Great Britain (or simply Britain) is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean off the northwest coast of continental Europe. With an area of 209,331 km2 (80,823 sq mi), it is the largest of the British Isles, the largest European island, and the ninth-largest island in the world. The island is dominated by a maritime climate with narrow temperature differences between seasons. The island of Ireland is situated to the west of Great Britain, and together these islands, along with over 1,000 smaller surrounding islands, form the British Isles archipelago.
Connected to mainland Europe until 8,000 years ago, Great Britain has been inhabited by modern humans for around 30,000 years. In 2011, the island had a population of about 61 million people, making it the world's third-most populous island after Java in Indonesia and Honshu in Japan.
The term "Great Britain" is often used to refer to England, Scotland and Wales, including their component adjoining islands. Great Britain and Northern Ireland now constitute the United Kingdom. The single Kingdom of Great Britain resulted from the 1707 Acts of Union between the kingdoms of England (which at the time incorporated Wales) and Scotland.