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Combined authority areas
|Created by||Local Government Act 1972|
|Number||78 (as of 1 April 2023)|
The counties were originally created in 1974 as part of a reform of local government in England and Wales, and were the top tier of a two-tier system of counties and districts. 21 non-metropolitan counties still use a two-tier system; 56 are unitary authorities, in which the functions of a county and district council have been combined in a single body. Berkshire has a unique structure.
Non-metropolitan counties cover the majority of England with the exception of Greater London, the Isles of Scilly, and the six metropolitan counties: Greater Manchester, Merseyside, South Yorkshire, Tyne and Wear, West Midlands and West Yorkshire.
The non-metropolitan counties are all part of ceremonial counties. Some ceremonial counties, such as Norfolk, contain a single non-metropolitan county, but many contain more than one and it is also common for ceremonial counties and non-metropolitan counties to share a name. Lancashire, for example, contains the non-metropolitan counties of Lancashire, Blackpool, and Blackburn with Darwen.
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