Birmingham

Birmingham (/ˈbɜːrmɪŋəm/ (listen)[3][4][5] BUR-ming-əm) is a city and metropolitan borough in the West Midlands, England. It is the second-largest city, urban area and metropolitan area in England and the United Kingdom,[lower-alpha 2] with roughly 1.1 million inhabitants within the city area, 2.9 million inhabitants within the urban area and 3.6 million inhabitants within the metropolitan area.[6] The city proper is the most populated English local government district.[7] Birmingham is commonly referred to as the "second city of the United Kingdom".[8][9]

Birmingham
Nicknames: 
Motto(s): 
Forward
Birmingham
Location within England
Birmingham
Location within the United Kingdom
Birmingham
Location within Europe
Coordinates: 52°28′48″N 01°54′09″W
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
CountryEngland
RegionWest Midlands
Ceremonial countyWest Midlands
Historic county
Settlementc. 600
Seigneurial borough1166
Municipal borough1838
City status14 January 1889
Metropolitan borough1 April 1974
Administrative HQThe Council House,
Victoria Square
Government
  TypeMetropolitan borough
  BodyBirmingham City Council
  LeadershipLeader and cabinet
  ExecutiveLabour
  LeaderIan Ward (Lab)
  Lord MayorMohammed Azim[1]
  Chief ExecutiveChris Naylor (Interim)
Area
  City103.4 sq mi (267.8 km2)
  Urban
231.2 sq mi (598.9 km2)
Area rank145th
Elevation
460 ft (140 m)
Population
 (mid-2019 est.)
  City1,141,816
  Rank2nd in England and UK[lower-alpha 1]
  Density11,040/sq mi (4,262/km2)
  Urban
2,897,303 (3rd)
  Metro
3,683,000 (2nd)
Demonym(s)Brummie
Time zoneUTC+0 (Greenwich Mean Time)
  Summer (DST)UTC+1 (British Summer Time)
Postcode
Area code(s)0121
ISO 3166 codeGB-BIR
PoliceWest Midlands Police
Fire and RescueWest Midlands Fire Service
AmbulanceWest Midlands Ambulance Service
OS grid referenceSP066868
Motorways
International airportsBirmingham (BHX)
Major railway stations
GDPUS$ 121.1 billion[2] (2nd)
– Per capitaUS$ 31,572[2]
Councillors120
MPs
Websitewww.birmingham.gov.uk

Located in the West Midlands county and region in England, approximately 100 miles (160 km) from Central London, Birmingham, as one of the United Kingdom's major cities, is considered to be the social, cultural, financial, and commercial centre of the Midlands. Distinctively, Birmingham only has small rivers flowing through it, mainly the River Tame and its tributaries River Rea and River Cole – one of the closest main rivers is the Severn, approximately 20 miles (32 km) west of the city centre.

Historically a market town in Warwickshire in the medieval period. Birmingham grew during the 18th-century during the Midlands Enlightenment and during the Industrial Revolution, which saw advances in science, technology, and economic development, producing a series of innovations that laid many of the foundations of modern industrial society.[10] By 1791, it was being hailed as "the first manufacturing town in the world".[11] Birmingham's distinctive economic profile, with thousands of small workshops practising a wide variety of specialised and highly skilled trades, encouraged exceptional levels of creativity and innovation and provided an economic base for prosperity that was to last into the final quarter of the 20th century. The Watt steam engine was invented in Birmingham.[12]

The resulting high level of social mobility also fostered a culture of political radicalism which, under leaders from Thomas Attwood to Joseph Chamberlain, was to give it a political influence unparalleled in Britain outside London, and a pivotal role in the development of British democracy.[13] From the summer of 1940 to the spring of 1943, Birmingham was bombed heavily by the German Luftwaffe in what is known as the Birmingham Blitz. The damage done to the city's infrastructure, in addition to a deliberate policy of demolition and new building by planners, led to extensive urban regeneration in subsequent decades.

Birmingham's economy is now dominated by the service sector.[14] The city is a major international commercial centre and an important transport, retail, events and conference hub. Its metropolitan economy is the second-largest in the United Kingdom with a GDP of $121.1bn (2014),[2] and its five universities[15] make it the largest centre of higher education in the country outside London.[16] Birmingham's major cultural institutions – the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Birmingham Royal Ballet, the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, the Library of Birmingham and the Barber Institute of Fine Arts – enjoy international reputations,[17] and the city has vibrant and influential grassroots art, music, literary and culinary scenes.[18] The city will host the 2022 Commonwealth Games.[19] Birmingham is the fourth-most visited city in the UK by foreign visitors.[20]