World Facts

The Largest Cities in England

London is the largest city in England, followed by Manchester and Birmingham.

England is part of the United Kingdom and shares its boundaries with Scotland, Wales, Irish Sea, and the Celtic Sea. It covers approximately 63% of the island of Great Britain which is in the North Atlantic. England is the most populous country in the UK with a population of approximately 54 million people, accounting for about 84% of the total population of UK. Its developed economy is one of the largest in the world and the largest part of the UK’s economy. The cities of England are some of the most frequented places in the UK because of their attractions, history, and entertainment options. Here is a brief overview of some of the largest cities in England.

The Four Largest Cities in England

London

London is the capital and the largest city in England. It was once the largest city in the world but has since been surpassed. However, it still fascinates and attracts millions of tourists every year. London is located on River Thames on the southeastern side of the island of Great Britain. It covers an area of approximately 1,583 square kilometers and has a population 9.7 million people with the metropolitan area having a population of approximately 14 million people. London is one of the leading global cities in commerce, entertainment, healthcare, media, and transportation. London is the largest financial center in the world.

Manchester

Manchester is the second most populous urban area in the UK with a population of approximately 2.5 million people. It is located about 160 miles northwest of London and is bordered by mountain chains known as pennines that run from north to east. Manchester attained city status in 1853 and the city was linked to the sea in 1894 when the Port of Manchester was created. In 2014, Manchester was ranked a beta world city, the second-highest ranked British city. It is the third-most visited city in the UK after London and Edinburg. The city is known for its culture, sports, transportation, media, architecture, and engineering output.

Birmingham

The metropolitan area of Birmingham is the third-largest by population. Known as the “city of a thousand trades,” Birmingham is approximately two-hour drive northwest of London. It covers an area of approximately 232 square miles and has a population of about 2.4 million people. Birmingham’s economy is the second largest in the UK after London and is mainly driven by the service sector.

Leeds-Bradford

Leeds and Bradford are the two major cities of northern England. They are main regional centers in England that offer services and attraction of a big city. Leeds-Bradford metropolitan area is approximately 487.9 square kilometers and has a population of about 1.7 million people. Leeds is an important financial center in England and is popular for its high quality of life.

The Growth of Big Cities in England

Most of the largest cities in England commenced their growth at the onset of the industrial age in the 18th century. They experienced intense development during the 19th century, changing beyond recognition. Before the Industrial Revolution, the cities were a small town with very low population density. Today, these big cities are credited for the industrial power of England and by extension the UK. They are major economic centers in Europe and receive millions of tourists every year.

The Largest Cities in England

RankCityMetro Population
1London9,787,426
2Manchester2,553,379
3Birmingham2,440,986
4Leeds-Bradford1,777,934
5Liverpool-Birkenhead864,122
6Southampton-Portsmouth855,569
7Newcastle-Sunderland774,891
8Nottingham-Derby729,977
9Sheffield685,368
10Bristol617,280

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