Scotland, the U.K.’s northernmost country, is a land of mountain wildernesses such as the Cairngorms and Northwest Highlands, interspersed with glacial glens (valleys) and lochs (lakes). Its major cities are Edinburgh, the capital, with its iconic hilltop castle, and Glasgow, famed for its vibrant cultural scene. Scotland is also famous for golf, the game first played at the Old Course at St Andrews in the 1400s.
Scotland has a population of 5,404,700
The head of state of the United Kingdom is the monarch, currently Queen Elizabeth II (since 1952). The regnal numbering “Elizabeth II” caused controversy around the time of the Queen’s coronation because there had never been an Elizabeth I in Scotland. The British government had decided that future British monarchs would be numbered according to either their English or their Scottish predecessors, whichever number would be higher. For instance, any future King James would be styled James VIII—since the last Scottish King James was James VII (also James II of England, etc.)—while the next King Henry would be King Henry IX throughout the UK even though there have been no Scottish kings of that name. A legal action, MacCormick v Lord Advocate (1953 SC 396), was brought in Scotland to contest the right of the Queen to entitle herself “Elizabeth II” within Scotland, arguing that this was a breach of Article 1 of the Treaty of Union; however, the Crown won the case.
Infrastructure and Economy
The Economy of Scotland had an estimated nominal gross domestic product (GDP) of up to £152 billion in 2015. In 2014, Scotland’s per capita GDP was one of the highest in the EU. Scotland has a Western-style open mixed economy closely linked with the rest of the UK and the wider world. Traditionally, the Scottish economy has been dominated by heavy industry underpinned by shipbuilding in Glasgow, coal mining and steel industries. Petroleum related industries associated with the extraction of North Sea oil have also been important employers from the 1970s, especially in the north-east of Scotland.
Scotland’s official Language is English
Pound sterling (GBP)
Scotland does not have exchange controls