Scotland is a nation inside the United Kingdom. Mainland Scotland, which occupies the northern third of the island of Great Britain, shares a 96-mile (154-kilometer) border with England to the southeast and is otherwise bounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, the North Sea to the northeast, and the Irish Sea to the south. The nation also has over 790 islands, mostly in the archipelagos of the Hebrides and the Northern Isles. The majority of the population, including the capital Edinburgh, is situated in the Scottish Lowlands’ Central Belt — the plain between the Scottish Highlands and the Southern Uplands.

Scotland is split into 32 council areas, which are administrative subdivisions or local administrations. In terms of population, Glasgow City is the largest council area, whereas Highland is the largest in terms of area. The Scottish Government delegated limited self-government power to each subdivision in areas such as education, social services, and roads and transportation.