Inverness (; from the Scottish Gaelic: Inbhir Nis [iɲɪɾʲˈniʃ], meaning “Mouth of the River Ness”; Scots: Innerness) colloquially known as “Inversnecky” is a city in the Scottish Highlands. It is the administrative centre for The Highland Council and is regarded as the capital of the Highlands. Historically it served as the county town of the county of Inverness-shire. Inverness lies near two important battle sites: the 11th-century battle of Blàr nam Fèinne against Norway which took place on the Aird, and the 18th century Battle of Culloden which took place on Culloden Moor. It is the northernmost city in the United Kingdom and lies within the Great Glen (Gleann Mòr) at its northeastern extremity where the River Ness enters the Moray Firth. At the latest, a settlement was established by the 6th century with the first royal charter being granted by Dabíd mac Maíl Choluim (King David I) in the 12th century. The Gaelic king Mac Bethad Mac Findláich (MacBeth) whose 11th-century killing of King Duncan was immortalised in Shakespeare’s largely fictionalised play Macbeth, held a castle within the city where he ruled as Mormaer of Moray and Ross. Inverness and Inverness-shire are closely linked to the Clan MacKenzie.
The population of Inverness grew from 40,969 in 2001 to 46,969 in 2012, according to World Population Review. The Greater Inverness area, including Culloden and Westhill, had a population of 56,969 in 2012. In 2016, it had a population of 63,320. Inverness is one of Europe’s fastest growing cities, with a quarter of the Highland population living in or around it, and is ranked fifth out of 189 British cities for its quality of life, the highest of any Scottish city. In the recent past, Inverness has experienced rapid economic growth: between 1998 and 2008, Inverness and the rest of the central Highlands showed the largest growth of average economic productivity per person in Scotland and the second greatest growth in the United Kingdom as a whole, with an increase of 86%. Inverness is twinned with one German city, Augsburg, and two French towns, La Baule and Saint-Valery-en-Caux.
Inverness College is the main campus for the University of the Highlands and Islands. With around 8,420 students, Inverness College hosts around a quarter of all the University of the Highlands and Islands’ students, and 30% of those studying to degree level.