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List of largest United Kingdom settlements by population: Wikis

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This list is of the largest settlements in the United Kingdom in order of their population, according to the 2001 census data from the Office for National Statistics (for England and Wales), the General Register Office for Scotland, and the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency. It comprises the Key Statistics for Urban Areas figures (referred to as settlements in Scotland and Northern Ireland), that attempt to distinguish the populations of towns and cities from those of their Local Authority district(s).

These figures are not the population of City Councils. In some examples where the Local Authority has very limited boundaries, the population of some outside suburbs has been included by the ONS; in other cases, where the Local Authority has very generously drawn boundaries, the population of rural areas within the boundary has been excluded. In some cases, suburbs of towns that are within the local authority boundary, but have been recognised by ONS as separate settlements within the larger urban area, have been excluded from the figure (e.g. Beaumont Leys not counted towards Leicester, and Clifton not counted towards Nottingham). In many areas rather than follow modern local authority boundaries, the figures follow pre-1974 local government boundaries[1] (for example, Oldbury/Smethwick are counted as a single unit, corresponding to the pre-1974 County Borough of Warley).

These figures, on the other hand, should also not be confused with the population of conurbations. The original statistics were calculated and presented in that format; but in this list urban areas and urban sub-divisions recognised as towns with a population greater than 100,000 have been extracted and listed separately. Thus, for instance, the Greater Manchester Urban Area has a far larger population than that accredited to Manchester here; this list counts the City of Salford, and towns such as Sale and Stockport separately.

This system has not, however, been followed with respect to London. The population given is for the administrative area of Greater London (that is the 32 London Boroughs and City of London only and not the entire Greater London Urban Area identified by the ONS) as this would include places like Watford and Woking.

This internal inconsistency in its tabulation explains why the list shows such a steep drop-off after London. The actual City of London only has a 2001 census population of 7,185, whilst the administrative area of Greater London has a population of 7,172,091. Other popular definitions of London are Inner London and the London postal district.

Also, Telford and Milton Keynes are given the Urban Area figures, as there are no appropriate Urban Subdivision figures given.

Rank Urban sub-area Population (Census 2001) Country Notes Image
1 London 7,172,091 England Greater London administrative area only. The wider Greater London Urban Area has an estimated population of 8,505,000[2] (2005 estimate) City of London skyline from London City Hall - Oct 2008.jpg
2 Birmingham 970,892 England Metropolitan district, minus Sutton Coldfield, which is counted as a separate settlement, plus areas in the north of the Metropolitan Borough of Solihull such as Castle Bromwich. Population of entire West Midlands conurbation is 2,284,093. Birmingham -UK -Skyline.jpg
3 Glasgow 629,501 Scotland Population of entire Greater Glasgow conurbation is 1,168,270 Glasgow panorama.jpg
4 Liverpool 469,017 England Metropolitan district, population of Liverpool Urban Area conurbation is 816,216  This content has an uncertain copyright status and is pending deletion. You can comment on its removal.
5 Leeds 443,247 England City & Metropolitan district has a population of 761,200, population of West Yorkshire Urban Area conurbation is 1,499,465 Leeds-central-skyline.jpg
6 Sheffield 439,866 England Excludes the suburbs of Beighton, Chapeltown and Mosborough/Highlane. Entire urban area is 640,720 (including Rotherham) Sheffield wide from Meersbrook Park.jpg
7 Edinburgh 430,082 Scotland Excludes surrounding Lothians. Often described as Edinburgh's unofficial urban area (Edinburgh & the Lothians). Edinburgh-panoramic.jpg
8 Bristol 420,556 England Population of entire Greater Bristol conurbation is 551,066. Panorama of Bristol.jpg
9 Manchester 394,269 England Population of entire Greater Manchester Urban Area is 2,244,931 (2005 estimate)
10 Leicester 330,574 England District minus Beaumont Leys, plus Scraptoft, Glenfield, Thurmaston, Thurnby. Excludes Oadby and Wigston Leicester Town Hall.jpg
11 Coventry 303,475 England Part of the Coventry/Bedworth Urban Area. Skyline of Coventry as seen from Baginton 3g06.JPG
12 Kingston upon Hull 301,416 England District plus suburbs outside local authority border (Haltemprice) IMG 053589.JPG
13 Bradford 293,717 England Metropolitan district has a population of 493,000 Part of West Yorkshire Urban Area Bradford Cityscape.JPG
14 Cardiff 292,150 Wales Excludes the suburb of Radyr. Entire Cardiff Urban Area conurbation, including the surrounding towns of Dinas Powys, Penarth and Radyr, has a population of 327,706.
Cardiff Bay with the Pierhead Building in the middle.jpg
15 Belfast 276,459 Northern Ireland Entire Urban area of Belfast and connected settlements has a population of 483,418[3]. Second largest conurbation in Northern Ireland is the Derry Urban Area with a population of 90,736. Belfast panorama from queens tower.jpg
16 Stoke-on-Trent 259,252 England Includes suburbs outside local authority border: Brown Edge and Blythe Bridge. The Potteries Urban Area had a population of 362,403, accrding to the 2001 census. 276431 0418b10e.jpg
17 Wolverhampton 251,462 England Includes suburbs outside local authority including Perton and Lower Penn. Part of the West Midlands conurbation. Wolverhampton.jpg
18 Nottingham 249,584 England City boundaries are very tightly drawn and exclude much of the Greater Nottingham area, such as Arnold and West Bridgford. Nottingham Urban Area has a population of 666,358 RiverTrentNottingham.jpg
19 Plymouth 243,795 England Represents the unitary authority area of Plymouth, excluding the surrounding suburbs over the Tamar. Plymouth Hoe.jpg
20 Southampton 234,224 England Population of Southampton Urban Area conurbation (which includes Eastleigh) is 304,400 Southampton from Aurora 01.JPG
21 Reading 232,662 England Includes suburbs in West Berkshire and Wokingham districts County Lock in flood, Reading.jpg
22 Derby 229,407 England DerbyStreetScene.jpg
23 Dudley 194,919 England Part of the West Midlands conurbation. Art Deco Cinema Dudley.jpg
24 Newcastle upon Tyne 189,863 England Excludes Gosforth and Newburn. Part of Tyneside conurbation, population 879,996 Tyne Bridges 01.jpg
25 Northampton 189,474 England Northampton market.jpg
26 Portsmouth 187,056 England Population of entire Portsmouth Urban Area conurbation (which also includes Gosport, Waterlooville and Fareham is 442,252 Spinnaker Tower and harbour.JPG
27 Luton 185,543 England Part of the Luton/Dunstable Urban Area including Houghton Regis which has a population of 236,318 LutonTownCentre.jpg
28 Preston 184,836 England Includes part of South Ribble district including Walton-le-Dale Preston Lancashire City Centre Skyline.jpg
29 Aberdeen 184,788 Scotland Population of urban area (including Cove Bay and Dyce) is 197,328. Population of the City of Aberdeen is 212,125. Oldkingsaberdeen.jpg
30 Milton Keynes 184,506 † England Includes Newport Pagnell, outside the designated new town area MKskyline2009.JPG
31 Sunderland 177,739 England Excludes Washington, Tyne and Wear, Houghton-le-Spring and Hetton-le-Hole from the City of Sunderland Wearmouth bridge.jpg
32 Norwich 174,047 England Includes Thorpe St. Andrew Norwich UK city skyline.jpg
33 Walsall 170,994 England Part of the West Midlands conurbation. Walsall in 2007.jpg
34 Swansea 169,880 Wales Wider Swansea Urban Area including Neath, Port Talbot, Pontardawe and Clydach has a population of 270,506 Swansea-panorama1.jpg
35 Bournemouth 167,527 England Population of entire South East Dorset conurbation (which includes Poole and Christchurch is 383,713 Bournemouth 01.JPG
36 Southend-on-Sea 160,257 England Population of entire Southend Urban Area conurbation, which also includes Benfleet, Hockley, Rayleigh and Rochford is 269,400 Southend from Southend Pier.jpg
37 Swindon 155,432 England Swindon-view.jpg
38 Dundee 154,674 Scotland DundeeOverBridge.JPG
39 Huddersfield 146,234 England Part of West Yorkshire Urban Area Huddersfield1000px(RLH).jpg
40 Poole 144,800 England Part of South East Dorset conurbation Poole panorama.jpg
41 Oxford 143,016 England Oxsky.jpg
42 Middlesbrough 142,691 England Part of Teesside Urban Area which has a population of 396,244 Middlesbrough panorama.jpg
43 Blackpool 142,283 England The Blackpool Urban Area, which includes the towns of Fleetwood, Lytham St Annes, Poulton-le-Fylde and Thornton-Cleveleys, has a combined population of 261,088 Blackpool.jpg
44 Bolton 139,403 England Excludes Farnworth, Horwich, Kearsley, Westhoughton and other surrounding towns/districts. Part of Greater Manchester Urban Area.
45 Ipswich 138,718 England Foster - Willis Faber and Dumas Headquarters Ipswich.jpg
46 Telford 138,241 † England Including the population of Newport, Shropshire. Telford town centre -England.JPG
47 York 137,505 England York (Aerial view).jpg
48 West Bromwich 136,940 England Part of the West Midlands conurbation. The Public Building.jpg
49 Peterborough 136,292 England Peterborough Front.JPG
50 Stockport 136,082 England Part of Greater Manchester Urban Area
51 Brighton 134,293 England Excludes Rottingdean/Saltdean; is the town of Brighton, not the conjoined local authority of Brighton and Hove Pavilion.jpg
52 Slough 126,276 England Aerial View of Slough Trading Estate.JPG
53 Gloucester 123,205 England Gloucester Skyline.jpg
54 Watford 120,960 England Urban sub-area of Greater London Urban Area; includes large parts of Three Rivers WatfordSkyline.jpg
55 Rotherham 117,262 England Part of Sheffield Urban Area Rotherham Minster.JPG
56 Newport 116,143 Wales Excludes Caerleon, Marshfield and Langstone; Newport Urban Area (including Langstone and Risca) has a population of 139,298. Newportciviccentre.jpg
57 Cambridge 113,442 †† England CambridgeTownCentre.jpg
58 Exeter 106,772 England Exteter Cathedral 2923rw.jpg
59 Eastbourne 106,562 England Eastbourne Panorama, England - May 2009.jpg
60 Sutton Coldfield 105,452 England Part of the West Midlands conurbation. Lichfield Road, Sutton Coldfield.jpg
61 Blackburn 105,085 England Blackburn Lancashire Townscape.jpg
62 Colchester 104,390 England Colchester Castle1.jpg
63 Oldham 103,544 England Excludes Chadderton, Failsworth, Royton, Shaw and Crompton and other surrounding towns. Part of Greater Manchester Urban Area Oldham panorama (crop).jpg
64 St Helens 102,629 England Part of Liverpool Urban Area St Helens Town Hall.jpg
65 Crawley 100,547 England Crawley - Queen's Square looking ENE.JPG
Notes 
† – population is given for entire urban area, as "urban subdivision" figures were not considered useful.
†† – the actual name of the Urban Subdivision is Cambridge/Milton, the population of the Parish of Milton (code 12UG072 in the ONS 2001 Census publication "Key Statistics for parishes in England and communities in Wales" published 16 March 2004) is given as 4,275. This figure has been deducted from the Urban Subdivision figure of 117,717 to show the population of Cambridge alone.

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