Location within England, showing historic extent
| • 1831||3,669,510 acres (14,850 km2)|
| • 1901||3,883,979 acres (15,718 km2)|
| • 1991||2,941,247 acres (11,903 km2)|
| • 1831||1,371,359|
| • 1901||3,512,838|
| • 1991||3,978,484|
| • 2011||5,288,200|
| • 1831||0.37/acre (91/km2)|
| • 1901||0.9/acre (220/km2)|
| • 1991||1.35/acre (330/km2)|
| • Origin||Kingdom of Jórvík|
| • Created||In antiquity|
| • Succeeded by||Various|
| • Type||Ridings|
| • Units||1 North • 2 West • 3 East|
Yorkshire (/; abbreviated Yorks), formally known as the County of York, is a historic county of Northern England and the largest in the United Kingdom. Due to its great size in comparison to other English counties, functions have been undertaken over time by its subdivisions, which have also been subject to periodic reform. Throughout these changes, Yorkshire has continued to be recognised as a geographical territory and cultural region. The name is familiar and well understood across the United Kingdom and is in common use in the media and the military, and also features in the titles of current areas of civil administration such as North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire and East Riding of Yorkshire.
Within the borders of the historic county of Yorkshire are vast stretches of unspoiled countryside. This can be found in the Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors and with the open aspect of some of the major cities. Yorkshire has also been nicknamed "God's Own County".
The emblem of Yorkshire is the White Rose of the English royal House of York, and the most commonly used flag representative of Yorkshire is the White Rose on a blue background, which after nearly fifty years of use, was recognised by the Flag Institute on 29 July 2008. Yorkshire Day, held annually on 1 August, is a celebration of the general culture of Yorkshire, ranging from its history to its own dialect.
Yorkshire is covered by different Government Office Regions. Most of the county falls within Yorkshire and the Humber while the extreme northern part of the county, such as Middlesbrough, Redcar, Holwick and Startforth, falls within North East England. Small areas in the west of the county are covered by the North West England region.
Yorkshire or the County of York was so named as it is the shire (administrative area or county) of the city of York or York's Shire. "York" comes from the Viking name for the city, Jórvík. The word "Shire" is either from the Old Norse word Skyr or from Old English Scir meaning care or official charge. The "shire" suffix is locally pronounced /-ʃə/ "shuh", or occasionally /-ʃiə/, a homophone of "sheer".