Glasgow is the most populous city in Scotland. Historically part of Lanarkshire, the city now forms the Glasgow City council area, one of the 32 council areas of Scotland; the local authority is Glasgow City Council. Glasgow is situated on the River Clyde in the country's West Central Lowlands. It is the fifth-most visited city in the United Kingdom.
Glasgow grew from a small rural settlement on the River Clyde to become the largest seaport in Scotland, and tenth largest by tonnage in Britain. Expanding from the medieval bishopric and royal burgh, and the later establishment of the University of Glasgow in the 15th century, it became a major centre of the Scottish Enlightenment in the 18th century. From the 18th century onwards, the city also grew as one of Great Britain's main hubs of transatlantic trade with North America and the West Indies. With the onset of the Industrial Revolution, the population and economy of Glasgow and the surrounding region expanded rapidly to become one of the world's pre-eminent centres of chemicals, textiles and engineering; most notably in the shipbuilding and marine engineering industry, which produced many innovative and famous vessels. Glasgow was the "Second City of the British Empire" for much of the Victorian era and the Edwardian era.
The wider metropolitan area is home to around 33% of Scotland's population. The city is well known in the sporting world for football, particularly the Old Firm rivalry between Celtic and Rangers, rugby, athletics, tennis, golf and swimming. Today, Glasgow has a diverse architectural scene, one of the key factors leading visitors to the city. The banks of the River Clyde feature museums such as the Riverside Museum and Glasgow Science Centre, as well as auditoriums SSE Hydro and SEC Armadillo.
Glasgow has the largest economy in Scotland and is at the hub of the metropolitan area of West Central Scotland. Glasgow also has the third highest GDP Per capita of any city in the UK. The city itself sustains more than 410,000 jobs in over 12,000 companies. Glasgow's annual economic growth rate is second in the UK. Private-sector investment in the city is £4.2 billion. 55% of the residents in the Greater Glasgow area commute in to the city every day. Major manufacturing firms continue to be headquartered in the city, such as Aggreko, Weir Group, Clyde Blowers, Howden, Linn Products, Firebrand Games, William Grant & Sons, Whyte and Mackay, The Edrington Group, British Polar Engines and Albion Motors.
Glasgow has diverse forms of economic activity, including shipbuilding based on the River Clyde at Ferguson Marine and BAE Systems Maritime - Naval Ships. Glasgow's economy is strong in tertiary sector industries such as financial and business services, communications, biosciences, creative industries, healthcare, higher education, retail and tourism. Glasgow is now the second most popular foreign tourist destination in Scotland and offers Scotland's largest retail centre. The city's financial services sector is now one of Europe's sixteen largest financial centres, with a growing number of Blue chip financial sector companies establishing significant operations or headquarters in the city.
A large number of call centres are based in Glasgow. In 2007 roughly 20,000 people, a third of all call centre employees in Scotland, were employed by Glasgow call centres. The city's main manufacturing industries include companies involved in; shipbuilding, engineering, construction, brewing and distilling, printing and publishing, chemicals and textiles as well as newer growth sectors such as optoelectronics, software development and biotechnology. Glasgow forms the western part of the Silicon Glen high tech sector of Scotland with consumer electronics companies such as RHA Technologies headquartered.
Glasgow is rated Gamma + by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network (GaWC) which evaluates and ranks the relationships between world cities in the context of globalisation. Gamma level cities are cities that link smaller economic regions into the world economy.
Glasgow is the #52 city in the world according to the Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI) which evaluates and ranks the competitiveness of the major financial centres of the world according to a wide range of criteria – Human Capital, Business, Finance, Infrastructure and Reputation.
Glasgow is ranked #186 by the Global Urban Competitiveness Report (GUCR) which evaluates and ranks world cities in the context of economic competitiveness. Glasgow was ranked #129 by the Nomad List which evaluates and ranks remote work hubs by cost, internet, fun and safety. Glasgow has a population of over 612,040 people. Glasgow also forms part of the wider Glasgow metropolitan area which has a population of over 1,861,315 people. Glasgow is the #42 hipster city in the world, with a hipster score of 5.5759 according to the Hipster Index which evaluates and ranks the major cities of the world according to the number of vegan eateries, coffee shops, tattoo studios, vintage boutiques, and record stores per 100,000 city residents.