Essen is a city in the central part of the Ruhrarea in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Located on the River Ruhr, its population of approximately 579,000 (as of June 30, 2008) makes it the 9th-largest city in Germany. For the year 2010, Essen was the European Capital of Culture on behalf of the whole Ruhr area. Formerly one of Germany's most important coal and steel centres and historically linked to the centuries-old Krupp family iron works, the city has developed a strong tertiary sector of industry and (sometimes together with nearby Düsseldorf) claims to be the "desk of the Ruhr area". It is home to 13 of the 100 largest German corporations and seat to several of the region's authorities.