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There are four constituent nations that form the U.K. – England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The U.K. is known for its mild and damp climate, it’s strong economy and the Pound Sterling, colorful pubs, historical castles, its lush and rainy countryside and the cosmopolitan epicenter of London.

Stone Age immigrants arrived to the U.K around 4000 BC and constructed the mystifying Stonehenge. After a great many cultural and civil wars, England became the largest of the three political divisions (Scotland to the north and Wales to the west) within the island of Great Britain, Northern Island, is still also part of the United Kingdom. England is a treasure house of art and sculpture from every age and continent and exported its language and the Presbyterian Church around the globe. In so doing, the artistic genius of Shakespeare and Dickens, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, entrenched England as the center of global culture. The number of immigrants to the UK has risen from over a quarter of a million in 1992 per year to just under three quarters of a million people per year during in 2022.

Area: 129,720 square km (50,085 square miles)

Population: 67,736,802 (as of 2023)

– England 56,500,000 (84 per cent of the total UK population)

– Scotland 5,466,000 (8 per cent of the total UK population) Capital – Edinburgh

– Wales 3,169,586 (4.6 per cent of the total UK population) Capital – Cardiff

– Northern Ireland 1,895,000 (2.8 per cent of the total UK population) Capital – Belfast

Capital city of England: London population 9.65 million ( as of 2023)

People: Anglo-Saxons, Scots, Welsh, Irish, West Indians, Pakistanis, Indians

Language: English

Religion: Church of England, Methodist, Baptist, Catholic, Muslim, Hindu and Sikh

Government: Parliamentary Democracy

Head of State: King Charles ІІІ

Prime Minister: Mr. Rishi Sunak since 25 October 2022

Army: Voluntary – The British Army consists of professional soldiers only

Weekend: 2 days – Saturday, Sunday

Major Trading partners: EU (Germany, France, Netherlands, Ireland) & USA

Major Industries: Banking and finance, steel, transport equipment, oil and gas, coal, tourism

Currency: British Pound (GBP)1 GBP= $US 1.27 (as of Feb 2024)


Following Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s market reforms in the 1980’s, Britain’s economy grew steadily throughout the 1990’s and it is now the world’s fifth largest. After successive Labour governments in the early 2000s, the Conservatives returned to power in 2010. In June 2016, the UK voted by popular referendum to leave the European Union.

The process of exiting the European Union will afford the government opportunities to correct any remaining structural deficiencies that might be holding back an already high-performing economy.  The UK showed resilience in recovering from the financial crisis, aided by effective rule of law, an open trade regime, and a well-developed financial sector. The already liberal labour market can be made more flexible after “Brexit”. The UK has one of the world’s most efficient business and investment environments and will soon be open to expanded global trade relationships.

Services especially banking, insurance and business services are key drivers of GDP growth.

London is at the heart of Britain’s economy. More than one-third of Britain’s population and economic activity is concentrated in southeastern England, in and around London. More than a hundred of the world’s major companies have their headquarters in London. What Londoners do for a living has changed considerably since the city was a commercial and industrial center in the 19th century. Manufacturing has steadily declined and today accounts for only 10 percent of total employment. The printing and publishing industry is now a leading employer. Also important are the following industries and services: media, technology, tourism, electrical and electronic engineering, food, drink, tobacco, chemicals and synthetic fibers. The service sector today employs 83% of the UK’s workforce (December 2023).

Value Added Tax (VAT): VAT is a tax on the final consumption of certain goods and services in the home market and is currently levied at 20%. All prices displayed in shops will be tax inclusive.

Income Tax: Personal income is levied on a progressive scale. Income tax is levied at 20% up to a taxable income of £12,571 to £50,270. There is a higher rate of 40% for income between £50,271 to £125,140 and an additional rate of 45% for income over £125,140.

Corporate Tax: rate is 25% as at April 2023.

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Unemployment: Currently unemployment in the UK is 3.8 percent (December 2022).

Inflation: 4 percent as at January 2024.

Cost of living: The cost of living in the UK is very high and is dependent on your geographical location

Jewish Community

The Jewish community in Britain, currently around 287,360 people (2021) dates back hundreds of years and is dispersed throughout the country. The many beautiful and ornate synagogues from Bristol to London, Brighton to Nottingham portray the historical story of Anglo Jewry, and the depth and breadth of the diversity of the Jewish people in England. Since the end of the 19th century and onset of the full emancipation of Anglo Jewry, Jews in England have lived relatively freely and unharmed, unlike in other European communities. Jewish homes in England also became safe havens for other European Jews during the Holocaust. Jews have contributed as well as perceived and acknowledged as contributing individually and collectively, to the spiritual, intellectual, commercial and political life of England. While Jewish population in the UK has grown by only 4 percent in the last two decades, about 60 percent of all Jewish children attend Jewish day schools or yeshiva.

Since World War II, there has been a great rise in the number of Jewish primary schools established within the state system, which now includes twenty-five state-aided primary and secondary schools. There is a further substantial number of independent Jewish schools which do not receive any state aid, but which have tax-free charitable status, most of which are strictly orthodox and are mainly in separatist Haredi communities. The status of Jewish schools in England differs from other Diaspora countries. In most countries, Jewish schools are private, receiving little or no state aid, however in England as early as 1853, a small number of Jewish schools were given state support. They were then gradually absorbed into the English state funded system. This has meant, however, that although Jewish schools in England are accessible to all Jews regardless of their financial situation, there is also a strict, secular syllabus. Today there are 19 Jewish schools throughout the UK.

English governments also have a long and mixed history with the Jews and the State of Israel. From the Balfour Declaration to preventing Jewish Holocaust survivors from entering Palestine, the British government has never had a clear stance towards the existence of the Jewish state. Most recently the British government has stood firm against anti-Semitism in Europe and in the Arab world, has stood firm against international terrorism, and the right Israel has to defend its borders.

For more information on the U.K. Jewish community:

Settling In


Education in the U.K. is divided into: primary, secondary, further and higher education. Compulsory education lasts for 11 years between the ages 5 to 16 years. During this time children must receive full-time education that is suited to their age, ability, aptitude and special educational needs. Most pupils transfer from primary to secondary school at age 11 years. However, a system of middle schools also exists where pupils are transferred from primary school at either age 8 or 9 years, then onto secondary education at age 12 or 13 years. Most secondary schools in England and Wales are comprehensive; these do not operate a selective entrance system. However, in some parts of England, a grammar school system also operates whereby pupils are usually required to pass an entrance examination based on their ability.

As a result of the Education Reform Act 1988, four Key stages to education were established. Pupils are assessed by National Curriculum tests at the end of each Key Stage. Having completed GCSEs, pupils have a choice of whether to continue with further education at school or college or to undertake employment.

Website for overseas students:

For information about English language courses:

Health Care

Like the health care system in Israel, National Insurance (NI) is payable by everyone working and covers the cost of health care (known as the NHS or National Health Service). Contrary to the U.S. system, England has a completely integrated and socialized system. There is also a private system of health insurance, doctors and hospitals.

For more information:

You will need to get a National Insurance number, which will require a number of forms of identification including: passport, a letter of appointment or a letter from an agent stating that you are seeking employment, proof of address (lease agreement, council tax bill, or telephone bill). You will eventually receive a credit card sized National Insurance Identification.


Houses in the UK are usually small and the rental asking prices are invariably high. North of London properties are usually cheaper and the tube allows for living outside of London. The initial rental outlay is also extraordinary: Advance payment of at least 6 weeks deposit plus one months rent, a non-refundable holding deposit (£150 usually), a reference check (usually £15-£25) – calling references back home, a tenancy agreement (cost £80-£1000), an inventory check on the house (another £80-£100) after moving in to make sure everything is in order, a TV license by law (about £150.50 a year-as at June 2018).

As at June 2018, the average UK house price is around £226,000 and rising. In London the average price for a house is £680,000. Base interest rates for homeowner mortgages are low: between 3.5-3.75 per cent and the average homeowner in the UK spends about 30% of their net salary on their mortgage.

For more information on mortgages:


Britons can pop across the English Channel and be in Paris or Amsterdam within four hours or go on week-long hiking adventures in the northern highlands. The Brits also invented the bed and breakfast weekend featuring tea and scones in the afternoon. The array of accessible national events that take place each year is unique to Britain.

The traditional Oxford/Cambridge University Boat Race is held in London on the River Thames in late March; the FA Cup final takes place in May; and the world’s most prestigious lawn tennis championships, takes place at Wimbledon in late June, the classical music festival- Henry Wood Promenade Concerts – (“the Proms”), from July to September.

Other annual events include the six-week Dance Umbrella, the London Film Festival, and the Soho Jazz Festival.

Useful links

U.K. and Immigration

The U.K. Government


Social Security

Customs & Quarantine

Business in U.K.

Taxation in the U.K.

Housing in the UK

UK Education System

Media Outlets

British Broadcasting Corporation Online  –

The Guardian Unlimited  –

The Jewish Press –

Tourism and Leisure

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