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Provinces of the United Kingdom

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Both Rick Steves and Fodor refer (in their 2010 editions on Ireland) to Northern Ireland as a "province." Steves goes further to describe England, Scotland, and Wales as also being provinces of the UK. Can someone please enlighten me as to the use of this terminology? I understand that both Scotland and Wales have been going through devolution for some time and have visited a Northern Ireland official website devoted to devolution for Northern Ireland.

My understanding of the correct terminology in the above cases would benefit from some learned assistance, please.

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