Liverpool ( /ˈlɪvərpuːl/) is a city and metropolitan borough of Merseyside, England, United Kingdom along the eastern side of the Mersey Estuary. It was founded as a borough in 1207 and was granted city status in 1880. It is the fourth most populous British city, and third most populous in England, with a 2011 population of 466,400 and is at the centre of a wider urban area, the Liverpool City Region, which has a population of around 2 million people.
Historically a part of Lancashire, the urbanisation and expansion of Liverpool were both largely brought about by the city's status as a major port. By the 18th century, trade from the West Indies, Ireland and mainland Europe coupled with close links with the Atlantic Slave Trade furthered the economic expansion of Liverpool. By the early 19th century, 40% of the world's trade passed through Liverpool's docks, contributing to Liverpool's rise as a major city. Liverpool is also well known for its inventions and innovations, particularly in terms of infrastructure, transportation and general construction. Railways, ferries and the skyscraper were all pioneered in the city.
Inhabitants of Liverpool are referred to as Liverpudlians but are also colloquially known as "Scousers", in reference to the local dish known as "scouse", a form of stew. The word "Scouse" has also become synonymous with the Liverpool accent and dialect. Liverpool's status as a port city has contributed to its diverse population, which, historically, were drawn from a wide range of peoples, cultures, and religions, particularly those from Ireland. The city is also home to the oldest Black African community in the country and the oldest Chinese community in Europe.
Labelled the World Capital City of Pop by Guinness World Records, Liverpool has produced a wealth of musical talent since the mid-20th century. The popularity of The Beatles, Billy Fury, Gerry and the Pacemakers and the other groups from the Merseybeat era, and later bands such as Echo & the Bunnymen and Frankie Goes to Hollywood, contributes to Liverpool's status as a tourist destination; tourism forms a significant part of the city's modern economy. The city celebrated its 800th anniversary in 2007, and it held the European Capital of Culture title together with Stavanger, Norway, in 2008.
Liverpool is noted for its rich architectural heritage and is home to many buildings regarded as amongst the greatest examples of their respective styles in the world. Several areas of the city centre were granted World Heritage Site status by UNESCO in 2004. Referred to as the Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City, the site comprises six separate locations in the city including the Pier Head, Albert Dock and William Brown Street and includes many of the city's most famous landmarks.
Liverpool is also well known for its strong sporting identity. The city is home of two Premier League football clubs, Liverpool F.C. and Everton F.C.. Matches between the two clubs are known as the Merseyside derby. The world-famous Grand National also takes places annually at Aintree Racecourse on the outskirts of the city.