In 2016, the city had a population of 1,704,694. Montreal's metropolitan area had a population of 4,098,927 and a population of 1,942,044 in the urban agglomeration, with all of the municipalities on the Island of Montreal included.French is the city's official language and is the language spoken at home by 49.8% of the population of the city, followed by English at 22.8% and 18.3% other languages (in the 2016 census, not including multi-language responses). In the larger Montreal Census Metropolitan Area, 65.8% of the population speaks French at home, compared to 15.3% who speak English. The agglomeration Montreal is one of the most bilingual cities in Quebec and Canada, with over 59% of the population able to speak both English and French. Montreal is the second-largest primarily French-speaking city in the world, after Paris. It is situated 258 kilometres (160 mi) south-west of Quebec City.
In the Mohawk language, the island is called Tiohtià:ke Tsi. It is a name referring to the Lachine Rapids to the island's southwest or Ka-wé-no-te. It means "a place where nations and rivers unite and divide".
The city was first named Ville Marie by European settlers from La Flèche, or "City of Mary", named for the Virgin Mary. Its current name comes from Mount Royal, the triple-peaked hill in the heart of the city. According to one theory, the name derives from mont Réal, (Mont Royal in modern French, although in 16th-century French the terms réal and royal were used interchangeably); Cartier's 1535 diary entry, naming the mountain, refers to le mont Royal. A possibility by the Government of Canada on its web site concerning Canadian place names, is that the name was adopted as it is written nowadays because an early map of 1556 used the Italian name of the mountain, Monte Real; this misconception has been dismissed by the Commission de toponymie du Québec.
According to the Government of Canada, the Government of Quebec, the Commission de toponymie du Québec, and the Geographical Names Board of Canada, the names of Canadian cities and towns have only one official form. Thus, Montréal is officially spelled with an accented é in both Canadian English and French. However, the accent in both Montreal and Quebec are often omitted in common English usage.