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Biggest Cities in the UK

Try to name the most populous cities in the United Kingdom.
As of the 2021 census. Population is the city population only, except for #1 which includes metropolitan boroughs.
Quiz by Quizmaster
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Last updated: February 6, 2023
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First submittedJune 26, 2016
Times taken77,342
Average score65.0%
Rating4.41
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Population
City
8,888,608
London
1,161,258
Birmingham
631,690
Glasgow
586,781
Bristol
576,561
Liverpool
560,392
Manchester
525,142
Sheffield
Population
City
515,947
Leeds
505,310
Edinburgh
487,837
Leicester
370,185
Bradford
355,703
Coventry
349,780
Cardiff
340,000
Belfast
Population
City
306,573
Nottingham
295,179
Kingston upon Hull
281,727
Newcastle
279,769
Stoke-on-Trent
269,053
Derby
266,934
Southampton
+25
Level 69
Aug 12, 2016
Thank you Football League.
+1
Level 13
Nov 12, 2017
Living in Australia, football league helped a tonne
+46
Level 60
Aug 12, 2016
Too UK-centric
+3
Level 66
Aug 14, 2016
Lol
+2
Level 67
Jun 20, 2019
BuT iT iS a qUiZ oN uK cItIeS
+5
Level 84
Nov 19, 2019
Get out.
+2
Level 65
Jan 28, 2020
Somehow I read the comment from clivey in a muppet voice. I guess it was the emphasis on the end of the words and dragging it on to the next word (while still being staccato), (like: bu -Ti -Tiss, for but it is) must ve triggered a memory.

or maybe my brain just lacks oxygen..

+1
Level 60
Aug 12, 2016
quite dated!
+7
Level 57
Aug 12, 2016
the census only happens once every ten years, so that's the most recent one you could use
+2
Level 59
Aug 12, 2016
Too UK-centric????.....its about the biggest cities in the uk....
+30
Level 58
Oct 10, 2016
It's a joke, Joyce.
+4
Level 57
Aug 12, 2016
I disagree with inclusion of London. The county of Greater London, whose population you show, is NOT a city. The true City of London (the area around St. Paul's Cathedral & Bank of England) has a population of only about 7,000, and is not a part of the county. However, the county DOES include the City of Westminster, but that certainly does not make the top 20 list. So please revise.
+16
Level ∞
Aug 13, 2016
Haha. This quiz used to not have London on it. The complaints were many and vociferous, and the quiz had one of the lowest ratings on the site.
+5
Level 71
Aug 14, 2016
There is always one Quizmaster!
+4
Level 41
Apr 14, 2020
The boundary for Greater London, that was used here, was made in the 60s and London has sprawled out a load since then. After what happened to Wessex, no-one has re-drawn the line.
+1
Level 45
Apr 8, 2023
Wessex? There hasn't been a political entity called that for about a 1,000 years!
+1
Level 45
Apr 8, 2023
There is no county called Greater London
+1
Level 40
May 20, 2023
there has been since 1st april 1965 when the London Government Act 1963 came into force
+1
Level 86
Aug 3, 2023
No, from the London Government Act 1963 (that created Greater London) section 3(i)(a): "As from 1st April 1965 no part of Greater London shall form part of any administrative county".

Greater London was removed from the county system in 1965, not made as a new county.

It was, excluding the City of London, created as a county in 1997, for the purposes of the Lieutenancies Act of that year.

+4
Level 32
Aug 12, 2016
you should add Plymouth as a 21st it had a population of 256,384 in 2011, only 22 less than Kingston!!
+22
Level 83
Aug 19, 2016
Who on this Earth calls Hull "Kingston"?
+7
Level 67
Aug 30, 2018
Duzza does
+3
Level 65
Jan 28, 2020
I read klingon..

Edit, yep my brain clearly hasnt had enough oxygen today yet..

+4
Level 29
Jul 30, 2020
People who call it the correct name. I still call it Hull tho ;) but Hulk is the name of the river
+6
Level 83
Feb 7, 2023
the incredible hull...
+2
Level 35
Feb 28, 2019
Got Coventry and Brighton but forgot London. Doh.
+3
Level 65
Mar 25, 2019
Why does Edinburgh not require the h but Cardiff needs the double f? bugs me every time?
+6
Level ∞
Apr 29, 2019
Edinburgh will require the h now.
+4
Level 55
Feb 7, 2023
In welsh f and ff are different letters of the alphabet (but if you spell Cardiff in Welsh it doesn't have either).
+3
Level 75
Jun 19, 2019
Love Glasgow's coat of arms in the picture box! The bird that never flew, the tree that never grew, the bell that never rang and the fish that never swam.
+3
Level 82
Jun 19, 2019
Bristol, Brighton and Edinburgh. Lovely places, the others, not so much.
+1
Level 74
Jul 12, 2019
It's a pity that this won't be updated until 2021. Would you be able to use another source for the answers?
+1
Level 38
Sep 7, 2019
Missed Sheffield Bradford and Cardiff
+1
Level 82
Nov 11, 2019
Missed Sunderland and Leicester
+2
Level 36
Mar 5, 2021
I only missed Belfast, I took advantage of being a premier league fan
+2
Level 34
Jan 14, 2022
I got Sunderland but forgot Glasgow and Birmingham ._.
+1
Level 69
Feb 7, 2023
Bristol is not bigger than Liverpool.
+1
Level 86
Feb 12, 2023
Check out this updated series I made that includes new census data for countries like Colombia, Portugal, Sweden, Mexico, and New Zealand
+2
Level 59
Apr 6, 2023
Link is broken
+1
Level 80
Apr 6, 2023
I'm curious about the figures in this quiz as many don't equate to what is given in the 2021 data in the referenced source. In fact the only ones that do are Edinburgh and Glasgow. There seem to be some real anomalies too, e.g. Manchester and Liverpool are larger cities than Bristol for instance but Bristol appears above them in this quiz (though not in the source). Living near Bristol and having been to Manchester and Liverpool on many occasions the relative sizes are easy to see.
+1
Level 62
Apr 6, 2023
Its done based on city limits (which are completely arbitrary), not on metropolitan population
+1
Level 86
Aug 5, 2023
Actually it's not - else Wakefield would be on it, and Leeds would be much bigger! It's built-up-areas. Which can still be a little arbitrary in where an urban area is subdivided (typically due to administrative boundaries).
+1
Level 28
Apr 7, 2023
It’s outdated
+1
Level 63
Apr 11, 2023
In Hartford, Hereford, and Hampshire, hurricane hardly ever happen.
+1
Level 47
Jul 6, 2023
But the rain in Spain stays mainly on the plain
+1
Level 65
Jan 13, 2024
You'll find it's Hertford, actually.
+1
Level 86
Aug 3, 2023
The 2021 census figure for the City of Leeds is 811,953 - you are missing nearly 300,000 people, presumably because you are incorrectly excluding surrounding towns that are inside the city limits. City-proper for every city eligible for this quiz (for smaller cities this might not be the case), except London, is the local government district it's part of - those are the entities that are the keeper of the city status. You've gone with settlement population or something - not city population.

There's other errors in these figures too, but not as blatant as Leeds missing over a third of its population. Plus there's the 350k Wakefield missing.

+1
Level ∞
Aug 3, 2023
All I know if that the UK government is poor, very poor indeed, at reporting population numbers in a clear way.

A previous version of this quiz included Wakefield. The howls of protest were intense.

I don't think it's possible to find numbers that will satisfy everyone. I'd recommend emailing the owner of citypopulation.de from which we draw our data. Perhaps he or she can explain the missing subtleties.

+1
Level 86
Aug 5, 2023
Looking further, the data this quiz is using is 'built up area' data (save for London) - the description of the dataset on citypopulation.de says clearly that that's what it is using. I'd suggest changing the description to reflect that reality - it's not city population at all.

Northampton is thankfully just too small to be on this quiz to avoid having the issue that this quiz is talking about the largest settlements, rather than cities in the UK sense.

I'd be happy with whatever dataset you use, as long as you correctly say what dataset you are using. Where I'm not completely satisfied is that you've tried to fob me off and blame the sources, and then go on to say you've changed the quiz for those outraged by facts. Why not change it to match the facts! The easiest way would be to replace 'city population' with 'built-up area population' in the description!

+1
Level 44
Oct 6, 2023
Great quiz but needs an update! Both Sunderland and Doncaster should be on here as they have been given city status and based on the last census (2021), both have a larger population than Southampton and Derby!
+1
Level 47
Feb 7, 2024
Doncaster or Sunderland being larger than Derby or Southampton is actually not true. I live in Derby, and whilst it's not a big city, it's population is larger than Doncaster or Sunderland. What you might be referring to is Doncaster's or Sunderland's metropolitan population, which are a different metric altogether. This is going by the built-up area or urban population, and looking at the 2021 census figures, Doncaster is 113.5k (not the metropolitan borough of South Yorkshire, which is over 300k), whilst Sunderland is 168k (not the metropolitan borough of Tyne and Wear, which is 274k). What further complicates the issue is that when referring to metropolitan population, Derby is combined with Nottingham, like Sunderland for Newcastle or Doncaster for Sheffield, but is still its own unitary authority rather than a metropolitan borough.