Stuttgart (/ˈʃtʊtɡɑːrt/; German pronunciation: [ˈʃtʊtɡaʁt], Swabian: Schduagert, pronounced [ˈʒ̊d̥ua̯ɡ̊ɛʕd̥]) is the largest city and capital of the German state of Baden-Württemberg with a population of about 623,738 in the city alone (making it the sixth largest city in Germany) and is one of the most important cities in the Federal Republic. The city is the capital of Baden-Württemberg and thus the seat of the State Government of Baden-Württemberg: the Minister-president (currently Winfried Kretschmann), who resides at Reitzenstein Villa, his cabinet, and the State Parliament. It is also home to one of the two co-seats of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rottenburg-Stuttgart and the seat of the Bishop of the Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Württemberg. Stuttgart is also the capital of the greater Stuttgart Metropolitan Region, making it the center of political goings on for a population of 5.3 million people (2008). It is the fourth-biggest metropolitan in Germany after the Rhine-Ruhr area, Berlin/Brandenburg and Frankfurt/Rhine-Main. Stuttgart is an Independent city that controls 23 City districts that form the center of a densely populated area, surrounded by a ring of smaller towns. This area is called the Stuttgart Region and has a population of 2.7 million.
Stuttgart is a very important economic zone within the European Union. The city ranked 21st globally on Mercer's 2015 List of cities by quality of living, and was the 6th city in Germany on that list behind such as cities such as Frankfurt, Düsseldorf and Munich. For economic and social innovation, the city was ranked 24th out of 442 cities globally, third in Germany after Munich and Berlin, and 10th place among European cities. Such companies as Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, Dinkelacker, Neoplan, and Horváth & Partners are headquartered here.
Stuttgart is unusual in the scheme of German cities. It is spread across a variety of hills (many of them covered in vineyards), valleys (especially around the Neckar river and the Stuttgart basin) and parks. This is often a source of surprise to visitors who associate the city with its reputation as the 'Cradle of the Automobile'. The city's tourism slogan is "Stuttgart offers more". Under current plans to improve transport links to the international infrastructure (as part of the Stuttgart 21 project), the city unveiled a new logo and slogan in March 2008 describing itself as "Das neue Herz Europas" ("The new Heart of Europe"). For business, it describes itself as "Standort Zukunft", "Where business meets the future"). In July 2010, Stuttgart unveiled a new city logo, designed to entice more business people to stay in the city and enjoy breaks in the area.
Stuttgart has often been nicknamed Schwabenmetropole (English: Swabian metropolis) in reference to its location in the center of Swabia and the local dialect spoken by some natives. In that dialect, the city's name is pronounced Schtugert or Schtuagerd. However, many non-Swabian Germans have emigrated to Stuttgart for economic reasons and 40% of Stuttgart's residents, and 64% of the population below the age of five are of immigrant background.