The population of the entire Belfast Metropolitan Area is approximately 580,000 people. The inner city areas experienced a population swell in the early part of the twentieth century, as the city became more and more crowded. This swell was then followed by a gradual dilution of the surrounding area, accompanied by relatively little change in overall population. The most recent figure for population density in Belfast is given 24.9 people per hectare; this is around 6,400 people per square mile, and is fairly dense for the UK, outside of London.
The city of Belfast covers an area of approximately 45 square miles and is flanked to the North and North West by a series of picturesque hills. The River Lagan runs through the city and into the Belfast Lough, along with other smaller waterways.
House prices in Belfast are, on average, significantly lower than the UK average. In recent surveys, the average house in Belfast was found to cost almost 50,000 GBP less than in the rest of the UK.
Belfast has a fairly temperate climate, with no extremes in weather generally experienced. Summers are moderate, with a maximum all-time temperature recorded at 30.8°C in 1983. Winter time can be cold, but not extreme, while rainfall is fairly significant in the Northern Irish capital with an average of 846 millimeters annually. So expats moving to Belfast should not forget their umbrellas! This said, Belfast does receive much milder weather and less rain than its latitudinal counterparts on mainland Britain.
As Northern Ireland is a part of the United Kingdom, depending on where you are hailing from, UK visas are required when traveling or moving to the country. There are many visa options for different types of work and settlements in the UK, as well as those for individuals or families. You can read up on the relevant regulations in our articles on Visa and Administration in the UK.