Belfast Metropolitan Area

Belfast Metropolitan Area

Infobox Irish Place
name = Belfast Metropolitan Area

area = 960 km²
province = Ulster
county = County Antrim/County Down
NI district = Belfast
North Down
UK constituency = Belfast North
Belfast South
Belfast East
Belfast West
Lagan Valley
East Antrim
South Antrim
North Down
EU constituency = Northern Ireland
population = 579,276(10th UK) (2nd Ireland)
| stdcode = 028, +44 28 then - 90,91,92,93,94,97
posttown = Belfast, Lisburn, Newtownabbey, Carrickfergus, Bangor
census yr = 2001

The Belfast Metropolitan Area is a grouping of council areas which include commuter towns and overspill from Belfast, Northern Ireland with a population of 579,276 making it 10th in the United Kingdom. The area was first officially classified as a Metropolitan area in the late 1990's when the Government began to prepare for a cohesive plan that would include the Belfast Region. Six local government districts - Belfast, Castlereagh, Carrickfergus, Lisburn, Newtownabbey and North Down, were identified as the key areas within the Metropolitan Area. The continuous built up area centred on Belfast, which is contained within these six districts, is definted as the Belfast Metropolitan Urban Area. []

The Area is made up of established towns, their overspill and the general con-joining of settlements as Belfast expands. Established towns include Carrickfergus, Bangor, Lisburn, Hillsborough and Holywood. Many of these towns were established and important long before Belfast rose to prominence; Carrickfergus for example was the Norman capital of the Northern part of Ireland. The recent re-classification of Lisburn as a city does not change its position within the Metropolitan Area.

Even though the area of Greater Belfast is similar in size to County Dublin (with a population of 1.2m), the Greater Belfast area stretches way beyond that of the area described as the Greater Belfast Area.

ee also

*Greater Belfast
*Districts of Belfast
*Greater Cork
*Greater Dublin
*Metropolitan areas in Ireland
*List of conurbations in the United Kingdom
*Dublin-Belfast corridor population under 3 million

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