Ho Chi Minh City, formerly named Saigon is the largest city in Vietnam. It was once known as Prey Nokor, an important Khmer sea port prior to annexation by the Vietnamese in the 17th century. Under the name Saigon, it was the capital of the French colony of Cochinchina and later of the independent republic of South Vietnam. On 2 July 1976, Saigon merged with the surrounding Gia Dinh Province and was officially renamed Ho Chi Minh City. The metropolitan area is populated by more than 9 million people, making it the most populous metropolitan area in Vietnam. The city's population is expected to grow to 13.9 million in 2025. The Ho Chi Minh City Metropolitan Area will have an area of 30,000 square kilometres (12,000 sq mi) with a population of 20 million inhabitants by 2020. According to the Mercer Human Resource Consulting, Economist Intelligence Unit and ECA International, Ho Chi Minh City is ranked 132 on the list of world's most expensive cities for expatriate employees.
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