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Bootle (pronounced ) is a town in the Metropolitan Borough of Sefton, Merseyside, England, which had a population of 51,394 in 2011; the wider Parliamentary constituency had a population of 98,449.
Historically part of Lancashire, Bootle's proximity to the River Mersey and the industrial city of Liverpool to the south saw it grow rapidly in the 1800s, first as a dormitory town for wealthy merchants, and then as a centre of commerce and industry in its own right following the arrival of the railway and the expansion of the docks and shipping industries.
The town was heavily damaged in World War II with air raids against the port and other industrial targets. Post-war economic success in the 1950s and 1960s gave way to a downturn, precipitated by a reduction in the significance of Liverpool Docks internationally, and changing levels of industrialisation, coupled with the development of modern suburbs and the expansion of industries into the Merseyside hinterlands. By the 1980s, there had been a sharp spike in unemployment and population decline. Large-scale renewal projects have begun to help regenerate the local economy.
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