Southern England facts for kids
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South of England
Super-region of England
In this image, official definitions of Southern England are illustrated as yellow.
|10 largest Settlements in order of population
|62,042 km2 (23,955 sq mi)
|450.421/km2 (1,166.584/sq mi)
|• Summer (DST)
Southern England, or the South of England, also known as the South, is an area of England consisting of its southernmost part, with cultural, economic and political differences from the Midlands and the North. Officially, the area includes Greater London, the South East, the West Country (or the South West), and the East (sometimes referred to as East Anglia).
The distinction between the south and rest of England and Great Britain is sometimes referred to as the north–south divide. With a population of nearly 28 million; and an area of 62,042 square kilometres (23,955 sq mi), the south accounts for roughly 40% of the population of the United Kingdom and approximately 25% of its area.
People often apply the term "southern" loosely, without deeper consideration of the geographical identities of Southern England. This can cause confusion over the depth of affiliation between its areas. As in much of the rest of England, people tend to have a deeper affiliation to their county or city. Thus, residents of Essex are unlikely to feel much affinity with people in Oxfordshire. Similarly, there is a strong distinction between natives of the south-west and south-east.
In most definitions, Southern England includes all the counties on/near the English Channel. In terms of the current ceremonial counties:
Despite the general acceptance of these counties as Southern, those that comprise the West Country are occasionally considered mutually exclusive to Southern England.
The exact northern extent varies and as with most geographical regions, people sometimes debate the boundaries. In the west, Southern England is generally taken to include Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire; in central Southern England, the counties of Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire; to the east, Essex and the counties of East Anglia (Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk).
Despite these definitions, the northern boundary is generally taken to correspond to an imaginary line from the Severn Estuary to the Wash (or expressed in terms of towns, from Gloucester to King's Lynn).
English is the native language of the English people and the main language spoken in the South.
The South of England has a dialect and accent distinct from that of other parts of the UK. Due to the prominence of the South in media and politics, Standard British English is largely based on the English spoken in the South. For example, the standard British accent, Received Pronunciation, is very similar to the educated speech of London, Oxford and Cambridge.
Cornish is a revived language and is an important part of the identity and culture of the Cornish people.
People often apply the terms "southern" and "south" loosely, without deeper consideration of the geographical identities of Southern England. This can cause confusion over the depth of affiliation between its areas. As in much of the rest of England, people tend to have a deeper affiliation to their county or city. Thus, residents of Essex are unlikely to feel much affinity with people in Oxfordshire. Similarly, there is a strong distinction between natives of the south-west and south-east. The broadcaster Stuart Maconie has noted that culturally "there's a bottom half of England [...] but there isn't a south in the same way that there's a north".
The sport of rugby experienced a schism in 1895 with many teams based in Yorkshire, Lancashire and surrounding areas breaking from the Rugby Football Union and forming their own League. The disagreement that led to the split was over the issue of professional payments, and "broken time" or injury payments. There is a perception that league is the code of rugby played in the north, whilst union is the code played in the south. One of the biggest derbies in Southern England is the West Country derby (Bath v Gloucester).
However, in Portsmouth's absence from top flight football, AFC Bournemouth and Brighton and Hove Albion – based about 30 miles (48 km) and 60 miles (97 km) from Southampton respectively – gained promotion to the Premier League, with some media outlets marketing fixtures against them as a South Coast derby;
Other major derbies in Southern England are West Country derbies and London derbies.
The South of England has a number of world-renowned universities, such as the ancient universities of Oxford and Cambridge, and many Russell Group universities, such as Imperial College London, University of Exeter and the London School of Economics.
Southern England Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.