Cotonou, is the largest city and economic centre of Benin.
Its official population count was 761,137 inhabitants in 2006; however, some estimates indicate its population to be as high as 1.2 million. The population in 1960 was only 70,000. The urban area continues to expand, notably toward the west. The city lies in the southeast of the country, between the Atlantic Ocean and Lake Nokoué.
In addition to being Benin's largest city, it is the seat of government, although Porto-Novo is the official capital. It is home to most of the country's government buildings and diplomatic services. The city is a major port and home to an airport and a railway that links to Parakou. Other features include Cotonou Friendship Stadium, Cotonou Cathedral, Cotonou Central Mosque, the Ancien Pont Bridge and the 20-hectare Dantokpa Market, which has a commercial turnover of over one billion CFA Francs a day.