Aside from London there is no larger city in the United Kingdom than Birmingham. Birmingham boasts over a million citizens just in its tightly knit urban area but the greater metropolitan borough that Birmingham makes up brings that tally closer to five million. Though this is still a far cry from London's enormous stature, Birmingham enjoys all the amenities of a massive metropolis with fewer complications like those of what you'll find in London. The city placed fifty-fifth in the famed Mercer Index for the most livable cities in the world. Fifty-five may not seem like a phenomenal ranking but keep in mind that most of the cities that top the Mercer are typically smaller, quieter, and more peaceful hamlets and not thriving giants like Ol' Birmy.
Like many larger cities in England, Birmingham shot up to prominence because of the massive influence of the Industrial Revolution on every aspect of daily life. Birmingham is even more notable in this respect, however, due to the fact that the birth and full realization of the Revolution almost completely took place within the city. As such, Birmingham is a perfect history lesson and an indispensable part of the annals of our culture. At one point Birmingham was known as "The Workshop of the World" as well as "The City of a Thousand Jobs". Birmingham was a promised land of jobs and opportunity and the massive explosion of Industry on every level seemed to be reverberating from within the then burgeoning burg. Things quickly blew up for Birmingham although it can be argued that such a fast growth will always carry with it some growing pains.
Birmingham, though, is no longer a factory city as much as a futuristic industry town these days. This shift shouldn't be seen as a surprise to anyone who is familiar with the city. Few towns in the world have undergone as many changes as Birmingham. From its humble beginnings to its birth as a super giant the face of Birmingham has always been altered so that it stays relevant to the world in which it is living in. Birmingham was nearly destroyed during World War II during the Birmingham Blitzes and the city had be largely rebuilt. This marked yet another turning point in Birmingham's history as much of it became immediately unrecognizable. The city was an indispensable part of England's social fabric in the sixties, seventies, and eighties as it played parts in such revolutionary changes as the Punk Scene and Women's Liberation. During this time of course industry towns were falling apart and Birmingham was lucky it didn't become the cesspool that many other English towns became. The demographics of Birmingham are consistently on the shift as well and these days it is among the most ethnically diverse cities in the United Kingdom. Naturally, nobody is really all that surprised because Birmingham seems to emanate from itself the refreshing air of change no matter which decade it finds itself in. Birmingham is a living, breathing, organism that responds to stimuli in much the same way that we all do: Adaptation.
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