While the municipality itself (downtown ville de Genève) has a population ( ) of , the canton of Geneva (République et Canton de Genève, which includes the city) has 464,677 residents ( ).
Geneva is a global city, a financial centre, and a worldwide centre for diplomacy and the most important UN international co-operation centre with New York thanks to the presence of numerous international organizations, including the headquarters of many of the agencies of the United Nations and the Red Cross. 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 has been described as the third European financial centre after London and Zurich, and the world's eighth most important financial centre by the Global Financial Centres Index, ahead of Frankfurt, and a 2009 survey by Mercer found Geneva to have the third-highest quality of life of any city in the world (narrowly outranked by Zürich). The city has been referred to as the world's most compact metropolis and the "Peace Capital." In 2009, Geneva was ranked as the fourth most expensive city in the world.