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Southampton is the largest city in the Counties of England of Hampshire on the south coast of England, and is situated south-west of London and north-west of Portsmouth. Southampton is a major port and the closest city to the New Forest. It lies at the northernmost point of Southampton Water at the confluence of the River Test and River Itchen, Hampshire, with the River Hamble joining to the south of the urban area. The local authority is Southampton City Council, which is a unitary authority.
Significant employers in Southampton include the University of Southampton, Southampton Airport, the Ford Transit factory, Ordnance Survey, the BBC through BBC Radio Solent and South Today, the National Health Service (England) and one of the largest commercial ports in Europe. The city represents the core of the Southampton Urban Area region, and the city itself has an estimated population of 234,600 (MYE 2008). The city's name is sometimes abbreviated in writing to "So'ton" or "Soton", and a resident of Southampton is called a :Category:People from Southampton.