Leipzig is the most populous city in the federal state of Saxony, Germany. With a population of 582,277 inhabitants (1.1 million residents in the larger urban zone) it is Germany's tenth most populous city. Together with the city of Halle, forms a key metropolitan region. This region represents a major trading intersection and a centre for the service sector, the automobile industry and logistics.
Leipzig has been a trade city since at least the time of the Holy Roman Empire. Leipzig became a major urban centre within the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) after the Second World War, but its cultural and economic importance declined. This has changed after reunification between East and Western Gernmany. In recent years Leipzig has often been nicknamed the "Boomtown of Eastern Germany" or "Hypezig".
There is also a growing science and research activity, with a particular focus on biotechnology. Leipzig is home to a wide range of advanced university medicine and research, regenerative medicine and medical biotechnology. Universität Leipzig, Leipzig University Hospital, Leipzig Heart Centre and the IZI Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology are just some of the many scientific institutes, clinics and businesses making up a Healthcare & Biotech Cluster with about 30,000 employees and a further 6,000 youngsters undergoing training.
The city is a location for automobile manufacturing by BMW and Porsche in large plants north of the city. In 2011 and 2012 DHL transferred the bulk of its European air operations from Brussels Airport to Leipzig/Halle Airport. Kirow Ardelt AG, the world market leader in breakdown cranes, is based in Leipzig. The city also houses the European Energy Exchange, the leading energy exchange in Central Europe.