Montevideo (Spanish pronunciation: [monteβiˈðe.o]) is the capital and largest city of Uruguay. According to the 2011 census, the city proper has a population of 1,319,108 (about one-third of the country population) in an area of 194.0 square kilometres (74.9 sq mi). The southernmost cosmopolitan city in the Americas, is situated in the southern coast of the country, on the northeastern bank of the Río de la Plata, or River Plate.
The city was established in 1724 by a Spanish soldier, as a strategic move amidst the Spanish-Portuguese dispute over the platine region; and it was also under brief British rule in 1807. In the 20th century, Montevideo hosted all of the matches during the first FIFA World Cup in 1930, and was the theater of the first major naval battle in the Second World War. Montevideo is the seat of the administrative headquarters of Mercosur, South America’s leading trading bloc, as well as ALADI.
Mercer has ranked Montevideo the top Latin American city since 2006 onwards (2013) on its quality of life rankings. It is classified as a Beta World City, ranking seventh in Latin America and 73rd in the world. As of 2010[update], it had a GDP of $33 billion, with a per capita of $21,000; making Montevideo the 19th most economically powerful city in the continent and 9th highest income earner among major cities. For 2025 the projections are $61 billion and $33,000; respectively.
Described as a "vibrant, eclectic place with a rich cultural life", and "a thriving tech center and entrepreneurial culture", Montevideo ranks 8th in Latin America on the 2013 MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index. It is the hub of commerce and higher education in Uruguay as well as its chief port. The city is also the financial and cultural hub of a larger metropolitan area, with a population of 1.9 million.
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