First published in 1868, Whitaker's is the ultimate single-volume reference source - packed with thousands of facts, figures, overviews and statistics relating to the UK and the world. Whitaker's 2017 contains a comprehensive explanation of every aspect of national and local government infrastructure in the UK, astronomical and tidal data for 2017, guides to UK law, education and taxation, overviews of the water, energy and transport industries, essential calendar information, chapters on royalty and peerage, MPs, government departments and public bodies, directory listings of societies and institutions, sports results and records – including complete results of the 2016 Rio Olympics, reviews of the year 2015–16 – covering the arts, science and politics – and monthly summaries of the year's news. Whitaker's is also an excellent introduction to world politics with in-depth profiles of international organisations, the European Union and every country of the world. Our dedicated team of both in-house editors and specialist contributors spend a total of 6,000 hours updating Whitaker's annually – this includes contacting over 5,000 people to update their own organisation's details, researching information from official annual reports, and gathering statistics and facts from the most up-to-date authoritative sources available. For last year's edition, one editor spent an entire day contacting individual departments of HM Treasury to ascertain the correct name of each minister's Private Secretary – information which is just not available elsewhere, including the gov.uk website. Of the 6,000 hours spent updating Whitaker's annually around 2,000 hours of editorial time is dedicated to verifying every piece of information to ensure that, unlike collaborative online sources such as Wikipedia, all the material in Whitaker's is neutral and reliable. Now in its 149th edition, the book is completely revised and updated every year with at least 60% of the contents - including maps, diagrams and colour infographics - newly compiled specifically for this edition. A totally unique combination of every aspect of UK infrastructure, current affairs, world politics, history, finance, astronomical data and reviews of the year, 'Whitaker's remains the most comprehensive compendium of information in the English language' (Jon Snow) and will save hours of research and cross-referencing between different sources.