This Is The Difference Between ‘Great Britain’ And ‘United Kingdom’

These two terms are often used interchangeably but, as any British will point out, they actually have different meanings. To help you better understand their difference, it’s a good idea to start by first explaining a third term, the British Isles.

The British Isles

The British Isles archipelago are the group of islands that’s located in the north-western coast of Europe. It consists of two large islands and over six thousand smaller isles. Here’s a pictures of the British isles:

Photo: Wikimedia

The British Isles mainly consists of the following countries: England, Scotland, Wales, the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland (along with several smaller islands): (the article continues after the ad)


Great Britain

So what’s Great Britain? Well, Great Britain is the larger of the two main islands (the one on the right) and it includes England, Scotland and Wales (it does not include Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland). Here’s the map of the British Isles with Great Britain highlighted:

Photo: ImDeadPanda – DeviantArt

United Kingdom

Now that we explained Great Britain it’s much easier to understand United Kingdom. As its full name suggests (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland), the United Kingdom is Great Britain (England, Scotland Wales) plus Northern Ireland:

Photo: ImDeadPanda – DeviantArt

So, the difference between Great Britain and United Kingdom is that United Kingdom includes Northern Ireland while Great Britain does not. It’s easy to remember that by remembering UK’s full name: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Of course, you can always refer to the graph below:

Photo: Anna Debenham

If you like what you read, then you will definitely love this one:  This Is The Difference Between ‘Sea Salt’ And ‘Table Salt’ 

Main Article Photo: Encyclopedia Britannica
Photoshop: I’m A Useless Info Junkie
Sources: England vs Great Britain vs United Kingdom Explained

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