Manchester is a city and metropolitan borough and the principal city in the Greater Manchester metropolitan county in North West England. Manchester is the 6th largest city in the United Kingdom with an estimated population of 530,300 in 2016.
The Greater Manchester area is the second most populous urban area in the United Kingdom with a population of more than 2.55 million, which includes Manchester as well as several cities. Manchester also has the third largest economy in the United Kingdom and it is the third most visited city in the country by foreigners after London and Edinburgh.
City Size and Population Density
Manchester has a population density of 12,210 people living per square mile (4,716 people living per square kilometer) and is the 9th densest city in the United Kingdom. The area that Manchester encompasses comes to 44.6 square miles (115.6 square kilometers) in total for the city itself.
The City of Manchester has the highest proportion of non-white people of any district in Greater Manchester. The 2011 census found the racial and ethnic composition of Manchester was:
- White: 66.7% (59.3% White British, 2.4% White Irish, 0.1% Irish Traveller or Gypsy, 4.9% other white)
- Mixed race: 4.7% (1.8% white and black Caribbean, 0.9% white and black African, 1.0% white and Asian, 1.0% other mixed race)
- Asian: 17.1% (8.5% Pakistani, 2.7% Chinese, 2.3% Indian, 1.3% Bangladeshi, 2.3% other Asian)
- Black: 8.6% (5.1% African, 1.6% other black)
- 1.9% Arab
- 1.2% other ethnicity
Since 2001, the share of Christians in Manchester has fallen from 62.4% to 48.7%, while the percentage of people with no religious affiliation increased from 16% to 25.4%. The percentage of Muslims has increased as well from 9.1% to 15.8%. Manchester has the largest Jewish population in Britain outside of London.
Manchester also has a percentage of gay and lesbian people that is higher than the English national average: 0.23% of people were in a same-sex civil partnership, compared to the national average of 0.16%.
There are several areas that serve as a center for ethnic minority populations, including Rusholme, Cheetham Hill, Moss Side and Longsight. There is also a Chinatown with the third-largest Chinese population in Europe.
Manchester's recorded history started with a settlement associated with the Roman fort Mamucium, established in c. 79 CE to ensure Roman interests in modern-day York and Chester were protected from the Brigantes, a Celtic tribe in what is now Northern England. Since then, the area has been permanently inhabited.
Examples of Manchester's early history are still evident today in the Manchester Cathedral (built in 1421) and the Chetham's Library, which has been open to the public since 1653. The city was mentioned as a market as early as 1282.
Manchester began to expand rapidly during the 19th century as more people came to the city for work from Scotland, Ireland and other areas during the Industrial Revolution. By 1835, Manchester was the greatest industrial city on earth.
Manchester Population Growth
During the 2011 census, Manchester was the third fastest-growing area in the United Kingdom with the greatest percentage growth outside of London, increasing 19% in a decade. Manchester is expected to continue its fairly rapid growth in the coming years.