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UIC - UK overview of urban areas

The United Kingdom is a country with a high level of urbanisation and great number of large cities.  It has no megacities with a population over 10 million but it does have London, the capital, with by far the biggest population at over 8 million inhabitants. London does qualify as a megacity if we count the whole metropolitan area(almost 14 million people).

The population and cities of the UK are not evenly distributed (distribution just means the way in which something is spread over an area). The population density (a measurement of the number of people in an area calculated by dividing the number of people by the area) is also uneven. Northern Scotland and the upland areas of England and Wales tend to be sparsely populated so contain few people. The cities of the UK shown on the map, and the South East of the country are places which are densely populated contain many people.

UK population density
Across the UK the highest population densities are found in major cities and as we move North through the UK population density falls, with the exception of the Edinburgh to Glasgow corridor.  The upland areas in the UK have low population density and the densest population can be found to the South East, in the area around London.  It is in these areas were issues over housing shortages have been at their worst.

UK cities map

The cities of the UK owe their origins to many different reasons, For example, Sheffield is famous for its steel industry, Newcastle coal and then ship building.

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