Latin: Pro Rege et Lege, lit.'For King and the Law'
Leeds shown within West Yorkshire
Leeds shown within West Yorkshire
Leeds is located in England
Location within England
Leeds is located in the United Kingdom
Location within the United Kingdom
Leeds is located in Europe
Location in Europe
Coordinates: 53°48′03″N 1°33′01″W / 53.8007°N 1.5502°W / 53.8007; -1.5502[1]
OS grid referenceSE 2971 3391[1]
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
RegionYorkshire and the Humber
City region and ceremonial countyWest Yorkshire
Historic countyWest Riding of Yorkshire
Borough Charter1207
Town charter1626
City status1893
Metropolitan borough1974
Named forLeeds
Administrative HQLeeds Civic Hall
 • TypeMetropolitan borough with leader and cabinet
 • BodyLeeds City Council
 • ControlLabour
 • LeaderJames Lewis (L)
 • Lord MayorAl Garthwaite
 • Chief ExecutiveTom Riordan
 • House of Commons
 • Total213 sq mi (552 km2)
 • Rank71st
 • Total822,483
 • Rank2nd
 • Density3,860/sq mi (1,491/km2)
Ethnicity (2021)
 • Ethnic groups
Religion (2021)
 • Religion
Time zoneUTC+0 (GMT)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+1 (BST)
Postcode areas
Dialling codes
  • 0113
  • 01924
  • 01937
  • 01943
  • 01977
ISO 3166 codeGB-LDS
GSS codeE08000035
ITL codeTLE42
GVA2021 estimate[6]
 • Total£27.9 billion
 • Per capita£34,487
GDP (nominal)2021 estimate[6]
 • Total£30.6 billion
 • Per capita£37,764

Leeds,[7] also known as the City of Leeds, is a metropolitan borough with city status in West Yorkshire, England. The metropolitan borough includes the administrative centre of Leeds and the towns of Farsley, Garforth, Guiseley, Horsforth, Morley, Otley, Pudsey, Rothwell, Wetherby and Yeadon.[8] It has a population of 822,483 (2022), making it technically the second largest city in England by population behind Birmingham, since London is not a single local government entity. Local governance sits with Leeds City Council and the city's 32 Parish Councils.

The current city boundaries were set on 1 April 1974 by the provisions of the Local Government Act 1972, as part a reform of local government in England. The city is a merger of eleven former local government districts; the unitary City and County Borough of Leeds combined with the municipal boroughs of Morley and Pudsey, the urban districts of Aireborough, Garforth, Horsforth, Otley and Rothwell, and parts of the rural districts of Tadcaster, Wharfedale and Wetherby from the West Riding of Yorkshire.

For its first 12 years the city had a two-tier system of local government; Leeds City Council shared power with West Yorkshire County Council. Since the Local Government Act 1985 Leeds City Council has effectively been a unitary authority, serving as the sole (aside from the 32 Parish Councils) executive, deliberative and legislative body responsible for local policy, setting council tax, and allocating budget in the city, and is a member of the Leeds City Region Partnership.

Although the city's area includes 32 civil parishes, most of Leeds' population currently live in unparished areas. In these areas the Localism Act 2011 makes provision for groups of people from the community, called neighbourhood forums, to formulate Neighbourhood Development Plans and Orders intended to guide and shape development in their own locality.[9]


Main articles: History of Leeds and County Borough of Leeds


Albion Place

The Borough of Leeds was created in 1207, when Maurice Paynel, lord of the manor, granted a charter covering a small area adjacent to a crossing of the River Aire, between the old settlement centred on Leeds Parish Church to the east and the manor house and mills to the west. In 1626 a charter was granted by Charles I, incorporating the entire parish as the Borough of Leeds; it was reformed by the Municipal Corporations Act 1835. The parish and borough included the chapelries of Chapel Allerton, Armley, Beeston, Bramley, Farnley, Headingley cum Burley, Holbeck, Hunslet, Leeds, Potternewton and Wortley. The borough was located in the West Riding of Yorkshire and gained city status in 1893. When a county council was formed for the riding in 1889, Leeds was excluded from its area of responsibility and formed a county borough. The borough made a significant number of territorial expansions, expanding from 21,593 acres (87.38 km2) in 1911 to 40,612 acres (164.35 km2) in 1961;[10] adding in stages the former area of the Roundhay, Seacroft, Shadwell and Middleton parishes and gaining other parts of adjacent districts.


A review of local government arrangements completed in 1969 proposed the creation of a new large district centred on Leeds, occupying 317,000 acres (1,280 km2) and including 840,000 people. The proposed area was significantly reduced in a 1971 white paper; and within a year every local authority to be incorporated into it protested or demonstrated.[11] The final proposal reduced the area further and following the enactment of the Local Government Act 1972, the county borough was abolished on 1 April 1974 and its former area was combined with that of the municipal boroughs of Morley and Pudsey; the urban districts of Aireborough, Horsforth, Otley, Garforth and Rothwell; and parts of the rural districts of Tadcaster, Wetherby and Wharfedale. The new district gained both borough and city status, as had been held by the county borough; and forms part of the county of West Yorkshire.

Formation of the metropolitan district in 1974
The former county borough is shaded in grey. Other areas:
  1. Municipal Borough of Morley
  2. Municipal Borough of Pudsey
  3. Aireborough Urban District
  4. Horsforth Urban District
  5. Otley Urban District
  6. Garforth Urban District
  7. Rothwell Urban District
  8. 8a. Tadcaster Rural District (part)
  9. Wetherby Rural District (part)
  10. Wharfedale Rural District (part)


Pudsey, which is one of the boroughs towns also forms part of the conurbation of nearby Bradford

The district and its settlements are situated in the eastern foothills of the Pennines astride the River Aire whose valley, the Aire Gap, provides a road and rail corridor that facilitates communications with cities to the west of the Pennines. The district extends 15 miles (24 km) from east to west and 13 miles (21 km) from north to south; with over 65% covered with green belt land. The highest point, at 1,115 feet (340 m), is at its north western extremity on the eastern slopes of Rombalds Moor, better known as Ilkley Moor, on the boundary with the City of Bradford. The lowest points are at around 33 feet (10 m), in the east: where River Wharfe crosses the boundary with North Yorkshire south of Thorp Arch Trading Estate and where the River Aire (at this point forming the City of Wakefield boundary) meets the North Yorkshire boundary near Fairburn Ings. To the north and east Leeds is bordered by the North Yorkshire districts of Harrogate to the north and Selby district to the east. The remaining borders are with other districts of West Yorkshire: Wakefield to the south, Kirklees to the south-west, and Bradford to the west.[12]


Main articles: Leeds City Council and History of local government in Yorkshire

Morley town hall, one of the towns forming the borough
Leeds Civic Hall on Millennium Square, meeting place of Leeds City Council

Leeds City Council is the local authority of the district. The council is composed of 99 councillors, three for each of the city's 33 wards. Elections are held three years out of four, on the first Thursday of May. One third of the councillors are elected, for a four-year term, in each election. 2004 saw all seats up for election due to boundary changes. It is currently run by a Labour administration. Before the 2011 election, the council had been under no overall control since 2004. The Chief Executive of Leeds City Council is Tom Riordan, and the Leader of the Council is Councillor James Lewis of the Labour Party. As a metropolitan county, West Yorkshire does not have a county council, so Leeds City Council is the primary provider of local government services. The district forms part of the Yorkshire and the Humber region of England.

Most of the district is an unparished area, comprising Leeds itself (the area of the former county borough), Pudsey, Garforth, Rothwell and the area of the former urban district of Aireborough. In the unparished area there is no lower tier of government. Outside the unparished area there are 31 civil parishes, represented by parish councils. These form the lowest tier of local government[13] and absorb some limited functions from Leeds City Council in their areas. The councils of the civil parishes of Horsforth, Morley, Otley and Wetherby are town councils.[14] The 34 other civil parishes are:[15]

The district is represented by eight MPs, for the constituencies of Elmet and Rothwell (Alec Shelbrooke, Conservative); Leeds Central (Hilary Benn, Labour); Leeds East (Richard Burgon, Labour); Leeds North East (Fabian Hamilton, Labour); Leeds North West (Alex Sobel, Labour); Leeds West (Rachel Reeves, Labour); Morley and Outwood (constituency shared with City of Wakefield) (Andrea Jenkyns, Conservative); and Pudsey (Stuart Andrew, Conservative).


This section needs to be updated. Please help update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. (March 2021)

Main article: Demographics of Leeds

Leeds compared
2001 UK Census[16] City of Leeds
metropolitan district
and the Humber
Population 715,402 4,964,833 49,138,831
White 91.8% 93.5% 90.9%
Asian 4.5% 4.5% 4.6%
Black 1.4% 0.7% 2.3%
Historical population
1801 94,421—    
1811 108,459+14.9%
1821 137,476+26.8%
1831 183,015+33.1%
1841 222,189+21.4%
1851 249,992+12.5%
1861 311,197+24.5%
1871 372,402+19.7%
1881 433,607+16.4%
1891 503,493+16.1%
1901 552,479+9.7%
1911 606,250+9.7%
1921 625,854+3.2%
1931 646,119+3.2%
1941 668,667+3.5%
1951 692,003+3.5%
1961 715,260+3.4%
1971 739,401+3.4%
1981 696,732−5.8%
1991 716,760+2.9%
2001 715,404−0.2%
Source: Vision of Britain[17]

At the 2001 UK census, the district had a total population of 715,402.[16] Of the 301,614 households in Leeds, 33.3% were married couples living together, 31.6% were one-person households, 9.0% were co-habiting couples and 9.8% were lone parents, following a similar trend to the rest of England.[18] The population density was 1,967/km2 (5,090/sq mi)[18] and for every 100 females, there were 93.5 males. Of those aged 16–74, 30.9% had no academic qualifications, higher than the 28.9% in all of England.[19] Of the residents, 6.6% were born outside the United Kingdom, lower than the England average of 9.2%.[20]

Leeds Minster

The majority of people in Leeds identify themselves as Christian.[21] The proportion of Muslims is around National average.[21] Leeds has the third-largest Jewish community in the United Kingdom, after those of London and Manchester. The areas of Alwoodley and Moortown contain sizeable Jewish populations.[22] 16.8% of Leeds residents in the 2001 census declared themselves as having "no religion", which is broadly in line with the figure for the whole of the UK (also 8.1% "religion not stated").

The crime rate in Leeds is well above the national average, like many other cities in England.[23][24] In July 2006, the think tank Reform calculated rates of crime for different offences and has related this to populations of major urban areas (defined as towns over 100,000 population). Leeds was 11th in this rating (excluding London boroughs, 23rd including London boroughs).[25]


Leeds City Centre

Main article: Economy of Leeds

Leeds has a diverse economy with the service sector now dominating over the traditional manufacturing industries. It is the location of one of the largest financial centres in England outside London. New tertiary industries such as retail, call centres, offices and media have contributed to a high rate of economic growth. This is a chart of trend of regional gross value added of Leeds at current basic prices with figures in millions of pounds.[26]

Year Regional Gross
Value Added4
Agriculture1 Industry2 Services3
1995 8,713 43 2,652 6,018
2000 11,681 32 2,771 8,878
2003 13,637 36 3,018 10,583


See also: List of schools in Leeds

Education Leeds, a non-profit company owned by Leeds City Council, provided educational services between 2001 and 2011. In April 2011 Leeds City Council disbanded Education Leeds and has consolidated educational services into the Children's Services Department of the council itself.[27]



The area has regional studios and broadcasting centres which broadcast from Leeds:

Leeds TV also broadcast to the area which is required to broadcast 37 hours a week of first-run local programming. .[28]


The area has several radio stations: [29]

BBC Local Radio

Independent Local Radio

Community Radio


Local newspapers for the area:


Leeds railway station, the city's busiest station

Main article: Transport in Leeds

Leeds city centre is connected to the National Rail network at Leeds railway station. Public transport in West Yorkshire is coordinated by West Yorkshire Metro, under the control of a joint-board of local authorities in the county, including Leeds City Council.

Public services

There are 24 cemeteries in Leeds operated by the city council. The oldest ones, in Beckett Street and Hunslet, were both opened in 1845; the newest ones, in Kippax and Whinmoor, opened in 2013.[31]

Twin cities

See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in the United Kingdom

The City has several twinning or partnership arrangements:



  1. ^ a b "Leeds, Yorkshire and the Humber". Ordnance Survey. Retrieved 28 January 2024.
  2. ^ "Your council". Leeds City Council. Retrieved 28 January 2024.
  3. ^ "Mid-Year Population Estimates, UK, June 2022". Office for National Statistics. 26 March 2024. Retrieved 3 May 2024.
  4. ^ "Mid-Year Population Estimates, UK, June 2022". Office for National Statistics. 26 March 2024. Retrieved 3 May 2024.
  5. ^ a b UK Census (2021). "2021 Census Area Profile – Leeds Local Authority (E08000035)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 28 January 2024.
  6. ^ a b Fenton, Trevor (25 April 2023). "Regional gross domestic product: city regions". Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 2 September 2023.
  7. ^ "Local Authority Districts, Counties and Unitary Authorities (April 2021) Map in United Kingdom". Office for National Statistics: Open Geography Portal. Retrieved 1 August 2023.
  8. ^ Van den Berg 2006, p. 179.
  9. ^ House of Commons, Neighbourhood planning, published 12 October 2018, accessed 21 March 2023
  10. ^ Great Britain Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, Leeds MB/CB (historic mappopulation (area ). Retrieved 24 September 2009.
  11. ^ Derek Fraser (1982). A History of modern Leeds. Manchester University Press.
  12. ^ "Leeds Maps - Leeds City Region". Leeds City Council. Archived from the original on 19 June 2009. Retrieved 16 April 2009.
  13. ^ "Parish and Town Councils". Leeds City Council. Archived from the original on 5 April 2009. Retrieved 1 April 2009.
  14. ^ "Leeds civil parish map 2008". Leeds City Council. Archived from the original on 27 September 2011. Retrieved 1 April 2009.
  15. ^ "Children of Leeds City Council". Mapit. Retrieved 21 November 2019.
  16. ^ a b "Leeds Metropolitan Borough ethnic group". Office for National Statistics. Archived from the original on 4 June 2011. Retrieved 22 July 2009.
  17. ^ "Leeds District: total population". Vision of Britain. Archived from the original on 11 January 2012. Retrieved 19 December 2008.
  18. ^ a b "Leeds Metropolitan Borough household composition (households)". Office for National Statistics. Archived from the original on 4 June 2011. Retrieved 22 July 2009.
  19. ^ "Leeds Metropolitan Borough key statistics". Office for National Statistics. Archived from the original on 4 June 2011. Retrieved 22 July 2009.
  20. ^ "Leeds Metropolitan Borough country of birth data". Office for National Statistics. Archived from the original on 4 June 2011. Retrieved 22 July 2009.
  21. ^ a b "Leeds Census 2001". Archived from the original on 5 June 2011. Retrieved 24 September 2009.
  22. ^ M. Freedman (1998) "The Leeds Jewish Community" pp. 161–174 in L. S. Tate (ed) Aspects of Leeds ISBN 1-871647-38-X
  23. ^ "Crime figures in Leeds". Archived from the original on 9 October 2008.
  24. ^ "Crime Statistics for Leeds Apr 2005 - Mar 2006". Home Office. Archived from the original on 6 June 2008. Retrieved 23 September 2009.
  25. ^ "Urban Crime Rankings" (PDF). July 2006. pp. 43, 45. Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 October 2006.
  26. ^ "Regional Gross Value Added" (PDF). Office for National Statistics. pp. 240–253. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 May 2006.
  27. ^ "Education Leeds – the organisation". EducationLeeds.co.uk. Archived from the original on 20 April 2013. Retrieved 22 July 2009.
  28. ^ OFCOM allows six local TV stations to cut back on local programming, news and current affairs, Press Gazette, 27 April 2024
  29. ^ "Yorkshire Radio Stations". Retrieved 27 April 2024.
  30. ^ "Radio Asian Fever". Retrieved 27 April 2024.
  31. ^ Leeds City Council, Find cemeteries and crematoria, accessed 28 April 2022
  32. ^ "Leeds – Brno partnership". Leeds.gov.uk. Archived from the original on 1 January 2009. Retrieved 14 October 2008.
  33. ^ "City of Brno Foreign Relations - Statutory city of Brno". www2.brno.cz (in Czech). Archived from the original on 15 January 2016. Retrieved 6 September 2011.
  34. ^ "Brno – Partnerská města". www.brno.cz (in Czech). 2006–2009. Archived from the original on 25 August 2009. Retrieved 17 July 2009.
  35. ^ "Leeds – Dortmund partnership". Leeds.gov.uk. Archived from the original on 4 December 2008. Retrieved 14 October 2008.
  36. ^ "List of Twin Towns in the Ruhr District" (PDF). www.twins2010.com. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 February 2021. Retrieved 28 October 2009.
  37. ^ "Leeds – Durban partnership". Leeds.gov.uk. Archived from the original on 10 August 2009. Retrieved 14 October 2008.
  38. ^ "Leeds – Hangzhou partnership". Leeds.gov.uk. Archived from the original on 11 December 2007. Retrieved 14 October 2008.
  39. ^ "British towns twinned with French towns". Archant Community Media Ltd. Archived from the original on 5 July 2013. Retrieved 11 July 2013.
  40. ^ "Leeds – Lille partnership". Leeds.gov.uk. Archived from the original on 11 December 2007. Retrieved 14 October 2008.
  41. ^ "Leeds – Louisville partnership". Leeds.gov.uk. Archived from the original on 11 December 2007. Retrieved 14 October 2008.
  42. ^ "Leeds – Siegen partnership". Leeds.gov.uk. Archived from the original on 27 September 2011. Retrieved 14 October 2008.
  43. ^ "Kharkiv and UK's Leeds Became Sister Cities". Gwara Media. 8 December 2023. Archived from the original on 8 December 2023. Retrieved 8 December 2023.


  • Burt, Steven; Grady, Kevin (1994), The Illustrated History of Leeds, Breedon Books, ISBN 1-873626-35-5
  • Fraser, Derek (1982), A History of Modern Leeds, Manchester University Press, ISBN 978-0-7190-0781-1
  • Van den Berg, Leo (2006), The Safe City: Safety and Urban Development in European Cities, Ashgate, ISBN 978-0-7546-4723-2

Media related to City of Leeds at Wikimedia Commons