The term "conurbation" was coined as a neologism in 1915 by Patrick Geddes in his book Cities In Evolution. He drew attention to the ability of the (then) new technology of electric power and motorised transport to allow cities to spread and agglomerate together, and gave as examples "Midlandton" in England, the Ruhr in Germany, and New York-Boston in the USA.
A conurbation can be confused with a metropolitan area. As the term is used in North America, a metropolitan area consists of many neighborhoods, while a conurbation consists of many different metropolitan areas that are connected with one another and are usually interdependent economically and socially. Internationally, the term "urban agglomeration" is often used to convey a similar meaning to "conurbation".
The list below shows the most populous urban areas in the UK as defined by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). (It should be noted that the Greater London Urban Area contains the whole of what is commonly called London, but ONS definitions divide London into a large number of smaller localities of which the largest is Croydon.)
|Rank||Urban Area||Population (2001 Census)||Localities||Area (km²)||Density (People/km²)||Major localities|
|1||Greater London Urban Area||8,278,251||67||1,623.37||5,099.4||Croydon, Barnet, Ealing, Bromley|
|2||West Midlands Urban Area||2,284,093||22||599.72||3,808.6||Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Dudley, Walsall|
|3||Greater Manchester Urban Area||2,240,230||57||556.72||4,024.0||Manchester, Salford, Bolton, Stockport, Oldham, Rochdale, Bury|
|4||West Yorkshire Urban Area||1,499,465||26||370.02||4,052.4||Leeds, Bradford, Huddersfield, Wakefield|
|5||Greater Glasgow||1,168,270||48||368.47||3,171.0||Glasgow, Paisley, Coatbridge, Clydebank, Motherwell|
'No Chance of a Conurbation Mayor' Council Leader Sir Albert Bore Explains Why the Type of All-Powerful Regional Chief Proposed Would Not Work in the Region. Post Editor Stacey Barnfield Reports
Mar 21, 2013; Byline: Stacey Barnfield reports Sir Albert Bore has admitted there is "zero prospect" of the Greater Birmingham and Solihull...