Great Britain or Britain is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world and the largest European island as well as the largest of the British Isles. With a population of about 60.0 million people in mid-2009 it is the third most populous island in the world after Java and Honshū. Great Britain is surrounded by over 1 000 smaller islands and islets. The island of Ireland lies to its west.