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There is a mix of high density urban areas, suburbs, semi-rural and rural locations in Merseyside, but the majority of the land use is urban. Merseyside has a focused central business district, formed by Liverpool City Centre; there are also five metropolitan districts, each with at least one major town centre and outlying suburbs.
The economy of Liverpool is one of the largest within the UK, sitting at the centre of one of the two core economies within the North West of England; it is a strategic location for a serviced office in Merseyside. The city's urbanisation and expansion were largely brought about by the city's status as a major port. Liverpool is well known for its inventions and innovations, particularly in infrastructure, transport, general construction, and in the fields of public health and social reform. Railways, ferries and the skyscrapers were all pioneered in the city, as were the first societies for animal and child protection.
Liverpool's economy is dominated by service sector industries, both public and private. Over 60% of all employment in the city is in the public administration, education, health, banking, finance and insurance sectors. Another important part of Liverpool's economy are the tourism and leisure sectors, being the 6th most visited city in the UK and one of the 100 most visited cities in the world by international tourists.
Liverpool has a new cruise liner terminal, situated close to the Pier Head, which makes Liverpool one of the few places in the world where cruise ships are able to berth right in the heart of the city. Recent developments in Liverpool such as the Echo Arena and Liverpool One, have made it an important leisure centre with Liverpool One helping to lift Liverpool into the top five retail destinations in the UK.