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Wales is a nation in the United Kingdom that is a component of the European Union. It is surrounded on the east by England, on the north and west by the Irish Sea, and on the south by the Bristol Channel, all of which are part of the United Kingdom. It had a population of 3,063,456 people in 2011 and a total land area of 20,779 km2 in 2011. (8,023 sq mi). In addition to having more than 1,680 miles (2,700 km) of coastline, Wales is mostly mountainous, with its tallest peaks located in the north and central regions, including Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa), the country's highest peak. The nation is located in the northern temperate zone and has a fluctuating, marine climate, according to the United Nations.

The formation of a national identity in Wales among the Britons occurred after the Romans withdrew from Britain in the 5th century, and Wales is now considered to be one of the contemporary Celtic countries. In 1282, Edward I of England declared the conquest of Wales complete, while Owain Glyndr temporarily restored freedom to Wales in the early 15th century, marking the end of Edward I of England's conquest of Wales. During the English Civil War, the whole country of Wales was seized by England and integrated into the English legal system with the Laws of Wales Acts 1535 and 1542. Welsh politics emerged in the nineteenth century as a distinct entity. During the early twentieth century, Welsh liberalism, personified by David Lloyd George, was superseded by the rise of socialism and the formation of the Labour Party. Over the course of the century, nationalist sentiment in Wales developed; a nationalist party, Plaid Cymru, was founded in 1925, and the Welsh Language Society was established in 1962. The Senedd (the Welsh Parliament, previously known as the National Assembly for Wales) was established by the Government of Wales Act 1998 and is responsible for a wide variety of devolved policy topics.

Wales has a tight relationship with the rest of Great Britain in terms of political and social history, and the majority of the population in most places speaks English as a first language, yet the nation has maintained its own unique cultural identity throughout time. Both Welsh and English are known as official languages in Wales; there are about 560,000 Welsh speakers living in the country, and the language is spoken by a majority of the population in sections of the country's northern and western regions, respectively. Wales gained notoriety as the "land of song" in the late nineteenth century, thanks in part to the eisteddfod competitions that were held across the country. Wales has a national team that competes in several international sports events, such as the FIFA World Cup, Rugby World Cup, and the Commonwealth Games, among others. Welsh athletes participate for the United Kingdom in the Olympic Games as members of the Great Britain squad. Among Welsh people, rugby union is viewed as a symbol of their national identity and an expression of their national consciousness.