Kirkcaldy is a town and former royal burgh in Fife, on the east coast of Scotland. It is about north of Edinburgh and south-southwest of Dundee. The town has a population of 49,460, making it Fife's second-largest locality and the eleventh-largest locality in Scotland.
Kirkcaldy has long been nicknamed the Lang Toun (; Scots for "long town") in reference to the early town's main street, as indicated on maps of the 16th and 17th centuries. The street later reached a length of nearly , connecting the burgh to the neighbouring settlements of Linktown, Pathhead, Sinclairtown and Gallatown, which became part of the town in 1876. The formerly separate burgh of Dysart was merged into Kirkcaldy in 1930.
The area around Kirkcaldy has been inhabited since the Bronze Age. The first document to refer to the town was in 1075, when Malcolm III granted the settlement to the church of Dunfermline. David I later gave the burgh to Dunfermline Abbey, which had succeeded the church: a status which was officially recognised by Robert I in 1327. The town only gained its independence from Abbey rule when it was created a royal burgh by Charles I in 1644.
From the early 16th century, the establishment of a harbour at the East Burn confirmed the town's early role as an important trading port. The town also began to develop around the salt, coal mining and nail making industries. The production of linen which followed in 1672 was later instrumental in the introduction of floorcloth in 1847 by linen manufactuer, Michael Nairn. In 1877 this in turn contributed to linoleum, which became the town's most successful industry: Kirkcaldy was a world producer until well into the mid-1960s. The town expanded considerably in the 1950s and 1960s, though the decline of the linoleum industry and other manufacturing restricted its growth thereafter.
The town is a major service centre for the central Fife area. It has a swimming pool, theatre, museum and art gallery, three public parks and an ice rink. Kirkcaldy is also known as the birthplace of social philosopher and economist Adam Smith, who wrote his magnum opus The Wealth of Nations in the town. In the early 21st century, employment is dominated by the service sector: the biggest employer in the town is MGt plc (a call centre). Other main employers include NHS Fife, Forbo-flooring (floor coverings), Fife College (formerly Adam Smith College) and R Hutchison Ltd (food).