Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam. It covers an area of 3,358.6 square kilometres. With an official population of 8,053,663 million, it is the second largest city in Vietnam. The metropolitan area, encompassing nine additional neighbouring provinces, has an estimated population of 20 millions. Located in the nortwest of the Red River Delta, Hanoi is the commercial, cultural, and educational centre of Northern Vietnam. Having an estimated nominal GDP of US$32.8 billion, it is the second most productive economic centre of Vietnam, following Ho Chi Minh City.
Originally a small settlement along the banks of the Red River, the city was founded as Thăng Long, the capital of Imperial Vietnam, in 1010 by monarch Lý Thái Tổ. Thăng Long would remain the most important political and cultural centre of Vietnam until 1802, when the Nguyễn dynasty, the last imperial dynasty of Vietnam, moved the capital to Huế. Thăng Long renamed to its current name Hanoi in 1831. In 1873, Hanoi was conquered by the French, and from 1883 to 1945, the city was the capital of French Indochina.