Leeds is a city in West Yorkshire, England with a history going back to the 5th century when the Kingdom of Elmet was covered with the forest "Loidis," from which the name Leeds originated. Leeds received its borough charter in 1207 and has since become a financial, legal cultural, educational and commercial center of the country. In 2014, the City of Leeds had an estimated population of 780,000, which makes it the 2nd largest city and the second-largest metropolitan district in the United Kingdom.
Leeds has an estimated population of 780,000, although the West Yorkshire Urban Area has a population estimated at 1.8 million. This compares to the population of England, which has about 56 million people. The Leeds City Region, which is an economic area with Leeds as the core, has a population surpassing 3 million in 2014.
City Size and Population Density
Leeds is the fourth largest urban and metropolitan area in the UK, and it has an urban population density of 9,450 people per square kilometer or 3,650 per square mile.
While Leeds is the second-most populous city in England, this can be a bit misleading, as it is going by the city proper, not the surrounding area. The City of London, for example, is only one square mile with a population of less than 12,000.
Leeds is very diverse with more than 140 ethnic groups. The minority population represents nearly 18% of the total population of Leeds. According to the 2011 census, the ethnic and racial breakdown of Leeds was:
- White: 85.0% (81.1% White British, 0.9% White Irish, 0.1% Gypsy or Irish Traveller and 2.9% other white)
- Asian: 7.7% (3.0% Pakistani, 2.1% Indian, 0.8% Chinese, 0.6% Bangladeshi, 1.2% other Asian)
- Black: 3.5% (2% African, 0.9% Caribbean, 0.6% other black)
- Mixed race: 2.7% (1.2% White and Black Caribbean, 0.3% White and Black African, 0.7% White and Asian, 0.5% other mixed)
- Arab: 0.5%
- Other ethnic groups: 0.6%
Most people in the city of Leeds are Christian, with an average percentage of Muslims (3%) compared to the rest of the country. Leeds has the third-highest Jewish population in the United Kingdom, behind London and Manchester, mainly concentrated in Moortown and Alwoodley. In 2001, nearly 17% of the population declared themselves as having no religion.
Leeds Population Growth
Between 2001 and 2011, Leeds grew by 5%. This is not the highest population growth in the country, but it is a healthy level of growth. It also represents the largest growth in the city in ten years since the census began in 1801. Between 1991 and 2001, the city did not grow at all.
It is predicted that, by 2033, Leeds will have a population between 930,000 and one million.