Liverpool (/ˈlɪvərpuːl/) is a major city in North West England whose estimated population was 478,580 in 2015; its surrounding areas combine to form the fifth largest metropolitan area in the UK, with over 2.24 million people in 2011. The local authority is Liverpool City Council, the most populous local government district within the metropolitan county of Merseyside and the largest within the Liverpool City Region.
Liverpool historically lay within the ancient hundred of West Derby in the south west of the county of Lancashire. It became a borough in 1207 and a city in 1880. In 1889, it became a county borough independent of Lancashire.
Liverpool sits on the eastern side of the Mersey Estuary and its growth as a major port was paralleled by the expansion of the city throughout the Industrial Revolution. Along with general cargo, freight, raw materials such as coal and cotton, the city was also involved in the Atlantic slave trade. Liverpool was home to both the Cunard and White Star Line, and was the port of registry of the ocean liner RMS Titanic, the RMS Lusitania, Queen Mary and Olympic.
The city celebrated its 800th anniversary in 2007, and was European Capital of Culture together with Stavanger, Norway, in 2008. Several areas of the city centre were granted World Heritage Site status by UNESCO in 2004. The Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City includes the Pier Head, Albert Dock, and William Brown Street.
The popularity of The Beatles and other groups from the Merseybeat era contributes to Liverpool's status as a tourist destination. Liverpool is also the home of two Premier League football clubs, Liverpool and Everton, matches between the two being known as the Merseyside derby. The world-famous Grand National horse race takes place annually at Aintree Racecourse on the outskirts of the city.
Liverpool's status as a port city has contributed to its diverse population, which, historically, was drawn from a wide range of peoples, cultures, and religions, particularly from Ireland and Wales. The city is also home to the oldest Black African community in the country and the oldest Chinese community in Europe. Natives of Liverpool are referred to as Liverpudlians, and colloquially as "Scousers", a reference to "scouse", a form of stew. The word "Scouse" has also become synonymous with the Liverpool accent and dialect.
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