Abidjan is the former political capital and primary economic center of the country of Ivory Coast. As of 2011 it is the largest city in the nation and the third-largest French-speaking city in the world, after Paris and Kinshasa. As of 2006 records, there were 5,068,858 residents in the metropolitan area and 3,796,677 residents in the municipality. Only Lagos, the former capital of Nigeria, has a larger number of inhabitants in the West African region. Considered a cultural hub of West Africa, Abidjan is characterized by a high level of industrialization and urbanization. The city stands in Ébrié Lagoon on several converging peninsulas and islands connected by bridges.The city grew up quickly after the construction of a new wharf in 1931 and its designation as the capital city of the then-French colony in 1933. The completion of the Vridi Canal in 1951 enabled it to become an important sea port. In 1983 Yamoussoukro was designated as the official capital city of Ivory Coast, but almost all political institutions and foreign embassies are still in Abidjan.