Toulouse is the prefecture of the French department of Haute-Garonne and of the larger region of Occitanie. The city is on the banks of the River Garonne, 150 kilometres from the Mediterranean Sea, 230 km from the Atlantic Ocean and 680 km from Paris. It is the fourth-largest commune in France, with 479,553 inhabitants within its municipal boundaries, after Paris, Marseille and Lyon, ahead of Nice; it has a population of 1,360,829 within its wider metropolitan area.
Toulouse is the centre of the European aerospace industry, with the headquarters of Airbus, the SPOT satellite system, ATR and the Aerospace Valley. It also hosts the European headquarters of Intel and the CNES's Toulouse Space Centre, the largest space centre in Europe. Thales Alenia Space, ATR, SAFRAN, Liebherr-Aerospace and Airbus Defence and Space also have a significant presence in Toulouse.
The University of Toulouse is one of the oldest in Europe and, with more than 103,000 students, it is the fourth-largest university campus in France, after the universities of Paris, Lyon and Lille.