The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, also referred to as the UK or Britain, is a nation in Europe that lies off the northwestern coast of the continent. The United Kingdom is made up of the British Isles’ many smaller islands, as well as England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. The total area of the United Kingdom is 242,495 square kilometers (93,628 square miles), with an estimated population of over 67 million people, making it the 21st most populated country in the world.
With a monarch and a parliamentary system of government in charge of the entire country, it is not uncommon to find monuments and artifacts that indicate a time in the past when the country was still under a full monarchy. These artifacts, along with the country’s nearly 68 million inhabitants, are scattered across different cities. What are the most populated cities in the United Kingdom? This article explores some of the most populated cities in the UK, their history, and why people, both locals and tourists, love them.
3. Liverpool – 864,122
Liverpool is a city and metropolitan borough in England, and with a population of almost a million inhabitants, it is the third most populated city in the United Kingdom. The city’s first significant starting point in its history goes as far back as 1207, when King John of England issued a license for the establishment of a town. However, the region was not granted the status of a city until 1880. In the Middle Ages, the town grew slowly. However, in the 18th century, its growth picked up pace thanks to lucrative trade with the Americas and the West Indies, and it eventually became the second-most significant port in Britain.
In 1715, Liverpool’s first dock was constructed. Four additional docks had been built along the Mersey by the turn of the century, giving the port more dock capacity. These new developments increased the frequency of the city’s trade, which involved exchanging manufactured products for slaves in West Africa. By the 19th century, the trade happening in the area had increased, bringing in more wealth. The 19th century also brought about the railway that linked the city to Manchester and also an increase in the population as a result of the migration of the Irish because of the Great Famine.
Since then, Liverpool has been a hub for creativity and innovation. The city is also well-known to tourists from all over the world, particularly those looking to learn a thing or two about British history. Apart from being a booming football city, it offers tourists the chance to visit several museums and old buildings. Some popular spots for tourists include the Walker Art Gallery, Royal Albert Dock, and a bunch of other spots, as the city is named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
2. Birmingham – 1,145,000
With a population of over one million people, Birmingham is the second most populated city in the United Kingdom. Birmingham is located in the West Midlands, which is one of England’s major commercial and industrial regions. The city is around 100 miles (160 km) from London and is regarded as the Midlands’ social, cultural, financial, and commercial hub.
The history of the city is a long one, as it first started out as a Saxon village but quickly grew into a town by the 12th century. However, there is proof that human presence in the Birmingham region dates back to roughly 8000 BC. There are relics from the Stone Age that point to seasonal settlements, nighttime hunting parties, and activities like tree-chopping in the woods. After the Lord of the Manor, Peter de Bermingham, received a license to hold a market at his castle and then followed it up with the formation of a planned market town in 1166, the development of Birmingham as a prominent urban and economic center began. Birmingham quickly evolved into a bustling small town as merchants and artisans moved there once the market began operating full-time.
By the 13th century, the locals in the town had gotten permission to hold an annual fair that drew in people from all over the Midlands. By the 14th century, the town became even more popular for its various industries, including wool, metalwork, and leatherwork industries. The city’s growth became more rapid in the 16th and 17th centuries, with an influx in the population between 1547 and 1560 and an even higher increase in the 1650s. While the metalwork industry thrived in Birmingham for centuries, the city now focuses more on finance and tourism. Some of the top tourist spots in the city include the canals that were a byproduct of the Industrial Revolution, Victoria Square, the City Center, and Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.
1. London – 9,500,000
London is the most populated city in the United Kingdom, with almost 10 million inhabitants. Apart from being the most populated city, it is also the capital city of England. London is also one of the world’s oldest cities, with its history going back farther than two millennia. Roman sovereignty over London began in 43 AD and lasted until the fall of the Roman Empire in the fifth century AD. The city was named Londinium at the time, the name the Romans gave the town, and it had 50,000 residents by the third century, mostly because of the influence of its port. During the ninth century, the town suffered numerous Viking attacks. Danish immigrants moved there because of these attacks, promoting trade in the town and turning it into the first urban center in England.
The port of London developed into a major European hub for shipping around the 14th century. The port’s relevance grew even more in the 15th century because of the local textile industry’s influence. London continued to grow throughout the centuries, welcoming more immigrants and establishing more industries. London is one of the most captivating cities in the world and one of the most popular travel destinations. It’s no surprise that the city attracts more than 20 million tourists annually with its breathtaking tourist sites and exciting activities. Some of the top tourist sites to visit include Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London, and the National Gallery.
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- , Available here: https://worldpopulationreview.com/countries/cities/united-kingdom
- , Available here: https://www.geonames.org/GB/largest-cities-in-united-kingdom.html
- , Available here: https://population.mongabay.com/population/united-kingdom/
- , Available here: https://www.ons.gov.uk/visualisations/censuspopulationchange/E08000012/