Beautiful Rainbow in the largest non-metropolitan county
North Yorkshire is the largest non-metropolitan county and lieutenancy area in England, covering an area of 8,654 square kilometres (3,341 sq mi). Around 40% of the county is covered by national parks, including most of the Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors. It is one of four counties in England to hold the name Yorkshire; the three other counties are the East Riding of Yorkshire, South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire.
From 1974 (via Local Government Act 1972) to 1996, it was wholly within the Yorkshire and the Humber region. Since 1996, parts of the North East England region joined the county non-administratively. York also moved into being a non-administrative part of the county in 1996.
The Middlesbrough built-up area (at 174,700) is the most populous settlement while the York built-up area is second with 152,841, although neither form part of the administrative county, not governed by North Yorkshire County Council. Mid-2016 estimates by the ONS recorded a 602,300 population in the county council area. The most populous settlement in the administrative county (and third in the overall ceremonial county) is Harrogate (at 75,070); followed by Scarborough (at 38,715). Northallerton, the administrative county town, was recorded with a 16,832 population.
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