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Leeds is the largest city in the county of West Yorkshire, England and the most populous in the Yorkshire and Humber region. Leeds is the cultural, financial and commercial heart of the West Yorkshire Built-up Area (2011 census classification), the UK's fourth-most populous urban area with a reported population of 1.8 million in 2013.
Leeds was a small manorial borough in the 13th century, becoming a major centre for the production and trading of wool in the 17th and 18th centuries, then a major mill town during the Industrial Revolution; wool was still the dominant industry, but flax, engineering, iron foundries, printing, and other industries were also important. From being a market town in the valley of the River Aire in the 16th century, Leeds expanded and absorbed the surrounding villages to become a populous urban centre by the mid-20th century.
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