Manchester is a city and metropolitan borough of Greater Manchester, England. In 2008, the population of the city was estimated to be 464,200, making it the seventh-most populous local authority district in England. Manchester lies within one of the UK's largest metropolitan areas; the metropolitan county of Greater Manchester had an estimated population of 2,562,200, the Greater Manchester Urban Area a population of 2,240,230, and the Larger Urban Zone around Manchester, the second-most-populous in the UK, had an estimated population in the 2004 Urban Audit of 2,539,100. The demonym of Manchester is Mancunian.
Manchester is situated in the south-central part of North West England, fringed by the Cheshire Plain to the south and the Pennines to the north and east. The recorded history of Manchester began with the civilian vicus associated with the Roman fort of Mamucium, which was established c. AD 79 on a sandstone bluff near the confluence of the rivers Medlock and Irwell. Historically, most of the city was a part of Lancashire, although areas south of the River Mersey were in Cheshire. Throughout the Middle Ages Manchester remained a manorial township, but began expanding "at an astonishing rate" around the turn of the 19th century as part of a process of unplanned urbanisation brought on by a boom in textile manufacture during the Industrial Revolution. The urbanisation of Manchester largely coincided with the Industrial Revolution and the Victorian era, resulting in it becoming the world's first industrialised city. As the result of an early-19th century factory building boom, Manchester was transformed from a township into a major mill town, borough and was later granted honorific city status in 1853.
Forming part of the English Core Cities Group, Manchester today is a centre of the arts, the media, higher education and commerce, factors all contributing to Manchester polling as the second city of the United Kingdom in 2002. In a poll of British business leaders published in 2006, Manchester was regarded as the best place in the UK to locate a business. A report commissioned by Manchester Partnership, published in 2007, showed Manchester to be the "fastest-growing city" economically. In the GaWC global city list, Manchester is ranked as a Gamma city. It is the third-most visited city in the United Kingdom by foreign visitors and the most visited in England outside London. Manchester was the host of the 2002 Commonwealth Games, and among its other sporting connections are its two Premier League football teams, Manchester United and Manchester City.
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