Southampton /saʊθˈæmptən, -hæmptən/ is the largest city in the ceremonial county of Hampshire on the south coast of England, and is situated 75 miles (121 km) south-west of London and 19 miles (31 km) north-west of Portsmouth. Southampton is a major port and the closest city to the New Forest. It lies at the northernmost point of Southampton Water at the confluence of the River Test and River Itchen, with the River Hamble joining to the south of the urban area. The local authority is Southampton City Council, which is a unitary authority. The city represents the core of the Greater Southampton region, and the city itself has an estimated population of 253,651. The city's name is sometimes abbreviated in writing to "So'ton" or "Soton", and a resident of Southampton is called a Sotonian.
Significant employers in Southampton include The University of Southampton, Southampton Solent University, Southampton Airport, Ordnance Survey, BBC South, the NHS, ABP and Carnival UK. Southampton is noted for its association with the RMS Titanic, the Spitfire and more recently a number of the largest cruise ships in the world.
Southampton is sometimes considered together with Portsmouth and surrounding towns to form a single metropolitan area known as South Hampshire. With a population of over 1.5 million this makes the region one of the United Kingdom's most populous metropolitan areas.
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