Comprising most of the built-up area of London, the capital of the United Kingdom, the administrative area of Greater London covers the 1579 km2 of the 32 London boroughs, the small City of London and Inner Temple and Middle Temple.
With a population of 7,172,036 at the 2001 census, Greater London is administered since 2000 by the Greater London Authority, and has a directly elected Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone and a small scrutinising Assembly. The former Greater London Council, created in 1965 to replace the area's five counties and three county borough authorities, was abolished in 1986.
Greater London's population rose from 1.1 million in 1801 to an estimated 8.5 million in 1939, but declined to 6.5 million in the 1980s. Wider definitions of London's metropolitan area (the London commuter belt) extend over a far larger region with up to fourteen million inhabitants, but generally include districts distinct from London proper.