In 2017, the United Kingdom had a total population of roughly 66 million people. It is a permanent member of the United Nation’s Security Council and a major member of the European Union. The country’s currency is the British Pound Sterling as it opted not to become a member of the euro area. Currently, the UK is even considering leaving the EU for good; the so-called "Brexit" referendum took place at the end of June 2016.
After having been the world’s frontrunner in the industrialization process, the United Kingdom now has a highly developed economy that is largely reliant on service industries. The British economy is among the ten biggest in the world according to this 2017 GDP country ranking. In 2017, gross domestic product of the UK amounted to about 2.63 trillion U.S. dollars. The country was among the ten largest exporters in the world. The United States of America and Germany are the UK’s most important trading partners. Statista's Made-In Country Index found that UK products are popular all over the world, with their best attributes being "high quality", "advanced technology" and "high security standards".
After 16 years of steady GDP growth , the UK’s economy was hit by the global financial crisis in 2008. After two years of contraction, it returned to its growth path in 2010. The crisis resulted in a two percentage point jump in the UK's unemployment rate, which decreased to 4.3 percent in 2017.
Since 1945, the United Kingdom has been subject to substantial immigration from areas that were formally tied to the British Empire. In 2010, the total number of immigrants in the UK came to seven million people. With the current situation in Syria, this number is expected to increase. The degree of ethnic diversity heavily varies across different areas of the United Kingdom and is especially high in metropolitan areas.