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Charlotte /ˈʃɑrlət/ is the largest city in the U.S. state of North Carolina, the seat of Mecklenburg County, the second largest city in the Southeastern United States, just behind Jacksonville, Florida, and the third fastest-growing major city in the United States.[3] In 2014, the estimated population of Charlotte according to the U.S. Census Bureau was 809,958,[4] making it the 17th largest city in the United States based on population. The Charlotte metropolitan area ranks 22nd largest in the US and had a 2014 population of 2,380,314.[1] The Charlotte metropolitan area is part of a sixteen-county market region or combined statistical area with a 2014 U.S. Census population estimate of 2,537,990.[5] Residents of Charlotte are referred to as "Charlotteans". It is listed as a "gamma-plus" global city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network.[6]

Charlotte is home to the corporate headquarters of Bank of America and the east coast operations of Wells Fargo, which among other financial operations makes it the second largest banking center in the United States.[7] Among Charlotte's many notable attractions, some of the most popular include the Carolina Panthers of the National Football League (NFL), the Charlotte Hornets of the National Basketball Association (NBA), 2 NASCAR Sprint Cup races and the NASCAR All-Star Race, the Wells Fargo Championship, the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Carowinds amusement park, and the U.S. National Whitewater Center. Charlotte Douglas International Airport is a major international hub, and was ranked the 23rd busiest airport in the world by passenger traffic in 2013.[8]

Nicknamed the Queen City,[9] Charlotte and its resident county received its name in honor of Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, who had become queen consort of Great Britain the year before the city's founding. A second nickname derives from the American Revolutionary War, when British commander General Cornwallis occupied the city but was driven out by hostile residents, prompting him to write that Charlotte was "a hornet's nest of rebellion", leading to the nickname The Hornet's Nest.

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