Cork is a city in Ireland, located in the South-West Region, in the province of Munster. It has a population of 125,622 and is the second largest city in the state and the third most populous on the island of Ireland. The greater Metropolitan Cork area (which includes a number of satellite towns and suburbs) has a population exceeding 300,000. In 2005, the city was selected as the European Capital of Culture.
The city is built on the River Lee which splits into two channels at the western end of the city; the city centre is divided by these channels. They reconverge at the eastern end where the quays and docks along the river banks lead outwards towards Lough Mahon and Cork Harbour, one of the world's largest natural harbours. The city's cognomen of "the rebel city" originates in its support for the Yorkist cause during the English 15th century Wars of the Roses. Corkonians often refer to the city as "the real capital" in reference to the city's role as the centre of anti-treaty forces during the Irish Civil War.
With a population of 125,622, Cork is the second-most populous city in the State and the 16th-most populous area of local government. Per the Local Government Act 2001, Cork City Council is a tier-1 entity of local government with the same status in law as a county council.
While local government in Ireland has limited powers in comparison with other countries, the council has responsibility for planning, roads, sanitation, libraries, street lighting, parks, and a number of other important functions. Cork City Council has 31 elected members representing six electoral wards. The members are affiliated to the following political parties: Fine Gael (5 members), Fianna Fáil (10 members), Sinn Féin (8 members), Anti-Austerity Alliance (3 members), Workers' Party (1 member), Independents (4 members). Certain councillors are co-opted to represent the city at the South-West Regional Authority. A new Lord Mayor of Cork is chosen in a vote by the elected members of the council under a D'Hondt system count. The administrative offices for Cork County Council are also located within the city limits.
For the purposes of elections to Dáil Éireann, the city is part of two constituencies: Cork North-Central and Cork South-Central which each returns four TDs. Following the 2016 general election, these constituencies together returned two TDs for the Fine Gael party, three for Fianna Fáil, two for Sinn Féin and one for the Anti-Austerity Alliance-People Before Profit.
Cork is an important educational centre in Ireland - There are over 35,000 third level students in the city, meaning the city has a higher ratio of students in the population than the national average. Over 10% of the population of the Metropolitan area are students in University College Cork (UCC) and Cork Institute of Technology (CIT), including nearly 3,000 international students from over 100 different countries. UCC is a constituent university of the National University of Ireland, and offers courses in Arts, Commerce, Engineering, Law, Medicine and Science. The university was named "Irish University of the Year" four times since 2003, most recently in 2016. Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) was named Irish "Institute of Technology of the Year" in 2007, 2010 and 2016 and offers third level courses in Computing and IT, Business, Humanities and Engineering (Mechanical, Electronic, Electrical, and Chemical).
The National Maritime College of Ireland is also located in Cork and is the only college in Ireland in which Nautical Studies and Marine Engineering can be undertaken. CIT also incorporates the Cork School of Music and Crawford College of Art and Design as constituent schools. The Cork College of Commerce is the largest 'College of Further Education' in Ireland. Other 3rd level institutions include Griffith College Cork, a private institution, and various other colleges.
Research institutes linked to the third level colleges in the city support the research and innovation capacity of the city and region. Examples include the Tyndall National Institute (ICT hardware research), IMERC (Marine Energy), Environmental Research Institute, NIMBUS (Network Embedded Systems); and CREATE (Advanced Therapeutic Engineering). UCC and CIT also have start-up company incubation centres. In UCC, the IGNITE Graduate Business Innovation Centre aims to foster and support entrepreneurship. In CIT, The Rubicon Centre is a business innovation hub that is home to 57 knowledge based start-up companies.
The population of Cork City and its immediate suburbs was 208,669 according to the 2016 census. There were 119,230 people present in the Cork City Council administered area at the time of the 2011 census, of these 117,221 indicated that they were usually present in Cork. In common with other Irish urban centres, the female population (50.67%) is higher than the male population (49.33%), although the gap is somewhat smaller than in other cities. Of those usually resident, 110,192 (94.00%) indicated that they were White, 2,623 (2.24%) that they were Asian, 1,104 (0.94%) that they were Black, while 3,302 (2.82%) did not state their ethnicity. 100,901 (86.08%) were Irish citizens; 10,295 (8.78%) were citizens of other EU countries; 4,316 (3.68%) were citizens of countries elsewhere in the world; 1,709 (1.46%) did not state their citizenship.
In the 2006 census, no separate figures were provided for Cork City, however for the Greater Cork area, 94.51% identified as White, 1.13% identified as Black, 1.33% identified as Asian, 1.11% identified as Other/Mixed, while 1.91% did not state their ethnicity. In terms of nationality, the figures were 88.78% Irish, 6.56% were other EU citizens, 3.45% were citizens of countries elsewhere in the world and 1.20% did not state their citizenship.
Though the Census of Ireland 2011 counted 119,230 people in Cork city, there are in excess of 300,000 in the Metropolitan Cork area.