|Area: 111.84 km≤|
Liverpool is a city and metropolitan borough in North West England, along the eastern side of the Mersey Estuary.
Built across a ridge of hills rising up to a height of around 230 feet (70 metres) above sea-level at Everton Hill, the city's urban area runs directly into Bootle and Crosby in Sefton to the north, and Huyton and Prescot in Knowsley to the east. It faces Wallasey and Birkenhead across the River Mersey to the west.
Liverpool is governed by Liverpool City Council, one of five councils within the Metropolitan county of Merseyside, and is one of England's core cities and its fifth most populous - 457,219 in 2005, with 816,000 in the Liverpool Urban Area, which includes suburbs on the Liverpool side of the Mersey but not those on the Wirral.
Inhabitants of Liverpool are referred to as Liverpudlians and nicknamed "Scousers", in reference to the local meal known as 'scouse', a form of stew. The word scouse has also become synonymous with the Liverpool accent and dialect.
In the late 19th century, Liverpool laid claim to being the "second Port of the Empire", handling more goods than any British city outside London. During the late 20th century, the decline of the Port of Liverpool as a source of employment and the later contraction of manufacturing industry in the city region badly affected the city's economy. However, the city's economy has grown strongly and faster than the national average since the mid nineties.
In 2007, the city will be celebrating its 800th anniversary, and in 2008, will hold the European Capital of Culture title.
King John's letters patent of 1207 announced the foundation of the borough of Liverpool and by the middle of the 16th century the population was still only around 500. In the 17th century there was slow progress in trade and population growth. A number of battles for the town were waged during the English Civil War, including an eighteen-day siege in 1644. In 1699 Liverpool was made a parish by Act of Parliament, that same year its first slave ship, Liverpool Merchant, set sail for Africa. As trade from the West Indies surpassed that of Ireland and Europe, Liverpool began to grow. The first wet dock in Britain was built in Liverpool in 1715. Substantial profits from the slave trade helped the town to prosper and rapidly grow. By close of the century Liverpool controlled over 40% of European and 80% of Britain's slave commerce.
By the start of the nineteenth century, 40% of the world's trade was passing through Liverpool and the construction of many major buildings reflected this wealth. In 1830, Liverpool (along with Manchester) became the first city to have an intercity rail link, through the Liverpool and Manchester Railway. The population continued to rise rapidly, especially during the 1840s when the Irish began arriving by the thousands due to the Great Famine. By 1851, approximately 25% of the city was Irish-born. During the first part of the 20th century, Liverpool was pulling in emigrants from across Europe. During World War II there were 80 air-raids on Merseyside, killing 2500 people and causing damage to almost half the homes in the metropolitan area. Since 1952 Liverpool has been twinned with Cologne, Germany, a city that shared the horrifying experience of excessive aerial bombing. Significant rebuilding followed the war, including massive housing estates and the Seaforth Dock, the largest dock project in Britain.
The population of Liverpool peaked in the 1931 census, which reported 855,688 inhabitants. This had declined to 610,114 by 1961, and further to 439,476 in the 2001 census.
"The Sons of Liverpool", The Beatles.In the 1960s Liverpool became a centre of youth culture. The "Merseybeat" sound which became synonymous with The Beatles and fellow Liverpudlian pop bands of the era catapulted the city to the front of the popular music scene. Economically however the city has been in decline since the 1950s with the loss of numerous employers and from the 1970s onwards Liverpool's docks and traditional manufacturing industries went into sharp decline. The advent of containerization meant that Liverpool's docks became largely obsolete. In the early 1980s unemployment rates in Liverpool were amongst the highest in the UK.
In 1974, Liverpool became a metropolitan district within the newly created metropolitan county of Merseyside, it had previously been in Lancashire. At the end of the century Liverpool was concentrating on regeneration which still continues today, with the city winning the accolade of European Capital of Culture for 2008. Capitalising on the popularity of the 1960s pop group The Beatles and other groups of the Merseybeat era, tourism has also become a significant factor in Liverpool's economy.
In 2004, property developer Grosvenor started the Paradise Project, a £920m development centred on Paradise Street, which will involve the most significant changes to Liverpool's city centre since the post-war reconstruction.
Liverpool is also the home of probably the greatest football team in the world L.F.C, 5 times winners of the Champions league.