By population before the 2015 council reform, Belfast was the 17th largest city in the United Kingdom and the second largest on the island of Ireland. It is the seat of the devolvedgovernment and legislative Northern Ireland Assembly. At the time of the 2011 census, the city of Belfast had a population of 286,000. With the 2015 council reform it is 333,871 and lies at the heart of the Belfast Urban area, which has a population of 483,418 and the Belfast Metropolitan Area, which had a population of 579,276 at the 2001 census. The larger urban zone, as defined by the European Union, had an estimated total population of 673,000 on 1January2012. Belfast was granted city status in 1888.