Antananarivo is the political, economic, educational and cultural heart of Madagascar.
Also known by its French colonial shorthand form Tana, it is the capital and largest city in Madagascar.
The larger urban area surrounding the city, known as Antananarivo-Renivohitra is the capital of Analamanga region.
The city is located 1,280 m (4,199 ft) above the sea level in the center of the island, and has been the island's largest population center since at least the 18th century.
It was historically the capital of the Merina people, who continue to form the majority of the city's estimated 1,300,000 (2013). inhabitants, as well as the surrounding urban areas which in all have a total metropolitan population approaching three million.
All 18 Malagasy ethnic groups, as well as residents of Chinese, Indian, European and other origins, are well represented in the city.