Helsinki is the capital and largest city of Finland. It is in the region of Uusimaa, in southern Finland, on the shore of the Gulf of Finland. Helsinki has a population of 629,512, an urban population of 1,231,595, and a metropolitan population of over 1.4 million, making it the most populous municipality and urban area in Finland. Helsinki is some 80 kilometres (50 mi) north of Tallinn, Estonia, 400 km (250 mi) east of Stockholm, Sweden, and 390 km (240 mi) west of Saint Petersburg, Russia. Helsinki has close historical connections with these three cities.
The Helsinki metropolitan area includes the urban core of Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa, Kauniainen, and surrounding commuter towns. It is the world's northernmost metro area of over one million people, and the city is the northernmost capital of an EU member state. The Helsinki metropolitan area is the third largest metropolitan area in the Nordic countries after Stockholm and Copenhagen, and the City of Helsinki is the third largest after Stockholm and Oslo. Helsinki is Finland's major political, educational, financial, cultural, and research center as well as one of northern Europe's major cities. Approximately 75% of foreign companies that operate in Finland have settled in the Helsinki region. The nearby municipality of Vantaa is the location of Helsinki Airport, with frequent service to various destinations in Europe and Asia.
In 2009, Helsinki was chosen to be the World Design Capital for 2012 by the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design, narrowly beating Eindhoven for the title. The city was the venue for the 1952 Summer Olympics and the 52nd Eurovision Song Contest 2007.
In 2011, the Monocle magazine ranked Helsinki the world's most liveable city in its "Liveable Cities Index 2011". In the Economist Intelligence Unit's 2016 Liveability survey, assessing the best and worst cities to live in globally, Helsinki placed in ninth place among 140 cities.