 1971 after civil war and the defeat of Pakistan by India; consists of the plains and vast deltas of the Ganges and Brahmaputra Rivers; prone to flooding: economy based on jute and jute products (over 70 per cent of world production); a member of the Commonwealth. Language: Bengali. Religion: Muslim. Currency: taka. Capital: Dhaka. Pop: 163 654 860 (2013 est). Area: 142 797 sq km (55 126 sq miles) BaliBalinesean island in Indonesia, east of Java: mountainous, rising over 3000 m (10 000 ft). Capital: Denpasar. Pop: 3 151 162 (2000). Area: 5558 sq km (2146 sq miles) BarbadosBarbadian, Bajan (informal), or Bim (informal)BarbudaBarbudan or Barbudiana coral island in the E Caribbean, in the Leeward Islands: part of the independent state of Antigua and Barbuda. Area: 160 sq km (62 sq miles) BavariaBavariana state of S Germany: a former duchy and kingdom; mainly wooded highland, with the Alps in the south. Capital: Munich. Pop: 12 155 000 (2000 est). Area: 70 531 sq km (27 232 sq miles) Belarus or ByelorussiaBelarussian or Byelorussiana republic in E Europe; part of the medieval Lithuanian and Polish empires before being occupied by Russia; a Soviet republic (1919–91); in 1997 formed a close political and economic union with Russia: mainly low-lying and forested. Languages: Belarussian; Russian. Religion: believers are mostly Christian. Currency: rouble. Capital: Minsk. Pop: 9 625 888 (2013 est). Area: 207 600 sq km (80 134 sq miles) BelauBelauanBelgiumBelgiana federal kingdom in NW Europe: at various times under the rulers of Burgundy, Spain, Austria, France, and the Netherlands before becoming an independent kingdom in 1830. It formed the Benelux customs union with the Netherlands and Luxembourg in 1948 and was a founder member of the Common Market, now the European Union. It consists chiefly of a low-lying region of sand, woods, and heath (the Campine) in the north and west, and a fertile undulating central plain rising to the Ardennes Mountains in the southeast. Languages: French, Flemish (Dutch), German. Religion: Roman Catholic majority. Currency: euro. Capital: Brussels. Pop: 10 444 268 (2013 est). Area: 30 513 sq km (11 778 sq miles) BeninBeninese or Beninoisa republic in W Africa, on the Bight of Benin, a section of the Gulf of Guinea: in the early 19th century a powerful kingdom, famed for its women warriors; became a French colony in 1893, gaining independence in 1960. It consists chiefly of coastal lagoons and swamps in the south, a fertile plain and marshes in the centre, and the Atakora Mountains in the northwest. Official language: French. Religion: animist majority. Currency: franc. Capital: Porto Novo (the government is based in Cotonou). Pop: 9 877 292 (2013 est). Area: 112 622 sq km (43 474 sq miles) BerlinBerlinerthe capital of Germany (1871–1945 and from 1990), formerly divided (1945–90) into the eastern sector, capital of East Germany, and the western sectors, which formed an exclave in East German territory closely affiliated with West Germany: a wall dividing the sectors was built in 1961 by the East German authorities to stop the flow of refugees from east to west; demolition of the wall began in 1989 and the city was formally reunited in 1990: formerly (1618–1871) the capital of Brandenburg and Prussia. Pop: 3 388 477 (2003 est) BhutanBhutanesea kingdom in central Asia: disputed by Tibet, China, India, and Britain since the 18th century but most closely connected with India; contains inaccessible stretches of the E Himalayas in the north. Official language: Dzongka; Nepali is also spoken. Official religion: Mahayana Buddhist. Currencies: ngultrum and Indian rupee. Capital: Thimbu. Pop: 725 296 (2013 est). Area: about 46 600 sq km (18 000 sq miles) BirminghamBrummiean industrial city in central England, in Birmingham unitary authority, in the West Midlands: the second largest city in Great Britain; two cathedrals; three universities (1900, 1966, 1992). Pop: 970 892 (2001) BohemiaBohemiana former kingdom of central Europe, surrounded by mountains: independent from the 9th to the 13th century; belonged to the Hapsburgs from 1526 until 1918 BoliviaBolivianan inland republic in central S America: original Aymara Indian population conquered by the Incas in the 13th century; colonized by Spain from 1538; became a republic in 1825; consists of low plains in the east, with ranges of the Andes rising to over 6400 m (21 000 ft) and the Altiplano, a plateau averaging 3900 m (13 000 ft) in the west; contains some of the world's highest inhabited regions; important producer of tin and other minerals. Official languages: Spanish, Quechua, and Aymara. Religion: Roman Catholic. Currency: boliviano. Capital: La Paz (administrative); Sucre (judicial). Pop: 10 461 053 (2013 est). Area: 1 098 580 sq km (424 260 sq miles) BordeauxBordelaisa port in SW France, on the River Garonne: a major centre of the wine trade. Pop: 235 878 (2006) the BordersBordererBosniaBosniana region of central Bosnia-Herzegovina: belonged to Turkey (1463–1878), to Austria-Hungary (1879–1918), then to Yugoslavia (1918–91) BostonBostonian or (U.S. slang) Bean-eatera port in E Massachusetts, the state capital. Pop: 581 616 (2003 est) BotswanaBotswananBrazilBraziliana republic in South America, comprising about half the area and half the population of South America: colonized by the Portuguese from 1500 onwards; became independent in 1822 and a republic in 1889; consists chiefly of the tropical Amazon basin in the north, semiarid scrub in the northeast, and a vast central tableland; an important producer of coffee and minerals, esp iron ore. Official language: Portuguese. Religion: Roman Catholic majority. Currency: real. Capital: Brasília. Pop: 201 009 622 (2013 est). Area: 8 511 957 sq km (3 286 470 sq miles) BristolBristoliana port and industrial city in SW England, mainly in Bristol unitary authority, on the River Avon seven miles from its mouth on the Bristol Channel: a major port, trading with America, in the 17th and 18th centuries; the modern port consists chiefly of docks at Avonmouth and Portishead; noted for the Clifton Suspension Bridge (designed by I. K. Brunel, 1834) over the Avon gorge; Bristol university (1909) and University of the West of England (1992). Pop: 420 556 (2001) BrittanyBretona region of NW France, the peninsula between the English Channel and the Bay of Biscay: settled by Celtic refugees from Wales and Cornwall during the Anglo-Saxon invasions; disputed between England and France until 1364 British ColumbiaBritish Columbiana province of W Canada, on the Pacific coast: largely mountainous with extensive forests, rich mineral resources, and important fisheries. Capital: Victoria. Pop: 4 400 057 (2011 est). Area: 930 532 sq km (359 279 sq miles) BulgariaBulgariana republic in SE Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula on the Black Sea: under Turkish rule from 1395 until 1878; became an independent kingdom in 1908 and a republic in 1946; joined the EU in 2007; consists chiefly of the Danube valley in the north and the Balkan Mountains in the central part, separated from the Rhodope Mountains of the south by the valley of the Maritsa River. Language: Bulgarian. Religion: Christian (Bulgarian Orthodox) majority. Currency: lev. Capital: Sofia. Pop: 6 981 642 (2013 est). Area: 110 911 sq km (42 823 sq miles) BurgundyBurgundiana region of E France famous for its wines, lying west of the Saône: formerly a semi-independent duchy; annexed to France in 1482 Burkina-FasoBurkinabeBurmaBurmeseBurundiBurundiana republic in E central Africa: inhabited chiefly by the Hutu, Tutsi, and Twa (Pygmy); made part of German East Africa in 1899; part of the Belgian territory of Ruanda-Urundi from 1923 until it became independent in 1962; ethnic violence has erupted at times between Hutu and Tutsi, as in Rwanda; consists mainly of high plateaus along the main Nile-Congo dividing range, dropping rapidly to the Great Rift Valley in the west. Official languages: Kirundi and French. Religion: Christian majority. Currency: Burundi franc. Capital: Bujumbura. Pop: 10 888 321 (2013 est). Area: 27 731 sq km (10 707 sq miles) ByzantiumByzantinean ancient Greek city on the Bosporus: founded about 660 bc; rebuilt by Constantine I in 330 ad and called Constantinople; present-day Istanbul CaliforniaCalifornianCambridgeCantabrigiana city in E England, administrative centre of Cambridgeshire, on the River Cam: centred around the university, founded in the 12th century: electronics, biotechnology. Pop: 117 717 (2001) CambodiaCambodiana country in SE Asia: became part of French Indochina in 1887; achieved self-government in 1949 and independence in 1953; civil war (1970–74) ended in victory for the Khmer Rouge, who renamed the country Kampuchea (1975) and carried out extreme-radical political and economic reforms resulting in a considerable reduction of the population; Vietnamese forces ousted the Khmer Rouge in 1979 and set up a pro-Vietnamese government who reverted (1981) to the name Cambodia; after Vietnamese withdrawal in 1989 a peace settlement with exiled factions was followed in 1993 by the adoption of a democratic monarchist constitution restoring Prince Sihanouk to the throne. The country contains the central plains of the Mekong River and the Cardamom Mountains in the SW. Official language: Khmer; French is also widely spoken. Currency: riel. Capital: Phnom Penh. Pop: 15 205 539 (2013 est). Area: 181 000 sq km (69 895 sq miles) CameroonCamerooniana republic in West Africa, on the Gulf of Guinea: became a German colony in 1884; divided in 1919 into the Cameroons (administered by Britain) and Cameroun (administered by France); Cameroun and the S part of the Cameroons formed a republic in 1961 (the N part joined Nigeria); became a member of the Commonwealth in 1995. Official languages: French and English. Religions: Christian, Muslim, and animist. Currency: franc. Capital: Yaoundé. Pop: 20 549 221 (2013 est). Area: 475 500 sq km (183 591 sq miles) CanadaCanadian or (informal) Canucka country in North America: the second largest country in the world; first permanent settlements by Europeans were made by the French from 1605; ceded to Britain in 1763 after a series of colonial wars; established as the Dominion of Canada in 1867; a member of the Commonwealth. It consists generally of sparsely inhabited tundra regions, rich in natural resources, in the north, the Rocky Mountains in the west, the Canadian Shield in the east, and vast central prairies; the bulk of the population is concentrated along the US border and the Great Lakes in the south. Languages: English and French. Religion: Christian majority. Currency: Canadian dollar. Capital: Ottawa. Pop: 34 568 211 (2013 est). Area: 9 976 185 sq km (3 851 809 sq miles) Canada, Maritime ProvincesDowneasteranother name for the Atlantic Provinces of Canada, but often excluding Newfoundland and Labrador Cape VerdeCape Verdeancountry on a group of islands in the Atlantic, c. 300 mi (483 km) west of Cape Verde (see Verde): the islands were under Portuguese control from 1587 until the granting of independence, 1975: 1,557 sq mi (4,033 sq km); pop. 337,000; cap. Praia CastileCastiliana former kingdom comprising most of modern Spain: originally part of León, it became an independent kingdom in the 10th century and united with Aragon (1469), the first step in the formation of the Spanish state CataloniaCatalana region of NE Spain, with a strong separatist tradition: became an autonomous region with its own parliament in 1979; an important agricultural and industrial region, with many resorts. Pop: 7 012 600 (2003 est). Area: 31 929 sq km (12 328 sq miles) the CaucasusCaucasianCayman IslandsCayman Islanderthree coral islands in the Caribbean Sea northwest of Jamaica: a dependency of Jamaica until 1962, now a UK Overseas Territory. Capital: George Town. Pop: 53 737 (2013 est). Area: about 260 sq km (100 sq miles) ChadChadian or ChadeanChicagoChicagoana port in NE Illinois, on Lake Michigan: the third largest city in the US; it is a major railway and air traffic centre. Pop: 2 869 121 (2003 est) ChileChileana republic in South America, on the Pacific, with a total length of about 4090 km (2650 miles) and an average width of only 177 km (110 miles): gained independence from Spain in 1818; the government of President Allende (elected 1970) attempted the implementation of Marxist policies within a democratic system until overthrown by a military coup (1973); democracy restored 1988. Chile consists chiefly of the Andes in the east, the Atacama Desert in the north, a central fertile region, and a huge S region of almost uninhabitable mountains, glaciers, fjords, and islands; an important producer of copper, iron ore, nitrates, etc. Language: Spanish. Religion: Roman Catholic majority. Currency: peso. Capital: Santiago. Pop: 17 216 945 (2013 est). Area: 756 945 sq km (292 256 sq miles) ChinaChinese a republic in E Asia: the third largest and the most populous country in the world; the oldest continuing civilization (beginning over 2000 years bc); republic established in 1911 after the overthrow of the Manchu dynasty by Sun Yat-sen; People's Republic formed in 1949; the 1980s and 1990s saw economic liberalization but a rejection of political reform; contains vast deserts, steppes, great mountain ranges (Himalayas, Kunlun, Tian Shan, and Nan Shan), a central rugged plateau, and intensively cultivated E plains. Language: Chinese in various dialects, the chief of which is Mandarin. Religion: nonreligious majority; Buddhist and Taoist minorities. Currency: yuan. Capital: Beijing. Pop: 1 349 586 000 (2013 est). Area: 9 560 990 sq km (3 691 502 sq miles) CircassiaCircassiana region of S Russia, on the Black Sea north of the Caucasus Mountains ColombiaColombiana republic in NW South America: inhabited by Chibchas and other Indians before Spanish colonization in the 16th century; independence won by Bolívar in 1819; became the Republic of Colombia in 1886; violence and unrest have been endemic since the 1970s. It consists chiefly of a hot swampy coastal plain, separated by ranges of the Andes from the pampas and the equatorial forests of the Amazon basin in the east. Language: Spanish. Religion: Roman Catholic majority. Currency: peso. Capital: Bogotá. Pop: 45 745 783 (2013 est). Area: 1 138 908 sq km (439 735 sq miles) ColoradoColoradana state of the central US: consists of the Great Plains in the east and the Rockies in the west; drained chiefly by the Colorado, Arkansas, South Platte, and Rio Grande Rivers. Capital: Denver. Pop: 4 550 688 (2003 est). Area: 269 998 sq km (104 247 sq miles) ConnecticutNutmeggera state of the northeastern US, in New England. Capital: Hartford. Pop: 3 483 372 (2003 est). Area: 12 973 sq km (5009 sq miles) CorkCorkoniana county of SW Republic of Ireland, in Munster province: crossed by ridges of low mountains; scenic coastline. County town: Cork. Pop: 447 829 (2002). Area: 7459 sq km (2880 sq miles) Comoros IslandsComorianCongo RepublicCongoleseCornwallCornishman, Cornishwomana former administrative county of SW England; became a unitary authority in 2009: hilly, with a deeply indented coastline. Administrative centre: Truro. Pop: 513 500 (2003 est). Area: 3564 sq km (1376 sq miles) CorsicaCorsicanan island in the Mediterranean, west of N Italy: forms, with 43 islets, a region of France; mountainous; settled by Greeks in about 560 bc; sold by Genoa to France in 1768. Capital: Ajaccio. Pop: 265 999 (2003 est). Area: 8682 sq km (3367 sq miles) Costa RicaCosta Ricana republic in Central America: gained independence from Spain in 1821; mostly mountainous and volcanic, with extensive forests. Official language: Spanish. Official religion: Roman Catholic. Currency: colón. Capital: San José. Pop: 4 695 942 (2013 est). Area: 50 900 sq km (19 652 sq miles) Côte d'IvoireIvorian or Ivoreana republic in West Africa, on the Gulf of Guinea: Portuguese trading for ivory and slaves began in the 16th century; made a French protectorate in 1842 and became independent in 1960; major producer of coffee and cocoa. Official language: French. Religion: Muslim majority, with animist, atheist, and Roman Catholic minorities. Currency: franc. Capital: Yamoussoukro (administrative); Abidjan (legislative). Pop: 22 400 835 (2013 est). Area: 319 820 sq km (123 483 sq miles) CroatiaCroat or Croatiana republic in SE Europe: settled by Croats in the 7th century; belonged successively to Hungary, Turkey, and Austria; formed part of Yugoslavia (1918–91); became independent in 1991 but was invaded by Serbia and fighting continued until 1995; involved in the civil war in Bosnia-Herzegovina (1991–95); joined the European Union in 2013. Language: Croatian. Religion: Roman Catholic majority. Currency: kuna. Capital: Zagreb. Pop: 4 475 611 (2013 est). Area: 55 322 sq km (21 359 sq miles) CubaCubana republic and the largest island in the Caribbean, at the entrance to the Gulf of Mexico: became a Spanish colony after its discovery by Columbus in 1492; gained independence after the Spanish-American War of 1898 but remained subject to US influence until declared a people's republic under Castro in 1960; subject of an international crisis in 1962, when the US blockaded the island in order to compel the Soviet Union to dismantle its nuclear missile base. Sugar comprises about 80 per cent of total exports; the economy was badly affected by loss of trade following the collapse of the Soviet Union and by the continuing US trade embargo. Diplomatic ties with the US restored in 2014. Language: Spanish. Religion: nonreligious majority. Currency: peso. Capital: Havana. Pop: 11 061 886 (2013 est). Area: 110 922 sq km (42 827 sq miles) CumbriaCumbrian(since 1974) a county of NW England comprising the former counties of Westmorland and Cumberland together with N Lancashire: includes the Lake District mountain area and surrounding coastal lowlands with the Pennine uplands in the extreme east. Administrative centre: Carlisle. Pop: 489 800 (2003 est). Area: 6810 sq km (2629 sq miles) CyprusCypriotan island in the E Mediterranean: ceded to Britain by Turkey in 1878 and made a colony in 1925; became an independent republic in 1960 as a member of the Commonwealth; invaded by Turkey in 1974 following a Greek-supported military coup, leading to the partition of the island. In 1983 the Turkish-controlled northern sector declared itself to be an independent state as the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus but failed to receive international recognition. Attempts by the UN to broker a reunification agreement have failed. Cyprus joined the EU in 2004. The UK maintains two enclaves as military bases (Akrotiri and Dhekelia Sovereign Base Areas), which are not included in Cyprus politically. Languages: Greek and Turkish. Religions: Greek Orthodox and Muslim. Currency: euro and Turkish lira. Capital: Nicosia. Pop (Greek): 838 897 (2011 est); (Turkish): 265 100 (2006 est). Area: 9251 sq km (3571 sq miles) Czech RepublicCzecha country in central Europe; formed part of Czechoslovakia until 1993; mostly wooded, with lowlands surrounding the River Morava, rising to the Bohemian plateau in the W and to highlands in the N; joined the EU in 2004. Language: Czech. Religion: Christian majority. Currency: koruna. Capital Prague. Pop: 10 162 921 (2013 est). Area: 78 864 sq km (30 450 sq miles) CzechoslovakiaCzechoslovak or Czechoslovakiana former republic in central Europe: formed after the defeat of Austria-Hungary (1918) as a nation of Czechs in Bohemia and Moravia and Slovaks in Slovakia; occupied by Germany from 1939 until its liberation by the Soviet Union in 1945; became a people's republic under the Communists in 1948; invaded by Warsaw Pact troops in 1968, ending Dubček's attempt to liberalize communism; in 1989 popular unrest led to the resignation of the politburo and the formation of a non-Communist government. It consisted of two federal republics, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, which separated in 1993 DelawareDelawareana state of the northeastern US, on the Delmarva Peninsula: mostly flat and low-lying, with hills in the extreme north and cypress swamps in the extreme south. Capital: Dover. Pop: 817 491 (2003 est). Area: 5004 sq km (1932 sq miles) DenmarkDanea kingdom in N Europe, between the Baltic and the North Sea: consists of the mainland of Jutland and about 100 inhabited islands (chiefly Zealand, Lolland, Funen, Falster, Langeland, and Bornholm); extended its territory throughout the Middle Ages, ruling Sweden until 1523 and Norway until 1814, and incorporating Greenland as a province from 1953 to 1979; joined the Common Market (now the EU) in 1973; an important exporter of dairy produce. Language: Danish. Religion: Christian, Lutheran majority. Currency: krone. Capital: Copenhagen. Pop: 5 556 452 (2013 est). Area: 43 031 sq km (16 614 sq miles) DelphiPythianan ancient Greek city on the S slopes of Mount Parnassus: site of the most famous oracle of Apollo DevonDevoniana county of SW England, between the Bristol Channel and the English Channel, including the island of Lundy: the geographic and ceremonial county includes Plymouth and Torbay, which became independent unitary authorities in 1998; hilly, rising to the uplands of Exmoor and Dartmoor, with wooded river valleys and a rugged coastline. Administrative centre: Exeter. Pop (excluding unitary authorities): 714 900 (2003 est). Area (excluding unitary authorities): 6569 sq km (2536 sq miles) DjiboutiDjiboutian or Djiboutienthe capital of Djibouti, a port on the Gulf of Aden: an outlet for Ethiopian goods. Pop: 523 000 (2005 est) DominicaDominicana republic in the E Caribbean, comprising a volcanic island in the Windward Islands group; a former British colony; became independent as a member of the Commonwealth in 1978. Official language: English. Religion: Roman Catholic majority. Currency: East Caribbean dollar. Capital: Roseau. Pop: 73 286 (2013 est). Area: 751 sq km (290 sq miles) Dominican RepublicDominicana republic in the Caribbean, occupying the eastern half of the island of Hispaniola: colonized by the Spanish after its discovery by Columbus in 1492; gained independence from Spain in 1821. It is generally mountainous, dominated by the Cordillera Central, which rises over 3000 m (10 000 ft), with fertile lowlands. Language: Spanish. Religion: Roman Catholic majority. Currency: peso. Capital: Santo Domingo. Pop: 10 219 630 (2013 est). Area: 48 441 sq km (18 703 sq miles) DublinDublinerthe capital of the Republic of Ireland, on Dublin Bay: under English rule from 1171 until 1922; commercial and cultural centre; contains one of the world's largest breweries and exports whiskey, stout, and agricultural produce. Pop: 1 004 614 (2002) DundeeDundoniana port in E Scotland, in City of Dundee council area, on the Firth of Tay: centre of the former British jute industry; university (1967). Pop: 154 674 (2001) East TimorEast Timoresea small country in SE Asia, comprising part of the island of Timor: colonized by Portugal in the 19th century; declared independence in 1975 but immediately invaded by Indonesia; under UN administration from 1999 and an independent state from 2002. It is mountainous with a monsoon climate; subsistence agriculture is the main occupation. Languages: Portuguese, Tetun (a lingua franca), and Bahasa Indonesia. Religion: Roman Catholic majority. Currency: US dollar. Capital: Dili. Pop: 1 172 390 (2013 est). Area: 14 874 sq km (5743 sq miles) EcuadorEcuadorean or Ecuadorana republic in South America, on the Pacific: under the Incas when Spanish colonization began in 1532; gained independence in 1822; declared a republic in 1830. It consists chiefly of a coastal plain in the west, separated from the densely forested upper Amazon basin (Oriente) by ranges and plateaus of the Andes. Official language: Spanish; Quechua is also widely spoken. Religion: Roman Catholic majority. Currency: US dollar. Capital: Quito. Pop: 15 439 429 (2013 est). Area: 283 560 sq km (109 483 sq miles) EdinburghEdinburgherthe capital of Scotland and seat of the Scottish Parliament (from 1999), in City of Edinburgh council area on the S side of the Firth of Forth: became the capital in the 15th century; castle; three universities (including University of Edinburgh, 1583); commercial and cultural centre, noted for its annual festival. Pop: 482 640 (2012) EgyptEgyptianEl SalvadorSalvadoran, Salvadorean, or Salvadoriana republic in Central America, on the Pacific: colonized by the Spanish from 1524; declared independence in 1841, becoming a republic in 1856. It consists of coastal lowlands rising to a central plateau. Coffee constitutes over a third of the total exports. Official language: Spanish. Religion: Roman Catholic majority. Currency: US dollar. Capital: San Salvador. Pop: 6 108 590 (2013 est). Area: 21 393 sq km (8236 sq miles) EnglandEnglishman, Englishwomanthe largest division of Great Britain, bordering on Scotland and Wales: unified in the mid-tenth century and conquered by the Normans in 1066; united with Wales in 1536 and Scotland in 1707; monarchy overthrown in 1649 but restored in 1660. Capital: London. Pop: 53 012 456 (2011 est). Area: 130 439 sq km (50 352 sq miles) EphesusEphesian(in ancient Greece) a major trading city on the W coast of Asia Minor: famous for its temple of Artemis (Diana); sacked by the Goths (262 ad) Equatorial GuineaEquatoriana republic of W Africa, consisting of Río Muni on the mainland and the island of Bioko in the Gulf of Guinea, with four smaller islands: ceded by Portugal to Spain in 1778; gained independence in 1968. Official languages: Spanish and French. Religion: Roman Catholic majority. Currency: franc. Capital: Malabo. Pop: 704 000 (2013 est). Area: 28 049 sq km (10 830 sq miles) EritreaEritreana small country in NE Africa, on the Red Sea: became an Italian colony in 1890; federated with Ethiopia (1952–93); an independence movement was engaged in war with the Ethiopian government from 1961 until independence was gained in 1993; consists of hot and arid coastal lowlands, rising to the foothills of the Ethiopian highlands. Languages: Tigrinya, Arabic, English, Afar, and others. Religions: Muslim and Christian. Currency: nakfa. Capital: Asmara. Pop: 6 233 682 (2013 est). Area: 117 400 sq km (45 300 sq miles) EstoniaEstoniana republic in NE Europe, on the Gulf of Finland and the Baltic: low-lying with many lakes and forests, it includes numerous islands in the Baltic Sea. It was under Scandinavian and Teutonic rule from the 13th century to 1721, when it passed to Russia: it was an independent republic from 1920 to 1940, when it was annexed by the Soviet Union; became independent in 1991 and joined the EU in 2004. Official language: Estonian. Religion: believers are mostly Christian. Currency: euro. Capital: Tallinn. Pop: 1 266 375 (2013 est). Area: 45 227 sq km (17 462 sq miles) EthiopiaEthiopiana state in NE Africa, on the Red Sea: consolidated as an empire under Menelik II (1889–1913); federated with Eritrea from 1952 until 1993; Emperor Haile Selassie was deposed by the military in 1974 and the monarchy was abolished in 1975; an independence movement in Eritrea was engaged in war with the government from 1961 until 1993. It lies along the Great Rift Valley and consists of deserts in the southeast and northeast and a high central plateau with many rivers (including the Blue Nile) and mountains rising over 4500 m (15 000 ft); the main export is coffee. Language: Amharic. Religion: Christian majority. Currency: birr. Capital: Addis Ababa. Pop: 93 877 025 (2013 est). Area: 1 128 215 sq km (435 614 sq miles) EuropeEuropeanthe second smallest continent, forming the W extension of Eurasia: the border with Asia runs from the Urals to the Caspian and the Black Sea. The coastline is generally extremely indented and there are several peninsulas (notably Scandinavia, Italy, and Iberia) and offshore islands (including the British Isles and Iceland). It contains a series of great mountain systems in the south (Pyrenees, Alps, Apennines, Carpathians, Caucasus), a large central plain, and a N region of lakes and mountains in Scandinavia. Pop: 739 165 030 (2011 est). Area: about 10 400 000 sq km (4 000 000 sq miles) EuzkadiBasqueFaeroe IslandsFaeroesegroup of Danish islands in the N Atlantic, between Iceland & the Shetland Islands: 540 sq mi (1,399 sq km); pop. 44,000 Falkland IslandsFalkland Islander or Falklandera group of over 100 islands in the S Atlantic: a UK Overseas Territory; invaded by Argentina, who had long laid claim to the islands, on 2 April 1982; recaptured by a British expeditionary force on 14 June 1982. Chief town: Stanley. Pop: 3140 (2008 est). Area: about 12 200 sq km (4700 sq miles) FifeFifera council area and historical county of E central Scotland, bordering on the North Sea between the Firths of Tay and Forth: coastal lowlands in the north and east, with several ranges of hills; mainly agricultural. Administrative centre: Glenrothes. Pop: 352 040 (2003 est). Area: 1323 sq km (511 sq miles) FijiFijianFinlandFinna republic in N Europe, on the Baltic Sea: ceded to Russia by Sweden in 1809; gained independence in 1917; Soviet invasion successfully withstood in 1939–40, with the loss of Karelia; a member of the European Union. It is generally low-lying, with about 50 000 lakes, extensive forests, and peat bogs. Official languages: Finnish and Swedish. Religion: Christian, Lutheran majority. Currency: euro. Capital: Helsinki. Pop: 5 266 114 (2013 est). Area: 337 000 sq km (130 120 sq miles) FlandersFleminga powerful medieval principality in the SW part of the Low Countries, now in the Belgian provinces of East and West Flanders, the Netherlands province of Zeeland, and the French department of the Nord; scene of battles in many wars FlorenceFlorentinea city in central Italy, on the River Arno in Tuscany: became an independent republic in the 14th century; under Austrian and other rule intermittently from 1737 to 1859; capital of Italy 1865–70. It was the major cultural and artistic centre of the Renaissance and is still one of the world's chief art centres. Pop: 356 118 (2001) FloridaFloridiana state of the southeastern US, between the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico: consists mostly of a low-lying peninsula ending in the Florida Keys a chain of small islands off the coast of S Florida, extending southwest for over 160 km (100 miles). Capital: Tallahassee. Pop: 17 019 068 (2003 est). Area: 143 900 sq km (55 560 sq miles) FranceFrenchman, Frenchwomana republic in W Europe, between the English Channel, the Mediterranean, and the Atlantic: the largest country wholly in Europe; became a republic in 1793 after the French Revolution and an empire in 1804 under Napoleon; reverted to a monarchy (1815–48), followed by the Second Republic (1848–52), the Second Empire (1852–70), the Third Republic (1870–1940), and the Fourth and Fifth Republics (1946 and 1958); a member of the European Union. It is generally flat or undulating in the north and west and mountainous in the south and east. Official language: French. Religion: Roman Catholic majority. Currency: euro. Capital: Paris. Pop: 62 814 233 (2013 est). Area: (including Corsica) 551 600 sq km (212 973 sq miles) French GuianaGuianeseFrieslandFrisiana province of the N Netherlands, on the IJsselmeer and the North Sea: includes four of the West Frisian Islands; flat, with sand dunes and fens (under reclamation), canals, and lakes. Capital: Leeuwarden. Pop: 640 000 (2003 est). Area: 3319 sq km (1294 sq miles) FriuiliFriulianGabonGaboneseGaliciaGaliciana region of E central Europe on the N side of the Carpathians, now in SE Poland and Ukraine GalileeGalileana northern region of Israel: scene of Christ's early ministry GallowayGallovidianan area of SW Scotland, on the Solway Firth: consists of the former counties of Kirkcudbright and Wigtown, now part of Dumfries and Galloway; in the west is a large peninsula, the Rhinns of Galloway, with the Mull of Galloway, a promontory, at the south end of it (the southernmost point of Scotland) GalwayGalwegiana county of W Republic of Ireland, in S Connacht, on Galway Bay and the Atlantic: it has a deeply indented coastline and many offshore islands, including the Aran Islands. County town: Galway. Pop: 209 077 (2002). Area: 5939 sq km (2293 sq miles) GambiaGambiana republic in W Africa, entirely surrounded by Senegal except for an outlet to the Atlantic: sold to English merchants by the Portuguese in 1588; became a British colony in 1843; gained independence and was a member of the Commonwealth between 1965 and 2013; joined with Senegal to form the Confederation of Senegambia (1982–89); consists of a strip of land about 16 km (10 miles) wide, on both banks of the Gambia River, extending inland for about 480 km (300 miles). Official language: English. Religion: Muslim majority. Currency: dalasi. Capital: Banjul. Pop: 1 883 051 (2013 est). Area: 11 295 sq km (4361 sq miles) GasconyGascona former province of SW France GenoaGenoesea port in NW Italy, capital of Liguria, on the Gulf of Genoa: Italy's main port; an independent commercial city with many colonies in the Middle Ages; university (1243); heavy industries. Pop: 610 307 (2001) Georgia (country)GeorgianGeorgia (U.S. state)GeorgianGermanyGermana country in central Europe: in the Middle Ages the centre of the Holy Roman Empire; dissolved into numerous principalities; united under the leadership of Prussia in 1871 after the Franco-Prussian War; became a republic with reduced size in 1919 after being defeated in World War I; under the dictatorship of Hitler from 1933 to 1945; defeated in World War II and divided by the Allied Powers into four zones, which became established as East and West Germany in the late 1940s; reunified in 1990: a member of the European Union. It is flat and low-lying in the north with plateaus and uplands (including the Black Forest and the Bavarian Alps) in the centre and south. Official language: German. Religion: Christianity, Protestant majority. Currency: euro. Capital: Berlin. Pop: 81 147 265 (2013 est). Area: 357 041 sq km (137 825 sq miles) GhanaGhanaian or Ghaniana republic in W Africa, on the Gulf of Guinea: a powerful empire from the 4th to the 13th centuries; a major source of gold and slaves for Europeans after 1471; British colony of the Gold Coast established in 1874; united with British Togoland in 1957 and became a republic and a member of the Commonwealth in 1960. Official language: English. Religions: Christian, Muslim, and animist. Currency: cedi. Capital: Accra. Pop: 25 199 609 (2013 est). Area: 238 539 sq km (92 100 sq miles) GlasgowGlaswegiana city in W central Scotland, in City of Glasgow council area on the River Clyde: the largest city in Scotland; centre of a major industrial region, formerly an important port; universities (1451, 1964, 1992). Pop: 598 830 (2011) GreeceGreeka republic in SE Europe, occupying the S part of the Balkan Peninsula and many islands in the Ionian and Aegean Seas; site of two of Europe's earliest civilizations (the Minoan and Mycenaean); in the classical era divided into many small independent city-states, the most important being Athens and Sparta; part of the Roman and Byzantine Empires; passed under Turkish rule in the late Middle Ages; became an independent kingdom in 1827; taken over by a military junta (1967–74); the monarchy was abolished in 1973; became a republic in 1975; a member of the European Union. Official language: Greek. Official religion: Eastern (Greek) Orthodox. Currency: euro. Capital: Athens. Pop: 10 772 967 (2013 est). Area: 131 944 sq km (50 944 sq miles) GreenlandGreenlandera large island, lying mostly within the Arctic Circle off the NE coast of North America: first settled by Icelanders in 986; resettled by Danes from 1721 onwards; integral part of Denmark (1953–79); granted internal autonomy 1979; mostly covered by an icecap up to 3300 m (11 000 ft) thick, with ice-free coastal strips and coastal mountains; the population is largely Inuit, with a European minority; fishing, hunting, and mining. Capital: Nuuk (Godthåb). Pop: 57 714 (2013 est). Area: 175 600 sq km (840 000 sq miles) GrenadaGrenadianGuamGuamanianan island in the N Pacific, the largest and southernmost of the Marianas: belonged to Spain from the 17th century until 1898, when it was ceded to the US; site of naval and air force bases. Capital: Agana (now officially spelt Hagåtña). Pop: 160 378 (2013 est). Area: 541 sq km (209 sq miles) GuatemalaGuatemalana republic in Central America: original Maya Indians conquered by the Spanish in 1523; became the centre of Spanish administration in Central America; gained independence and was annexed to Mexico in 1821, becoming an independent republic in 1839. Official language: Spanish. Religion: Roman Catholic majority. Currency: quetzal and US dollar. Capital: Guatemala City. Pop: 14 373 472 (2013 est). Area: 108 889 sq km (42 042 sq miles) GuineaGuineana republic in West Africa, on the Atlantic: established as the colony of French Guinea in 1890 and became an independent republic in 1958. Official language: French. Religion: Muslim majority and animist. Currency: franc. Capital: Conakry. Pop: 11 176 026 (2013 est). Area: 245 855 sq km (94 925 sq miles) GuyanaGuyanese or GuyananHaitiHaitiana republic occupying the W part of the island of Hispaniola in the Caribbean, the E part consisting of the Dominican Republic: ceded by Spain to France in 1697 and became one of the richest colonial possessions in the world, with numerous plantations; slaves rebelled under Toussaint L'Ouverture in 1793 and defeated the French; taken over by the US (1915–41) after long political and economic chaos; under the authoritarian regimes of François Duvalier ('Papa Doc') (1957–71) and his son Jean-Claude Duvalier ('Baby Doc') (1971–86); returned to civilian rule in 1990, but another coup in 1991 brought military rule, which was ended in 1994 with US intervention; in 2010 the area around Port-au-Prince was devastated by an earthquake that killed at least 100,000 people. Official languages: French and Haitian creole. Religions: Roman Catholic and voodoo. Currency: gourde. Capital: Port-au-Prince. Pop: 9 893 934 (2013 est). Area: 27 749 sq km (10 714 sq miles) HawaiiHawaiiana state of the US in the central Pacific, consisting of over 20 volcanic islands and atolls, including Hawaii, Maui, Oahu, Kauai, and Molokai: discovered by Captain Cook in 1778; annexed by the US in 1898; naval base at Pearl Harbor attacked by the Japanese in 1941, a major cause of US entry into World War II; became a state in 1959. Capital: Honolulu. Pop: 1 257 608 (2003 est). Area: 16 640 sq km (6425 sq miles) HavanaHabanerothe capital of Cuba, a port in the northwest on the Gulf of Mexico: the largest city in the Caribbean; founded in 1514 as San Cristóbal de la Habana by Diego Velásquez. Pop: 2 192 000 (2005 est) HesseHessiana state of central Germany, formed in 1945 from the former Prussian province of Hesse-Nassau and part of the former state of Hesse; part of West Germany until 1990. Capital: Wiesbaden. Pop: 6 089 000 (2003 est). Area: 21 111 sq km (8151 sq miles) HungaryHungarian or Magyara republic in central Europe: Magyars first unified under Saint Stephen, the first Hungarian king (1001–38); taken by the Hapsburgs from the Turks at the end of the 17th century; gained autonomy with the establishment of the dual monarchy of Austria-Hungary (1867) and became a republic in 1918; passed under Communist control in 1949; a popular rising in 1956 was suppressed by Soviet troops; a multi-party democracy replaced Communism in 1989 after mass protests; joined the EU in 2004. It consists chiefly of the Middle Danube basin and plains. Official language: Hungarian. Religion: Christian majority. Currency: forint. Capital: Budapest Pop: 9 939 470 (2013 est). Area: 93 030 sq km (35 919 sq miles) HondurasHondurana republic in Central America: an early centre of Mayan civilization; colonized by the Spanish from 1524 onwards; gained independence in 1821. Official language: Spanish; English is also widely spoken. Religion: Roman Catholic majority. Currency: lempira. Capital: Tegucigalpa. Pop: 8 448 465 (2013 est). Area: 112 088 sq km (43 277 sq miles) Hyderabad stateMulkiIbizaIbizanIcelandIcelanderan island republic in the N Atlantic, regarded as part of Europe: settled by Norsemen, who established a legislative assembly in 930; under Danish rule (1380–1918); gained independence in 1918 and became a republic in 1944; contains large areas of glaciers, snowfields, and lava beds with many volcanoes and hot springs (the chief source of domestic heat); inhabited chiefly along the SW coast. The economy is based largely on fishing and tourism. Official language: Icelandic. Official religion: Evangelical Lutheran. Currency: króna. Capital: Reykjavik. Pop: 315 281 (2013 est). Area: 102 828 sq km (39 702 sq miles) IdahoIdahoanIllinoisIllinoian or Illinoisiana state of the N central US, in the Midwest: consists of level prairie crossed by the Illinois and Kaskaskia Rivers; mainly agricultural. Capital: Springfield. Pop: 12 653 544 (2003 est). Area: 144 858 sq km (55 930 sq miles) IndiaIndiana republic in S Asia: history dates from the Indus Valley civilization (3rd millennium bc); came under British supremacy in 1763 and passed to the British Crown in 1858; nationalist movement arose under Gandhi (1869–1948); Indian subcontinent divided into Pakistan (Muslim) and India (Hindu) in 1947; became a republic within the Commonwealth in 1950. It consists chiefly of the Himalayas, rising over 7500 m (25 000 ft) in the extreme north, the Ganges plain in the north, the Thar Desert in the northwest, the Chota Nagpur plateau in the northeast, and the Deccan Plateau in the south. Official and administrative languages: Hindi and English; each state has its own language. Parts of the SE coast suffered badly in the Indian Ocean tsunami of December 2004. Religion: Hindu majority, Muslim minority. Currency: rupee. Capital: New Delhi. Pop: 1 220 800 359 (2013 est). Area: 3 268 100 sq km (1 261 813 sq miles) IndianaIndianan, Indianian, or (informal) HoosierIndonesiaIndonesiana republic in SE Asia, in the Malay Archipelago, consisting of the main islands of Sumatra, Java and Madura, Bali, Sulawesi (Celebes), Lombok, Sumbawa, Flores, the Moluccas, part of Timor, part of Borneo (Kalimantan), Papua (formerly Irian Jaya), and over 3000 small islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans: became the Dutch East Indies in 1798; declared independence in 1945; became a republic in 1950; East Timor (illegally annexed in 1975) became independent in 2002. Parts of Sumatra suffered badly in the Indian Ocean tsunami of December 2004. Official language: Bahasa Indonesia. Religion: Muslim majority. Currency: rupiah. Capital: Jakarta. Pop: 251 160 124 (2013 est). Area: 1 919 317 sq km (741 052 sq miles) IowaIowana state of the N central US, in the Midwest: consists of rolling plains crossed by many rivers, with the Missouri forming the western border and the Mississippi the eastern. Capital: Des Moines. Pop: 2 944 062 (2003 est). Area: 144 887 sq km (55 941 sq miles) IranIraniana republic in SW Asia, between the Caspian Sea and the Persian Gulf: a monarchy until an Islamic revolution in 1979 headed by the Ayatollah Khomeini when the Shah was obliged to leave the country. Consists chiefly of a high central desert plateau almost completely surrounded by mountains, a semitropical fertile region along the Caspian coast, and a hot and dry area beside the Persian Gulf. Oil is the most important export. Official language: Persian (Iranian or Farsi). Official religion: Muslim majority. Currency: rial. Capital: Tehran. Pop: 79 853 900 (2013 est). Area: 1 647 050 sq km (635 932 sq miles) IraqIraqia republic in SW Asia, on the Persian Gulf: coextensive with ancient Mesopotamia; became a British mandate in 1920, independent in 1932, and a republic in 1958. The Iraqi invasion of Kuwait (1990) led to their defeat in the first Gulf War (1991) by US-led UN forces. The second Gulf War (2003) took place when Iraq was invaded by a coalition of US, UK, and other forces; government elected in 2005, although there is continuing violence and resistance to the coalition presence; the last coalition troops left the country in 2011. Iraq consists chiefly of the mountains of Kurdistan in the northeast, part of the Syrian Desert, and the lower basin of the Rivers Tigris and Euphrates. Oil is the major export. Official language: Arabic; Kurdish is official in the Kurdish Autonomous Region only. Official religion: Muslim. Currency: dinar. Capital: Baghdad. Pop: 31 858 481 (2013 est). Area: 438 446 sq km (169 284 sq miles) IrelandIrishman, Irishwomanan island off NW Europe: part of the British Isles, separated from Britain by the North Channel, the Irish Sea, and St George's Channel; contains large areas of peat bog, with mountains that rise over 900 m (3000 ft) in the southwest and several large lakes. It was conquered by England in the 16th and early 17th centuries and ruled as a dependency until 1801, when it was united with Great Britain until its division in 1921 into the Irish Free State and Northern Ireland IsraelIsraelia republic in SW Asia, on the Mediterranean Sea: established in 1948, in the former British mandate of Palestine, as a primarily Jewish state; 8 disputes with Arab neighbours (who did not recognize the state of Israel), erupted into full-scale wars in 1948, 1956, 1967 (the Six Day War), and 1973 (the Yom Kippur War). In 1993 Israel agreed to grant autonomous status to the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, according to the terms of a peace agreement with the PLO. Official languages: Hebrew and Arabic. Religion: Jewish majority, Muslim and Christian minorities. Currency: shekel. Capital: Jerusalem (international recognition withheld as East Jerusalem was annexed (1967) by Israel: UN recognized capital: Tel Aviv). Pop: 7 707 042 (2013 est). Area (including Golan Heights and East Jerusalem): 21 946 sq km (8473 sq miles) ItalyItaliana republic in S Europe, occupying a peninsula in the Mediterranean between the Tyrrhenian and the Adriatic Seas, with the islands of Sardinia and Sicily to the west: first united under the Romans but became fragmented into numerous political units in the Middle Ages; united kingdom proclaimed in 1861; under the dictatorship of Mussolini (1922–43); became a republic in 1946; a member of the European Union. It is generally mountainous, with the Alps in the north and the Apennines running the length of the peninsula. Official language: Italian. Religion: Roman Catholic majority. Currency: euro. Capital: Rome. Pop: 61 482 297 (2013 est) Area: 301 247 sq km (116 312 sq miles) JamaicaJamaicanan island and state in the Caribbean: colonized by the Spanish from 1494 onwards, large numbers of Black slaves being imported; captured by the British in 1655 and established as a colony in 1866; gained full independence in 1962; a member of the Commonwealth. Exports: chiefly bauxite and alumina, sugar, and bananas. Official language: English. Religion: Protestant majority. Currency: Jamaican dollar. Capital: Kingston. Pop: 2 909 714 (2013 est). Area: 10 992 sq km (4244 sq miles) JapanJapanesean archipelago and empire in E Asia, extending for 3200 km (2000 miles) between the Sea of Japan and the Pacific and consisting of the main islands of Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu and over 3000 smaller islands: feudalism abolished in 1871, followed by industrialization and expansion of territories, esp during World Wars I and II, when most of SE Asia came under Japanese control; dogma of the emperor's divinity abolished in 1946 under a new democratic constitution; by the 1980s, rapid economic growth made Japan the most industrialized nation in the Far East. Official language: Japanese. Religion: Shintoist majority, large Buddhist minority. Currency: yen. Capital: Tokyo. Pop: 127 253 075 (2013 est). Area: 369 660 sq km (142 726 sq miles) JavaJavanesean island of Indonesia, south of Borneo, from which it is separated by the Java Sea: politically the most important island of Indonesia; it consists chiefly of active volcanic mountains and is densely forested. It came under Dutch control in 1596 and became part of Indonesia in 1949. It is one of the most densely populated areas in the world. Capital: Jakarta. Pop (with Madura): 121 352 608 (2000 est). Area: 132 174 sq km (51 032 sq miles) JordanJordaniana kingdom in SW Asia: coextensive with the biblical Moab, Gilead, and Edom; made a League of Nations mandate and emirate under British control in 1922 and became an independent kingdom in 1946; territories west of the River Jordan and the Jordanian part of Jerusalem (intended to be part of an autonomous Palestine) were occupied by Israel after the war of 1967. It contains part of the Great Rift Valley and consists mostly of desert. Official language: Arabic. Official religion: (Sunni) Muslim. Currency: dinar. Capital: Amman. Pop: 6 482 081 (2013 est). Area: 89 185 sq km (34 434 sq miles) KansasKansana state of the central US: consists of undulating prairie, drained chiefly by the Arkansas, Kansas, and Missouri Rivers; mainly agricultural. Capital: Topeka. Pop: 2 723 507 (2003 est). Area: 213 096 sq km (82 277 sq miles) KareliaKareliana region of NE Europe comprising areas of both Finland and Russia. Following the Russo-Finnish War (1939–40) a large part of what had been Finnish Karelia was annexed by the former Soviet Union; together with the part of Karelia which already belonged to Russia at that time, it corresponds roughly to the modern Karelian Republic in Russia KazakhstanKazakha republic in central Asia: conquered by Mongols in the 13th century; came under Russian control in the 18th and 19th centuries; was a Soviet republic from 1936 until it gained independence in 1991. It has rich mineral deposits and agriculture is important. Official language: Kazakh. Religion: nonreligious, Muslim, and Christian. Official currency: tenge. Capital: Astana (formerly Akmola, Akmolinsk, or Tselinograd); capital functions moved from Almaty (formerly Alma-Ata) in 1997. Pop: 17 736 896 (2013 est). Area: 2 715 100 sq km (1 048 030 sq miles) Kent (East)Man, Woman of KentKent (West)Kentish Man, WomanKentuckyKentuckiana state of the S central US: consists of an undulating plain in the west, the Bluegrass region in the centre, the Tennessee and Ohio River basins in the southwest, and the Appalachians in the east. Capital: Frankfort. Pop: 4 117 827 (2003 est). Area: 102 693 sq km (39 650 sq miles) KenyaKenyana republic in E Africa, on the Indian Ocean: became a British protectorate in 1895 and a colony in 1920; gained independence in 1963 and is a member of the Commonwealth. Tea and coffee constitute about a third of the total exports. Official languages: Swahili and English. Religions: Christian majority, animist minority. Currency: shilling. Capital: Nairobi. Pop: 44 037 656 (2013 est). Area: 582 647 sq km (224 960 sq miles) KirghiziaKirghizKoreaKoreana former country in E Asia, now divided into two separate countries, North Korea and South Korea. Korea occupied the peninsula between the Sea of Japan (East Sea) and the Yellow Sea: an isolated vassal of Manchu China for three centuries until the opening of ports to Japanese trade in 1876; gained independence in 1895; annexed to Japan in 1910 and divided in 1945 into two occupation zones (Russian in the north, American in the south), which became North Korea and South Korea in 1948 KuwaitKuwaitia state on the NW coast of the Persian Gulf: came under British protection in 1899 and gained independence in 1961; invaded by Iraq in 1990; liberated by US-led UN forces 1991 in the Gulf War: mainly desert. The economy is dependent on oil. Official language: Arabic. Official religion: Muslim. Currency: dinar. Capital: Kuwait. Pop: 2 695 316 (2013 est). Area: 24 280 sq km (9375 sq miles) LancashireLancastriana county of NW England, on the Irish Sea: became a county palatine in 1351 and a duchy attached to the Crown; much reduced in size after the 1974 boundary changes, losing the Furness district to Cumbria and much of the south to Greater Manchester, Merseyside, and Cheshire: Blackburn with Darwen and Blackpool became independent unitary authorities in 1998. It was traditionally a cotton textiles manufacturing region. Administrative centre: Preston. Pop (excluding unitary authorities): 1 147 000 (2003 est). Area (excluding unitary authorities): 2889 sq km (1115 sq miles) LancasterLancastriana city in NW England, former county town of Lancashire, on the River Lune: castle (built on the site of a Roman camp); university (1964). Pop: 45 952 (2001) LaosLaotiana republic in SE Asia: first united as the kingdom of Lan Xang ("million elephants") in 1353, after being a province of the Khmer Empire for about four centuries; made part of French Indochina in 1893 and gained independence in 1949; became a republic in 1975. It is generally forested and mountainous, with the Mekong River running almost the whole length of the W border. Official language: Laotian. Religion: Buddhist majority, tribal religions. Currency: kip. Capital: Vientiane. Pop: 6 695 166 (2013 est). Area: 236 800 sq km (91 429 sq miles) LatviaLatvian or Letta republic in NE Europe, on the Gulf of Riga and the Baltic Sea: ruled by Poland, Sweden, and Russia since the 13th century, Latvia was independent from 1919 until 1940 and was a Soviet republic (1940–91), gaining its independence after conflict with Soviet forces; it joined the EU in 2004. Latvia is mostly forested. Official language: Latvian. Religion: nonreligious, Christian. Currency: euro. Capital: Riga. Pop: 2 178 443 (2013 est). Area: 63 700 sq km (25 590 sq miles) LebanonLebanesecountry in SW Asia, at the E end of the Mediterranean: formerly a French mandate, it became independent after elections (1944): 4,036 sq mi (10,453 sq km); pop. 2,760,000; cap. Beirut LiberiaLiberiana republic in W Africa, on the Atlantic: originated in 1822 as a home for freed Afro-American slaves, with land purchased by the American Colonization Society; republic declared in 1847; exports are predominantly rubber and iron ore. Official language: English. Religion: Christian majority, also animist. Currency: dollar. Capital: Monrovia. Pop: 3 989 703 (2013 est). Area: 111 400 sq km (43 000 sq miles) LibyaLibyana republic in N Africa, on the Mediterranean: became an Italian colony in 1912; divided after World War II into Tripolitania and Cyrenaica (under British administration) and Fezzan (under French); gained independence in 1951; monarchy overthrown by a military junta led by Colonel Gaddafi in 1969; Gaddafi's authoritarian regime overthrown in 2011 following a popular uprising. It consists almost wholly of desert and is a major exporter of oil. Official language: Arabic. Official religion: (Sunni) Muslim. Currency: Libyan dinar. Capital: Tripoli. Pop: 6 002 347 (2013 est). Area: 1 760 000 sq km (680 000 sq miles) LiechtensteinLiechtensteinera small mountainous principality in central Europe on the Rhine: formed in 1719 by the uniting of the lordships of Schellenburg and Vaduz, which had been purchased by the Austrian family of Liechtenstein; customs union formed with Switzerland in 1924. Official language: German. Religion: Roman Catholic majority. Currency: Swiss franc. Capital: Vaduz. Pop: 37 009 (2003 est). Area: 160 sq km (62 sq miles) Lincolnshireyellow belly (dialect)a county of E England, on the North Sea and the Wash: mostly low-lying and fertile, with fenland around the Wash and hills (the Lincoln Wolds) in the east; one of the main agricultural counties of Great Britain: the geographical and ceremonial county includes the unitary authorities of North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire (both part of Humberside county from 1974 to 1996). Administrative centre: Lincoln. Pop (excluding unitary authorities): 665 300 (2003 est). Area (excluding unitary authorities): 5880 sq km (2270 sq miles) LithuaniaLithuaniana republic in NE Europe, on the Baltic Sea: a grand duchy in medieval times; united with Poland in 1569; occupied by Russia in 1795 and by Germany during World War I; independent Lithuania formed in 1918, but occupied by Soviet troops in 1919 and then by Poland; became a Soviet republic in 1940; unilaterally declared independence from the Soviet Union in 1990; recognized as independent in 1991; joined the EU in 2004. Official language: Lithuanian. Religion: Roman Catholic majority. Currency: euro. Capital: Vilnius. Pop: 3 515 858 (2013 est). Area: 65 200 sq km (25 174 sq miles) LiverpoolLiverpudlian or (informal) Scouse or Scousera city in NW England, in Liverpool unitary authority, Merseyside, on the Mersey estuary: second largest seaport in Great Britain; developed chiefly in the 17th century with the industrialization of S Lancashire; Liverpool University (1881) and John Moores University (1992). Pop: 469 017 (2001) LombardyLombarda region of N central Italy, bordering on the Alps: dominated by prosperous lordships and city-states during the Middle Ages; later ruled by Spain and then by Austria before becoming part of Italy in 1859; intensively cultivated and in parts highly industrialized. Pop: 9 108 645 (2003 est). Area: 23 804 sq km (9284 sq miles) LondonLondonerthe capital of the United Kingdom, a port in S England on the River Thames near its estuary on the North Sea: consists of the City (the financial quarter), the West End (the entertainment and major shopping centre), the East End (the industrial and former dock area), and extensive suburbs Los AngelesAngelenoa city in SW California, on the Pacific: the second largest city in the US, having absorbed many adjacent townships; industrial centre and port, with several universities. Pop: 3 819 951 (2003 est) LouisianaLouisianan or Louisianiana state of the southern US, on the Gulf of Mexico: originally a French colony; bought by the US in 1803 as part of the Louisiana Purchase; chiefly low-lying. Capital: Baton Rouge. Pop: 4 496 334 (2003 est). Area: 116 368 sq km (44 930 sq miles) LuxembourgLuxembourgera grand duchy in W Europe: it formed the Benelux customs union with the Belgium and the Netherlands in 1948 and was a founder member of the Common Market, now the European Union. Languages: French, German, and Luxemburgish. Religion: Roman Catholic majority. Currency: euro. Capital: Luxembourg. Pop: 514 862 (2013 est). Area: 2586 sq km (999 sq miles) LyonLyonnaisa city in SE central France, capital of Rhône department, at the confluence of the Rivers Rhône and Saône: the third largest city in France; a major industrial centre and river port. Pop: 480 778 (2006) MacaoMacaonesea special administrative region of China, in the south of the country, across the estuary of the Zhu Jiang from Hong Kong: chief centre of European trade with China in the 18th century; attained partial autonomy in 1976; formerly (until 1999) a Portuguese overseas province under a long-term lease from China, as with Hong Kong (a UK territory until 1997); transit trade with rest of China; tourism and financial services. It retains its own currency, the pataca. Pop: 583 003 (2013 est). Area: 16 sq km (6 sq miles) MacedoniaMacedoniana country in SE Europe, comprising the NW half of ancient Macedon: it became part of the kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes (subsequently Yugoslavia) in 1913; it declared independence in 1992, but Greece objected to the use of the historical name Macedonia; in 1993 it was recognized by the UN under its current official name. Official language: Macedonian. Religion: Christian majority, Muslim, nonreligious, and Jewish minorities. Currency: denar. Capital: Skopje. Pop: 2 087 171 (2013 est). Area: 25 713 sq km (10 028 sq miles) MadagascarMadagascan or Malagasyan island republic in the Indian Ocean, off the E coast of Africa: made a French protectorate in 1895; became autonomous in 1958 and fully independent in 1960; contains unique flora and fauna. Languages: Malagasy and French. Religions: animist and Christian. Currency: franc. Capital: Antananarivo. Pop: 22 599 098 (2013 est). Area: 587 041 sq km (266 657 sq miles) MadridMadrileño, Madrileñathe capital of Spain, situated centrally in New Castile: the highest European capital, at an altitude of about 700 m (2300 ft); a Moorish fortress in the 10th century, captured by Castile in 1083 and made capital of Spain in 1561; university (1836). Pop: 3 092 759 (2003 est) MaineMainer or DowneasterMajorcaMajorcanMalawiMalawianMalayaMalayanMalaysiaMalaysiana federation in SE Asia (within the Commonwealth), consisting of Peninsular Malaysia on the Malay Peninsula, and East Malaysia (Sabah and Sarawak), occupying the N part of the island of Borneo: formed in 1963 as a federation of Malaya, Sarawak, Sabah, and Singapore (the latter seceded in 1965); densely forested and mostly mountainous. Official language: Malay; English and various Chinese and Indian minority languages are also spoken. Official religion: Muslim. Currency: ringgit. Capital: Kuala Lumpur. Federal seat of government: Putrajaya. Pop: 29 628 392 (2013 est). Area: 329 847 sq km (127 355 sq miles) Maldive IslandsMaldivianMaltaMaltesea republic occupying the islands of Malta, Gozo, and Comino, in the Mediterranean south of Sicily: governed by the Knights Hospitallers from 1530 until Napoleon's conquest in 1798; French driven out, with British help, 1800; became British dependency 1814; suffered severely in World War II; became independent in 1964 and a republic in 1974; joined the EU in 2004; a member of the Commonwealth. Official languages: Maltese and English. Official religion: Roman Catholic. Currency: euro (from January 2008 replacing the Maltese lira). Capital: Valletta. Pop: 411 277 (2013 est). Area: 316 sq km (122 sq miles) Man, Isle ofManxman, ManxwomanManchesterMancuniana city in NW England, in Manchester unitary authority, Greater Manchester: linked to the Mersey estuary by the Manchester Ship Canal: commercial, industrial, and cultural centre; formerly the centre of the cotton and textile trades; two universities. Pop: 394 269 (2001) ManitobaManitobana province of W Canada: consists of prairie in the southwest, with extensive forests in the north and tundra near Hudson Bay in the northeast. Capital: Winnipeg. Pop: 1 208 268 (2011). Area: 650 090 sq km (251 000 sq miles) Marquesas IslandsMarquesanMarsMartianthe fourth planet from the sun, having a reddish-orange surface with numerous dark patches and two white polar caps. It has a thin atmosphere, mainly carbon dioxide, and low surface temperatures. Spacecraft encounters have revealed a history of volcanic activity and running surface water. The planet has two tiny satellites, Phobos and Deimos. Mean distance from sun: 228 million km; period of revolution around sun: 686.98 days; period of axial rotation: 24.6225 hours; diameter and mass: 53.2 and 10.7 per cent that of earth respectively MarseillesMarsellaisMarshall IslandsMarshall Islandera republic, consisting of a group of 34 coral islands in the W central Pacific: formerly part of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands (1947–87); status of free association with the US from 1986; consists of two parallel chains, Ralik and Ratak. Official languages: Marshallese and English. Religion: Roman Catholic majority. Currency: US dollar. Capital: Delap-Uliga-Djarrit, on Majuro atoll. Pop: 69 747 (2013 est). Area: (land) 181 sq km (70 sq miles); (lagoon) 11 655 sq km (4500 sq miles) MartiniqueMartiniqueanan island in the E Caribbean, in the Windward Islands of the Lesser Antilles: administratively an overseas region of France. Capital: Fort-de-France. Pop: 403 795 (2007 est). Area: 1090 sq km (420 sq miles) MarylandMarylanderMassachusettsBay Statera state of the northeastern US, on the Atlantic: a centre of resistance to English colonial policy during the War of American Independence; consists of a coastal plain rising to mountains in the west. Capital: Boston. Pop: 6 433 422 (2003 est). Area: 20 269 sq km (7826 sq miles) MauritaniaMauritanianMauritiusMauritianan island and state in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar: originally uninhabited, it was settled by the Dutch (1638–1710) then abandoned; taken by the French in 1715 and the British in 1810; became an independent member of the Commonwealth in 1968. It is economically dependent on sugar. Official language: English; a French creole is widely spoken. Religion: Hindu majority, large Christian minority. Currency: rupee. Capital: Port Louis. Pop: 1 322 238 (2013 est). Area: 1865 sq km (720 sq miles) MelanesiaMelanesianone of the three divisions of islands in the Pacific (the others being Micronesia and Polynesia); the SW division of Oceania: includes Fiji, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, the Bismarck Archipelago, and the Louisiade, Solomon, Santa Cruz, and Loyalty Islands, which all lie northeast of Australia MelbourneMelburniana port in SE Australia, capital of Victoria, on Port Phillip Bay: the second largest city in the country; settled in 1835 and developed rapidly with the discovery of rich goldfields in 1851; three universities. Pop: 4 246 345 (2012) MexicoMexicana republic in North America, on the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific: early Mexican history includes the Maya, Toltec, and Aztec civilizations; conquered by the Spanish between 1519 and 1525 and achieved independence in 1821; lost Texas to the US in 1836 and California and New Mexico in 1848. It is generally mountainous with three ranges of the Sierra Madre (east, west, and south) and a large central plateau. Official language: Spanish. Religion: Roman Catholic majority. Currency: peso. Capital: Mexico City. Pop: 116 220 947 (2013 est). Area: 1 967 183 sq km (761 530 sq miles) MichiganMichigander, Michiganite, or MichiganianMicronesiaMicronesianone of the three divisions of islands in the Pacific (the others being Melanesia and Polynesia); the NW division of Oceania: includes the Mariana, Caroline, Marshall, and Kiribati island groups, and Nauru Island MilanMilanesea city in N Italy, in central Lombardy: Italy's second largest city and chief financial and industrial centre; a centre of the Renaissance under the Visconti and Sforza families. Pop: 1 256 211 (2001) MinnesotaMinnesotana state of the N central US: chief US producer of iron ore. Capital: St Paul. Pop: 5 059 375 (2003 est). Area: 218 600 sq km (84 402 sq miles) MississippiMississippiana state of the southeastern US, on the Gulf of Mexico: consists of a largely forested undulating plain, with swampy regions in the northwest and on the coast, the Mississippi River forming the W border; cotton, rice, and oil. Capital: Jackson. Pop: 2 881 281 (2003 est). Area: 122 496 sq km (47 296 sq miles) MissouriMissouriana state of the central US: consists of rolling prairies in the north, the Ozark Mountains in the south, and part of the Mississippi flood plain in the southeast, with the Mississippi forming the E border; chief US producer of lead and barytes. Capital: Jefferson City. Pop: 5 704 484 (2003 est). Area: 178 699 sq km (68 995 sq miles) MoldaviaMoldaviana former principality of E Europe, consisting of the basins of the Rivers Prut and Dniester: the E part (Bessarabia) became Moldova; the W part remains a province of Romania MonacoMonegasquea principality in SW Europe, on the Mediterranean and forming an enclave in SE France: the second smallest sovereign state in the world (after the Vatican); consists of Monaco-Ville (the capital) on a rocky headland, La Condamine (a business area and port), Monte Carlo (the resort centre), and Fontvieille, a light industrial area. Language: French. Religion: Roman Catholic. Currency: euro. Pop: 30 500 (2013 est). Area: 189 hectares (476 acres) MongoliaMongoliana republic in E central Asia: made a Chinese province in 1691; became autonomous in 1911 and a republic in 1924; multiparty democracy introduced in 1990. It consists chiefly of a high plateau, with the Gobi Desert in the south, a large lake district in the northwest, and the Altai and Khangai Mountains in the west Official language: Khalkha. Religion: nonreligious majority. Currency: tugrik. Capital: Ulan Bator. Pop: 3 226 516 (2013 est). Area: 1 565 000 sq km (604 095 sq miles) MontanaMontananMontenegroMontenegrina republic in S central Europe, bordering on the Adriatic; declared a kingdom in 1910 and united with Serbia, Croatia, and other territories in 1918 to form Yugoslavia; remained united with Serbia as the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia when the other Yugoslav constituent republics became independent in 1991–92; Union of Serbia and Montenegro formed in 2003 and dissolved 2006. Mainly mountainous. Language: Serbian (Montenegrin). Religion: Orthodox Christian majority. Currency: euro. Capital: Podgorica. Pop: 653 474 (2013 est). Area: 13 812 sq km (5387 sq miles) MontserratMontserratiana volcanic island in the Caribbean, in the Leeward Islands: a UK Overseas Territory: much of the island rendered uninhabitable by volcanic eruptions in 1997. Capital: Brades (replacing Plymouth, effectively destroyed by the eruption) MoraviaMoraviana region of the Czech Republic around the Morava River, bounded by the Bohemian-Moravian Highlands, the Sudeten Mountains, and the W Carpathians: became a separate Austrian crownland in 1848; part of Czechoslovakia 1918–92; valuable mineral resources MoroccoMoroccanMoscowMuscoviteMozambiqueMozambicana republic in SE Africa: colonized by the Portuguese from 1505 onwards and a slave-trade centre until 1878; made an overseas province of Portugal in 1951; became an independent republic in 1975; became a member of the Commonwealth in 1995. Official language: Portuguese. Religion: animist majority. Currency: metical. Capital: Maputo. Pop: 24 096 669 (2013 est). Area: 812 379 sq km (313 661 sq miles) NamibiaNamibiana country in southern Africa bordering on South Africa: annexed by Germany in 1884 and mandated by the League of Nations to South Africa in 1920. The mandate was terminated by the UN in 1966 but this was ignored by South Africa, as was the 1971 ruling by the International Court of Justice that the territory be surrendered. Independence was achieved in 1990 and Namibia became a member of the Commonwealth; Walvis Bay remained a South African enclave until 1994, when it was returned to Namibia. Official language: English; Afrikaans and German also spoken. Religion: mostly animist, with some Christians. Currency: dollar. Capital: Windhoek. Pop: 2 182 852 (2013 est). Area: 823 328 sq km (317 887 sq miles) NauruNauruanan island republic in the SW Pacific, west of Kiribati: administered jointly by Australia, New Zealand, and Britain as a UN trust territory before becoming independent in 1968; a member of the Commonwealth (formerly a special member not represented at all meetings, until 1999). The economy is based on export of phosphates. Languages: Nauruan (a Malayo-Polynesian language) and English. Religion: Christian. Currency: Australian dollar. Capital: Yaren. Pop: 9 434 (2013 est). Area: 2130 hectares (5263 acres) NaplesNeapolitana port in SW Italy, capital of Campania region, on the Bay of Naples: the third largest city in the country; founded by Greeks in the 6th century bc; incorporated into the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies in 1140 and its capital (1282–1503); university (1224). Pop: 1 004 500 (2001) NebraskaNebraskanthe NetherlandsDutchman, DutchwomanNew BrunswickNew Brunswickera province of SE Canada on the Gulf of St Lawrence and the Bay of Fundy: extensively forested. Capital: Fredericton. Pop: 751 171 (2011 est). Area: 72 092 sq km (27 835 sq miles) Newcastle upon TyneGeordiea port in NE England in Newcastle upon Tyne unitary authority, Tyne and Wear, near the mouth of the River Tyne opposite Gateshead: Roman remains; engineering industries, including ship repairs; two universities (1937, 1992). Pop: 189 863 (2001) New EnglandNew Englander or (informal) Yankee or Downeasterthe NE part of the US, consisting of the states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut: settled originally chiefly by Puritans in the mid-17th century NewfoundlandNewfoundlander or (informal) Newfiean island of E Canada, separated from the mainland by the Strait of Belle Isle: with the Coast of Labrador, forms the province of Newfoundland and Labrador; consists of a rugged plateau with the Long Range Mountains in the west. Area: 110 681 sq km (42 734 sq miles) Newfoundland fishing villageOutporterNew HampshireNew HampshiriteNew JerseyNew Jerseyan or New Jerseyitea state of the eastern US, on the Atlantic and Delaware Bay: mostly low-lying, with a heavy industrial area in the northeast and many coastal resorts. Capital: Trenton. Pop: 8 638 396 (2003 est). Area: 19 479 sq km (7521 sq miles) New MexicoNew Mexicana state of the southwestern US: high semiarid plateaus and mountains, crossed by the Rio Grande and the Pecos River; large Spanish-American and Indian populations; contains over two-thirds of US uranium reserves. Capital: Santa Fé. Pop: 1 874 614 (2003 est). Area: 314 451 sq km (121 412 sq miles) New South WalesNew South Welshman, New South Welshwomana state of SE Australia: originally contained over half the continent, but was reduced by the formation of other states (1825–1911); consists of a narrow coastal plain, separated from extensive inland plains by the Great Dividing Range; the most populous state; mineral resources. Capital: Sydney. Pop: 7 272 800 (2012). Area: 801 428 sq km (309 433 sq miles) New YorkNew Yorker or Knickerbockera city in SE New York State, at the mouth of the Hudson River: the largest city and chief port of the US; settled by the Dutch as New Amsterdam in 1624 and captured by the British in 1664, when it was named New York; consists of five boroughs (Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, and Staten Island, which was called Richmond until 1975) and many smaller islands, with its commercial and financial centre in Manhattan; the country's leading commercial and industrial city. Pop: 8 085 742 (2003 est) New ZealandNew Zealander or (informal) Kiwi or Enzedderan independent dominion within the Commonwealth, occupying two main islands (the North Island and the South Island), Stewart Island, the Chatham Islands, and a number of minor islands in the SE Pacific: original Māori inhabitants ceded sovereignty to the British government in 1840; became a dominion in 1907; a major world exporter of dairy products, wool, and meat. Official languages: English and Māori. Religion: Christian majority, nonreligious and Māori minorities. Currency: New Zealand dollar. Capital: Wellington. Pop: 4 365 113 (2013 est). Area: 270 534 sq km (104 454 sq miles) NicaraguaNicaraguana republic in Central America, on the Caribbean and the Pacific: colonized by the Spanish from the 1520s; gained independence in 1821 and was annexed by Mexico, becoming a republic in 1838. Official language: Spanish. Religion: Roman Catholic majority. Currency: córdoba. Capital: Managua. Pop: 5 788 531 (2013 est). Area: 131 812 sq km (50 893 sq miles) NigerNigeriena river in West Africa, rising in S Guinea and flowing in a great northward curve through Mali, then southwest through Niger and Nigeria to the Gulf of Guinea: the third longest river in Africa, with the largest delta, covering an area of 36 260 sq km (14 000 sq miles). Length: 4184 km (2600 miles) NigeriaNigeriana republic in West Africa, on the Gulf of Guinea: Lagos annexed by the British in 1861; protectorates of Northern and Southern Nigeria formed in 1900 and united as a colony in 1914; gained independence as a member of the Commonwealth in 1960 (membership suspended from 1995 to 1999 following human rights violations); Eastern Region seceded as the Republic of Biafra for the duration of the severe civil war (1967–70); ruled by military governments from 1966. It consists of a belt of tropical rain forest in the south, with semidesert in the extreme north and highlands in the east; the main export is petroleum. Official language: English; Hausa, Ibo, and Yoruba are the chief regional languages. Religion: animist, Muslim, and Christian. Currency: naira. Capital: Abuja. Pop: 174 507 539 (2013 est). Area: 923 773 sq km (356 669 sq miles) NormandyNormana former province of N France, on the English Channel: settled by Vikings under Rollo in the 10th century; scene of the Allied landings in 1944. Chief town: Rouen North CarolinaNorth Carolinian or TarheelNorth DakotaNorth Dakotana state of the western US: mostly undulating prairies and plains, rising from the Red River valley in the east to the Missouri plateau in the west, with the infertile Bad Lands in the extreme west. Capital: Bismarck. Pop: 633 837 (2003 est). Area: 183 019 sq km (70 664 sq miles) Northern IrelandNorthern Irishman, Northern Irishwomanthat part of the United Kingdom occupying the NE part of Ireland: separated from the rest of Ireland, which became independent in law in 1920; remained part of the United Kingdom, with a separate Parliament (Stormont), inaugurated in 1921, and limited self-government; scene of severe conflict between Catholics and Protestants, including terrorist bombing from 1969; direct administration from Westminster from 1972; assembly and powersharing executive established in 1998–99 following the Good Friday Agreement of 1998, suspended in 2002, and reinstated 2007. Capital: Belfast. Pop: 1 810 863 (2011 est). Area: 14 121 sq km (5452 sq miles) Northern TerritoryTerritorianan administrative division of N central Australia, on the Timor and Arafura Seas: the Arunta Desert lies in the east, the Macdonnell Ranges in the south, and Arnhem Land in the north (containing Australia's largest Aboriginal reservation); the Ashmore and Cartier Islands constitute a separate Australian External Territory. Capital: Darwin. Pop: 233 300 (2012 est). Area: 1 347 525 sq km (520 280 sq miles) North KoreaNorth Koreana republic in NE Asia, on the Sea of Japan (East Sea) and the Yellow Sea: established in 1948 as a people's republic; mostly rugged and mountainous, with fertile lowlands in the west Language: Korean. Currency: won. Capital: Pyongyang. Pop: 24 720 407 (2013 est). Area: 122 313 sq km (47 225 sq miles) NorthumbriaNorthumbrian(in Anglo-Saxon Britain) a region that stretched from the Humber to the Firth of Forth: formed in the 7th century ad, it became an important intellectual centre; a separate kingdom until 876 ad NorwayNorwegiana kingdom in NW Europe, occupying the W part of the Scandinavian peninsula: first united in the Viking age (800–1050); under the rule of Denmark (1523–1814) and Sweden (1814–1905); became an independent monarchy in 1905. Its coastline is deeply indented by fjords and fringed with islands, rising inland to plateaus and mountains. Norway has a large fishing fleet and its merchant navy is among the world's largest. Official language: Norwegian. Official religion: Evangelical Lutheran. Currency: krone. Capital: Oslo. Pop: 4 722 701 (2013 est). Area: 323 878 sq km (125 050 sq miles) Nova ScotiaNova Scotian or (informal) Bluenosea province of E Canada, consisting of the Nova Scotia peninsula and Cape Breton Island: first settled by the French as Acadia. Capital: Halifax. Pop: 921 727 (2011 est). Area: 52 841 sq km (20 402 sq miles) OhioOhioana river in the eastern US, formed by the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers at Pittsburgh: flows generally W and SW to join the Mississippi at Cairo, Illinois, as its chief E tributary. Length: 1570 km (975 miles) OkinawaOkinawana coral island of SW Japan, the largest of the Ryukyu Islands in the N Pacific: scene of heavy fighting in World War II; administered by the US (1945–72); agricultural. Chief town: Naha. Pop: 1 318 218 (2000). Area: 1176 sq km (454 sq miles) OklahomaOklahoman or (slang) OkieOmanOmania sultanate in SE Arabia, on the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea: the most powerful state in Arabia in the 19th century, ruling Zanzibar, much of the Persian coast, and part of Pakistan. Official language: Arabic. Official religion: Muslim. Currency: rial. Capital: Muscat. Pop: 3 154 134 (2013 est). Area: about 306 000 sq km (118 150 sq miles) OntarioOntarian or Ontarioana province of central Canada: lies mostly on the Canadian Shield and contains the fertile plain of the lower Great Lakes and the St Lawrence River, one of the world's leading industrial areas; the second largest and the most populous province. Capital: Toronto. Pop: 12 851 821 (2011 est). Area: 891 198 sq km (344 092 sq miles) OregonOregonianOrkneyOrcadiana group of over 70 islands off the N coast of Scotland, separated from the mainland by the Pentland Firth: constitutes an island authority of Scotland; low-lying and treeless; many important prehistoric remains. Administrative centre: Kirkwall. Pop: 19 310 (2003 est). Area: 974 sq km (376 sq miles) OxfordOxoniana city in S England, administrative centre of Oxfordshire, at the confluence of the Rivers Thames and Cherwell: Royalist headquarters during the Civil War; seat of Oxford University, consisting of 40 separate colleges, the oldest being University College (1249), and Oxford Brookes University (1993); motor-vehicle industry. Pop: 143 016 (2001) PakistanPakistania republic in S Asia, on the Arabian Sea: the Union of Pakistan, formed in 1947, comprised West and East Pakistan; East Pakistan gained independence as Bangladesh in 1971 and West Pakistan became Pakistan; a member of the Commonwealth from 1947, it withdrew from 1972 until 1989; contains the fertile plains of the Indus valley rising to mountains in the north and west Official language: Urdu. Official religion: Muslim. Currency: rupee. Capital: Islamabad. Pop: 193 238 868 (2013 est). Area: 801 508 sq km (309 463 sq miles) PalestinePalestinianthe area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea in which most of the biblical narrative is located PanamaPanamaniana republic in Central America, occupying the Isthmus of Panama: gained independence from Spain in 1821 and joined Greater Colombia; became independent in 1903, with the immediate area around the canal forming the Canal Zone under US jurisdiction; Panama assumed sovereignty over the Canal Zone in 1979 and full control in 1999. Official language: Spanish; English is also widely spoken. Religion: Roman Catholic majority. Currency: balboa. Capital: Panama City. Pop: 3 559 408 (2013 est). Area: 75 650 sq km (29 201 sq miles) Papua New GuineaPapuana country in the SW Pacific; consists of the E half of New Guinea, the Bismarck Archipelago, the W Solomon Islands, Trobriand Islands, D'Entrecasteaux Islands, Woodlark Island, and the Louisiade Archipelago; administered by Australia from 1949 until 1975, when it became an independent member of the Commonwealth. Official language: English; Tok Pisin (English Creole) and Motu are widely spoken. Religion: Christian majority. Currency: kina. Capital: Port Moresby. Pop: 6 431 902 (2013 est). Area: 461 693 sq km (178 260 sq miles) ParaguayParaguayanan inland republic in South America: colonized by the Spanish from 1537, gaining independence in 1811; lost 142 500 sq km (55 000 sq miles) of territory and over half its population after its defeat in the war against Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay (1865–70). It is divided by the Paraguay River into a sparsely inhabited semiarid region (Chaco) in the west, and a central region of wooded hills, tropical forests, and rich grasslands, rising to the Paraná plateau in the east. Official languages: Spanish and Guarani. Religion: Roman Catholic majority. Currency: guarani. Capital: Asunción. Pop: 6 623 252 (2013 est). Area: 406 750 sq km (157 047 sq miles) ParisParisian or Parisiennethe capital of France, in the north on the River Seine: constitutes a department; dates from the 3rd century bc, becoming capital of France in 987; centre of the French Revolution; centres around its original site on an island in the Seine, the Île de la Cité, containing Notre Dame; university (1150). Pop: 2 203 817 (2006) PennsylvaniaPennsylvanianPersiaPersianPeruPeruviana republic in W South America, on the Pacific: the centre of the great Inca Empire when conquered by the Spanish in 1532; gained independence in 1824 by defeating Spanish forces with armies led by San Martín and Bolívar; consists of a coastal desert, rising to the Andes; an important exporter of minerals and a major fishing nation. Official languages: Spanish, Quechua, and Aymara. Official religion: Roman Catholic. Currency: nuevo sol. Capital: Lima. Pop: 29 849 303 (2013 est). Area: 1 285 215 sq km (496 222 sq miles) the PhilippinesFilipinoPolandPolea republic in central Europe, on the Baltic: first united in the 10th century; dissolved after the third partition effected by Austria, Russia, and Prussia in 1795; re-established independence in 1918; invaded by Germany in 1939; ruled by a Communist government from 1947 to 1989, when a multiparty system was introduced; joined the EU in 2004. It consists chiefly of a low undulating plain in the north, rising to a low plateau in the south, with the Sudeten and Carpathian Mountains along the S border. Official language: Polish. Religion: Roman Catholic majority. Currency: złoty. Capital: Warsaw. Pop: 38 383 809 (2013 est). Area: 311 730 sq km (120 359 sq miles) PomeraniaPomeraniana region of N central Europe, extending along the S coast of the Baltic Sea from Stralsund to the Vistula River: now chiefly in Poland, with a small area in NE Germany PortugalPortuguesea republic in SW Europe, on the Atlantic: became an independent monarchy in 1139 and expelled the Moors in 1249 after more than four centuries of Muslim rule; became a republic in 1910; under the dictatorship of Salazar from 1932 until 1968, when he was succeeded by Dr Caetano, who was overthrown by a junta in 1974; constitutional government restored in 1976. Portugal is a member of the European Union. Official language: Portuguese. Religion: Roman Catholic majority. Currency: euro. Capital: Lisbon. Pop: 10 799 270 (2013 est). Area: 91 831 sq km (35 456 sq miles) Prince Edward IslandPrince Edward IslanderProvenceProvençala former province of SE France, on the Mediterranean, and the River Rhône: forms part of the administrative region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur PrussiaPrussiana former German state in N and central Germany, extending from France and the Low Countries to the Baltic Sea and Poland: developed as the chief military power of the Continent, leading the North German Confederation from 1867–71, when the German Empire was established; dissolved in 1947 and divided between East and West Germany, Poland, and the former Soviet Union. Area: (in 1939) 294 081 sq km (113 545 sq miles) Puerto RicoPuerto Ricanan autonomous commonwealth (in association with the US) occupying the smallest and easternmost of the Greater Antilles in the Caribbean: one of the most densely populated areas in the world; ceded by Spain to the US in 1899. Currency: US dollar. Capital: San Juan. Pop: 3 674 209 (2013 est). Area: 9104 sq km (3515 sq miles) QatarQataria state in E Arabia, occupying a peninsula in the Persian Gulf: under Persian rule until the 19th century; became a British protectorate in 1916; declared independence in 1971; exports petroleum and natural gas. Official language: Arabic. Official religion: (Sunni) Muslim. Currency: riyal. Capital: Doha. Pop: 2 042 444 (2013 est). Area: about 11 000 sq km (4250 sq miles) QuebecQuebecer, Quebecker, or Quebecoisa province of E Canada: the largest Canadian province; a French colony from 1608 to 1763, when it passed to Britain; lying mostly on the Canadian Shield, it has vast areas of forest and extensive tundra and is populated mostly in the plain around the St Lawrence River. Capital: Quebec. Pop: 7 903 001 (2011). Area: 1 540 680 sq km (594 860 sq miles) QueenslandQueenslandera state of NE Australia: fringed on the Pacific side by the Great Barrier Reef; the Great Dividing Range lies in the east, separating the coastal lowlands from the dry Great Artesian Basin in the south. Capital: Brisbane. Pop: 5 027 889 (2012 est). Area: 1 727 500 sq km (667 000 sq miles) Rhode IslandRhode IslanderRhodesRhodiana Greek island in the SE Aegean Sea, about 16 km (10 miles) off the Turkish coast: the largest of the Dodecanese and the most easterly island in the Aegean. Capital: Rhodes. Pop (municipality): 55 086 (2001). Area: 1400 sq km (540 sq miles) RhodesiaRhodesianformer region in S Africa, including Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) & Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) Rio de JaneiroCariocana port in SE Brazil, on Guanabara Bay: the country's chief port and its capital from 1763 to 1960; backed by mountains, notably Sugar Loaf Mountain; founded by the French in 1555 and taken by the Portuguese in 1567. Pop: 11 469 000 (2005 est) RomaniaRomaniana republic in SE Europe, bordering on the Black Sea: united in 1861; became independent in 1878; Communist government set up in 1945; became a socialist republic in 1965; a more democratic regime was installed after a revolution in 1989; joined the EU in 2007. It consists chiefly of a great central arc of the Carpathian Mountains and Transylvanian Alps, with the plains of Walachia, Moldavia, and Dobriya on the south and east and the Pannonian Plain in the west Official language: Romanian. Religion: Romanian Orthodox (Christian) majority. Currency: leu. Capital: Bucharest. Pop: 21 790 479 (2013 est). Area: 237 500 sq km (91 699 sq miles) RomeRomanthe capital of Italy, on the River Tiber: includes the independent state of the Vatican City; traditionally founded by Romulus on the Palatine Hill in 753 bc, later spreading to six other hills east of the Tiber; capital of the Roman Empire; a great cultural and artistic centre, esp during the Renaissance. Pop: 2 546 804 (2001) Russian FederationRussianRutheniaRutheniana region of E Europe on the south side of the Carpathian Mountains: belonged to Hungary from the 14th century, to Czechoslovakia from 1918 to 1939, and was ceded to the former Soviet Union in 1945; in 1991 it became part of the newly independent Ukraine RwandaRwandana republic in central Africa: part of German East Africa from 1899 until 1917, when Belgium took over the administration; became a republic in 1961 after a Hutu revolt against the Tutsi (1959); fighting between the ethnic groups broke out repeatedly after independence, culminating in the genocide of Tutsis by Hutus in 1994; member of the Commonwealth from 2009. Official languages: Kinyarwanda, English, French, and Swahili. Religion: Roman Catholic, African Protestant, Muslim, and animist. Currency: Rwanda franc. Capital: Kigali. Pop: 12 012 589 (2013 est). Area: 26 338 sq km (10 169 sq miles) SamariaSamaritanthe region of ancient Palestine that extended from Judaea to Galilee and from the Mediterranean to the River Jordan; the N kingdom of Israel San MarinoSan Marinese or Sammarinesea republic in S central Europe in the Apennines, forming an enclave in Italy: the smallest republic in Europe, according to tradition founded by St Marinus in the 4th century. Official language: Italian. Religion: Roman Catholic majority. Currency: euro. Capital: San Marino. Pop: 32 448 (2013 est). Area: 62 sq km (24 sq miles) SardiniaSardinianthe second-largest island in the Mediterranean: forms, with offshore islands, an administrative region of Italy; ceded to Savoy by Austria in 1720 in exchange for Sicily and formed the Kingdom of Sardinia with Piedmont; became part of Italy in 1861. Capital: Cagliari. Pop: 1 637 639 (2003 est). Area: 24 089 sq km (9301 sq miles) SaskatchewanSaskatchewaniana province of W Canada: consists of part of the Canadian Shield in the north and open prairie in the south; economy based chiefly on agriculture and mineral resources. Capital: Regina. Pop: 1 033 381 (2011 est). Area: 651 900 sq km (251 700 sq miles) SaxonySaxona state in E Germany, formerly part of East Germany. Pop: 4 321 000 (2003 est) Saudi ArabiaSaudi or Saudi Arabiana kingdom in SW Asia, occupying most of the Arabian peninsula between the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea: founded in 1932 by Ibn Saud, who united Hejaz and Nejd; consists mostly of desert plateau; large reserves of petroleum and natural gas. Official language: Arabic. Official religion: (Sunni) Muslim. Currency: riyal. Capital: Riyadh (royal and administrative), Jiddah (diplomatic). Pop: 26 939 583 (2013 est). Area: 2 260 353 sq km (872 722 sq miles) SavoySavoyardan area of SE France, bordering on Italy, mainly in the Savoy Alps: a duchy in the late Middle Ages and part of the Kingdom of Sardinia from 1720 to 1860, when it became part of France ScandinaviaScandinavianthe peninsula of N Europe occupied by Norway and Sweden ScotlandScot, Scotsman, Scotswoman, or Caledoniana country that is part of the United Kingdom, occupying the north of Great Britain; the English and Scottish thrones were united under one monarch in 1603 and the parliaments in 1707; a devolved Scottish parliament was established in 1999; referendum (2014) decided in favour of Scotland staying within the UK. Scotland consists of the Highlands in the north, the central Lowlands, and hilly uplands in the south; has a deeply indented coastline, about 800 offshore islands (mostly in the west), and many lochs. Capital: Edinburgh. Pop: 5 295 403 (2011 est). Area: 78 768 sq km (30 412 sq miles) Scottish HighlandsHighlander or (old-fashioned) HielanmanSenegalSenegalesea republic in West Africa, on the Atlantic: made part of French West Africa in 1895; became fully independent in 1960; joined with The Gambia to form the Confederation of Senegambia (1982–89); mostly low-lying, with semidesert in the north and tropical forest in the southwest. Official language: French. Religion: Muslim majority. Currency: franc. Capital: Dakar. Pop: 13 300 410 (2013 est). Area: 197 160 sq km (76 124 sq miles) SerbiaSerb or Serbiana republic in SE Europe: declared a kingdom in 1882; precipitated World War I by the conflict with Austria; became part of the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes (later called Yugoslavia) in 1918; with Montenegro formed the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia when the other constituent republics became independent in 1991–92; a Union of Serbia and Montenegro formed in 2003 and dissolved in 2006. The autonomous region of Kosovo (administered by the UN following the conflict of 1999) unilaterally declared its independence from Serbia in 2008. Mountainous in the S, with the Danube plains in the N. Religion: Serbian Orthodox majority, with Roman Catholic and Muslim minorities. Currencies: new dinar and euro (in Kosovo). Capital: Belgrade. Pop: 7 243 007 (2013). Area: 88 361 sq km (34 109 sq miles) SeychellesSeychelloisa group of volcanic islands in the W Indian Ocean: taken by the British from the French in 1744: became an independent republic within the Commonwealth in 1976, incorporating the British Indian Ocean Territory islands of Aldabra, Farquhar, and Desroches. Languages: Creole, English, and French. Religion: Roman Catholic majority. Currency: rupee. Capital: Victoria. Pop: 90 846 (2013 est). Area: 455 sq km (176 sq miles) ShetlandShetlandera group of about 100 islands (fewer than 20 inhabited), off the N coast of Scotland, which constitute an island authority of Scotland: a Norse dependency from the 8th century until 1472; noted for the breeding of Shetland ponies, knitwear manufacturing, and fishing; oil-related industries. Administrative centre: Lerwick. Pop: 21 870 (2003 est). Area: 1426 sq km (550 sq miles) Sierra LeoneSierra LeoneanSindSindhia province of SE Pakistan, mainly in the lower Indus valley: formerly a province of British India; became a province of Pakistan in 1947; divided in 1955 between Hyderabad and Khairpur; reunited as a province in 1970. Capital: Karachi. Pop: 34 240 000 (2003 est). Area: 140 914 sq km (54 407 sq miles) SingaporeSingaporeana republic in SE Asia, occupying one main island and over 50 small islands at the S end of the Malay Peninsula: established as a British trading post in 1819 and became part of the Straits Settlements in 1826; occupied by the Japanese (1942–45); a British colony from 1946, becoming self-governing in 1959; part of the Federation of Malaysia from 1963 to 1965, when it became an independent republic (within the Commonwealth). Official languages: Chinese, Malay, English, and Tamil. Religion: Buddhist, Taoist, traditional beliefs, and Muslim. Currency: Singapore dollar. Capital: Singapore. Pop: 5 460 302 (2013 est). Area: now over 700 sq km (270 sq miles), increased in recent years as a result of land reclamation schemes SlovakiaSlovaka country in central Europe: part of Hungary from the 11th century until 1918, when it united with Bohemia and Moravia to form Czechoslovakia; it became independent in 1993 and joined the EU in 2004. Official language: Slovak. Religion: Roman Catholic majority. Currency: koruna. Capital: Bratislava. Pop: 5 488 339 (2013 est). Area: 49 036 sq km (18 940 sq miles) SloveniaSlovene or Sloveniana republic in S central Europe: settled by the Slovenes in the 6th century; joined Yugoslavia in 1918 and became an autonomous republic in 1946; became fully independent in 1992 and joined the EU in 2004; rises over 2800 m (9000 ft) in the Julian Alps. Official language: Slovene. Religion: Roman Catholic majority. Currency: euro (replacing the tolar in 2007). Capital: Ljubljana. Pop: 1 992 690 (2013 est). Area: 20 251 sq km (7819 sq miles) Solomon IslandsSolomon Islanderan independent state in the SW Pacific comprising an archipelago extending for almost 1450 km (900 miles) in a northwest–southeast direction: the northernmost islands of the archipelago (Buka and Bougainville) form part of Papua New Guinea; the main islands are Guadalcanal, Malaita, San Cristobal, New Georgia, Santa Isabel, and Choiseul: a member of the Commonwealth. Official language: English. Religion: Christian majority. Currency: Solomon Islands dollar. Capital: Honiara. Pop: 597 248 (2013 est). Area: 29 785 sq km (11 500 sq miles) South AfricaSouth AfricanSouth AustraliaSouth Australian or (informal) Croweatera state of S central Australia, on the Great Australian Bight: generally arid, with the Great Victoria Desert in the west central part, the Lake Eyre basin in the northeast, and the Flinders Ranges, Murray River basin, and salt lakes in the southeast. Capital: Adelaide. Pop: 1 650 600 (2013 est). Area: 984 395 sq km 380 070 (sq miles) South CarolinaSouth CarolinianSouth DakotaSouth DakotaSouth KoreaSouth Koreana republic in NE Asia: established as a republic in 1948; invaded by North Korea and Chinese Communists in 1950 but division remained unchanged at the end of the war (1953); includes over 3000 islands; rapid industrialization. Language: Korean. Religions: Buddhist, Confucianist, Shamanist, and Chondokyo. Currency: won. Capital: Seoul. Pop: 48 955 203 (2013 est). Area: 98 477 sq km (38 022 sq miles) SpainSpaniarda kingdom of SW Europe, occupying the Iberian peninsula between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic: a leading European power in the 16th century, with many overseas possessions, esp in the New World; became a republic in 1931; under the fascist dictatorship of Franco following the Civil War (1936–39) until his death in 1975; a member of the European Union. It consists chiefly of a central plateau (the Meseta), with the Pyrenees and the Cantabrian Mountains in the north and the Sierra Nevada in the south. Official language: Castilian Spanish, with Catalan, Galician, and Basque official regional languages. Religion: Roman Catholic majority. Currency: euro. Capital: Madrid. Pop: 47 370 542 (2013 est). Area: 504 748 sq km (194 883 sq miles) Sri LankaSri Lankana republic in S Asia, occupying the island of Ceylon: settled by the Sinhalese from S India in about 550 bc; became a British colony 1802; gained independence in 1948, becoming a republic within the Commonwealth in 1972; civil war (1983–2009) between government forces and Tamil separatist guerrillas. Exports include tea, cocoa, cinnamon, and copra. Official languages: Sinhalese and Tamil; English is also widely spoken. Religion: Hinayana Buddhist majority. Currency: Sri Lanka rupee. Capital: Colombo (administrative), Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte (legislative). Pop: 21 675 648 (2013 est). Area: 65 610 sq km (25 332 sq miles) SudanSudanesea republic in NE Africa, on the Red Sea: conquered by Mehemet Ali of Egypt (1820–22) and made an Anglo-Egyptian condominium in 1899 after joint forces defeated the Mahdist revolt; became a republic in 1956; a lengthy civil war between separatists in the mainly Christian south and the government resulted in independence for South Sudan following a referendum in 2011. It consists mainly of a plateau, with the Nubian Desert in the north. Official language: Arabic. Official religion: Muslim; there are Christian and animist minorities. Currency: Sudanese pound or Sudani (replacing the Sudanese dinar in 2007). Capital: Khartoum. Pop: 34 847 910 (2013 est). Area: 1 861 484 sq km (718 723 sq miles) SurinameSurinamesecountry in NE South America: a former territory of the Netherlands, it became an independent republic in 1975: 63,251 sq mi (163,820 sq km); pop. 355,000; cap. Paramaribo SwazilandSwazia kingdom in southern Africa: made a protectorate of the Transvaal by Britain in 1894; gained independence in 1968; a member of the Commonwealth. Official languages: Swazi and English. Religion: Christian majority, traditional beliefs. Currency: lilangeni (plural emalangeni) and South African rand. Capital: Mbabane (administrative), Lobamba (legislative). Pop: 1 403 362 (2013 est). Area: 17 363 sq km (6704 sq miles) SwitzerlandSwissa federal republic in W central Europe: the cantons of Schwyz, Uri, and Unterwalden formed a defensive league against the Hapsburgs in 1291, later joined by other cantons; gained independence in 1499; adopted a policy of permanent neutrality from 1516; a leading centre of the Reformation in the 16th century. It lies in the Jura Mountains and the Alps, with a plateau between the two ranges. Official languages: German, French, and Italian; Romansch minority. Religion: mostly Protestant and Roman Catholic. Currency: Swiss franc. Capital: Bern. Pop: 7 996 026 (2013 est). Area: 41 288 sq km (15 941 sq miles) SwedenSwedea kingdom in NW Europe, occupying the E part of the Scandinavian Peninsula, on the Gulf of Bothnia and the Baltic: first united during the Viking period (8th–11th centuries); a member of the European Union. About 50 per cent of the total area is forest and 9 per cent lakes. Exports include timber, pulp, paper, iron ore, and steel. Official language: Swedish. Official religion: Church of Sweden (Lutheran). Currency: krona. Capital: Stockholm. Pop: 9 119 423 (2013 est). Area: 449 793 sq km (173 665 sq miles) SydneySydneysidera port in SE Australia, capital of New South Wales, on an inlet of the S Pacific: the largest city in Australia and the first British settlement, established as a penal colony in 1788; developed rapidly after 1820 with the discovery of gold in its hinterland; large wool market; three universities. Pop: 4 627 345 (2011) Sydney, Western suburbs ofWestie (informal)a port in SE Australia, capital of New South Wales, on an inlet of the S Pacific: the largest city in Australia and the first British settlement, established as a penal colony in 1788; developed rapidly after 1820 with the discovery of gold in its hinterland; large wool market; three universities. Pop: 4 627 345 (2011) SyriaSyriana republic in W Asia, on the Mediterranean: ruled by the Ottoman Turks (1516–1918); made a French mandate in 1920; became independent in 1944; joined Egypt in the United Arab Republic (1958–61). Hafez al-Assad elected president in 1971 following a coup; after his death in 2000 Assad's son Bashar took over the presidency; his rule was challenged (from 2012) by an uprising that led to civil war. Official language: Arabic. Religion: Muslim majority. Currency: Syrian pound. Capital: Damascus. Pop: 22 457 336 (2013 est). Area: 185 180 sq km (71 498 sq miles) TaiwanTaiwanesean island in SE Asia between the East China Sea and the South China Sea, off the SE coast of the People's Republic of China: the principal territory of the Republic of China; claimed by the People's Republic of China since its political separation from mainland China in the late 1940s. Pop: 23 299 716 (2013 est) TajikistanTajika republic in central Asia: under Uzbek rule from the 15th century until taken over by Russia in the 1860s, it became an autonomous Soviet republic in 1929 and gained full independence from the Soviet Union in 1991; it is mainly mountainous. Official language: Tajik or Tajiki. Religion: believers are mainly Muslim. Currency: somoni. Capital: Dushanbe. Pop: 7 910 041 (2013 est). Area: 143 100 sq km (55 240 sq miles) TanzaniaTanzaniana republic in E Africa, on the Indian Ocean: formed by the union of the independent states of Tanganyika and Zanzibar in 1964; a member of the Commonwealth. Exports include coffee, tea, sisal, and cotton. Official languages: Swahili and English. Religions: Christian, Muslim, and animist. Currency: Tanzanian shilling. Capital: officially Dodoma (though some functions remain in Dar es Salaam). Pop: 48 261 000 (2013 est). Area: 945 203 sq km (364 943 sq miles) TasmaniaTasmanian or (informal) Tassie or Apple Islanderan island in the S Pacific, south of mainland Australia: forms, with offshore islands, the smallest state of Australia; discovered by the Dutch explorer Tasman in 1642; used as a penal colony by the British (1803–53); mostly forested and mountainous. Capital: Hobart. Pop: 512 000 (2012 est). Area: 68 332 sq km (26 383 sq miles) TennesseeTennesseana state of the E central US: consists of a plain in the west, rising to the Appalachians and the Cumberland Plateau in the east. Capital: Nashville. Pop: 5 841 748 (2003 est). Area: 109 412 sq km (42 244 sq miles) TexasTexana state of the southwestern US, on the Gulf of Mexico: the second largest state; part of Mexico from 1821 to 1836, when it was declared an independent republic; joined the US in 1845; consists chiefly of a plain, with a wide flat coastal belt rising up to the semiarid Sacramento and Davis Mountains of the southwest; a major producer of cotton, rice, and livestock; the chief US producer of oil and gas; a leading world supplier of sulphur. Capital: Austin. Pop: 22 118 509 (2003 est). Area: 678 927 sq km (262 134 sq miles) ThailandThaia kingdom in SE Asia, on the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand: united as a kingdom in 1350 and became a major SE Asian power; consists chiefly of a central plain around the Chao Phraya river system, mountains rising over 2400 m (8000 ft) in the northwest, and rainforest the length of the S peninsula. Parts of the SW coast suffered badly in the Indian Ocean tsunami of December 2004. Official language: Thai. Official religion: (Hinayana) Buddhist. Currency: baht. Capital: Bangkok. Pop: 67 448 120 (2013 est). Area: 513 998 sq km (198 455 sq miles) ThessalonikaThessalonianTibetTibetanan autonomous region of SW China; formerly a theocracy and the centre of Lamaism: Europeans strictly excluded in the 19th century; invaded by China in 1950; rebellion (1959) against Chinese rule suppressed and the Dalai Lama fled to India; military rule imposed (1989–90) after continued demands for independence; consists largely of a vast high plateau between the Himalayas and Kunlun Mountains. Capital: Lhasa. Pop: 2 700 000 (2003 est). Area: 1 221 601 sq km (471 660 sq miles) TogoTogolesea republic in West Africa, on the Gulf of Guinea: became French Togoland (a League of Nations mandate) after the division of German Togoland in 1922; independent since 1960. Official language: French. Religion: animist majority. Currency: franc. Capital: Lomé. Pop: 7 154 237 (2013 est). Area: 56 700 sq km (20 900 sq miles) TongaTongana member of a Negroid people of S central Africa, living chiefly in Zambia and Zimbabwe TrinidadTrinidadianan island in the West Indies, off the NE coast of Venezuela: colonized by the Spanish in the 17th century and ceded to Britain in 1802; joined with Tobago in 1888 as a British colony; now part of the independent republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Pop: 1 208 282 (2000) TobagoTobagan or Tobagonianan island in the SE Caribbean, northeast of Trinidad: ceded to Britain in 1814; joined with Trinidad in 1888 as a British colony; part of the independent republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Pop: 54 084 (2000) TroyTrojanany of nine ancient cities in NW Asia Minor, each of which was built on the ruins of its predecessor. The seventh was the site of the Trojan War (mid-13th century bc) TuscanyTuscana region of central Italy, on the Ligurian and Tyrrhenian Seas: corresponds roughly to ancient Etruria; a region of numerous small states in medieval times; united in the 15th and 16th centuries under Florence; united with the rest of Italy in 1861. Capital: Florence. Pop: 3 516 296 (2003 est). Area: 22 990 sq km (8876 sq miles) TunisiaTunisianTurkeyTurka republic in W Asia and SE Europe, between the Black Sea, the Mediterranean, and the Aegean: the centre of the Ottoman Empire; became a republic in 1923. The major Asian part, consisting mainly of an arid plateau, is separated from European Turkey by the Bosporus, Sea of Marmara, and Dardanelles. Languages: Turkish (official), Kurdish, and Arabic minority languages. Religion: Muslim majority. Currency: lira. Capital: Ankara. Pop: 80 694 485 (2013 est). Area: 780 576 sq km (301 380 sq miles) TurkmenistanTurkmena republic in central Asia: the area has been occupied by a succession of empires; a Turkmen state was established in the 15th century but suffered almost continual civil strife and was gradually conquered by Russia; in 1918 it became a Soviet republic and gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991: deserts including the Kara Kum cover most of the region; agricultural communities are concentrated around oases; there are rich mineral deposits. Official language: Turkmen. Religion: believers are mainly Muslim. Currency: manat. Capital: Ashkhabad. Pop: 5 113 040 (2013 est). Area: 488 100 sq km (186 400 sq miles) TuvaluTuvaluana country in the SW Pacific, comprising a group of nine coral islands: established as a British protectorate in 1892. From 1915 until 1975 the islands formed part of the British colony of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands; achieved full independence in 1978; a member of the Commonwealth (formerly a special member not represented at all meetings, until 2000). Languages: English and Tuvaluan. Religion: Christian majority. Currency: Australian dollar; Tuvalu dollars are also used. Capital: Funafuti. Pop: 10 698 (2013 est). Area: 26 sq km (10 sq miles) TynesideGeordieTyreTyriana port in S Lebanon, on the Mediterranean: founded about the 15th century bc; for centuries a major Phoenician seaport, famous for silks and its Tyrian-purple dye; now a small market town. Pop: 141 000 (2005 est) UgandaUgandana republic in E Africa: British protectorate established in 1894–96; gained independence in 1962 and became a republic in 1963; a member of the Commonwealth. It consists mostly of a savanna plateau with part of Lake Victoria in the southeast and mountains in the southwest, reaching 5109 m (16 763 ft) in the Ruwenzori Range. Official language: English; Swahili, Luganda, and Luo are also widely spoken. Religion: Christian majority. Currency: Ugandan shilling. Capital: Kampala. Pop: 34 758 809 (2013 est). Area: 235 886 sq km (91 076 sq miles) UkraineUkrainiana republic in SE Europe, on the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov: ruled by the Khazars (7th–9th centuries), by Ruik princes with the Mongol conquest in the 13th century, then by Lithuania, by Poland, and by Russia; one of the four original republics that formed the Soviet Union in 1922; unilaterally declared independence in 1990, which was recognized in 1991; annexation of Crimea by Russia in 2014 not recognized internationally, despite the mainly Russian population voting in favour of it in a disputed referendum. Consists chiefly of lowlands; economy based on rich agriculture and mineral resources and on the major heavy industries of the Donets Basin. Official language: Ukrainian; Russian is also widely spoken. Religion: believers are mainly Christian. Currency: hryvna. Capital: Kiev. Pop: 44 573 205 (2013 est). Area: 603 700 sq km (231 990 sq miles) UlsterUlsterman, Ulsterwomana province and former kingdom of N Ireland: passed to the English Crown in 1461; confiscated land given to English and Scottish Protestant settlers in the 17th century, giving rise to serious long-term conflict; partitioned in 1921, six counties forming Northern Ireland and three counties joining the Republic of Ireland. Pop (three Ulster counties of the Republic of Ireland): 46 714 (2002); (six Ulster counties of Northern Ireland): 1 702 628 (2003 est). Area (Republic of Ireland): 8013 sq km (3094 sq miles); (Northern Ireland): 14 121 sq km (5452 sq miles) UmbriaUmbriana mountainous region of central Italy, in the valley of the Tiber. Pop: 834 210 (2003 est). Area: 8456 sq km (3265 sq miles) United KingdomBriton, Brit (informal), or Britishera kingdom of NW Europe, consisting chiefly of the island of Great Britain together with Northern Ireland: became the world's leading colonial power in the 18th century; the first country to undergo the Industrial Revolution. It became the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in 1921, after the rest of Ireland became autonomous as the Irish Free State. Primarily it is a trading nation, the chief export is services and London is the world's largest financial centre; joined the Common Market (now the European Union) in January 1973; referendum (2016) decided narrowly in favour of the UK leaving the European Union. Official language: English; Gaelic, Welsh, and other minority languages. Religion: Christian majority. Currency: pound sterling. Capital: London. Pop: 63 395 574 (2013 est). Area: 244 110 sq km (94 251 sq miles) United States of AmericaAmerican or (informal) Yank or Yankeea federal republic mainly in North America consisting of 50 states and the District of Columbia: colonized principally by the English and French in the 17th century, the native Indians being gradually defeated and displaced; 13 colonies under British rule made the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and became the United States after the War of American Independence. The northern states defeated the South in the Civil War (1861–65). It is the world's most productive industrial nation and also exports agricultural products. It consists generally of the Rocky Mountains in the west, the Great Plains in the centre, the Appalachians in the east, deserts in the southwest, and coastal lowlands and swamps in the southeast. Language: predominantly English; Spanish is also widely spoken. Religion: Christian majority. Currency: dollar. Capital: Washington, DC. Pop: 316 668 567 (2013 est). Area: 9 518 323 sq km (3 675 031 sq miles) UruguayUruguayana republic in South America, on the Atlantic: Spanish colonization began in 1624, followed by Portuguese settlement in 1680; revolted against Spanish rule in 1820 but was annexed by the Portuguese to Brazil; gained independence in 1825. It consists mainly of rolling grassy plains, low hills, and plateaus. Official language: Spanish. Religion: Roman Catholic majority. Currency: peso. Capital: Montevideo. Pop: 3 324 460 (2013 est). Area: 176 215 sq km (68 037 sq miles) UtahUtahan or UtahnUzbekistanUzbeka republic in central Asia: annexed by Russia in the 19th century, it became a separate Soviet Socialist republic in 1924 and gained independence in 1991. Official language: Uzbek. Religion: believers are mainly Muslim. Currency: sum. Capital: Tashkent. Pop: 28 661 637 (2013 est). Area: 449 600 sq km (173 546 sq miles) VenezuelaVenezuelana republic in South America, on the Caribbean: colonized by the Spanish in the 16th century; independence from Spain declared in 1811 and won in 1819 after a war led by Simón Bolívar. It contains Lake Maracaibo and the northernmost chains of the Andes in the northwest, the Orinoco basin in the central part, and the Guiana Highlands in the south. Exports: petroleum, iron ore, and coffee. Official language: Spanish. Religion: Roman Catholic majority. Currency: bolívar. Capital: Caracas. Pop: 28 459 085 (2013 est). Area: 912 050 sq km (352 142 sq miles) VeniceVenetiana port in NE Italy, capital of Veneto region, built on over 100 islands and mud flats in the Lagoon of Venice (an inlet of the Gulf of Venice at the head of the Adriatic): united under the first doge in 697 ad; became an independent republic and a great commercial and maritime power, defeating Genoa, the greatest rival, in 1380; contains the Grand Canal and about 170 smaller canals, providing waterways for city transport. Pop: 271 073 (2001) VermontVermontera state in the northeastern US: crossed from north to south by the Green Mountains; bounded on the east by the Connecticut River and by Lake Champlain in the northwest. Capital: Montpelier. Pop: 619 107 (2003 est). Area: 24 887 sq km (9609 sq miles) VictoriaVictoriana state of SE Australia: part of New South Wales colony until 1851; semiarid in the northwest, with the Great Dividing Range in the centre and east and the Murray River along the N border. Capital: Melbourne. Pop: 5 713 000 (2013 est). Area: 227 620 sq km (87 884 sq miles) ViennaViennesethe capital and the smallest state of Austria, in the northeast on the River Danube: seat of the Hapsburgs (1278-1918); residence of the Holy Roman Emperor (1558–1806); withstood sieges by Turks in 1529 and 1683; political and cultural centre in the 18th and 19th centuries, having associations with many composers; university (1365). Pop: 1 590 242 (2003 est). Area: 1075 sq km (415 sq miles) VietnamVietnamesea republic in SE Asia: an ancient empire, conquered by France in the 19th century; occupied by Japan (1940–45) when the Communist-led Vietminh began resistance operations that were continued against restored French rule after 1945. In 1954 the country was divided along the 17th parallel, establishing North Vietnam (under the Vietminh) and South Vietnam (under French control), the latter becoming the independent Republic of Vietnam in 1955. From 1959 the country was dominated by war between the Communist Vietcong, supported by North Vietnam, and the South Vietnamese government; increasing numbers of US forces were brought to the aid of the South Vietnamese army until a peace agreement (1973) led to the withdrawal of US troops; further fighting led to the eventual defeat of the South Vietnamese government in March 1975 and in 1976 an elected National Assembly proclaimed the reunification of the country. Official language: Vietnamese. Religion: Buddhist majority. Currency: dong. Capital: Hanoi. Pop: 92 477 857 (2013 est). Area: 331 041 sq km (127 816 sq miles) VirginiaVirginianWalesWelshman, Welshwomana principality that is part of the United Kingdom, in the west of Great Britain; conquered by the English in 1282; parliamentary union with England took place in 1536: a separate Welsh Assembly with limited powers was established in 1999. Wales consists mainly of moorlands and mountains and has an economy that is chiefly agricultural, with an industrial and former coal-mining area in the south. Capital: Cardiff. Pop: 3 063 456 (2011 est). Area: 20 768 sq km (8017 sq miles) WashingtonWashingtonianWearsideMackemWessexWest Saxonan Anglo-Saxon kingdom in S and SW England that became the most powerful English kingdom by the 10th century ad Western AustraliaWestern Australian, Westralian, or (informal) Sandgropera state of W Australia: mostly an arid undulating plateau, with the Great Sandy Desert, Gibson Desert, and Great Victoria Desert in the interior; settlement concentrated in the southwest; rich mineral resources. Capital: Perth. Pop: 2 517 200 (2013 est). Area: 2 527 636 sq km (975 920 sq miles) Western SaharaSahwaria disputed region of NW Africa, on the Atlantic: mainly desert; rich phosphate deposits; a Spanish overseas province from 1958 to 1975; partitioned in 1976 between Morocco and Mauritania who faced growing resistance from the Polisario Front, an organization aiming for the independence of the region as the Democratic Saharan Arab Republic. Mauritania renounced its claim in 1979 and it was taken over by Morocco. Polisario agreed to a UN-brokered ceasefire in 1991 but attempts to settle the status of the region have failed. Pop: 538 811 (2013 est). Area: 266 000 sq km (102 680 sq miles) West VirginiaWest Virginiana state of the eastern US: part of Virginia until the outbreak of the American Civil War (1861); consists chiefly of the Allegheny Plateau; bounded on the west by the Ohio River; coal-mining. Capital: Charleston. Pop: 1 810 354 (2003 est). Area: 62 341 sq km (24 070 sq miles) WinnipegWinnipeggera city in S Canada, capital of Manitoba at the confluence of the Assiniboine and Red Rivers: University of Manitoba (1877) and University of Winnipeg (1871). Pop: 663 617 (2011) WisconsinWisconsinitea state of the N central US, on Lake Superior and Lake Michigan: consists of an undulating plain, with uplands in the north and west; over 168 m (550 ft) above sea level along the shore of Lake Michigan. Capital: Madison. Pop: 5 472 299 (2003 est). Area: 141 061 sq km (54 464 sq miles) WyomingWyomingiteYemenYemenia republic in SW Arabia, on the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden: formed in 1990 from the union of North Yemen and South Yemen: consists of arid coastal lowlands, rising to fertile upland valleys and mountains in the west and to the Hadhramaut plateau in the SE: the north and east contains part of the Great Sandy Desert. Official language: Arabic. Official religion: Muslim. Currency: riyal. Capital: San'a. Pop: 25 408 288 (2005 est). Area (including territory claimed by Yemen along the undemarcated eastern border with Saudi Arabia): 472 099 sq km (182 278 sq miles) YorkshireYorkshireman, Yorkshirewomana historic county of N England: the largest English county, formerly divided administratively into East, West, and North Ridings. In 1974 it was much reduced in size and divided into the new counties of North, West, and South Yorkshire: in 1996 the East Riding of Yorkshire was reinstated as a unitary authority and parts of the NE were returned to North Yorkshire for geographical and ceremonial purposes the YukonYukonerZaireZaireanZambiaZambiana republic in southern Africa: an early site of human settlement; controlled by the British South Africa Company by 1900 and unified as Northern Rhodesia in 1911; made a British protectorate in 1924; part of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland (1953–63), gaining independence as a member of the Commonwealth in 1964; important mineral exports, esp copper. Official language: English. Religion: Christian majority, animist minority. Currency: kwacha. Capital: Lusaka. Pop: 14 222 233 (2013 est). Area: 752 617 sq km (290 587 sq miles) ZanzibarZanzibarian island in the Indian Ocean, off the E coast of Africa: settled by Persians and Arabs from the 7th century onwards; became a flourishing trading centre for slaves, ivory, and cloves; made a British protectorate in 1890, becoming independent within the Commonwealth in 1963 and a republic in 1964; joined with Tanganyika in 1964 to form the United Republic of Tanzania. Pop: 622 459 (2002) ZimbabweZimbabweana country in SE Africa, formerly a self-governing British colony founded in 1890 by the British South Africa Company, which administered the country until a self-governing colony was established in 1923; joined with Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) and Nyasaland (now Malawi) as the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland from 1953 to 1963; made a unilateral declaration of independence (UDI) under the leadership of Ian Smith in 1965 on the basis of White minority rule; proclaimed a republic in 1970; in 1976 the principle of Black majority rule was accepted and in 1978 a transitional government was set up; gained independence under Robert Mugabe in 1980; effectively a one-party state since 1987; a member of the Commonwealth until 2003, when it withdrew as a result of conflict with other members. Official language: English. Religion: Christian majority. Currency: Zimbabwean dollar phased out in 2015 in favour of a variety of currencies. Capital: Harare. Pop: 13 182 908 (2013 est). Area: 390 624 sq km (150 820 sq miles) ▷ See inhabitant
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Word List of Inhabitants from the Collins English Word Lists