St. Louis (/seɪnt ˈluːɪs/) is an independent city and inland port in the U.S. state of Missouri. The city developed along the western bank of the Mississippi River, which forms Missouri's border with Illinois. In 2010, St. Louis had a population of 319,294; a 2015 estimate put the population at 315,685, making it the 60th-most populous U.S. city and the second-largest city in Missouri after Kansas City. The St. Louis metropolitan area includes the city as well as nearby areas in Missouri and Illinois; with an estimated population of 2,916,447, it has the largest metropolitan area in Missouri and is the nineteenth largest in the United States.
St. Louis was founded in 1764 by fur traders Pierre Laclède and Auguste Chouteau, and named after Louis IX of France. Claimed first by the French, who settled mostly east of the Mississippi River, the region in which the city stands was ceded to Spain following France's defeat in the Seven Years' War. Its territory east of the Mississippi was ceded to the Kingdom of Great Britain, the victor. The area of present-day Missouri was part of Spanish Louisiana from 1762 until 1803; the French persuaded King Charles IV of Spain to cede Louisiana back to France in 1800, but the Spanish continued as administrators of the territory until the Louisiana Purchase in 1803.
After the United States acquired this territory in the Louisiana Purchase, St. Louis developed as a major port on the Mississippi River. In the late-19th century, St. Louis was ranked as the fourth-largest city in the United States. It separated from St. Louis County in 1877, becoming an independent city and limiting its own political boundaries. In 1904, it hosted the Louisiana Purchase Exposition and the Summer Olympics. Immigration has increased, and the city is the center of the largest Bosnian population in the world outside their homeland.
The economy of metro St. Louis relies on service, manufacturing, trade, transportation of goods, and tourism. Its metro area is home to major corporations, including Anheuser-Busch, Express Scripts, Centene, Boeing Defense, Emerson, Energizer, Panera, Enterprise, Peabody Energy, Ameren, Ralcorp, Monsanto, Scottrade, Edward Jones, Go Jet, Purina and Sigma-Aldrich. This city has also become known for a growing medical, pharmaceutical and research city. St. Louis has two professional sports teams: the St. Louis Cardinals of Major League Baseball and the St. Louis Blues of the National Hockey League. The city is commonly identified with the 630-foot (192 m) tall Gateway Arch in Downtown St. Louis.
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