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Liverpool (pronounced /ˈlɪvɚpuːl/) is a city and metropolitan borough of Merseyside, England, along the eastern side of the Mersey Estuary. It was founded as a borough in 1207 and was granted city status in 1880. Liverpool is the fourth largest city in the United Kingdom (third largest in England) and has a population of 435,500, and lies at the centre of the wider Liverpool Urban Area, which has a population of 816,216.
Historically a part of Lancashire, the urbanisation and expansion of Liverpool were both largely brought about by the city's status as a major port. By the 18th century, trade from the West Indies, Ireland and mainland Europe coupled with close links with the Atlantic Slave Trade furthered the economic expansion of Liverpool. By the early 19th century, 40% of the world's trade passed through Liverpool's docks, contributing to Liverpool's rise as a major city.
Inhabitants of Liverpool are referred to as Liverpudlians but are also colloquially known as "Scousers", in reference to the local dish known as "scouse", a form of stew. The word "Scouse" has also become synonymous with the Liverpool accent and dialect. Liverpool's status as a port city has contributed to its diverse population, which, historically, were drawn from a wide range of peoples, cultures, and religions, particularly those from Ireland. The city is also home to the oldest Black African community in the country and the oldest Chinese community in Europe.
The popularity of The Beatles and the other groups from the Merseybeat era contributes to Liverpool's status as a tourist destination; tourism forms a significant part of the city's modern economy. The city celebrated its 800th anniversary in 2007, and it held the European Capital of Culture title together with Stavanger, Norway, in 2008.
Several areas of the city centre were granted World Heritage Site status by UNESCO in 2004. Referred to as the Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City, the site comprises six separate locations in the city including the Pier Head, Albert Dock and William Brown Street and includes many of the city's most famous landmarks.
Economy of Liverpool
The Economy of Liverpool is one of the largest within the United Kingdom, sitting at the centre of one of the two core economies within the North West of England. In 2006, the city's GVA was £7,626 million, providing a per capita figure of £17,489, which was above the North West average. After several decades of decline, Liverpool's economy has seen somewhat of a revival since the mid-1990s, with its GVA increasing 71.8% between 1995 and 2006 and employment increasing 12% between 1998 and 2006.
In common with much of the rest of the UK today, Liverpool's economy is dominated by service sector industries, both public and private. In 2007, over 60% of all employment in the city was in the public administration, education, health, banking, finance and insurance sectors. Over recent years there has also been significant growth in the knowledge economy of Liverpool in sectors such as media and life sciences. Liverpool's rich architectural base has also helped the city become the second most filmed city in the UK outside of London, including doubling for Chicago, London, Moscow, New York, Paris and Rome.
Another important component of Liverpool's economy are the tourism and leisure sectors. Liverpool is the 6th most visited city in the United Kingdom and one of the 100 most visited cities in the world by international tourists. In 2008, during the city's European Capital of Culture celebrations, overnight visitors brought £188m into the local economy, while tourism as a whole is worth approximately £1.3bn a year to Liverpool. The city's new cruise liner terminal, which is situated close to the Pier Head, also makes Liverpool one of the few places in the world where cruise ships are able to berth right in the centre of the city. Other recent developments in Liverpool such as the Echo Arena and Liverpool One have made Liverpool an important leisure centre with the latter helping to lift Liverpool into the top five retail destinations in the UK.
Historically, the economy of Liverpool was centered around the city's port and manufacturing base, although today less than 10% of employment in the city are in these sectors. Nonetheless the city remains one of the most important ports in the United Kingdom, handling over 32.2m tones of cargo in 2008. It is also home to the UK headquarters of many shipping lines including Japanese firm NYK and Danish firm Maersk Line. Future plans to redevelop the city's northern dock system, in a project known as Liverpool Waters, could see £5.5bn invested in the city over the next 50 years, creating 17,000 new jobs.