Hamburg officially Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, is the second largest city in Germany and the ninth largest city in the European Union. It is also the thirteenth largest German state. The city is home to over 1.8 million people, while the Hamburg Metropolitan Region (including parts of the neighbouring Federal States of Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein) has more than 5 million inhabitants. Situated on the river Elbe, the port of Hamburg is the second largest port in Europe (after the Port of Rotterdam) and tenth largest worldwide.
Hamburg's official name, Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg (German: Freie und Hansestadt Hamburg), reflects Hamburg's history as a member of the medieval Hanseatic League, as a free imperial city of the Holy Roman Empire, and that Hamburg is a city-state and one of the sixteen States of Germany. Before the 1871 Unification of Germany, Hamburg was a fully sovereign state of its own. Prior to the constitutional changes in 1919, the stringent civic republic was ruled by a class of hereditary grand burghers or Hanseaten.
Hamburg is a major transport hub in Northern Germany and is one of the most affluent cities in Europe. It has become a media and industrial centre, with plants and facilities belonging to Airbus, Blohm + Voss and Aurubis. The radio and television broadcaster Norddeutscher Rundfunk and publishers such as Gruner + Jahr and Spiegel-Verlag are pillars of the important media industry in Hamburg. Hamburg has been an important financial centre for centuries, and is the seat of the world's second oldest bank, Berenberg Bank. In total, there are more than 120,000 enterprises.
The city is a major tourist destination for both domestic and overseas visitors; Hamburg ranked 17th in the world for livability in 2012, and, in 2010, the city ranked 10th in the world.