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Wearside (//) is a conurbation of North East England centred on the continuous urban area of Sunderland by the River Wear. It includes nearby separate significant settlements such as Washington, Houghton-le-Spring and Chester-Le-Street as well as the many settlements which form part of the continuous urban area, including Whitburn, Hetton-le-Hole, Bournmoor, South Hetton, Springwell Village, Ouston and Pelton. Therefore, Wearside is partially situated in both the metropolitan county of Tyne and Wear and the unitary authority district of County Durham. Most of the Wearside areas is within the metropolitan borough of the City of Sunderland, which had a population of 280,807 in 2001.
Like other parts of the North East, Wearside and Sunderland were economically structured by the primary and secondary sector of the economy; with a great deal of the economy once dependent on ship building at Sunderland Docks and coal mining with large collieries such as Monkwearmouth Colliery, which declined rapidly during the mid 20th century, many areas have long been deprived with vast areas of unemployment as a result. The city of Sunderland and parts of Wearside have been slowly rejuvenated over the years and industry is now largely based around call centres, although many areas such as Easington Colliery still face social problems today.
The Wearside Football League is one of the levels in the English football league system and contains amateur teams such as Easington Colliery A.F.C. and Seaham Red Star F.C. The only professional football team located in the area is Sunderland A.F.C., a team based in Sunderland.
According to the ONS definition the Wearside Built-up area (previously "Urban area") had the following subdivisions. Note that these are "Built-up areas subdivisions" as defined by the Office for National Statistics and will have different boundaries from the settlements after which they are named.