Milan is the second-most populous city in Italy and the capital of Lombardy. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area is the 5th largest in the EU with an estimated population of about 5,264,000. The massive suburban sprawl that followed the post-war boom of the 1950s–60s and the growth of a vast commuter belt, suggest that socio-economic linkages have expanded well beyond the boundaries of its administrative limits and its agglomeration, creating a polycentric metropolitan area of 7-10 million people. It has been suggested that the Milan metropolitan region is part of the so-called Blue Banana, the area of Europe with the highest population and industrial density.
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