Difference between England, Britain and United Kingdom

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There are some key differences between Britain, the United Kingdom, and England. The names Great Britain and United Kingdom are often used interchangeably. However, they are not actually synonymous. Essentially, Great Britain means the island. The United Kingdom refers to the sovereign country.

Great Britain is a geographic term referring to the island also known simply as Britain. It’s also a political term for the part of the United Kingdom made up of England, Scotland, and Wales. United Kingdom, on the other hand, is purely a political term: it’s the independent country that encompasses all of Great Britain and the region now called Northern Ireland.


The Kingdom of England was established under King Athelstan in 927 from several Anglo-Saxon kingdoms (and joined with Wales under Henry VIII in the 1530s).

England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. England is the largest and most populous nation in the UK. It is bounded by Wales and the Irish Sea to the west and Scotland to the north.