Hôtel de Ville MontpellierHôtel de Ville Montpellier
©Hôtel de Ville Montpellier|OTC3M - Valérie Paduano
Key figures and economical clusters

Montpellier, a competitive destination

At the heart of the Mediterranean arc, Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole constitutes a base of excellence at the cutting edge of innovation and modernity. All the economic players and the city of Montpellier are committed to meeting the societal challenges of today and tomorrow. This ambition is supported by a collective strategy: Montpellier, the positive industry. It creates favourable conditions to support an industry that strives for overall economic, ecological and social performance for present and future generations.

In a few figures ...

  • 1st demographic growth in France
  • 7th largest city in France in terms of population
  • Metropolis: 31 municipalities and 481,276 inhabitants on a territory of 423.21 km².
  • 50% of the population is under 34 years old (Source: INSEE)
  • 3rd best city in France to live in
  • Montpellier is the 3rd largest university city in France
  • 5th largest university town in France
  • The Montpellier Academy (5 departments) has 109,700 students in more than 70 higher education establishments (universities, institutes, schools and public or private high schools)
  • The urban area of Montpellier alone is home to around 75,000 students, including 10,000 foreign students


Economy & innovation
  • 1st wine region in the world (Sud de France Développement)
  • One of the French leaders in public research: INRA, CNRS, CIRAD, INSERM, IRD and IRSTEA (INSEE)
  • Top 5 public startup incubators in the world (UBI Global 2019)
  • 2nd worldwide cluster for agro-environmental research
6 economical


  • Health: Eurobiomed competitiveness cluster; Sanofi, Horiba Medical, Bausch&Lomb
  • Agronomics: Qualiméditerranée competitiveness cluster; Kraft Foods Mondelez
  • ICT: Optitec competitiveness cluster; IBM, Dell, Ubisoft, Intel, Free, Orange
  • Environment: Derbi, Trimatec and Risques competitiveness clusters; Schlumberger, EDF Energies Nouvelles, Veolia Energie
  • Water: global water competitiveness cluster; Egis Eau, Deinove, Groupe EDF Suez
  • Security: pôle SAFE


For more than 30 years, Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole has been committed to innovative entrepreneurship by welcoming pioneers in digital technology and innovation.

The Metropolis has all the assets to play a central role in the digital economy: technical quality and diversity of higher education and research structures, dynamism of companies (large groups including IBM, Dell, Computacenter, Schlumberger, Idate…, ETIs and SMEs), accessibility, digital infrastructures, living environment…

Research & innovation

Montpellier is a leading research and innovation area thanks to a high-performance university (4th in France for life sciences and medicine, QS World University Ranking.

Ranking 2019), a powerful university hospital (6th in France for research), high-level research centres, large companies (Bausch+Lomb, Bio-Rad, HORIBA Médical, Sanofi), numerous innovative SMEs and VSEs (1/3 of the start-ups supported by the Montpellier BIC operate in the health sector) and the Eurobiomed competitiveness cluster (1st health network in France and 1st European network in medical diagnostics.

Montpellier is also the most attractive city in France in terms of “connectivity, human capital and innovation”.

The French Tech

For over 25 years, innovation and the digital environment have been shaping the territory of Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole which was awarded the French Tech label, earning a place in the Top 10 French cities in the sector. It is more than ever acknowledged as a driving force for innovation and the digital economy. The Business and Innovation Centre (BIC), a true catalyst for entrepreneurship and innovation, has accompanied over 550 start-ups and has won many accolades for its successes. A solid base for the Metropole 3.0 of tomorrow.

The Smart City

In keeping with its spirit of innovation and in the face of increasing urbanisation, the Metropolis of Montpellier is experimenting with a new urban innovation approach: the Smart City.

Montpellier has been ranked as the 1st smart city after Paris (Cabinet Roland Berger 2017). It is also the 1st Metropolis chosen by the CNES and In Space Institut to implement space solutions in the framework of the Smart City (land use planning, major risks, agriculture, mobility, …) and received the Grand Prize of the Smart City Initiative in the category “Smart City of the year” (La Tribune, 2018).

The agri-food industry

Home to the Agropolis International research cluster, Montpellier is home to one of the world’s largest scientific communities in agriculture, food, biodiversity and the environment.

With 2,700 researchers and teachers and the presence of France’s leading agricultural and food competitiveness cluster, Agri Sud-Ouest Innovation, the city is the centre of an ecosystem that promotes innovation through synergy between research and business.

The environment

The environment is a metropolitan competence which is exercised in particular in the treatment of waste, mobility or the fight against pollution.

In Montpellier, environmental protection is a major concern that mobilises all the economic forces. Innovating means preparing the economy and jobs of tomorrow, supporting the initiatives and changes necessary for the quality of life and work in our region and for our planet.

The University of Montpellier was ranked 3rd in the world in ecology (Shanghai Global Ranking of Academic Subjects 2021).