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Belfast is the largest city in Northern Ireland, and it had a population of about 333,871 in 2015. During the 19th Century, Belfast played an essential role in the Industrial Revolution and was also the largest producer of linen in the whole world. In 1888, it got city status and also became a significant centre of tobacco processing, rope making and even shipbuilding industries. Harland and Wolff is a massive industrial company and specialised in ship repairing. RMS Titanic was the most prominent ship from this company in Belfast.

Belfast is the principal port of commercial and industrial docks and also remains a centre of industry, higher education, business and even law. There are two main airports in the city which include: George Best Belfast City Airport and Belfast International Airport which is about 15 miles away from the city.


Initially, the economics of Belfast was built on trade. Later on shipbuilding, and linen production became the major industries. During the 20th Century, Belfast became one of the largest manufacturers of linen in the whole world. There were other developments including the rebuilding of Titanic Quarter and formation of the Obel Tower. Today, the city is a   hub of commerce and education. The unemployment rate of Belfast was 4.2% which was lower than Northern Ireland in February 2006. The employment rate of the city has grown by 16.4% as compared to the UK’s economy as a whole over the past ten years.

Since the last year, Belfast has been the fastest growing city and one of the third largest economies in the United Kingdom.


The population of Belfast is divided between the Protestant and Catholic residents. Both communities contribute a lot to the culture of the city. In the 2004-05 session, arts and cultural events were held in Belfast, and around 1.8 million people attended the events. In the same year, about 80,000 people participated in different programmes such as art, music and traditional culture programmes. The Ulster Orchestra is the symphony orchestra, and it is also well-known in the United Kingdom. Many traditional Irish bands play throughout the city, but only a few schools teach classical music. Snow Patrol, Simple Minds, Katie Melua, James Taylor and others are the musicians and bands from the city.


Belfast Telegraph, Irish News and The News Letter are the oldest English newspapers in the town. The Paint Hall, and Wolff have become one of the leading studios of the UK Film Council. City of Ember and HBO’s Game of Thrones series have mostly been filmed at The Paint Hall.   


Football, Cricket, Ice hockey, Gaelic games are the prominent sports of the city. The Northern Ireland Football team ranked 23rd in the FIFA World Rankings in August 2017. Manchester United legendary player George Best belonged to the city of Belfast who died in November 2005.

Stormont cricket ground was the venue for the Irish cricket team. The first ODI was played here in 2006 against England.


Belfast has two main universities- Queen’s University Belfast, which was opened in 1845 and member of the Russell Group and the Ulster University which is the multicultural university established since 1984. Earlier, it was known as the Belfast Institute and specialises in vocational education.

Notable People

  • John Stewart Bell was a physicist and main originator of Bell theorem which is an important theorem of Quantum physicist.
  • Lord Kelvin was a Scottish-Irish mathematical physicist who was born in 1824 in Belfast.
  • Frank Carson was an Irish comedian and actor, born in Belfast.

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