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's total population) in an area of 194.0 square kilometres (74.9 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, as a strategic move amidst the Spanish-Portuguese dispute over the platine region; and 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, South America’s and Latin America’s leading trading blocs.
Mercer has ranked Montevideo the top Latin American city since 2006 onwards (2014) on its quality of life rankings. As of 2010, 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.
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 fifth most gay-friendly major 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.