La Défense is a major business district, three kilometres west of the city limits of Paris. It is part of the Paris Metropolitan Area in the Île-de-France region, located in the department Hauts-de-Seine spread across the communes of Courbevoie, Nanterre, and Puteaux.
La Défense is Europe's largest purpose-built business district with 560 hectares of area, 72 glass and steel buildings, 180,000 daily workers, and 3,500,000 square metres of office space. Around its Grande Arche and esplanade, La Défense contains many of the Paris urban area's tallest high-rises.
The district is located at the westernmost extremity of the 10-kilometre-long Historical Axis of Paris, which starts at the Louvre in Central Paris and continues along the Champs-Élysées, well beyond the Arc de Triomphe along the Avenue de la Grande Armée before culminating at La Défense. The district is centred in an orbital motorway straddling the Hauts-de-Seine département municipalities of Courbevoie, Nanterre, and Puteaux. La Défense is primarily a business district and hosts a population of 25,000 permanent residents and 45,000 students.