Manchester is a city and metropolitan borough in the metropolitan country of Greater Manchester urban county, northwestern England with a rich industrial heritage. Manchester occupies a featureless plain made up of river gravels and the glacially transported debris known as drift. It lies at a height of 133 feet (40 metres) above sea level, enclosed by the slopes of the Pennine range on the east and the upland spur of Rossendale on the north. Much of the plain is underlain by coal measures; mining was once widespread but had ceased by the end of the 20th century.
Manchester’s economy has been moving from an industrial to a postindustrial nature. Services have become the chief employers, with the “thinking” rather than the manual services undergoing expansion. Some services, such as transport and distribution, are declining, but the professions, finance and banking, administration, and general personal services are growing with explosive force.