The Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, one of the 16 states of the Federal Republic of Germany, is the second largest city in Germany. Its population is over 1.7 million people, and the Hamburg metropolitan region, including parts of the neighbouring federal states of Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein, has more than 5 million inhabitants.
The official name reflects its history as a member of the medieval Hanseatic League, a commercial and defensive confederation of merchant guilds and their market towns that dominated trade along the coast of Northern Europe (c. 13th to 17th centuries). As a trade centre, Hamburg has always been outward-looking, which has shaped the mentality of Hamburg's inhabitants.
Today Hamburg is the richest federal state in Germany. It is a major transport hub and one of the most affluent cities in Europe. The port of Hamburg is the second largest in Europe (after the port of Rotterdam) and the ninth largest container port worldwide. Hamburg has become a media and industrial centre, with plants and headquarters belonging to Airbus, Aurubis, Beiersdorf etc.
Economically and culturally, Hamburg is the centre of Northern Germany. The city is a notable tourist destination for both domestic and overseas visitors. Hamburg offers more than 40 theatres, 60 museums and 100 music venues and clubs. With 30 square metres of living space per person, Hamburg has the biggest average living space of all major cities in the world. As much as 14% of the city area is made up of green spaces and recreational areas.