York is a city and unitary authority area in North Yorkshire, England. 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.
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.
A July 2020 report by Council stated that York is worth "£5.2 billion to the UK economy ... with 9,000 businesses and 110,000 people employed across the city". According to Make It York, the city benefits from features that include a well-educated workforce, "excellent transport links to both national and international markets, pronounced strengths in a range of high value sectors, a pioneering digital infrastructure, outstanding business support networks ..."
York's economy is based on the service industry, which in 2000 was responsible for 88.7% of employment in the city. Statistics based on 2019 data indicated that tourism was worth over £765 million to the city, supported 24,000 jobs and attracted 8.4 million visitors each year. The private sector accounted for 77,000 jobs in 2019 while 34,500 jobs were in the public sector.
The service industries include public sector employment, health, education, finance, information technology and tourism that accounted for 10.7% of employment as of 2016. Tourism has become an important element of the economy, with the city offering a wealth of historic attractions, of which York Minster is the most prominent, and a variety of cultural activities. As a holiday destination York was the 6th most visited English city by UK residents and the 13th most visited by overseas visitors.
A 2014 report, stated that the city receives 6.9 million visitors annually; they contribute £564 million to the economy and support over 19,000 jobs. In the 2017 Condé Nast Traveller survey of readers, York rated 12th among The 15 Best Cities in the UK for visitors. In a 2020 Condé Nast Traveller report, York rated as the sixth best among ten "urban destinations that scored the highest marks when it comes to ... nightlife, restaurants and friendliness".
The biggest employer in York is the City of York Council, with over 7,500 employees. Employers with more than 2,000 staff include Aviva, Network Rail, Northern Trains, York Hospitals NHS Trust and the University of York. Other major employers include BT Group, CPP Group, Nestlé, NFU Mutual and a number of railway companies.
York is the headquarters of the confectionery manufacturer Nestlé York and home to the KitKat and eponymous Yorkie bar chocolate brands. The historic Terry's chocolate factory, building is situated next to the Knavesmire racecourse.
The carriage works site has been developed into offices. York's economy has been developing in the areas of science, technology and the creative industries. The city became a founding National Science City with the creation of a science park near the University of York. Between 1998 and 2008 York gained 80 new technology companies and 2,800 new jobs in the sector.
York was ranked #817 by the Nomad List which evaluates and ranks remote work hubs by cost, internet, fun and safety. York has a population of over 210,618 people. York also forms part of the wider York metropolitan area which has a population of over 234,000 people. York is the #58 hipster city in the world, with a hipster score of 5.3406 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.