York is a cathedral city and unitary authority area in North Yorkshire, England. The population of the council area which includes nearby villages was 208,200 as of 2017 and the population of the urban area was 153,717 at the 2011 census. Located at the confluence of the Rivers Ouse and Foss, it is the county town of the historic county of Yorkshire. The city is known for its famous historical landmarks such as York Minster and the city walls, as well as a variety of cultural and sporting activities, which makes it a popular tourist destination in England. The local authority is the City of York Council, a single tier governing body responsible for providing all local services and facilities throughout the city. The City of York local government district includes rural areas beyond the old city boundaries. It is about 25 miles north-east of Leeds and 34 miles north-west of Kingston upon Hull. York is the largest settlement in the ceremonial county of North Yorkshire.
The city was founded by the Romans as Eboracum in 71 AD. It became the capital of the Roman province of Britannia Inferior, and later of the kingdoms of Deira, Northumbria and Jórvík. In the Middle Ages, York grew as a major wool trading centre and became the capital of the northern ecclesiastical province of the Church of England, a role it has retained. In the 19th century, York became a major hub of the railway network and a confectionery manufacturing centre, a status it maintained well into the 20th century. During the Second World War, York was bombed as part of the Baedeker Blitz. Although less affected by bombing than other northern cities, several historic buildings were gutted and restoration efforts continued into the 1960s.
The economy of York is dominated by services. The University of York and National Health Service are major employers, whilst tourism has become an important element of the local economy. In 2016, York became sister cities with the Chinese city of Nanjing, as per an agreement signed by the Lord Mayor of York, focusing on building links in tourism, education, science, technology and culture. Today, the city is a popular tourist attraction, especially for international visitors from America, Germany, France and China. In 2017, York became UK’s first human rights city, which formalised the city’s aim to use human rights in decision making.