Las Palmas, officially Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, is a city and capital of Gran Canaria, in the Canary Islands. It is the co-capital (jointly with Santa Cruz de Tenerife) and the most populous city in the autonomous community of the Canary Islands, and the ninth largest city in Spain, with a population of 383,308 in 2010. Nearly half (45.9%) of the people of the island and 18.35% of all inhabitants of the Canary Islands live in this city. It is also the fifth most populous urban area in Spain with a population exceeding 700,000 and (depending on sources) ninth or tenth most populous metropolitan area in Spain with a population of between 625,000 and 750,000. Las Palmas is the largest city of the European Union lying outside the European Continent. It is located in the northeast part of the Spanish island of Gran Canaria, about 150 kilometres (93 miles) off the northwestern coast of Africa within the Atlantic Ocean.
Las Palmas enjoys a very mild and pleasant desertic climate (highly influenced by the Atlantic Ocean) with mild to warm temperatures throughout the year. Locals know it as the "Eternal Spring", with an average annual temperature of 21.3 °C. According to a study carried out by Thomas Whitmore, director of research on climatology at Syracuse University in the U.S., Las Palmas enjoys "the best climate in the world".
It was founded as a city in 1478, considered the de facto only capital of the Canary Islands until the seventeenth century. Today, the city is capital of Canary Islands with Santa Cruz and home to the Canarian Ministry of Presidency (shared in a 4-year term with Santa Cruz de Tenerife), home to half of the Ministries and Boards of the Canarian Government, and home to the High Court of Justice of the Canary Islands. It is the judicial and commercial capital of the Canary Islands, and is also home to a great share of the executive power.