Liverpool is governed by one of five councils within the metropolitan county of Merseyside, and is one of England's core cities and its fifth most populous — 447,500 in 2006, with 816,000 in the Liverpool Urban Area, which includes suburbs on the Liverpool side of the Mersey but not those on the Wirral Peninsula. The term Greater Merseyside is sometimes used to described a broader area, which also includes the borough of Halton.
Built across a ridge of hills rising up to a height of around 230 feet (70 metres) above sea-level at Everton Hill, the city's urban area runs directly into Bootle and Crosby in Sefton to the north, and Huyton and Prescot in Knowsley to the east. It faces Wallasey and Birkenhead across the River Mersey to the west.
Inhabitants of Liverpool are referred to as Liverpudlians and nicknamed "Scousers", in reference to the local meal known as 'scouse', a form of stew. The word scouse has also become synonymous with the Liverpool accent and dialect. This year (2007), the city is celebrating its 800th anniversary, and in 2008 it will hold the European Capital of Culture title (together with Stavanger, Norway).
Liverpool witnessed small scale tower block construction as opposed to the likes of Birmingham, Glasgow and London, however, around 80 are estimated to have been constructed. On top of this, dozens of tenement blocks were built. The first demolition of tower blocks in the city began in the 1980s, just 10 years after the last were built.