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Western Europe

Brussels, capital of Belgium and the European UnionBrussels, capital of Belgium and the European UnionThe term "Western Europe" refers to the westernmost countries of Europe, one of the world's most prosperous—and densely populated—regions. Four Western European nations are among the world's top ten largest economies: Germany, UK, France and Italy. The United Nations classifies all the Western European countries as having "very high human development". This means that, compared to other countries in the world, these countries have high levels of education, literacy (ability to read and write), life expectancy and overall quality of life.

The Shard skyscraper in LondonThe Shard skyscraper in London

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom (UK) consists of England, Scotland and Wales (which together make up Great Britain) and Northern Ireland. Scotland, northern England and Wales have large areas of upland. Central and southern England are more low-lying, a mixture of rolling farmland, towns and cities. The UK was once dominated by heavy industries such as coal mining, steelmaking and shipbuilding. Today, pharmaceuticals, aerospace, electronics, oil and gas, as well as tourism, communications and financial services, have become much more important. Once the hub of a worldwide empire, Britain still plays a leading role in international affairs. Its language, English, is spoken as a second language all over the world, and is dominant on the internet and in other areas of international communication.

Ireland is the only country in the world to have a musical instrument, the harp, as its national symbol.

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