Aberdeen is Scotland's third most populous City status in the United Kingdom, one of Scotland's 32 Local government in Scotland Council areas of Scotland and the United Kingdom List of largest United Kingdom settlements by population.
Nicknames include the ''Granite City'', the ''Grey City'' and the ''Silver City with the Golden Sands''. During the mid-18th to mid-20th centuries, Aberdeen's buildings incorporated locally quarried grey granite, whose mica deposits sparkle like silver. The city has a long, sandy coastline. Since the discovery of North Sea oil in the 1970s, other nicknames have been the ''Oil Capital of Europe'' or the ''Energy Capital of Europe''.
The area around Aberdeen has been settled since at least 8,000 years ago. In 1319, Aberdeen received Royal burgh status from Robert I of Scotland, transforming the city economically. The city's two universities, the University of Aberdeen, founded in 1495, and the Robert Gordon University, which was awarded university status in 1992, make Aberdeen the educational centre of the north-east. The traditional industries of fishing, paper-making, shipbuilding, and textiles have been overtaken by the Petroleum industry and Aberdeen's port. Aberdeen Heliport is one of the busiest commercial heliports in the world and the seaport is the largest in the north-east of Scotland.
In January 2011 Aberdeen was named one of five cities which could help the UK climb its way out of the recession because of its high levels of employment, abundance of skilled workers, and an increase in the average weekly earnings. Aberdeen City and Shire was dubbed in the report by officials as the"one to watch" with its rapid growing economy, size and oil reserves.
Aberdeen has won the Britain in Bloom competition a record-breaking ten times, and hosts the Aberdeen International Youth Festival, a major international event which attracts up to 1000 of the most talented young performing arts companies.