Stockholm (Swedish pronunciation: [ˈstɔkːˈhɔlm, ˈstɔkːˈɔlm, ˈstɔkːɔlm] ( listen to the second one)) is the capital of Sweden and the largest city of Fennoscandia. Stockholm is the most populous city in Sweden, with a population of 871,952 in the municipality (2010), 1,372,565 in the urban area (2010), and 2,119,760 in the metropolitan area (2010). As of 2010, the Stockholm metropolitan area is home to approximately 22% of Sweden's population.
Founded in c. 1250, possibly as early as 1187, Stockholm has long been one of Sweden's cultural, media, political, and economic centres. Its strategic location on 14 islands on the coast in the south-east of Sweden at the mouth of Lake Mälaren, by the Stockholm archipelago, has been historically important. Stockholm has been nominated by GaWC as a global city, with a ranking of Beta+. In The 2008 Global Cities Index, Stockholm ranked 24th in the world, 10th in Europe, and first in Scandinavia. Stockholm is known for its beauty, its buildings and architecture, its abundant clean and open water, and its many parks. It is sometimes referred to as Venice of the North.