Unlike Greater Manchester, which is a metropolitan county and Greater London, which is a region, Greater Nottingham not officially an administrative area. But it is an own Nottingham Urban Area with a population of 666,358 at the time of the 2001 census.
The Nottingham Urban Area includes Nottingham itself and the surrounding towns and villages of Arnold, Beeston, Breaston, Carlton, Clifton, Eastwood, Heanor, Hucknall, Ilkeston, Kimberley, Long Eaton, Ripley, Ruddington, Stapleford, and West Bridgford. This Nottingham Urban Area is separated from the Derby Urban Area only by a narrow gap between Breaston and Borrowash. Similar narrow gaps exist between the Nottingham urban area and the Mansfield Urban Area and Alfreton Urban Area.