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POPULATION The first human inhabitants of Britain settled there in prehistoric times, when Britain was joined to the continent. They came there over dry land. Later (after 3000 BC) the Iberians and the Apline tribes lived on the British Isles. Those peoples probably formed the basis of the present-day population of the country.
In different periods of the history of the country it was occupied by different invaders. Soon after 700 BC Britain was invaded by the Celts, who are supposed to have come from Central Europe and settled in Britain.
From 55 BC the Celts were subject to the conquest and occupation of the Romans, later (in the 5th century) of the Germanic tribes (the Jutes, the Saxons and the Angles), then of the Danes and of the Normans. Thus the English nation was formed of all those peoples.
The population of the UK of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is over 57 million people. The population lives mostly in towns and cities and their suburds. Four out of every five people live in towns.
The distribution of the population is rather uneven. Over 46 million people live in England, over 3 million in Wales, a little over 5 million in Scotland and about 1.5 million in Northern Ireland.
Greater London, the south and the southeast are the most densely populated areas. London’s population is nearly 7 million.
Most of the mountainous parts of the UK including much of Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Pennine Chain in northern England are very sparsely populated.
The UK is inhabited by the English, the Scots, the Welsh, and the Irish who constitute the British nation.
Now there are many people of all colours and races in the UK. These are mostly former inhabitants of the former British colonies. These people, called ‘the coloureds’, came to the UK in search of better living standards.
Today there are also groups of Americans, Australians, Chinese and various European communities living in Britain.
The UK is one of the most densely populated countries. The most highly populated regions are the industrial districts – from 1000 to over 4000 people per square kilometers. In proportion of population Britain probably holds the first place in the world. Over 90 per cent of its population live in towns.