North West England, one of the nine regions of England, includes the counties of Cumbria, Lancashire, Merseyside, Greater Manchester and Chesire. The largest metropolitan areas are the cities of Liverpool and Manchester in the southern region, whereas the northern region remains largely rural.

As of 2001, the population was recorded at 6,729,800 residents.

The North West of England is home to the Envirolink Northwest organisation, an environmental group which seeks to promote, strengthen and support environmental technologies and the services sector in England’s North West region. The group also assists companies in finding and gaining new business in the UK and internationally, developing skills and talent that are necessary to aid the environmental industry, and bringing regional corporations together to develop new technologies, products and commercial endeavours. Hosting a network of over 1,500 companies based in the region that relate to the environment, Envirolink is supported by the Northwest Regional Development Agency.

The Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA), a non-departmental public body that was established in order to gain economic development in the region. The body is responsible for undertaking such tasks as supporting business growth and encouragement of investments, creating conditions for economic growth, connecting the region through efficient means of transport and promoting the outstanding quality of life within the North West of England.

One of the larger cities of the North West is Liverpool, situated along the eastern side of the Mersey Estuary. The city is governed by the Liverpool City Council in the metropolitan county of Merseyside, and is one of England’s “core cities,” being the fifth most populous city in the UK. The 2005 census estimated that there were 447,500 residents living within the city, and 816,000 residents in the Liverpool Urban Area (suburbs included).

Citisens of Liverpool are called “Liverpudlians”, as well as the nickname “Scousers”. This refers to the local Liverpudlian meal of scouse, a type of stew, which has become one and the same with the regional accent and dialect. The percentages of ethnicities residing in the city include: 94.3% White, 1.2% Afro-Caribbean, 1.2% Chinese and 1.1% South Asian. The Princes Park district within the city is noted for having the highest concentration of residents in the UK who are of mixed heritage, at 11%. 

Liverpool’s economy has grown strongly and increasingly than the UK national average since the mid-1990’s, with the rate of job growth percentage increasing by 9.2% during the period of 1998 to 2002. Tourism is a major aspect of the economic growth rate, and has led to a large increase in the provision of high quality services such as hotels, restaurants and clubs.

In 2007, Liverpool will celebrate its 800th anniversary and in 2008, the city will hold the European Capital of Culture title. Being well-known as a city for its cultural background, with a rich history in popular music, performing and visual arts, Liverpool is planning a series of cultural events from 2004 to 2009, which is expected to peak in 2008. 

Liverpool is also home to two Premier League football clubs: Everton F.C. (at Goodison Park) and Liverpool F.C. (at Anfield); both teams have had considerable success. Liverpool F.C. is the winner of a record 18 League titles, a five-time winner of the European Cup and a seven-time winner of the FA Cup. Additionally, Everton has won nine league titles, won the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup once, and won the FA Cup five times.

South of the city is Liverpool Airport, which was re-named the Liverpool John Lennon Airport in honour of the late Beatle singer-songwriter John Lennon. The logo of the airport is a sketch drawn by Lennon himself, as well as the words “Above us only sky”, from the song Imagine. Liverpool is serviced by the Merseyrail Urban Rail Network, with the sections in the city centre being mostly underground.

The ITV region that provides service to Liverpool is ITV Granada, and its daily magazine programme This Morning was broadcast from the Albert Dock studios until 1996, when the company moved to London. In regards to other forms of media, the city’s two major newspapers – The Daily Post and Echo – are published by the same company (Trinity Mirror Group) and serve a wider area, including North Wales.

The region’s other major city, Manchester, is noted for being the very first industrialised city in the world, due to its subsequent central role in the Industrial Revolution. Often called “The Capital of the North,” Manchester is a centre for arts, media, higher education, and commerce, which has given it a reputation as England’s “second city” behind London.

The borough of Manchester has a population of 441,200 (as noted in a 2005 census), while the Greater Manchester Urban Area has a population of 2,240,230 residents. The city is quite multicultural, with the ethnicities of residents being White (81.0%), South Asian (9.1%), Afro-Caribbean (4.5%), and Chinese (1.3%). Additionally, 2.3% of residents identified themselves as Pakistani or Black Caribbean, and 1.4% of residents were of Black African descent. Manchester’s ethnic population is notable for having the highest concentration of two ethnic minorities outside of London in the Salford and Rusholme districts: Salford is home to the highest concentration of Jews (who make up 49% of the district’s population) and one in four citizens of Rusholme are of Black Caribbean descent. 

With a number of busy squares, plazas and shopping centres, one of the oldest roads in Manchester is called Market Street, a remnant of Manchester’s ancient, medieval thoroughfares. Manchester has a large Central Business District in the centre of the city, with new office spaces growing rapidly throughout the city due to the increase in high quality European Business Centres. A large-scale development project for the city’s centre, home to several headquarters, squares and cafes, is being planned by English architect Sir Norman Foster.   

Well-known for its sporting connections and the associations with Premiership League football teams – Manchester United and Manchester City – sport is especially a popular and important aspect of Mancunian culture. Many top-notch sporting facilities were built for the 2002 Commonwealth Games, such as the Manchester Velodrome, the City of Manchester Stadium and the Manchester Aquatics Centre. It was also recently announced that a variety of sporting arenas throughout the city will be used in the 2012 Olympic Games ceremony. 

The University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University are two of the major UK educational institutions within the Greater Manchester area. With over 35,000 students studying a range of over 500 academic programmes, University of Manchester is considered to be one of the biggest higher education institutes in the UK. 

Housing a variety of art galleries and museums, Manchester has established several institutions that allow greater insight into fine art from all over the world. Such establishments as the Manchester Art Gallery, the Chinese Arts Centre, Manchester Jewish Museum and the Cornerhouse art gallery all provide the city with a great deal of artistic culture from diverse backgrounds.

In terms of media outlets, Manchester is home to The Guardian newspaper, which was founded in 1821. The main office is still in the city, although many of its management was moved to London in 1964, and shares an office with its sister publication, The Manchester Evening News. In addition, a variety of national UK newspapers had offices in Manchester at a time, including The Daily Telegraph, Daily Express, Daily Mail and The Sun.


Out of every 1,000 people (on average):

  • 921 are White British
  • 34 are Asian 
  • 23 are White non-British
  • 11 are of Mixed Race
  • 8 are Black
  • 8 are Chinese

Source: Office for National Statistics

Regionally, the North West has a high population of Asian residents, which ranks it third behind London (with over 850,000 Asian residents) and the West Midlands (with nearly 400,000 Asian residents). The entire North West region is home to a quarter of the 133,000 Indian Muslims in England, although one in 20 of the Indian-Hindu populace and one in 50 of the Indian-Sikh populace, respectively.

Certain towns and cities in the area, such as Manchester, Blackburn, Oldham, Preston and Burnley, have a larger ethnic minority group populous. 4% of the regional population (as recorded in 2001) were born in a foreign country, which rose by one percent from 1991. In Blackburn, Lancashire, one in five residents are either of Indian or Pakistani descent; Manchester, Oldham and Preston all have Asian populations that make up about 10% of all regional residents. Another notable factor of these Lancashire cities is that their residents of Indian descent are mostly Gujarati Muslims, whereas most people of Indian descent who live in the UK practise the Hindu religion.

The Asian population in the North West area is quite abundant in Greater Manchester and Lancashire, although in Liverpool and Stockport, the proportion of Asian inhabitants is drastically reduced; just about 1% of Liverpool’s population is of Asian descent. In terms of the black populace, as it is true of most regions outside of London and the West Midlands, the North West has about 40,000 black residents who make up less than 1% of the regional population. Nearly half of the black inhabitants live in Manchester, with more black Caribbeans than black Africans (by a ratio of nearly 3:2) in the area.


Total North West England Population: 6,729,764

 Local Area/ Uk National Average  
Ethnic group/sub-groupPopulationProportion compared to national average
White 6,355,49594.4%
Mixed 62,5390.92%
 White and Black Caribbean22,1190.32%
 White and Black African9,8530.14%
 White and Asian17,2230.25%
 Other mixed13,3440.19%
Asian 229,8753.41%
 Other Asian14,6850.21%
Black 41,6370.61%
 Other Black5,3030.07%
Chinese 26,8870.39%
Other ethnic group 13,3310.19%

Source: Census 2001, Office for National Statistics


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