Cumbria is a non-metropolitan county in North West England. The county and Cumbria County Council, its local authority, came into existence in 1974 after the passage of the Local Government Act 1972. Cumbria's largest settlement and county town is Carlisle and the only other major urban area is Barrow-in-Furness on the south-western tip of the county which has a population just slightly smaller than Carlisle. 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 half a million. Cumbria is one of the most sparsely populated counties in the United Kingdom, with 73.4 people per km2 (190/sq mi). Cumbria, the third largest ceremonial county in England by area, is bounded to the north by the Scottish council areas ofDumfries and Galloway and Scottish Borders, to the west by the Irish Sea, to the south by Lancashire, to the southeast by North Yorkshire, and to the east by County Durham and Northumberland.
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