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England International airport.
London United Kingdom
London is the capital of England and the United Kingdom. It is the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its founding by the Romans, who called it Londinium. London's core, the ancient City of London, largely retains its square-mile mediaeval boundaries. Since at least the 19th century, the name London has also referred to the metropolis developed around this core. The bulk of this conurbation forms the London region and the Greater London administrative area, governed by the elected Mayor of London and the London Assembly.
London is a leading global city, with its strengths in the arts, commerce, education, entertainment, fashion, finance, healthcare, media, professional services, research and development, tourism and transport all contributing to its prominence. It is the world's largest financial centre alongside New York, has the largest city GDP in Europe and is home to the headquarters of more than 100 of Europe's 500 largest companies. It is the most visited city in the world. London's five international airports make its airspace the busiest of any urban centre worldwide and London Heathrow is the world's busiest airport by number of international passengers. London's 43 universities form the largest concentration of higher education in Europe. In 2012 London will become the first city to host the Summer Olympics three times.
London has a diverse range of peoples, cultures and religions, and more than 300 languages are spoken within its boundaries. In July 2007 it had an official population of 7,556,900 within the boundaries of Greater London, making it the most populous municipality in the European Union. The Greater London Urban Area (the second largest in the EU) has a population of 8,278,251. while the metropolitan area (the largest in the EU) has an estimated total population of between 12 million and 14 million.
London contains four World Heritage Sites: the Tower of London; the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew; the site comprising the Palace of Westminster, Westminster Abbey and St. Margaret's Church; and the historic settlement of Greenwich (in which the Royal Observatory marks the Greenwich Meridian (0° longitude) and GMT). The London Underground network is the oldest underground railway network in the world and the most extensive after the Shanghai Metro.
Economy of London, Media in London, and Tourism in London
London generates approximately 20% of the UK's GDP (or $446 billion in 2005); while the economy of the London metropolitan area—the largest in Europe—generates approximately 30% of the UK's GDP (or an estimated $669 billion in 2005). London is one of the pre-eminent financial centers of the world and vies with New York City as the most important location for international finance.
London's largest industry is finance, and its financial exports make it a large contributor to the UK's balance of payments. Around 325,000 people were employed in financial services in London until mid-2007. London has over 480 overseas banks, more than any other city in the world. Due to its prominent global role, London's economy has been affected by the global financial crisis of 2008–2009. The City of London estimates that 70,000 jobs in finance will be cut within a year.
More than half of the UK's top 100 listed companies (the FTSE 100) and over 100 of Europe's 500 largest companies are headquartered in Central London. Over 70% of the FTSE 100 are located within London's metropolitan area, and 75% of Fortune 500 companies have offices in London. The City of London is home to the Bank of England, London Stock Exchange, and Lloyds of London insurance market. Along with professional services, media companies are concentrated in London and the media distribution industry is London's second most competitive sector. The BBC is a significant employer, while other broadcasters also have headquarters around the City. Many national newspapers are edited in London.
Tourism is one of London's prime industries and employs the equivalent of 350,000 full-time workers in London in 2003, while annual expenditure by tourists is around £15 billion. London attracts almost 15 million international visitors per year, making it the world's second most visited city after Paris. London attracts 27 million overnight-stay visitors every year. The Port of London is the second-largest in the United Kingdom, handling 53 million tonnes of cargo each year
Heathrow Airport has more international passenger traffic than any other airport in the world.