Sunderland is a city and port in the City of Sunderland metropolitan borough, in the county of Tyne and Wear in North East England.
Sunderland forms part of the larger City of Sunderland which also includes the neighbouring towns of Washington, Hetton-le-Hole and Houghton-le-Spring and is the largest city, by measures of population and area, between Leeds and Edinburgh.
The urban sub-area of Sunderland was recorded in the 2001 census as 177,739 , whilst the population of the larger City and Metropolitan Borough of Sunderland was 282,700.
A person born in Sunderland is sometimes called a Mackem, thought to be derived from the term "Mak'em and Tak'em" used by Tyneside shipbuilders to describe their counterparts on the River Wear in Sunderland. The term may refer to the shipbuilders making the ships (Mackem) and then taking them (Tackem) along the river to be fitted out. Another theory is that the term is meant to be derogatory, in that Sunderland built, on the whole, workaday ships of relatively low tonnage. The term appears to have come into use in the late 1980s and is to be included in the Oxford English Dictionary.
The area is part of the Anglican Diocese of Durham. It has been in the Roman Catholic diocese of Hexham and Newcastle since the Catholic hierarchy was restored in 1850.
Located at the mouth of the River Wear, the name "Sunderland" is reputed to come from Soender-land: "parted-land" (soender/sunder being the Anglo-Saxon infinitive, meaning "to part").