Located in the West Midlands of England, Birmingham is a significant city and metropolitan borough. This metropolitan area contains approximately 4.3 million inhabitants and is the second-largest in the United Kingdom. It is the second-largest city in the United Kingdom, as well as the second-largest metropolitan area and third-largest urban area. It has approximately 1.2 million inhabitants in the city area, 2.8 million inhabitants in the urban area, and 4.3 million inhabitants in the metropolitan area. The city proper is the most populous local government area in the United Kingdom's English-speaking countries. When it comes to the United Kingdom, Birmingham is often referred to as the "second city."
Birmingham, one of the United Kingdom's main cities, is located in the West Midlands county and area in England, roughly 100 miles (160 kilometres) from London. It is regarded as the social, cultural, financial, and economic hub of the Midlands. For the most part, the River Tame and its tributaries the River Rea and the River Cole are the only rivers that run through Birmingham - the Severn, which is roughly 20 miles (32 kilometres) west of the city centre, is the nearest major river.
Historically, Birmingham was a market town in Warwickshire during the mediaeval period. It grew in the 18th century during the Midlands Enlightenment and during the Industrial Revolution, which saw advances in science, technology, and economic development, as well as the production of a series of innovations that laid the foundations for much of contemporary industrial society. Within a decade, it had earned the distinction of being dubbed "the world's first manufacturing town." Due to Birmingham's distinctive economic profile, which included thousands of small workshops practising an extremely diverse range of specialised and high-level trades, it was able to foster exceptional levels of creativity and innovation, which helped to build an economic foundation for prosperity that lasted well into the final quarter of the twentieth century. In Birmingham, the Watt steam engine was first used.
The service sector currently accounts for the majority of Birmingham's economic output. A major international commercial centre, the city is also a significant transportation, retail and event and conference centre. A GDP of $121.1 billion makes it the second biggest metropolitan economy in the United Kingdom (2014). As a result of its five institutions, which include the University of Birmingham, it is the greatest centre of higher education in the United Kingdom outside of London. At the Commonwealth Games in 2022, this city will serve as the host city. Based on international visitors to the United Kingdom, Birmingham is the fourth most popular destination in the country.