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Movement across the Irish Sea had existed since the eighteenth century, even among Ireland's poorest people.

In the nineteenth century, there was a regular pattern of seasonal migration of farm workers from Ireland to Britain.

The 1991 census, the first to include ethnic background, enumerated three million Britons of non-European birth or ancestry. Regional and cultural relationships are expressed in marked linguistic differences.

Although the language has been modified by a gradual convergence toward "estuary English" a less formal variety of southeastern speech, and educational and socioeconomic factors, it is possible to determine people's geographical origins by the way they speak.

The present-day nation also includes the Channel Islands off the coast of France and the Isle of Man between Britain and Ireland, which are substantially self-governing.

Any citizen of Great Britain may be referred to as a Briton. The land area of Great Britain is 89,000 square miles (230,500 square kilometers), with an additional 5,400 square miles (13,986 square kilometers) in Northern Ireland, giving it one of the highest population densities in the Western world.Although the country lies mostly at the latitude of Labrador in the western Atlantic, the climate is tempered by the Gulf Stream and does not have extremes of summer heat or winter cold.Except for some areas of barren upland and bog, most of the land is suitable for agriculture and has been grazed or cultivated since the Bronze Age.The British and Irish parliaments were united in 1801.A separatist movement led to the dissolution of the Union of Great Britain and Ireland in 1920; twenty-six of Ireland's thirty-two counties became the independent Irish Free State (later the Republic of Ireland), with six of the nine counties of Ulster remaining within the United Kingdom.

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