Hanover (Hannover) is the capital and largest city of the German state of Lower Saxony. It is the 13th largest city in Germany as well as the third-largest city in Northern Germany. Hanover's urban area comprises the towns of Garbsen, Langenhagen and Laatzen. The city lies at the confluence of the River Leine and its tributary Ihme, in the south of the North German Plain, and is the largest city in the Hannover–Braunschweig–Göttingen–Wolfsburg Metropolitan Region. It is the fifth-largest city in the Low German dialect area.
The city is a major crossing point of railway lines and motorways (Autobahnen), connecting European main lines in both the east-west (Berlin–Ruhr area/Düsseldorf/Cologne) and north-south (Hamburg–Frankfurt/Stuttgart/Munich) directions. Hannover Airport lies north of the city, in Langenhagen, and is Germany's ninth-busiest airport. The city's most notable institutes of higher education are the Hannover Medical School (Medizinische Hochschule Hannover), one of Germany's leading medical schools, with its university hospital Klinikum der Medizinischen Hochschule Hannover, and the Leibniz University Hannover.
The Hanover fairground, owing to numerous extensions, especially for the Expo 2000, is the largest in the world. Hanover hosts annual commercial trade fairs such as the Hanover Fair and up to 2018 the CeBIT. The IAA Commercial Vehicles show takes place every two years. It is the world's leading trade show for transport, logistics and mobility. Every year Hanover hosts the Schützenfest Hannover, the world's largest marksmen's festival, and the Oktoberfest Hannover.
Various industrial businesses are located in Hannover. The Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Transporter (VWN) factory at Hannover-Stöcken is the biggest employer in the region and operates a large plant at the northern edge of town adjoining the Mittellandkanal and Motorway A2. Volkswagen shares a coal-burning power plant with a factory of German tire and automobile parts manufacturer Continental AG. Continental AG, founded in Hanover in 1871, is one of the city's major companies.
The audio equipment company Sennheiser and the travel group TUI AG are both based in Hanover.[Hanover is home to many insurance companies including Talanx, VHV Group, and Concordia Insurance. The major global reinsurance company Hannover Re also has its headquarters east of the city centre. Among the largest employers in Hanover are: Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles (VWN), Klinikum Region Hannover, Hannover Medical School, Continental, Deutsche Bahn, TUI, DHL, Nord/LB, Talanx, WABCO, VHV Group.
Hannoverimpuls GMBH is a joint business development company from the city and region of Hannover. The company supports the start-up, growth and relocation of businesses in the Hannover Region. The focus is on thirteen sectors, which stand for sustainable economic growth: Automotive, Energy Solutions, Information and Communications Technology, Life Sciences, Optical Technologies, Creative Industries and Production Engineering. A range of programmes supports companies from the key industries in their expansion plans in Hannover or abroad. Three regional centres specifically promote international economic relations with Russia, India and Turkey.
Hannover is ranked #75 by the Global Urban Competitiveness Report (GUCR) which evaluates and ranks world cities in the context of economic competitiveness. Hannover was ranked #861 by the Nomad List which evaluates and ranks remote work hubs by cost, internet, fun and safety. Hannover has a population of over 535,061 people. Hannover also forms part of the wider Hannover-Braunschweig-Göttingen-Wolfsburg metropolitan area which has a population of over 3,900,000 people. Hannover is the #253 hipster city in the world, with a hipster score of 3.0566 according to the Hipster Index which evaluates and ranks the major cities of the world according to the number of vegan eateries, coffee shops, tattoo studios, vintage boutiques, and record stores per 100,000 city residents.