Montpellier is a city in southern France. It is the capital of the Hérault department. Montpellier is the 8th-largest city of France, and is also the fastest-growing city in the country over the past 25 years. In 2014, 589,610 people live in the urban area and 275,318 in the city itself. Nearly one third of the population are students from three universities and from three higher education institutions that are outside the university framework in the city. Located near the south coast of France on the Mediterranean Sea, it is the third-largest French city on the Mediterranean coast after Marseille and Nice.