Cumbria ( KUM-bree-ə) is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in North West England. The county and Cumbria County Council, its local government, came into existence in 1974 after the passage of the Local Government Act 1972. Cumbria’s county town is Carlisle, in the north of the county; the only other major urban area is Barrow-in-Furness on the south-western tip of the county.
The county of Cumbria consists of six districts (Allerdale, Barrow-in-Furness, Carlisle, Copeland, Eden and South Lakeland) and, in 2008, had a population of just under 500,000 people. Cumbria is one of the most sparsely populated counties in England, with 73.4 people per km2 (190/sq mi).
Cumbria is the second largest county in England by area. It is bounded to the north by the Scottish council areas of Dumfries and Galloway and Scottish Borders; to the west by the Irish Sea; to the south by Lancashire; to the south-east by North Yorkshire; and to the east by County Durham and Northumberland.