Ranked 12th of the world's most livable cities in the magazine Monocle in 2013, Fukuoka was praised for its green spaces in a metropolitan setting. It is the most populous city in Kyushu, followed by Kitakyushu. It is the largest city and metropolitan area west of Keihanshin. The city was designated on April 1, 1972, by government ordinance. Greater Fukuoka (Japanese: 福岡都市圏 Fukuoka-toshiken), with 2.5 million people (2005 census), is part of the heavily industrialized Fukuoka–Kitakyushu zone as well as Northern Kyushu.
As of July 2011, Fukuoka is Japan's 6th largest city, having passed the population of Kyoto. This marks the first time that a city west of the Kinki region has a larger population than Kyoto since the founding of Kyoto in 794. In ancient times, however, the area near Fukuoka, the Chikushi region, was thought to be perhaps even more influential than the Yamato region.