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Leeds / liːdz / is a city and an important metropolitan center in West Yorkshire, in the north of England. It is located on the Aire River. Formerly part of the West Riding of Yorkshire. The written history of Leeds dates back to the fifth century, when the kingdom of Elmet was covered by forests of "Loidis", which gave rise to the name Leeds.
During the industrial revolution, Leeds became a large industrial center for wool production and processing, before becoming a commercial and university education center, today hosting three distinguished universities: the University of Leeds, the University Leeds Beckett (formerly Leeds Metropolitan University) and the Leeds Trinity and All Saints. Today Leeds is, after London, the largest business, financial and legal services center in England, and according to An evaluation by the National Statistics Office, Leeds is the city with the highest growth rate in the United Kingdom.
Leeds has a population of 761,100 inhabitants (2007 est.). Leeds is part of the urban area of Leeds-Bradford (LUZ), the third largest in the United Kingdom after London and Manchester, with an estimated population of 2.4 million people (2004), and along with ten other districts local forms the region of the city of Leeds, which covers 2.9 million inhabitants.