Strathclyde was one of the 12 regions into which Scotland was divided from 1975 to 1996. During that period the Strathclyde Regional Council provided a range of local government services across a large part of Scotland. It extended from the Scottish Borders in the south to Highland in the north, and it had a population of over 2.9 million, or not far short of 60% of the total population of Scotland.
The name of Strathclyde came from the ancient Kingdom of Strathclyde, a Dark Age British Kingdom that governed the Clyde Valley from its capital at Dumbarton Castle: though the area covered by Strathclyde Region was much larger than that of the Kingdom of Strathclyde.
Strathclyde was formed by amalgamating the traditional Scottish counties of Ayrshire, Argyll, County of Bute, Dunbartonshire, Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire. These were incorporated in their entirety with the exception of areas of Argyll north of the Sound of Mull, which went into Highland Region.
The regions formed in 1975 were the upper tier of a two tier local authority system. Most regions were divided into a number of district council areas, and Strathclyde was divided into no fewer than 19 districts, organised within 6 sub-regions, five of which were based on the county areas Strathclyde replaced. Argyll formed a sub-region in its own right and had a district council. The Ayr sub-region comprised the districts of Cumnock & Doon Valley, Cunninghame, Kilmarnock & Loudoun and Kyle & Carrick.
The Dunbarton sub-region comprised the districts of Bearsden & Milngavie, Clydebank, Cumbernauld & Kilsyth, Dumbarton and Strathkelvin. The Glasgow sub-region comprised the district of Glasgow. The Lanark sub-region comprised the districts of Clydesdale, East Kilbride, Hamilton, Monklands and Motherwell. And the Renfrew sub-region comprised the districts of Eastwood, Renfrew and Inverclyde.
In 1996, a further major reorganisation swept away Scotland's regions and districts and replaced them with 32 unitary councils. 12 of these new unitary council areas were formed within the area that had been covered by Strathclyde Region: Argyll and Bute, East Ayrshire, East Dunbartonshire, East Renfrewshire, City of Glasgow, Inverclyde, North Ayrshire, North Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire, South Ayrshire, South Lanarkshire and West Dunbartonshire.
Although Strathclyde disappeared in 1996 as a local government unit, its name and coverage lived on much longer in bodies such as Strathclyde Police and Strathclyde Fire and Rescue.