Malaga is a Spanish city, capital of the homonymous province, in the autonomous region of Andalusia. It is situated in the western extreme of the Mediterranean sea, to the south of the Iberian peninsula, just little more than 100 km to the east of the Strait of Gibraltar. The municipality, which covers a surface of 395 km², is situated in the center of a bay surrounded by mountain ranges.
Two rivers, the Guadalmedina and the Guadalhorce, cross Malaga flowing into the Mediterranean.
With 566,447 inhabitants according to the census of 2008, Malaga is the sixth largest city of Spain by population and the second of Andalusia. Besides, it is the most densely populated zone of the conurbation formed by the assembly of localities that are situated along the 160 km of the Costa del Sol. Moreover, the city is the center of a metropolitan area that surpasses Málaga's municipal limits covering 12 other communities, resulting in a total amount of 850,000 inhabitants in the whole agglomeration.
Between 1960 and 1981 the city experienced a major population growth, winning about 200,000 inhabitants. However, from the 1980's on, the migration tendency was rather directed to the outlying zones and to municipalities of its metropolitan area, chiefly Alhaurín de la Torre, Cártama and Rincón de la Victoria. Since the end of the 20th century, Malaga has become a focus of attraction for immigrants. Malaga airport has been very busy since it was built in 1919, apart from the high volume of tourist that visit Malaga every year, the total of foreign residents is 40,495 people, the most important nationalities are Colombians, Ukrainians, Sub-Saharans, Argentineans and Moroccans. The gypsy community represents approximately 2% of the population. The majoritity of the religious persons in Malaga are Christians (mainly Catholics), followed by Muslims of Maghrebi origin. The Jewish community of Malaga has been present in the city for 1,500 years and is one of the largest of Spain.
The Northern half and the Eastern zone of the municipality correspond to the mountainous territory of the Montes de Malaga, where hights up to 1,032 m are reached. The seaboard of Malaga has been strongly modified along the history by the humans, so that some parts of the city were gained from the sea.
In general, Malaga beaches are situated to the west of the port and the estuary of the Guadalmedina are flat and sandy, while the coast towards the east features a rather abrupt relief with mountain formations very close to the seaboard.