List of urban areas in the United Kingdom

This is a list of the most populous urban areas in the 2011 census, as defined by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), although the basis for the sourced list is because its data is more readily available.

The methodology used by ONS in 2011 is set out in 2011 Built-up Areas – Methodology and Guidance, published in June 2013. When ONS reported the results of the 2011 UK census, it used the term "built-up area" rather than the term "urban area" as used in previous censuses. ONS states, however, that the criteria used to define "built-up area" have not changed:[1]

the definition follows a ‘bricks and mortar’ approach, with areas defined as built-up land with a minimum area of 20 hectares (200,000 m2), while settlements within 200 metres of each other are linked. Built-up area sub-divisions are also identified to provide greater detail in the data, especially in the larger conurbations.

In reporting the 2001 census, ONS gave a clearer definition of the term "built-up" as follows:

This comprises permanent structures and the land on which they are situated, including land enclosed by or closely associated with such structures; transportation corridors such as roads, railways and canals which have built up land on one or both sides, or which link built-up sites which are less than 200 metres apart; transportation features such as airports and operational airfields, railway yards, motorway service areas and car parks; mine buildings, excluding mineral workings and quarries; and any area completely surrounded by builtup sites. Areas such as playing fields and golf courses are excluded unless completely surrounded by builtup sites...[2]

List of most populous urban areas

The list below shows the most populated urban areas in the United Kingdom as defined by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), but as readily referenced at The list includes all urban areas with a population in excess of 100,000 at the 2011 census.[3]

Rank Built-up area[4] Population

(2011 Census)

Area (km²) Density (People/km²) Major subdivisions Metropolitan Area[5] Notable changes between 2001 and 2011 censuses [6] [note 1]
1 Greater London Built-up Area 9,787,426 1,737.9 5,630 London boroughs, Hemel Hempstead, Watford, Woking, Harlow, St Albans, Bracknell London The addition of Guildford, Harlow, Bracknell and St Albans
2 Greater Manchester Built-up Area 2,553,379 630.3 4,051 Manchester, Salford, Bolton, Stockport, Oldham, Rochdale, Bury, Trafford, Tameside Manchester The addition of Golborne, Glossop and Newton-le-Willows
3 West Midlands Built-up Area 2,440,986 598.9 4,076 Birmingham, Wolverhampton, West Bromwich, Dudley, Walsall, Solihull Birmingham
4 West Yorkshire Built-up Area 1,777,934 487.8 3,645 Leeds, Bradford, Wakefield, Huddersfield, Dewsbury, Keighley, Halifax Leeds-Bradford The addition of Halifax
5 Greater Glasgow Built-up Area 1,209,143 368.5 3,390 Glasgow, Paisley, Clydebank Glasgow
6 Liverpool Built-up Area 864,122 199.6 4,329 Liverpool, Bootle, Litherland, Crosby, Prescot, St. Helens, Ashton-in-Makerfield Liverpool/Birkenhead The addition of Ashton-in-Makerfield
7 South Hampshire Built-up Area 855,569 192.0 4,455 Southampton, Portsmouth, Eastleigh, Gosport, Fareham, Havant, Horndean Southampton-Portsmouth Portsmouth Urban Area and Southampton Urban Area combined into one.

The addition of Hedge End, Locks Heath, Bursledon and Whiteley. Stubbington and Lee-on-the-Solent are no longer part of the built-up area.

8 Tyneside Built-up Area 774,891 180.5 4,292 Newcastle upon Tyne, Gateshead, South Shields, Tynemouth, Wallsend, Whitley Bay, Jarrow Newcastle-Sunderland Washington, Chester-Le-Street, Hetton-le-Hole and Houghton-le-Spring are no longer part of the built-up area.
9 Nottingham Built-up Area 729,977 176.4 4,139 Nottingham, Beeston, Carlton, West Bridgford, Ilkeston, Hucknall Nottingham-Derby
10 Sheffield Built-up Area 685,368 167.5 4,092 Sheffield, Rotherham, Rawmarsh Sheffield
11 Bristol Built-up Area 617,280 144.4 4,274 Bristol, Filton, Pill, Frampton Cotterell, Kingswood, Warmley, Mangotsfield, Winterbourne Bristol
12 Belfast Urban Area 595,879 Belfast, Castlereagh, Greenisland, Holywood, Lisburn, Newtownabbey, Milltown Belfast
13 Leicester Built-up area 508,916 109.4 4,653 Leicester, Wigston, Oadby, Syston, Blaby, Birstall, Narborough, Enderby Leicester Ratby no longer part of the built-up area.

Addition of Narborough and Enderby

14 Edinburgh 482,005 Edinburgh
15 Brighton and Hove Built-up area 474,485 89.4 5,304 Brighton and Hove, Worthing, Littlehampton, Shoreham-by-Sea Brighton Rottingdean, Saltdean and Findon are no longer part of the built-up area.
16 Bournemouth/Poole Built-up area 466,266 131.0 3,559 Bournemouth, Poole, Christchurch, Ferndown, New Milton, Wimborne Minster Bournemouth/Poole Ferndown and Wimborne Minster now part of the built-up area.
17 Cardiff Built-up area 447,287 102.3 4,370 Cardiff, Caerphilly, Penarth, Pontypridd Cardiff-Newport Caerphilly and Pontypridd now part of the built-up area.
18 Teesside Built-up area 376,633 108.2 3,482 Middlesbrough, Stockton-On-Tees, Billingham, Redcar Middlesbrough Eston & Southbank now part of Middlesbrough sub-division, no longer counted as separate sub-division
19 Stoke-on-Trent Built-up Area 372,775 103.9 3,588 Stoke-on-Trent, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Kidsgrove Stoke-on-Trent
20 Coventry Built-up area 359,262 81.3 4,420 Coventry, Bedworth Coventry
21 Sunderland Built-up area 335,415 83.5 4,018 Sunderland, Washington, Chester-Le-Street, Hetton-le-Hole, Houghton-le-Spring Newcastle-Sunderland Addition of Washington, Chester-Le-Street, Hetton-le-Hole and Houghton-le-Spring
22 Birkenhead Built-up area 325,264 88.2 3,687 Birkenhead, Wallasey, Ellesmere Port, Bebington Liverpool/Birkenhead
23 Reading Built-up area 318,014 83.7 3,800 Reading, Wokingham, Woodley, Crowthorne London Bracknell no longer part of the built-up area.
24 Kingston upon Hull Built-up area 314,018 82.6 3,802 Kingston upon Hull, Cottingham, Hessle Hull
25 Preston Built-up area 313,322 82.4 3,802 Preston, Bamber Bridge, Chorley, Fulwood, Leyland Preston The addition of Longton and Adlington to the built-up area.
26 Newport Built-up area 306,844 84.2 3,643 Newport, Pontypool, Cwmbran, Blackwood, Risca, Ystrad Mynach Cardiff-Newport Pontypool, Cwmbran and Blackwood added to the built-up area.
27 Swansea Built-up area 300,352 87.6 3,431 Swansea, Neath, Port Talbot, Ystradgynlais, Pontardawe Swansea/Neath/Port Talbot Ystradgynlais now part of the built-up area.
28 Southend-on-Sea Built-up area 295,310 71.8 4,111 Southend-on-Sea, Hullbridge, Rayleigh, Rochford London Hullbridge now part of the built-up area.
29 Derby Built-up area 270,468 64.1 4,219 Derby, Borrowash, Duffield Nottingham-Derby
30 Plymouth Built-up area 260,203 59.7 4,356 Plymouth Plymouth
31 Luton Built-up area 258,018 50.7 5,088 Luton, Dunstable, Houghton Regis London
32 Farnborough/Aldershot Built-up area 252,397 78.5 3,217 Farnborough, Aldershot, Camberley, Farnham, Frimley, Sandhurst, Yateley London
33 Medway Towns Built-up area 243,931 52.2 4,677 Gillingham, Chatham, Rochester London
34 Blackpool Built-up area 239,409 61.3 3,908 Blackpool, Lytham St Annes, Poulton-le-Fylde, Thornton, Cleveleys Blackpool Fleetwood no longer forms part of the built-up area.
35 Milton Keynes Built-up area 229,941[7] 62.5 3,678 'Milton Keynes',[note 2] Bletchley, Newport Pagnell, Woburn Sands Milton Keynes The addition of Woburn Sands.
36 Barnsley/Dearne Valley Built-up area 223,281 59.7 3,739 Barnsley, Wath upon Dearne, Wombwell, Hoyland Sheffield
37 Northampton Built-up area 215,963 57.9 3,731 Northampton, Collingtree Northampton
38 Norwich Built-up area 213,166 61.9 3,444 Norwich, Taverham, Costessey, Cringleford, Colney, Horsham St Faith, Queens Hills, Thorpe End, Trowse with Newton Norwich
39 Aberdeen 207,932 Aberdeen
40 Swindon Built-up area 185,609 47.1 3,945 Swindon, Haydon Wick, Stratton St. Margaret, Broad Blunsdon, Blunsdon St Andrew, Wroughton Swindon
41 Crawley Built-up area 180,508 58.1 3,107 Crawley, Horley, East Grinstead, Copthorne, Crawley Down London The addition of East Grinstead, Copthorne and Crawley Down.

Reigate and Redhill no longer part of the built-up area.

42 Ipswich Built-up area 178,835 49.1 3,639 Ipswich, Kesgrave, Woodbridge Ipswich The addition of Woodbridge.
43 Wigan Built-up area 175,405 43.8 4,009 Wigan, Skelmersdale, Standish, Ince-in-Makerfield Manchester
44 Mansfield Built-up area 171,958 48.4 3,556 Mansfield, Sutton-in-Ashfield, Kirkby-in-Ashfield, Mansfield Woodhouse Nottingham-Derby
45 Oxford Built-up area 171,380 37.4 4,585 Oxford, Kennington, Wheatley Oxford The addition of Kennington and Wheatley.
46 Warrington Built-up area 165,456 44.9 3,686 Warrington Liverpool/Birkenhead
47 Slough Built-up area 163,777 34.1 4,797 Slough, Stoke Poges, Poyle London
48 Peterborough Built-up area 163,379 44.2 3,693 Peterborough, Farcet Peterborough
49 Cambridge Built-up area 158,434 42.1 3,760 Cambridge, Fen Ditton, Girton, Histon Cambridge Addition of Histon and Impington and Fen Ditton
50 Doncaster Built-up area 158,141 43.5 3,634 Doncaster, Bentley, Armthorpe, Sprotbrough Sheffield Addition of Bessacarr
51 Dundee 157,444 Dundee
52 York Built-up area 153,717 34.0 4,518 York, Earswick York
53 Gloucester Built-up area 150,053 40.4 3,718 Gloucester, Innsworth Gloucester-Cheltenham
54 Burnley Built-up area 149,422 35.7 4,183 Burnley, Padiham, Brierfield Colne, Barrowford Nelson Blackburn-Burnley
55 Telford Built-up area 147,980 47.7 3,103 Telford, Broseley Telford
56 Blackburn Built-up area 146,521 35.6 4,115 Blackburn, Darwen Blackburn-Burnley
57 Basildon Built-up area 144,859 37.1 3,902 Basildon, Wickford, Ramsden Heath, North Benfleet London The addition of Wickford to the urban area.
58 Grimsby Built-up area 134,160 35.3 3,804 Grimsby, Cleethorpes, Waltham Grimsby New Waltham is no longer part of the Built-up area.
59 Hastings Built-up area 133,422 33.2 4,019 Hastings, Bexhill Hastings
60 High Wycombe Built-up area 133,204 39.2 3,398 High Wycombe, Cookham, Hughenden Valley London
61 Thanet Built-up area 125,370 27.9 4,495 Margate, Ramsgate, Broadstairs Thanet
62 Accrington/Rossendale Built-up area 125,059 30.0 4,168 Accrington, Rawtenstall, Bacup, Great Harwood, Haslingden, Oswaldtwistle Blackburn-Burnley Accrington Urban Area and Rossendale Urban Area combined.
63 Burton-upon-Trent Built-up area 122,199 35.0 3,487 Burton-upon-Trent, Swadlincote Burton-upon-Trent The addition of Swadlincote, Stapenhill and Winshill[note 3]
64 Colchester Built-up area 121,859 32.7 3,732 Colchester, Marks Tey Colchester
65 Eastbourne Built-up area 118,219 25.1 4,705 Eastbourne, Polegate Brighton
66 Exeter Built-up area 117,763 28.5 4,133 Exeter, Topsham Exeter
67 Cheltenham Built-up area 116,447 28.9 4,034 Cheltenham, Gloucester-Cheltenham
68 Paignton/Torquay Built-up area 115,410 31.5 3,667 Paignton, Torquay, Marldon Torbay
69 Lincoln Built-up area 114,879 32.7 3,518 Lincoln, North Hykeham Lincoln
70 Chesterfield Built-up area 113,057 34.6 3,263 Chesterfield, Staveley, Wingerworth, Holymoorside Sheffield Addition of Wingerworth to the Built-up area.
71 Chelmsford Built-up area 111,511 26.2 4,259 Chelmsford, Little Waltham London
72 Basingstoke Built-up area 107,642 29.4 3,662 Basingstoke London
73 Maidstone Built-up area 107,627 25.4 4,229 Maidstone London
74 Bedford Built-up area 106,940 24.8 4,309 Bedford, Kempston Bedford
75 Worcester Built-up area 101,659 24.7 4,121 Worcester, Norton Worcester

See also


  1. ^ Some of the names of subdivisions and the areas they represent have changed between the two censuses. So it may look as though an area has become part of a built-up area between the two censuses but it may have already been part of the 2001 urban area but was included under a different subdivision.
  2. ^ The urban sub-area that the ONS has called 'Milton Keynes' is actually just the northern 80% (approx) of Milton Keynes proper. The ONS has separated out Bletchley (which is about 20% of MK) for reasons that are not explained.
  3. ^ Stapenhill and Winshill were treated as a separate urban area in the 2001 census but in the 2011 census they were treated as part of the Burton-upon-Trent subdivision.


  1. ^ Office for National Statistics, 2011 Built-up Areas – Methodology and Guidance, p.3 Archived 21 September 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ ONS definition of urban areas Archived 27 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "United Kingdom: Urban Areas". Retrieved 31 December 2014.
  4. ^ "2011 Census – Built-up areas". ONS. Retrieved 1 July 2013. (needs a more direct citation)
  5. ^ Archived 24 September 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Census 2001 Key Statistics, Urban areas in England and Wales Office of National Statistics
  7. ^ "Milton Keynes BUA Built-up area: Local Area Report (2011 Census)". ONS. Retrieved 29 March 2019.

External links

City status in the United Kingdom

City status in the United Kingdom is granted by the monarch of the United Kingdom to a select group of communities: as of 2014, there are 69 cities in the United Kingdom – 51 in England, six in Wales, seven in Scotland and five in Northern Ireland. The holding of city status gives a settlement no special rights. This appellation carries its own prestige and competition for the status is hard-fought.

The status does not apply automatically on the basis of any particular criteria, although in England and Wales it was traditionally given to towns with diocesan cathedrals. This association between having a cathedral and being called a city was established in the early 1540s when King Henry VIII founded dioceses (each having a cathedral in the see city) in six English towns and also granted them city status by issuing letters patent.

City status in Ireland was granted to far fewer communities than in England and Wales, and there are only two pre–19th-century cities in present-day Northern Ireland. In Scotland, city status did not explicitly receive any recognition by the state until the 19th century. At that time, a revival of grants of city status took place, first in England, where the grants were accompanied by the establishment of new cathedrals, and later in Scotland and Ireland. In the 20th century, it was explicitly recognised that the status of city in England and Wales would no longer be bound to the presence of a cathedral, and grants made since have been awarded to communities on a variety of criteria, including population size.

The abolition of some corporate bodies as part of successive local government reforms, beginning with the Municipal Corporations (Ireland) Act 1840, has deprived some ancient cities of their status. However, letters patent have been issued for most of the affected cities to ensure the continuation or restoration of their status. At present, Rochester and Elgin are the only former cities in the United Kingdom. The name "City" does not, in itself, denote city status; it may be appended to place names for historic association (e.g. White City) or for marketing or disambiguation (e.g. Stratford City). A number of large towns (such as with over 200,000 residents) in the UK are bigger than some small cities, but cannot legitimately call themselves a city without the royal designation.

Demography of the United Kingdom

According to the 2011 census, the total population of the United Kingdom was around 63,182,000. It is the 21st-most populated country in the world. Its overall population density is 259 people per square kilometre (671 people per sq mi), with England having a significantly higher population density than Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Almost one-third of the population lives in England's southeast, which is predominantly urban and suburban, with about 9 million in the capital city of London, the population density of which is just over 5,200 per square kilometre (13,468 per sq mi).The population of the United Kingdom is considered an example of a population that has undergone demographic transition – that is, the transition from a (typically) pre-industrial population with high birth and mortality rates and slow population growth, through a stage of falling mortality and faster rates of population growth, to a stage of low birth and mortality rates with, again, lower rates of population growth. This population growth through 'natural change' has been accompanied in the past two decades by growth through net international migration into the United Kingdom.The United Kingdom's high literacy rate (99% at age 15 and above) is attributable to universal public education introduced for the primary level in 1870 (Scotland 1872, free 1890) and secondary level in 1900. Parents are obliged to have their children educated from the ages of 5 to 18 (raised from 16 in 2013), and can continue education free of charge in the form of A-Levels, vocational training or apprenticeship to age 18. The Church of England and the Church of Scotland function as the national churches in their respective countries, but all the major religions found in the world are represented in the United Kingdom.

The United Kingdom's population is predominantly White British. Being located close to continental Europe, the countries that formed the United Kingdom were subject to many invasions and migrations from the continent, especially from Scandinavia, including Roman occupation for several centuries. Historically, British people were therefore thought to be descended mainly from the different ethnic stocks that settled there before the 11th century: pre-Celtic, Celtic, Anglo-Saxon, Viking and Norman. However, recent genetic testing has revealed that these migrations contributed very little to the British genepool, with around 80% of white British DNA coming from an ancestral population who settled in the British Isles 12,000 years ago.Although Celtic languages are spoken in Scotland, Cornwall, and Northern Ireland, the predominant language overall is English. In North and West Wales, Welsh is widely spoken as a first language, but less so in the South East of the country, where English is the predominant language.

Derby Built-up Area

The Derby Built-up Area (BUA) or Derby Urban Area is an area including Derby and adjoining built-up districts of Derbyshire, in the East Midlands of England, including Borrowash and Duffield. The Office for National Statistics defines an urban area as one which is built upon, with nearby areas linked if within 200 metres.It had a total population of 270,468 at the time of the 2011 census. An increase of over 10% since the 2001 census recorded population of 236,738; comprising population increases since 2001 along with new minor residential areas, and larger sub-divisions.

ESPON metropolitan areas in the United Kingdom

A metropolitan area is generally defined as consisting of an urban area, conurbation or agglomeration, together with the surrounding area to which it is closely economically and socially integrated through commuting.

The European Union's ESPON project has defined a harmonised series of metropolitan areas across Europe, made up of two components: Morphological Urban Areas (MUAs), which are similar to urban areas and form the densely populated urban cores of metropolitan areas, and Functional Urban Areas (FUAs), which form the labour basin surrounding Morphological Urban Areas.Morphological Urban Areas have been calculated by combining contiguous local administrative units with population densities greater than 650 inhabitants per square kilometre, with Functional Urban Areas then being calculated by combining surrounding local administrative units where 10% or more of the workforce works within the core Morphological Urban Area.According to the harmonised European definition, there were eighteen metropolitan areas in the United Kingdom with populations of more than 500,000 at the time of the 2001 census.

This lists UK metropolitan areas defined by ESPON, which excludes combined conurbations such as the Liverpool-Manchester megalopolis, which has a combined population of 5.6m. It also excludes city regions such as those formed in Greater Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool and Sheffield, which are typically areas covered by a combined authority.

Greater London Built-up Area

The Greater London Built-up Area, or Greater London Urban Area, is a conurbation in south-east England that constitutes the continuous urban area of London, and includes surrounding adjacent urban towns as defined by the Office for National Statistics. It is the largest urban area in the United Kingdom with a population of 9,787,426 in 2011.

Index of United Kingdom-related articles

The following is an alphabetical list of articles related to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Leicester Urban Area

The Leicester Urban Area or Leicester Built Up Area (2011 onwards) is an urban agglomeration defined by the Office of National Statistics (ONS), centred on the City of Leicester in the English Midlands. With a population of 508,916 at the time of the 2011 census, the Built Up Area is the eleventh largest in England and thirteenth largest in the United Kingdom. It comprises Leicester itself and its suburbs, all of which are contiguous with, or situated in close proximity to, the city.

As at 2011 the Leicester Urban Area was home to 51.8% of total the population of Leicestershire (2001: 48.5%). A 2017 quote from the Leicester City Council website states that "The Greater Leicester urban area is one of the fastest growing in the country, with a population of about 650,000, of which 350,000 live within the city council area".

Lincoln, England

Lincoln is a cathedral city and the county town of Lincolnshire in the East Midlands of England. The non-metropolitan district of Lincoln had a 2012 population of 94,600. The 2011 census gave the urban area of Lincoln, which includes North Hykeham and Waddington, a population of 130,200. The Roman town of Lindum Colonia developed from an Iron Age settlement on the River Witham. Lincoln's major landmarks are Lincoln Cathedral, an example of English Gothic architecture and the tallest building in the world for over 200 years, as well as Lincoln Castle, an 11th-century Norman castle. The city is home to the University of Lincoln and Bishop Grosseteste University, and to Lincoln City FC and Lincoln United FC.

List of Tyne and Wear settlements by population

This is a list of settlements in Tyne and Wear by population based on the results of the 2011 census. The next United Kingdom census will take place in 2021. In 2011, there were 22 built-up area subdivisions with 5,000 or more inhabitants in Tyne and Wear, shown in the table below.

List of cities in the United Kingdom

This is a list of official cities in the United Kingdom as of 2015. It lists those places that have been granted city status by letters patent or royal charter. There are currently a total of 69 such cities in the United Kingdom: 51 in England, seven in Scotland, six in Wales, and five in Northern Ireland. Of these, 23 in England, two in Wales, and one in Northern Ireland have Lord Mayors and four in Scotland have Lord Provosts. In some cases, the area holding city status does not coincide with the built up area or conurbation of which it forms part. In Greater London, for example, the City of London and that of Westminster each hold city status separately but no other neighbourhood has been granted city status, nor has Greater London as a whole. In other cases, such as the Cities of Canterbury and Lancaster, the status extends over a number of towns and rural areas outside the main settlement proper.

List of localities in England by population

This article is provided for historical interest only, because this sense of 'locality' disappears in the 2011 census and consequently the table cannot be updated reliably. The data here shows the figures as at 2001 and is deliberately not current.

Localities, also called urban sub-divisions, are component areas of the urban areas (conurbations) of England and Wales defined by the Office for National Statistics to enable detailed study of smaller areas within conurbations, and to enable comparisons to be made with historical data. The boundaries of localities within conurbations often follow those of local authorities existing before local government re-organisation in 1974, the boundaries of current authorities within agglomerations, or the points where previously separate urban areas joined.Localities are not the same as local government areas such as cities or borough council areas, as localities are based upon the actual built-up area and cannot extend beyond a single physically contiguous urban area, but can extend beyond local government boundaries. For the population of these local government areas see List of English districts by population.

This is a list of the localities within England that had a population greater than 100,000 at the time of the United Kingdom Census 2001.

List of towns and cities in England by population

Towns and cities in England can be defined either by their local government administrative boundaries or by the physical extent of their built-up areas.

List of towns and cities in England by historical population

List of English districts by population sets out the population of each non-metropolitan district, London borough, metropolitan borough, and unitary authority in England.

List of English counties by population of major settlements sets out the population of each city, town and village with 5,000 or more residents per county.

List of urban areas in the United Kingdom sets out the population of each urban area in England, as well as urban areas in other parts of the United Kingdom, as defined by the Office for National Statistics.

List of metropolitan areas in the United Kingdom larger areas encompassing one or more urban areas

List of localities in England by population sets out the population of localities, also called urban sub-divisions, as at the 2001 census (and thus significantly out of date). The Office for National Statistics changed its methodology significantly for the 2011 census and consequently this list cannot be updated and is retained for historical interest only. These localities were component areas of the urban areas of England as defined by the ONS and were intended to enable detailed study of smaller areas within urban areas, and to enable comparisons to be made with historical data. For example, in this list Manchester has a smaller population than the Greater Manchester Urban Area, which includes towns such as Sale and Stockport. Some large settlements, such as Milton Keynes (population 229,941 in 2001), are not listed at all because the ONS data was recorded for their component districts and not summed.

List of towns in the United Kingdom

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, a town traditionally was a settlement which had a charter to hold a market or fair and therefore became a "market town". In Scotland, the equivalent is known as a burgh (pronounced [ˈbʌɾə]). There are two types of burgh: royal burghs and burghs of barony.

The Local Government Act 1972 allows civil parishes in England and Wales to resolve themselves to be Town Councils, under section (245 subsection 6), which also gives the chairman of such parishes the title 'town mayor'. Many former urban districts and municipal boroughs have such a status, along with other settlements with no prior town status.

In more modern times it is often considered that a town becomes a city (or a village becomes a town) as soon as it reaches a certain population, although this is an informal definition and no particular numbers are agreed upon.

The cultural importance placed on charters remains, and it is not an unusual event for towns across the UK to celebrate their charter in an annual Charter Day (normally a fair or mediaeval market).


Luton ( (listen)) is a large town, borough and unitary authority area of Bedfordshire, in the East of England. It has a population of 214,700 (mid-2017 est.) and is one of the most populous towns without city status in the United Kingdom. The town is situated on the River Lea, about 30 miles (50 km) northwest of London. Earliest settlements in the Luton area can be traced back over 250,000 years, but the town's foundation dates to the sixth century as a Saxon outpost on the River Lea, from which Luton derives its name. Luton is recorded in the Domesday Book as Loitone and Lintone and one of the largest churches in Bedfordshire, St Mary's Church, was built in the 12th century. There are local museums which explore Luton's history in Wardown Park and Stockwood Park.Luton was for many years famous for hatmaking, and also had a large Vauxhall Motors factory. Car production at the plant began in 1905 and continued until the plant's closure in 2002. Production of commercial vehicles continues, and the head office of Vauxhall Motors is still in the town. London Luton Airport opened in 1938, and is now one of Britain's major airports, with three railway stations also in the town. The University of Bedfordshire was created from a merger with the University of Luton, and two of its campuses are in Luton.Luton Town Football Club, nicknamed "the Hatters" due to the town's connection to hatmaking, has had several spells in the top flight of the English league as well as a Football League Cup triumph in 1988. They play at Kenilworth Road, their home since 1905, and planning permission for a new larger stadium was approved in 2019. Luton International Carnival, the largest one-day carnival in Europe, is held on the day before the last Monday in May, and the Saint Patrick's festival is held on the weekend nearest to Saint Patrick's Day as there is a large Irish community in Luton. The town also has a large Pakistani community, which along with the Irish were attracted to employment at the Vauxhall car plant. Luton Hoo is an English country house, estate and Grade I listed building designed by Scottish architect Robert Adam.

North East England

North East England is one of nine official regions of England at the first level of NUTS for statistical purposes. It covers Northumberland, County Durham, Tyne and Wear, and the area of the former county of Cleveland in North Yorkshire. The region is home to three large conurbations: Teesside, Wearside, and Tyneside, the last of which is the largest of the three and the eighth most populous conurbation in the United Kingdom. There are three cities in the region: Newcastle upon Tyne, the largest, with a population of just under 280,000; Sunderland, also in the metropolitan county of Tyne and Wear; and Durham. Other large towns include Darlington, Gateshead, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, South Shields, Stockton-on-Tees and Washington.

Nottingham Urban Area

The Nottingham Built-up Area (BUA), Nottingham Urban Area, or Greater Nottingham is an area of land defined by the Office for National Statistics as which is built upon, with nearby areas linked if within 200 metres - see the List of urban areas in the United Kingdom article for a broader definition. It consists of the city of Nottingham and the adjoining urban areas of Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, in the East Midlands of England. It had a total population of 729,977 at the time of the 2011 census. This was an increase of almost 10% since the 2001 census recorded population of 666,358,, due to population increases, reductions and several new sub-divisions.

South Hampshire

South Hampshire is a term used mainly to refer to the metropolitan area formed by the cities of Portsmouth and Southampton and their suburbs and commuter towns, in southern Hampshire, England. The area had population of around 1 million based on the 2001 census, and estimated population of over 1.5 million in 2013. It is the most populated part of South East England, excluding London. The area is sometimes referred to as Solent City but the term is controversial.

Lists of settlements in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
Northern Ireland

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.