An exclusive BMG poll for the Birmingham Mail reveals Manchester edges Birmingham as the UK’s second city.
The results showed that 38% of adults view Manchester as the second city compared with 36% who believe Birmingham still serves the title. However, one in six (16%) Britons view Edinburgh, the Scottish capital, as the second to London while smaller numbers favour Cardiff (3%) and Belfast (1%) (6% said other).
A closer look at the data reveals a generational divide. The young are much more likely to view Manchester as the second city whereas older people are more likely say Birmingham. More than twice as many 18 to 24 years olds chose Manchester (44%) as their preferred second city compared to Birmingham (19%) with more of this age group selecting Edinburgh (25%). Whereas older people (aged 65+) were most likely to select Birmingham (40%) over Manchester (38%).
A gender gap comes to play too with women more likely to say Manchester is the second city – 41% versus 35% of men saying Manchester. Men are more likely to say Birmingham with 41% backing the city compared with just over three in women (32%).
There is also an urban/rural divide when it comes to the second city. Those living in urban areas are more likely to view Manchester as the second city whereas those living in rural areas are more likely to view Birmingham as the second city. Around four in ten (39%) UK adults living in urban areas say Manchester compared with 35% who say Birmingham. However over four in ten (42%) of UK adults living in rural areas view Birmingham as the second city to London compared with a third (33%) who say Manchester.
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Lauren Harris, Senior Researcher at BMG Research said “Although Birmingham is the most populous UK city outside of London, and a larger contributor to national GDP, our polling shows that most Britons consider Manchester to be nation’s second city.
The home of English football, the Curry Mile, and legendary music icons such as Oasis and the Stone Roses, Manchester also beat capitals of the UK’s devolved nations, such as Edinburgh, Cardiff & Belfast.
Digging deeper into the results shows a clear generational divide, with young people most likely to choose Manchester and older people most likely to choose Birmingham.
More than twice as many 18 to 24 years olds chose Manchester (44%) as their preferred second city compared to Birmingham (19%). Whereas older people (aged 65+) were most likely to select Birmingham (40%) over Manchester (38%).”
An article based on these polling results, released by the Birmingham Mail, can be found here.
Fieldwork dates and methodology can be found here.
A full breakdown of these results can be found here.
For a more detailed breakdown of results from this poll, or any other results from our polling series, please get in touch by email or phone.
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