Hamilton is a city in the North Island of New Zealand. It is the seat and most populous city of the Waikato region with a territorial population of 161,200, the country's fourth most-populous city. Encompassing a land area of about 110 km2 (42 sq mi) on the banks of the Waikato River, Hamilton is part of the wider Hamilton Urban Area, which also encompasses the nearby towns of Ngaruawahia, Te Awamutu and Cambridge.
Initially an agricultural service centre, Hamilton now has a growing and diverse economy and is the third fastest growing urban area in New Zealand, behind Pukekohe and Auckland. Education and research and development play an important part in Hamilton's economy, as the city is home to approximately 40,000 tertiary students and 1,000 PhD-qualified scientists.