Huddersfield was a centre of civil unrest during the Industrial Revolution.
In a period where Europe was experiencing frequent wars, where trade had slumped and the crops had failed, many local weavers faced losing their livelihood due to the introduction of machinery in factories.
The town is known for its role in the Industrial Revolution, and for being the birthplaces of rugby league, Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson, and the film star James Mason. The town is home to the University of Huddersfield and the sixth form colleges Greenhead College, Kirklees College and Huddersfield New College. Huddersfield railway station is a Grade I listed building described by John Betjeman as "the most splendid station façade in England", second only to St Pancras, London.
The current Member of Parliament (MP) for the Huddersfield constituency is Barry Sheerman, a Labour Co-operative member.
According to the United Kingdom Census 2001 the population of the Huddersfield urban sub-area of the West Yorkshire Urban Area was 146,234, and the population of the former area of the county borough was 121,620.
The county borough was abolished in 1974 and its former area was combined with that of other districts to form the Metropolitan Borough of Kirklees in West Yorkshire.
Attempts by the council to gain support for city status were rejected by the population in an unofficial referendum held by the Huddersfield Daily Examiner.