Stockholm is the capital and the largest city of Sweden and constitutes the most populated urban area in Scandinavia. Stockholm is the most populous city in Sweden, with a population of 871,952 in the municipality (2010), 1.4 million in the urban area (2010), and over 2.1 million in the 6,519 km (2,517.00 sq mi) metropolitan area (2010). As of 2010, the Stockholm metropolitan area is home to approximately 22% of Sweden's population.
Founded no later than 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 aglobal 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.
Stockholm is the site of the national Swedish government, the Parliament of Sweden (riksdagen), the Supreme Court of Sweden (Högsta domstolen), and the official residence of the Swedish monarch as well as the prime minister. Since 1980, the monarch has resided at Drottningholm Palace in Ekerö Municipality outside of Stockholm and uses the Stockholm Palace as his workplace and official residence. The government has its seat in Rosenbad and the parliament in the Parliament House