Munich ( MEW-nik; German: München [ˈmʏnçn̩] ; Bavarian: Minga [ˈmɪŋ(ː)ɐ] ) is the capital and most populous city of the Free State of Bavaria. With a population of 1,578,132 inhabitants as of 31 May 2022, it is the third-largest city in Germany, after Berlin and Hamburg, and thus the largest which does not constitute its own state, as well as the 11th-largest city in the European Union. The city's metropolitan region is home to about six million people.Straddling the banks of the River Isar north of the Alps, Munich is the seat of the Bavarian administrative region of Upper Bavaria, while being the most densely populated municipality in Germany with 4,500 people per km2. Munich is the second-largest city in the Bavarian dialect area, after the Austrian capital of Vienna.
The city was first mentioned in 1158. Catholic Munich strongly resisted the Reformation and was a political point of divergence during the resulting Thirty Years' War, but remained physically untouched despite an occupation by the Protestant Swedes. Once Bavaria was established as Kingdom of Bavaria in 1806, Munich became a major European centre of arts, architecture, culture and science. In 1918, during the German Revolution of 1918–19, the ruling House of Wittelsbach, which had governed Bavaria since 1180, was forced to abdicate in Munich and a short-lived Bavarian Soviet Republic was declared. In the 1920s, Munich became home to several political factions, among them the Nazi Party. After the Nazis' rise to power, Munich was declared their "Capital of the Movement". The city was heavily bombed during World War II, but has restored most of its old town. After the end of postwar American occupation in 1949, there was a great increase in population and economic power during the years of Wirtschaftswunder. The city hosted the 1972 Summer Olympics.
Today, Munich is a global centre of science, technology, finance, innovation, business, and tourism. Munich enjoys a very high standard and quality of living, reaching first in Germany and third worldwide according to the 2018 Mercer survey, and being rated the world's most liveable city by the Monocle's Quality of Life Survey 2018. Munich is consistently ranked as one of the most expensive cities in Germany in terms of real estate prices and rental costs.In 2021, 28.8 percent of Munich's residents were foreigners, and another 17.7 percent were German citizens with a migration background from a foreign country. Munich's economy is based on high tech, automobiles, and the service sector, as well as IT, biotechnology, engineering, and electronics. It has one of the strongest economies of any German city and the lowest unemployment rate of all cities in Germany with more than one million inhabitants. The city houses many multinational companies, such as BMW, Siemens, Allianz SE and Munich Re. In addition, Munich is home to two research universities, and a multitude of scientific institutions. Munich's numerous architectural and cultural attractions, sports events, exhibitions and its annual Oktoberfest, the world's largest Volksfest, attract considerable tourism.