Hauts-de-France is the northernmost region of France, created by the territorial reform of French Regions in 2014, from a merger of Nord-Pas-de-Calais and Picardy. Its capital is Lille. The new region came into existence on 1 January 2016, after the regional elections in December 2015. France's Conseil d'État approved Hauts-de-France as the name of the region on 28 September 2016, effective 30 September 2016. With 6,009,976 inhabitants (as of 1 January 2015) and a population density of 189 inhabitants/km2, it is the third most populous region in France and the second most densely populated in metropolitan France after its southern neighbour Île-de-France.