city in West Midlands, England

Birmingham (/ˈbɜːrmɪŋəm/ (audio speaker iconlisten)[3] BUR-ming-əm) is a city and metropolitan borough in the West Midlands, England. It is the second-largest metropolitan area and city in the United Kingdom.

Birmingham City Centre from the south
Library of Birmingham
Birmingham Town Hall
St Philip's Cathedral
University of Birmingham
St Martin's church and Selfridges department store in the Bull Ring
Coat of arms of Birmingham
Etymology: Old English Beormingahām (home or settlement of the Beormingas)
  • Brum
  • Brummagem
  • Second City
  • City Of A Thousand Trades
  • Workshop of the World
  • Venice Of The North
  • The UK’s ❤️ City
Birmingham shown in the West Midlands county
Birmingham shown in the West Midlands county
Birmingham is located in England
Location in England
Birmingham is located in the United Kingdom
Location in the United Kingdom
Birmingham is located in Europe
Location in Europe
Coordinates: 52°28′59″N 1°53′37″W / 52.48306°N 1.89361°W / 52.48306; -1.89361
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Constituent country England
RegionWest Midlands
Ceremonial county West Midlands
Historic county Warwickshire
Settlementc. 600
Seigneurial borough1166
Municipal borough1838
City status14 January 1889
Metropolitan borough1 April 1974
Administrative HQThe Council House,
Victoria Square
 • TypeMetropolitan borough
 • BodyBirmingham City Council
 • LeadershipLeader and cabinet
 • Executive 
 • LeaderVacant (Deputy Leader Ian Ward, acting)
 • Lord MayorAnne Underwood
 • Chief Executive (Interim)Stella Manzie CBE
 • City103.4 sq mi (267.8 km2)
 • Urban
231.2 sq mi (598.9 km2)
 • Rank151st
460 ft (140 m)
 (2005 est.)
 • City1,124,600
 • Rank1st
 • Density10,880/sq mi (4,199/km2)
 • Urban
2,440,986 (3rd)
 • Metro
4,332,629 (List of metropolitan areas in Europe)
Time zoneUTC+0 (Greenwich Mean Time)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+1 (British Summer Time)
Area code0121
ISO 3166 codeGB-BIR
GSS codeE08000025
NUTS 3 codeUKG31
ONS code00CN
OS grid referenceSP066868
M6 Toll
(2011 Census) [1]
  • 57.9% White (53.1% White British)
  • 26.6% Asian
  • 8.9% Black
  • 4.4% Mixed Race
  • 2.0% Other
International airportsBirmingham (BHX)
Major railway stationsBirmingham New Street (A)
Birmingham Moor Street (B)
Birmingham Snow Hill (C1)
GDPUS$ 121.1 billion[2] (2nd)
– Per capitaUS$ 31,572[2]

About 1.1 million people live in Birmingham. Around 4.3 million people live in its metropolitan area.[4][5][6] Many people call it the "second city" of the United Kingdom.[7][8][9]


A Victorian building in Birmingham, faced with terracotta tiles

Birmingham began as a small town in 1166. Queen Victoria gave city status to Birmingham in 1889.

Many industries were developed in Birmingham during the 18th and 19th centuries. These included making weapons and food.

Birmingham manufacturing industry played a big role in the war effort in World War I and World War II. The WWII spitfire aeroplane was made in Birmingham. In 2000, a statue of stylised spitfires was erected next to the old factory site. The factory now makes Jaguar cars. Birmingham had a large car making industry. It has declined since the 1980s. It remains the home town for Jaguar and Land Rover cars.

In 1974, twenty-one people were killed in the Birmingham pub bombings.[10]



Grand Union Canal


Birmingham was an important stagine-post in the Victorian industrial canal system. Today it is the northern terminus of the Grand Union Canal to London. Heavy goods (as coal surely is) are most economically moved on water. No other form of transport is so efficient.


Spaghetti Junction

The M40 motorway connects to London via Oxford. The M6 motorway also connects Birmingham to London (via the M1) and to the north-west of England and Scotland. Junction 6 of the M6 is also one of Birmingham's landmarks, and probably the most notable motorway junction in the UK, Spaghetti Junction, officially called the Gravelly Hill Interchange. Other motorways are:

  • The A38(M) which links Spaghetti Junction to the city centre
  • The M5, connecting Birmingham to the south-west of England
  • The M42, which connects Birmingham to Tamworth and the East Midlands
  • The M6 Toll, which enables through traffic on the M6 to bypass Birmingham and Wolverhampton.

Birmingham, unlike London and Manchester, does not have a single orbital motorway. Instead, three motorways form a box which surrounds most of the city. These are:

  • The M42 to the south and east. In the middle, the M40 ends. It has priority for traffic going from the M40 to the M42 west. The M40 goes off south to Warwick, Oxford, High Wycombe, Uxbridge and London.
  • The M5 which forms the western section.
  • The M6 which forms the northern section. The M5 ends on the M6.
The A38(M) Aston Expressway

Other major roads passing through Birmingham include:

Famous people from Birmingham


Famous pop and rock groups from Birmingham



  1. "2011 Census: Key Statistics for Local Authorities in England and Wales". ONS. Retrieved 25 December 2012
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Global city GDP 2014". Brookings Institution. Archived from the original on 4 June 2013. Retrieved 18 November 2014.
  3. "Birmingham".
  4. "POPULATION OF BIRMINGHAM 2017 (UK)". Country Digest. Archived from the original on 2 October 2018. Retrieved 2 October 2018.
  5. "Population and Census". Birmingham City Council. 7 July 2014. Archived from the original on 26 November 2015.
  6. "2011 Census: Population and household estimates fact file, unrounded estimates, local authorities in England and Wales (Excel sheet 708Kb)" (xls). Office for National Statistics. 24 September 2012. Retrieved 30 December 2013.
  7. "England's second city: Birmingham". Britain Magazine. 24 May 2013. Retrieved 11 June 2018.
  8. "Nation's 'second city', Birmingham, is UK's fastest growing regional tourist destination, according to figures". This is Money. 24 October 2015. Retrieved 11 June 2018.
  9. "An ode to Birmingham: how can the UK's second city fix its image problem?". The Guardian. 12 July 2014. Retrieved 11 June 2018.
  10. "The Birmingham bombings 40 years on: what can we learn from IRA terror?". The Telegraph. Retrieved 8 February 2021.

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