Frankfurt am Main ( /ˈfræŋkfərt/; ), commonly known as Frankfurt, is the largest city in the German state of Hesse and the fifth-largest city in Germany, with a 2011 population of 695,624. The urban area had an estimated population of 2,300,000 in 2010. The city is at the centre of the larger Frankfurt Rhine-Main Metropolitan Region which has a population of 5,600,000 and is Germany's second-largest metropolitan region. Since the expansion of the European Union in 2007, the geographic midpoint of the European Union is just 45 kilometres east of Frankfurt am Main, according to the Institut Géographique National.
Frankfurt is the financial and transport centre of Germany and the largest financial centre in continental Europe. It is the seat of the European Central Bank, the German Federal Bank, the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, and the Frankfurt Trade Fair, as well as several large commercial banks, e.g. Deutsche Bank, Commerzbank and DZ Bank. Frankfurt Airport is one of the world's busiest international airports, Frankfurt Central Station is one of the largest terminal stations in Europe, the Frankfurter Kreuz is one of the most heavily used Autobahn interchanges in Europe. Additionally, Frankfurt's DE-CIX is the world's largest internet traffic exchange point.
Frankfurt is an international centre for finance, commerce, culture, transport, education, and tourism. It is therefore considered an alpha world city as listed by the Loughborough University group's 2010 inventory. It was ranked 10th among global cities by the Global Power City Index 2011, 11th by the Global City Competitiveness Index 2012 and 7th among international financial centers by the International Financial Centers Development Index 2012.
In 2011, the human-resource-consulting firm Mercer ranked Frankfurt as seventh in its annual "Quality of Living" survey of cities around the world. According to The Economist cost of living survey, Frankfurt is Germany’s most expensive city, and the 10th most expensive in the world.
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