Charlotte is the largest city in the state of North Carolina. It is the county seat of Mecklenburg County and the second-largest city in the southeastern United States, just behind Jacksonville, Florida. Charlotte is the third-fastest growing major city in the United States. In 2014 the estimated population of Charlotte according to the U.S. Census Bureau was 809,958, making it the 17th-largest city in the United States based on population. The Charlotte metropolitan area ranks 22nd-largest in the U.S., and had a 2014 population of 2,380,314. 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. 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.
Charlotte is home to the corporate headquarters of Bank of America and the east coast operations of Wells Fargo, which along with other financial institutions made it the second-largest banking center in the United States from 1995 to 2017 and the third-largest from 2017 to present. 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), the Charlotte Independence of the United Soccer League (USL), two NASCAR Sprint Cup races and the NASCAR All-Star Race, the Wells Fargo Championship, the NASCAR Hall of Fame, the Charlotte Ballet, 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.
Charlotte has a humid subtropical climate. The city is located several miles east of the Catawba River and southeast of Lake Norman, the largest man-made lake in North Carolina. Lake Wylie and Mountain Island Lake are two smaller man-made lakes located near the city.