Dunedin is the second-largest city in the South Island of New Zealand, and the principal city of the Otago region. It is named for the capital of Scotland, generally Anglicised as Edinburgh (with burgh being a literal translation of the Gaelicdùn, meaning fort). While Tauranga, Napier-Hastings and Hamilton have eclipsed the city in size of population since the 1980s to make it only the seventh-largest urban area in New Zealand, Dunedin is still considered one of the four main cities of New Zealand for historic, cultural and geographic reasons.
Dunedin was the largest New Zealand city by territorial land area until superseded by Auckland on the creation of the Auckland Council in November 2010. Dunedin was the largest city in New Zealand by population from the 1860s until about 1900. The city population at 5 March 2013 was 120,246. The Dunedin urban area lies on the central-eastern coast of Otago, surrounding the head of Otago Harbour. The harbour and hills around Dunedin represent the remnants of an extinct volcano. The city suburbs extend out into the surrounding valleys and hills, onto the isthmus of the Otago Peninsula, and along the shores of the Otago Harbour and the Pacific Ocean.
The city’s most important activity in economic terms centers around tertiary education – Dunedin is home to the University of Otago, New Zealand’s first university (established 1869), and the Otago Polytechnic. Students account for a large proportion of the population; 21.6 percent of the city’s population was aged between 15 and 24 at the 2006 census, compared to the New Zealand average of 14.2 percent. In 2014 Dunedin was designated as a UNESCO Creative City of Literature.
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