Belfast is located in Northern Ireland, a region of the United Kingdom on the island of Ireland. It is the capital city of the region. As of 2014, Belfast's population was 274,678, making it the largest city in Northern Ireland.
Belfast is located in the counties of Down and Antrim, in the province of Ulster. The city's name comes from the Irish Beal Feirste, which means "mouth of the sandbanks." It began as a fortified town in 1603 and was established as a city in 1888. It became the capital in 1921 after Northern Ireland was divided from the country of Ireland. Belfast lost about one-third of its population during the "Troubles" between 1971 and 1991. After the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998, the city began to repair and recover.