Some of the biggest cities in England are world-famous for their cultural, economic, or sports impact on the world. These cities are also some of the oldest in the world representing local and international cultures through the melting pot mixture of nationals from all over the world.
Some of these cities such as Liverpool dominated the maritime world at one point. Others such as Stoke on Trent made a lasting impact in the pottery industry. But there are all types of characteristics that make these cities unique.
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Population – 8.9 million
London is one of the cities with the biggest impact on the world. It is the home of England’s media industry and the official political capital of the country. Its economy is dominated by multinational banking and financial institutions. Its tourism attracts attract the most visitors in Europe. The British Museum located in London attracts more than 6 million people each year.
The city of London also has excellent transport links to its airports and the world’s oldest underground transport system. It has some of the largest sporting facilities in the world such as the Emirates Stadium. But the high energy of the city is a bit hard to notice if you take the time to relax in its parks. London has some of the biggest parks in the world. But London is a diverse international city. More than 36% of its population is born outside of the country.
Population – 1.141.000
Birmingham is England’s second-largest city. It has a strong economy predominantly based on the service industry. It sits just behind London and Leeds when it comes to employment opportunities in the public and private sectors.
The city also has a strong national cultural impact. It hosts multiple top-ranking universities and a few cultural venues of the world-class level. The nightlife in Birmingham is also very impressive given the city’s size compare to other world metropolitan areas.
Population – 793.000
Leeds is one of the Northern cities that impresses with its economy. It’s the city with the most diverse economy in England. Leeds has over 400.000 people in employment, making it one of the best cities in England to find a job, particularly if you’re in banking.
The financial and banking sectors are the biggest employers here, only in second place after London. The area is also known for offering 50% of the country’s manufacturing facilities in industries such as food and beverage.
Population – 584.000
Sheffield is a growing metropolis with a growing university and an international appeal. It inaugurated the first public park in the world as well as the first football team in the world. Fans of football can still visit the world’s oldest football stadium here at the local Sheffield United.
But the city is a major hub for urban nature lovers. It has over 4.5 million trees making it Europe’s greenest city and an example to follow for the rest of the world.
Population – 552.000
Manchester is often seen as the main rival to London in terms of culture and sports. But the city has its own identity and rich history in football, as much of North England’s sports clubs. It’s the world’s first industrialized city and one that had an impressive manufacturing industry.
But Manchester still drives innovation even hundreds of years after its cotton industry boom. Today, it hosts multiple universities and excellent facilities that are now used in television and TV show production.
Population – 539.000
Bradford is one of England’s largest cities still struggling to recover after its post-industrial golden era. In 1316, Bradford was barely a street with a mill. But today, it’s the home of half of million residents.
The city’s financial outlook is poor compared to other cities on the list. It has been featured on the popular BBC show ‘Bradford City of Dreams’ which follows residents and entrepreneurs in their daily lives trying to revive the economy the city once had.
Population – 498.000
Liverpool is known as the city of The Beatles. It’s also the home of the company that built Titanic. But today, Liverpool is the synonym of the football team with the same name and one of the most beloved sports teams in the entire world.
But today, the city is still struggling with a large percentage of its residents in unemployment. However, unlike in Bradford, employment opportunities are always growing in Liverpool. For example, Range Rover Evoque is made in Liverpool.
Population – 302.000
Newcastle is one of Europe’s underrated cities of innovation. This hub is one that was a true catalyst for discoveries both for England and for the world. Engineering innovations include opening the first rail bridge in the world and continued with the opening of the first indoor market in the world.
Newcastle also saw the opening of the first department store in the world. The innovation list in the city continues with the first urban rail system and the first electrically-illuminated public building in the world.
Population – 254.000
Wolverhampton is an English city that made history in sports and which still attracts young professionals from around the country.
Today, it’s mostly known through its local football team which has a constant presence in the English Premier League with sporadic results in the UK’s football FA Cup. But in the 20th century, the city gave the world Subeam automotive.
It was the first all-British car manufacturer to win the famous Grand Prix.
Population – 174.000
Sunderland might be located in the Northern part of the country but it enjoys excellent transport links to the rest of the country, just like any other UK city. 5 daily trains connect Sunderland to London which means the city has an active population.
The city might be a bit remote for its residents to travel for education. But in 1992, the city saw the opening of Sunderland University which is now the home of more than 17.000 students.
Overview of the largest cities in England