For other uses, see Geneva (disambiguation).
Top left: Palace of Nations, Middle left: ATLAS experiment at CERN, Right: Jet d'Eau, Bottom: View over Geneva and the lake.
Top left: Palace of Nations, Middle left: ATLAS experiment at CERN, Right: Jet d'Eau, Bottom: View over Geneva and the lake.
Coat of arms of GenevaGenève
Coat of arms
GenevaGenève is located in Switzerland
Coordinates: 46°12′N 6°09′E / 46.200°N 6.150°E / 46°12′N 6°09′E / 46.200; 6.150
Country Switzerland
Canton Geneva
District N/A
 •  Executive Conseil administratif
with 5 members
 •  Mayor Maire  (list)
Esther Alder  GPS/PES
(as of 2015)
 •  Parliament Conseil municipal
with 80 members
Area [1]
 • Total 15.93 km2 (6.15 sq mi)
Elevation 375 m (1,230 ft)
Population (Dec 2015 [2])
 • Total 198,072
 • Density 12,000/km2 (32,000/sq mi)
Demonym(s) French: Genevois(e)
Postal code 1200
SFOS number 6621
Surrounded by Carouge, Chêne-Bougeries, Cologny, Lancy, Grand-Saconnex, Pregny-Chambésy, Vernier, Veyrier
SFSO statistics

Geneva ( /ˈnvə/, French: Genève [ʒə.nɛv], Arpitan: Genèva [dzəˈnɛva], German: Genf [ɡɛnf], Italian: Ginevra [dʒiˈneːvra], Romansh: Genevra) is the second most populous city in Switzerland (after Zürich) and is the most populous city of Romandy, the French-speaking part of Switzerland. Situated where the Rhône exits Lake Geneva, it is the capital of the Republic and Canton of Geneva.

The municipality (ville de Genève) has a population (as of December 2015) of 198,072, and the canton (which is essentially the city and its inner-ring suburbs) has 484,736 residents. [2] In 2014, the compact agglomération du Grand Genève had 946,000 inhabitants in 212 communities in both Switzerland and France. [3] Within Swiss territory, the commuter area named "Métropole lémanique" contains a population of 1.25 million.[ citation needed] This area is essentially spread east from Geneva towards the Riviera area ( Vevey, Montreux) and north-east towards Yverdon-les-Bains, in the neighbouring canton of Vaud.

Geneva is a global city, a financial center, and worldwide center for diplomacy due to the presence of numerous international organizations, including the headquarters of many of the agencies of the United Nations [4] and the Red Cross. [5] Geneva is the city that hosts the highest number of international organizations in the world. [6] It is also the place where the Geneva Conventions were signed, which chiefly concern the treatment of wartime non-combatants and prisoners of war.

Geneva was ranked as the world's ninth most important financial centre for competitiveness by the Global Financial Centres Index, ahead of Frankfurt, and third in Europe behind London and Zürich. [7] A 2009 survey by Mercer found that Geneva has the third-highest quality of life of any city in the world (behind Vienna and Zürich for expatriates; it is narrowly outranked by Zürich). [8] The city has been referred to as the world's most compact metropolis[ citation needed] and the "Peace Capital". [9] In 2009 and 2011, Geneva was ranked as, respectively, the fourth and fifth most expensive city in the world. [10]


The city was mentioned in Latin texts, by Caesar, with the spelling Genava, [11] probably from a Celtic toponym *genawa- from the stem *genu- ("bend, knee"), in the sense of a bending river or estuary. [12]

The medieval county of Geneva in Middle Latin was known as pagus major Genevensis or Comitatus Genevensis (also Gebennensis), after 1400 becoming the Genevois province of Savoy (albeit not extending to the city proper, until the Reformation the seat of the bishop of Geneva). [13]

The name takes various forms in modern languages, Geneva /ˈnvə/ in English, French: Genève [ʒ(ə)nɛv], [14] German: Genf [ˈɡɛnf], Italian: Ginevra [dʒiˈneːvra], and Romansh: Genevra.

The city in origin shares its name, *genawa "estuary", with the Italian port city of Genoa (in Italian Genova). [12]