England (Latin Anglia), political division of the island of Great Britain, constituting, with Wales, the principal division of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. England occupies all of the island east of Wales and south of Scotland, another division of the United Kingdom. Established as an independent monarchy many centuries ago, England in time achieved political control over the rest of the island, all the British Isles, and vast sections of the world, becoming the nucleus of one of the greatest empires in history. The capital, largest city, and chief port of England is London, with a population (1991 preliminary) of 6,378,600. It is also the capital of Great Britain and the site of the headquarters of the Commonwealth of Nations.
England is somewhat triangular in shape, with its apex at the mouth of the Tweed River. The eastern leg, bounded by the North Sea, extends generally southeast to the North Foreland, the northern extremity of the region called the Downs. The western leg of the triangle extends generally southwest from the mouth of the Tweed along the boundary with Scotland, the Irish Sea, Saint Georges Channel, and the Atlantic Ocean to Lands End, the westernmost extremity of England and of the island. The northern frontier extends from Solway Firth on the west along the Cheviot Hills to the mouth of the Tweed on the east. The base of the triangle fronts the English Channel and the Strait of Dover. The total area of England is 130,439 sq km (50,363 sq mi), 57 percent of the area of the island. This total, approximately the size of the state of North Carolina, includes the region of the Scilly Isles, southwest of Lands End in the Atlantic Ocean; the Isle of Wight (see Wight, Isle of), located off the southern coast; and the Isle of Man, located in the Irish Sea.