Birmingham is a city and metropolitan borough in the West Midlands, England, with an estimated population of 1,101,360 as of 2014, making it the second most populous city of England and the United Kingdom. It is the main centre of the West Midlands conurbation, which is the third most populated urban area in the United Kingdom, with a population in 2011 of 2,440,986. The wider Birmingham metropolitan area is the second largest in the United Kingdom, with a population of 3.7 million. Birmingham is frequently referred to as the second city of England.
A market town in the medieval period, Birmingham grew in the 18th century Midlands Enlightenment and subsequent Industrial Revolution, which saw advances in science, technology, and economic development, producing a series of innovations that laid many of the foundations of modern industrial society. By 1791 it was being hailed as "the first manufacturing town in the world".