Updated on January 28, 2023 by Axel Hernborg

Axel Hernborg

Despite the United Kingdom being only a group of small islands (with an overall area size less than Alaska), these nations are sure packed full of counties.

Whether geographical, economical, or cultural, these counties help local government manage affairs in the United Kingdom in a much better level.

So, what are those counties, exactly, well, read on to find out for yourself!

Counties In England

Totally at 48 ceremonial positions, England has by far the largest number of counties in the United Kingdom.

  • Bedfordshire

Located in the east of England, Bedfordshire has a total population of around, and has a population size of around 664,600 as of 2022, with its biggest population center being Luton.

  • Berkshire

The home county of many famous faces in British culture, from Jane Austen to the current Princess of Wales, Berkshire is found in the South East of England, with the population totaling 905,800 currently.

  • Bristol

The city of bristol also doubles as the name of the county where it is located, and it’s current population sits at around 463,405.

  • Buckinghamshire

With a population of around 803,400, the biggest city in Buckinghamshire is Milton Keynes and is also the only city in the county (for some more Buckinghamshire activities, check out our guide here).

  • Cambridgeshire

The location of the world-famous Cambridge University, the population of Cambridgeshire is 847,200

  • Cheshire

Located in the North West, Cheshire has a population of around 1,054,100.

  • City of London

Technically separate from the City of Westminster, the City of London is its own administrative region within the Greater London Area, and has the smallest population.

  • Cornwall

Cornwall is a county with a population of around 565,968, and has no major cities interestingly (see our guide to Cornwall for more information). 

  • County Durham

This north-eastern county has a population of 862,600.

  • Cumbria

Located in the north-west, Cumbria has 498,400 residents.

  • Derbyshire

This famous East Midlands county has a large population of about 1,049,000.

  • Devon

This South Western county, famous for being the county where Plymouth is found, has a population of 1,185,500.

  • Dorset

Right next door to Devon, Dorset is famous for its fossil-rich Jurassic coast. Its population is 770,700.

  • East Riding of Yorkshire

One of the four counties that made up the Historical county of Yorkshire, its population is 598,700

  • East Sussex

The right county of old Sussex, the population of this county is 840,400.

  • Essex

With 1,820,400 residents, Essex is one of the most densely population counties.

  • Gloucestershire

This south-west county has a population of 907,200

  • Greater London

The wider London area has by far the highest population, with 8,817,300 residents.

Greater Manchester, even with population of 2,798,800, is only the 3rd highest in the country.

  • Hampshire

This Southern coastal county has a population of 1,837,800.

  • Herefordshire

This West Midlands county has a population of 191,000.

  • Hertfordshire

An eastern county with a population of 1,180,900.

  • Isle of Wight

This island county has a population of 141,000

  • Kent

This popular old county has 1,832,300 residents.

  • Lancashire

This northern county has a population of around 1,490,500.

  • Leicestershire

This popular East Midlands county has 1,043,800 residents currently.

  • Lincolnshire

This historic county has a population of 1,082,300.

  • Merseyside

A historic industrial county, Merseyside has 1,416,800 people living there.

  • Norfolk

This Easternmost county in England has 898,400.

  • North Yorkshire

The northernmost and biggest county of the historical area has 1,153,400.

  • Northamptonshire

This east midlands county has 741,200.

  • Northumberland

This Most Northern English county has a population of only 319,000.

  • Nottinghamshire

An East Midlands county with 1,147,100.

  • Oxfordshire

Home of the famous Oxford University, this county has 682,400 (check out our guide to Oxford here).

  • Rutland

This tiny county has 39,500 residents.

  • Shropshire

A West Midlands county with 493,200 people.

  • Somerset

 A south-west county with 956,700 residents.

  • South Yorkshire

The southernmost Yorkshire county has 1,395,400 people living in this county.

  • Staffordshire

Another north England county with a population of 1,126,200.

  • Suffolk

This southern county has 757,000 residents.

  • Surrey

This south-eastern county has 1,185,300.

  • Tyne and Wear

This north Eastern county has a population of 1,129,500.

  • Warwickshire

A county in the West Midlands with 564,600 residents.

  • West Midlands

Even the West Midlands has its own county! Its population is 2,897,300, the second highest behind Greater London.

  • West Sussex

The left counterpart of the old Sussex County kingdom has a population of 852,400.

  • West Yorkshire

This last Yorkshire county currently has 2,307,000 residents, making it the 4th highest.

  • Wiltshire

This small south-western county has 716,400 residents.

  • Worcestershire

This famous-sauce home county has a population of, 588,400.

Counties In Scotland

Modern local government in Scotland is broadly divided up into 32 council areas, though they still often function very similarly to counties in England.

Current Counties In the UK (1)
  • City of Edinburgh
  • Fife
  • North Lanarkshire
  • South Lanarkshire
  • Aberdeenshire
  • Highland
  • Aberdeen City
  • West Lothian
  • Renfrewshire
  • Falkirk
  • Perth and Kinross
  • Dumfries and Galloway
  • Dundee City
  • North Ayrshire
  • East Ayrshire
  • Angus
  • Scottish Borders
  • South Ayrshire
  • East Dunbartonshire
  • East Lothian
  • Moray
  • East Renfrewshire
  • Stirling
  • Midlothian
  • West Dunbartonshire
  • Argyll and Bute
  • Inverclyde
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Na h-Eileanan Siar (Western Isles)
  • Shetland
  • Orkney

Counties In Wales

While the number has changed over the years, Wales currently has 13 local authorities.

  • Monmouthshire
  • Glamorganshire
  • Carmarthenshire
  • Pembrokeshire
  • Cardiganshire
  • Brecknockshire
  • Radnorshire
  • Montgomeryshire
  • Denbighshire
  • Flintshire
  • Merionethshire
  • Caernarfonshire
  • Anglesey

Counties In Northern Ireland

Perhaps unsurprisingly, given its small size, Northern Ireland is the country with the least number of counties, with there being only 6 counties in total.

  • Antrim
  • Armagh
  • Down
  • Fermanagh
  • Londonderry
  • Tyrone

Final Thoughts

In total, there are 99 counties or their equivalents currently used in the UK.

Can I name all 48 counties in England?