Montevideo is the capital and largest city of Uruguay. According to the 2011 census, the city proper had a population of 1,319,108 (about one-third of the country's total population) in an area of 201 square kilometres (78 sq mi). The southernmost capital city in the Americas, Montevideo is situated in the southern coast of the country, on the northeastern bank of the Río de la Plata.
The city was established in 1724 by a Spanish soldier, Bruno Mauricio de Zabala, as a strategic move amidst the Spanish-Portuguese dispute over the platine region. It was also under brief British rule in 1807. Montevideo hosted all the matches during the first FIFA World Cup. Montevideo is the seat of the administrative headquarters of Mercosur and ALADI, Latin America’s leading trade blocs, position that entailed comparisons to the role of Brussels in Europe.
Montevideo has consistently been rated as having the highest quality of life of any city in Latin America, by 2015 it has held this rank every year during the last decade. As of 2010, Montevideo was the 19th largest city economy in the continent and 9th highest income earner among major cities. In 2015, it has a GDP of $ 40.5 billion, and a per capita of $24,400.
It is classified as a Beta World City, ranking seventh in Latin America and 73rd in the world. 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. By 2014, is also regarded as the tenth most gay-friendly city in the world, first in Latin America. 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 around 2 million.