Small by area and large by population, the metropolitan county of Merseyside was formed in 1974 when Liverpool was split off from Lancashire. Of the 1,365,900 residents of the county, 445,200 live in the metropolitan area of Liverpool and almost double this live in Liverpool's wider 'urban area'. The other big borough in Merseyside is Wirral, which, made up of many smaller settlements, has a total population of 311,200. The two boroughs face each other over the river that gives the county its name, the Mersey, with Wirral to the West and Liverpool to the East, connected only by two underwater tunnels (Kingsway Tunnel and Mersey Tunnel).
Just like its neighbour 34 miles to the east, Manchester, the city of Liverpool is home to two heavily rivalrous Premier League football teams, Liverpool F.C. and Everton F.C. The biennial matches between these two teams are always huge sporting occasions for the city, and are known a the Merseyside Derby.