Biggest Cities In The United Kingdom (Great Britain)

The London Metropolitan Area alone has more residents than Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland combined.

The United Kingdom is a sovereign state in Europe and includes the the island of Great Britain, the northeastern portion of the island Ireland, and several other smaller islands. The United Kingdom is surrounded by North Sea, English Channel, Atlantic Ocean, and the Celtic Sea. The country has the 12th longest coastline in the world. The United Kingdom covers a total area of 242,500 square kilometers, making it the 11th largest country in Europe and 78th in the world. The country has an estimated population of 65.1 million, the fourth most densely populated country in Europe. The United Kingdom is a developed economy with some of the best-developed cities in the world, the largest of which are looked at below.


London, first settled during the reign of the Roman Empire over what is now Britain, is today the capital city of both England and the United Kingdom. The city is the most populous with a population of 14,032,000 inhabitants who speak over 300 languages. London is one of the leading global cities in art, entertainment, commerce, finance, fashion, media, and healthcare. The city is also one of the world’s leading financial centers and has the fifth largest metropolitan area GDP in the world. Because of its cultural capital and having the world’s largest city airport system, London is the most visited city. The city also hosts some of the international retailers and billionaires. In 2014, London was ranked first in software and multimedia design, technology readiness and also the best in world university ranking. There are four World Heritage Sites and some magnificent buildings in London including the Tower of London. The number of homeless families has grown significantly in the city because of the increasing population.


The metropolitan city of Birmingham is in the West Midlands of England, and its largest city outside of London. The city is home to 3,737,000 inhabitants, the 9th populous city in Europe. Birmingham grew to prominence in the 18th Century during the Midlands Enlightenment and Industrial Revolution. Today, the city’s economy is driven by the service sector being a major international commercial sector. The city is also a conference, retail, events, and transport hub. Its economy is the second largest in the United Kingdom with an average GDP of $121 billion. Its six universities make it one of the largest higher education centers. The cultural institutions in the city enjoy international recognition because of the vibrant art, music, culinary, and literary scenes.


Manchester City is in the Greater Manchester area of England, fringed by the Cheshire Plain and the Pennines. The city has a population of 2,794,000. Manchester achieved its city status in 1853 and currently managed by Manchester City Council. The city was ranked beta world city by Globalization and World Cities Research Network in 2014. The city is the third most visited in the United Kingdom because of its culture, media links, architecture, scientific output, social impact, and sports clubs. Manchester is Europe’s most affordable city with a cost of living index below 95. The unemployment in the city is above the national average. However, gender pay gap is only 3.3%, the lowest in the country.

Population Pressures in Britain's Largest Cities

Because of ongoing population growth and increasing life expectancies, several of the major metropolitan cities in the United Kingdom have become overcrowded. The housing sector is not able to meet the overwhelming demand. As a result, there are several homeless families in the streets of most of the cities with London having the highest number. Jobs have also become scarce, and incidences of crime are frequently reported.

Biggest Cities In The United Kingdom (Great Britain)

RankMost Populous Metro Areas In The United KingdomMetro Residents

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