The British Commonwealth refers to a collection of countries that associate with the same political affiliation, meaning that the Commonwealth of Nations is intended to bring countries together and provide them with a foundation for economic growth, financial prosperity, and just overall success for all nations involved.
The British Commonwealth is an older name with its roots originating back in 1926 when the Commonwealth started forming. From there, the British Commonwealth started going by the Commonwealth of Nations, and you will commonly see it shortened as the Commonwealth.
The History of the British Commonwealth
The reason that the British Commonwealth altered the name was that the member countries started to include territories under the rule of the British Empire, but not physically near or within Britain. From there, other countries and even the entire continent of Australia became part of the Commonwealth. The very first title of this political association amongst various countries was the British Commonwealth of Nations. A document called the Balfour Declaration was signed in 1926, and it marked the official start of the British Commonwealth of Nations.
During the Imperial Conference, there was a gathering of political figures at an event held by the prime ministers across the British Empire at the time. The Balfour Declaration brought to light the consensus that all British Empire countries were on par with the United Kingdom, which had not been the case beforehand. The UK used to be viewed as greater than all other countries in the British Empire, so this was a huge step for equality amongst countries in Europe, hence the word commonwealth.
Five years later, the United Kingdom officially upheld the formation of the Commonwealth by signing a document called the Statute of Westminster. There were so many additions, alterations, and revisions to the Commonwealth of Nations until the year 1949. At this point, the London Declaration was compiled and written by an Indian official by the name of VK Krishna Menon, and it was signed by the member nations in the same year.
Ever since, there have been fifty-three countries that are recognized as being part of the Commonwealth of Nations. Interestingly enough, most, though not all, of the countries in the British Commonwealth happen to be British colonies. If they are not currently under British rule, these locations were at one time. Dependent or not upon Britain's government, the member states of the Commonwealth of Nations all have a historical tie to Britain.
The Populations of British Commonwealth Countries
As mentioned, the Commonwealth of Nations is an organization that is made up of fifty-three countries around the world. Most of these countries used to be territories of the British Empire. The Commonwealth was originally formed at the beginning of the twentieth century following the decolonization of the British Empire, which began in 1945 and fully broke apart by 1997.
Every continent in the world has member countries that are part of the British Commonwealth of Nations. All territories in Canada are part of the Commonwealth, and the same is true of Australia. The only country in South America that is part of the British Commonwealth is Guyana in the northern region of the continent. The United Kingdom is, of course, part of the Commonwealth, as are a few Asian countries and the majority of southern Africa.
The member states of the Commonwealth are united through shared values, history, culture, and languages. These fifty-three nations have a combined population of over two-point-three billion people, with the most densely populated countries being Bangladesh, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, and the United Kingdom. Out of all fifty-three countries, India’s population accounts for the majority of the Commonwealth’s total population. Here are the British Commonwealth countries in alphabetical order again, but this time, they are followed by their respective population sizes.