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City in West Midlands, England / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Birmingham (/ˈbɜːrmɪŋəm/ [5][6][7] BUR-ming-əm) is a city and metropolitan borough in the metropolitan county of West Midlands in England. It is the second-largest city in Britain[lower-alpha 2][8] – commonly referred to as the second city of the United Kingdom[9][10][11][12][13] – with a population of 1.145 million in the city proper.[14] Birmingham borders the Black Country to its west and together with its city of Wolverhampton and towns including Dudley and Solihull to the south-east, forms the West Midlands conurbation. The wider metropolitan area has a population of 4.3 million, making it the largest outside of London.[15]

Quick facts: Birmingham, Sovereign state, Country, Region,...
Shown within West Midlands county
Birmingham is located in the United Kingdom
Location within the United Kingdom
Birmingham is located in England
Location within England
Birmingham is located in Europe
Location within Europe
Coordinates: 52°28′48″N 1°54′9″W
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
RegionWest Midlands
Ceremonial countyWest Midlands
Historic county
Settlementc. 600
Seigneurial borough1166
Municipal borough1838
City status14 January 1889
Metropolitan borough1 April 1974
Administrative HQThe Council House,
Victoria Square
  TypeMetropolitan borough
  BodyBirmingham City Council
  LeadershipLeader and cabinet
  LeaderJohn Cotton (Lab)[1]
  Lord MayorChaman Lal[2]
  Chief ExecutiveDeborah Cadman[3]
  City103.4 sq mi (267.8 km2)
231.2 sq mi (598.9 km2)
460 ft (140 m)
2nd in England and UK[lower-alpha 1]
  Density11,050/sq mi (4,266/km2)
2,919,600 (3rd)
4,300,000 (2nd)
Time zoneUTC+0 (Greenwich Mean Time)
  Summer (DST)UTC+1 (British Summer Time)
Area code0121
ISO 3166 codeGB-BIR
PoliceWest Midlands Police
Fire and RescueWest Midlands Fire Service
AmbulanceWest Midlands Ambulance Service
OS grid referenceSP066868
International airportsBirmingham (BHX)
Major railway stations
GDPUS$ 121.1 billion[4] (2nd)
– Per capitaUS$ 31,572[4]
used as the approximate 'zero mark' (km0) of the city

Located in the West Midlands region of England, approximately 100 miles (160 km) from London, Birmingham is considered to be the social, cultural, financial and commercial centre of the Midlands. It is just west of the traditional centre point of England at Meriden,[16] and is the most inland major city in the country,[17] and lying north of the Cotswolds and east of the Shropshire Hills. Distinctively, Birmingham only has small rivers flowing through it, mainly the River Tame and its tributaries River Rea and River Cole – one of the closest main rivers is the Severn, approximately 20 miles (32 km) west of the city centre. The city does however have numerous canals, collectively named the Birmingham Canal Navigations.[18]

Historically a market town in Warwickshire in the medieval period, Birmingham grew during the 18th century during the Midlands Enlightenment and during the Industrial Revolution, which saw advances in science, technology and economic development, producing a series of innovations that laid many of the foundations of modern industrial society.[19] By 1791, it was being hailed as "the first manufacturing town in the world".[20] Birmingham's distinctive economic profile, with thousands of small workshops practising a wide variety of specialised and highly skilled trades, encouraged exceptional levels of creativity and innovation; this provided an economic base for prosperity that was to last into the final quarter of the 20th century. The Watt steam engine was invented in Birmingham.[21]

The resulting high level of social mobility also fostered a culture of political radicalism which, under leaders from Thomas Attwood to Joseph Chamberlain, was to give it a political influence unparalleled in Britain outside London and a pivotal role in the development of British democracy.[22] From the summer of 1940 to the spring of 1943, Birmingham was bombed heavily by the German Luftwaffe in what is known as the Birmingham Blitz. The damage done to the city's infrastructure, in addition to a deliberate policy of demolition and new building by planners, led to extensive urban regeneration in subsequent decades.

Birmingham's economy is now dominated by the service sector.[23] The city is a major international commercial centre and an important transport, retail, events and conference hub. Its metropolitan economy is the second-largest in the United Kingdom with a GDP of $121.1bn (2014).[4] Its five universities,[24] including the University of Birmingham, make it the largest centre of higher education in the country outside London.[25] Birmingham's major cultural institutions – the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Library of Birmingham and Barber Institute of Fine Arts – enjoy international reputations,[26] and the city has vibrant and influential grassroots art, music, literary and culinary scenes.[27] The city also successfully hosted the 2022 Commonwealth Games.[28][29] In 2021, Birmingham was the third most visited city in the UK by people from foreign nations.[30]

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