List of Primary Urban Areas in England by population
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This is a list of Primary Urban Areas in England ordered by population, based on data from the United Kingdom Census 2001: it has not been revised with data from the United Kingdom Census 2011 and does not appear to be any longer in use.
[This article is no longer maintained and should be regarded as of historical interest only]
The concept of a Primary Urban Area was introduced by HM Government for statistical and macro-planning purposes and given the shorthand title of 'city'. In reality, a PUA may contain multiple settlements, even multiple cities. It should not be confused with 'urban areas' or 'built-up areas' that are more rigorously defined by the Office for National Statistics – or even City status in the United Kingdom.
Historically, the boundaries of cities within England and the United Kingdom as a whole have remained largely undefined, leading to difficulties in comparisons between them. However, a definitive list of cities in the United Kingdom, which in itself would constitute a type of definition known as an Extensional definition (specifically, an enumerative definition) does exist, though it does not define the limits of these cities. To allow such comparisons to be made the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, in conjunction with other Government departments, began compiling reports and a database to allow comparison of the English cities. This report is known as the State of the English Cities Report and was maintained by the Department for Communities and Local Government.
Using this definition the term "city" is used as a Primary Urban Area, which is distinct from the Office for National Statistics Urban Area agglomerations, with a total population in excess of 125,000. The population figures are based on the cumulative total population of the constituent wards. This list is not the same as the list of local authorities which have been granted city status and is intended to define the physical extent of the largest urban centres. These are available from the State of the Cities Database.
However, some controversy arose when using these terms, for example the Manchester PUA contains the City of Manchester and also includes that of the City of Salford which is a Metropolitan borough and has held city status since 1926. The inclusion of the City of Wolverhampton and the Black Country in the Birmingham PUA also led to a meeting of the West Midlands group of MPs where their displeasure was made clear to David Miliband, then the Minister in charge. This inclusion of Wolverhampton demonstrates differences between PUAs and the Eurostat equivalent, where Wolverhampton has its own Larger Urban Zone.
In addition, some found controversial the use of the term 'city' to describe Primary Urban Areas such as Aldershot, Blackburn, Burnley, Bolton, Chatham, Mansfield, Milton Keynes, Reading, Rochdale and Southend since these have not been granted letters patent and are therefore formally towns.
|Rank||Primary Urban Area (PUA)||Population
|County (traditional)||Constituent local authorities||LUZ Name||LUZ Size||LUZ EU Rank|
|1||London||8,294,058||Middlesex, Surrey, Kent, Essex and Hertfordshire||Greater London, Epping Forest, Broxbourne, Dacorum, Three Rivers, Watford, Dartford, Gravesham, Elmbridge, Epsom and Ewell, Mole Valley, Runnymede, Spelthorne and Woking||London||12,208,100||1|
|2||Birmingham||2,293,099||Warwickshire, Worcestershire and Staffordshire||Cities of Birmingham and Wolverhampton, Metropolitan Boroughs of Dudley, Walsall, Sandwell and Solihull||Birmingham||2,284,093||21|
|3||Manchester||1,741,961||Lancashire and Cheshire||Cities of Manchester and Salford; Metropolitan Boroughs of Tameside, Trafford, Bury, Oldham and Stockport||Manchester||2,732,854||23|
|4||Liverpool||830,112||Lancashire||Liverpool, Metropolitan Borough of Knowsley and Metropolitan Borough of St Helens||Liverpool||1,365,900||41|
|6||Sheffield||551,800||Yorkshire||Sheffield and Rotherham||Sheffield||1,277,100||46|
|7||Teesside||472,200||County Durham and Yorkshire||Includes Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland and Stockton-on-Tees||n/a||n/a||n/a|
|8||Bristol||428,234||Gloucestershire and Somerset||Bristol||Bristol||1,006,600||64|
|9||Bournemouth and Poole||382,536||Dorset||Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole||n/a||n/a||n/a|
|10||Stoke-on-Trent||360,810||Staffordshire||Includes the towns of Newcastle under Lyme and Kidsgrove||n/a||n/a||n/a|
|11||Leicester||329,600||Leicestershire||Leicester, Blaby and Oadby and Wigston||Leicester||887,000||75|
|12||Wirral||331,232||Cheshire||Wirral, Birkenhead and Ellesmere Port and Neston||Liverpool||1,365,900||41|
|15||Bradford||293,717||Yorkshire||Metropolitan Borough of Bradford||Leeds||1,499,465||37|
|16||Newcastle||279,100||Tyne and Wear||Newcastle Upon Tyne||Newcastle Upon Tyne||1,055,600||59|
|17||Bolton||277,300||Lancashire||Metropolitan Borough of Bolton||Manchester||2,732,854||23|
|18||Brighton and Hove||273,400||Sussex||Brighton and Hove||n/a||n/a||n/a|
|20||Hull||256,100||Yorkshire||Kingston upon Hull||Kingston upon Hull||573,300||113|
|21||Preston||252,209||Lancashire||Includes the towns of Leyland and Chorley||n/a||n/a||n/a|
|23||Aldershot and Farnborough||248,208||Hampshire, Surrey and Berkshire||Includes the towns of Aldershot, Badshot Lea, Blackwater, Camberley, Deepcut, Farnborough, Farnham, Frimley, Sandhurst and Yateley||n/a||n/a||n/a|
|25||Wigan||237,360||Lancashire||Metropolitan Borough of Wigan||n/a||n/a||n/a|
|26||Barnsley||211,807||Yorkshire||Metropolitan Borough of Barnsley||Leeds||1,499,465||37|
|27||Portsmouth||205,400||Hampshire||Includes the towns of Gosport, Waterlooville, Havant, Fareham and Portchester||n/a||n/a||n/a|
|28||Luton||203,600||Bedfordshire||Luton & Dunstable||n/a||n/a||n/a|
|31||Milton Keynes||186,949||Buckinghamshire||Milton Keynes||n/a||n/a||n/a|
|32||Worthing||182,817||Sussex||Worthing, part of Adur, part of Arun. All the towns in the Brighton/Worthing/Littlehampton conurbation are split into two PUA's, Brighton and Worthing||n/a||n/a||n/a|
|33||Ipswich||180,000||Suffolk||Includes the towns of Felixstowe and Woodbridge||n/a||n/a||n/a|
|34||Crawley||179,987||Sussex||Reigate and Banstead and Crawley||n/a||n/a||n/a|
|35||Sunderland||177,739||County Durham||Sunderland, Tyne and Wear||Newcastle Upon Tyne||1,055,600||59|
|37||Rochdale||166,932||Lancashire||Metropolitan Borough of Rochdale||Manchester||2,732,854||23|
|38||Warrington||163,479||Lancashire||Includes the town of Great Sankey||Liverpool||1,365,900||41|
|39||Mansfield||158,496||Nottinghamshire||Ashfield and Mansfield||Nottingham||825,600||82|
|42||Blackburn||147,700||Lancashire||Blackburn with Darwen||n/a||n/a||n/a|
|43||Burnley||146,419||Lancashire||Burnley and Pendle||n/a||n/a||n/a|
|48||Norwich||140,100||Norfolk||Norwich & Broadlands||n/a||n/a||n/a|
|49||Grimsby||139,458||Lincolnshire||North East Lincolnshire||Kingston upon Hull||573,300||113|
|50||Telford||139,071||Shropshire||Telford and Wrekin||n/a||n/a||n/a|
- Department of Constitutional Affairs webpage defining cities. Retrieval Date: 22 July 2007.
- "State of the English Cities Report". Department for Communities and Local Government. Archived from the original on 2007-07-04. Retrieved 2007-07-21.
- "State of the English Cities (city definition, see 2.3.5)" (PDF). Department for Communities and Local Government. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-07-09. Retrieved 2007-07-21.
- "State of the Cities Database (population figures)". Department for Communities and Local Government. Archived from the original on 2007-07-06. Retrieved 2007-07-21.
- "Urban Audit Analysis II" (PDF). Eurostat. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-10-30. Retrieved 2008-10-05.
- "European Regional and Urban Statistics" (PDF). Eurostat. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-10-30. Retrieved 2008-10-05.
- "Urban Audit - City Profiles: Wolverhampton". Urban Audit. Archived from the original on 2008-06-26. Retrieved 2008-10-05.
- State of the Cities Report; Part 2 Archived 2007-09-05 at the UK Government Web Archive