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Biography

Baltimore (pronounced /ˈbɒltɨmɔr/, colloquially /ˈbɒlmɔr/) is the largest independent city in the United States and the largest city and cultural center of the U.S. state of Maryland. The city is located in central Maryland along the tidal portion of the Patapsco River, an arm of the Chesapeake Bay. Baltimore is sometimes referred to as Baltimore City in order to distinguish it from surrounding Baltimore County. Founded in 1729, Baltimore is the largest U.S. seaport in the mid-atlantic and is situated closer to major Midwestern markets than any other major seaport on the East Coast. Baltimore's Inner Harbor was once the second leading port of entry for immigrants to the United States and a major manufacturing center. The harbor is now home to Harborplace, a shopping, entertainment, and tourist center, and the National Aquarium in Baltimore. According to Forbes, the city of Baltimore was rated 3rd best place to shop in 2010. After a decline in manufacturing, Baltimore shifted to a service-oriented economy. Johns Hopkins University and Johns Hopkins Hospital are now the city's largest employers.

As of 2009, the population of Baltimore was 637,418. The Baltimore Metropolitan Area has approximately 2.7 million residents; the 21st largest in the country. Baltimore is also the largest city in the surrounding associated combined statistical area of approximately 8.4 million residents.

The city is named after Lord Baltimore in the Irish House of Lords, the founding proprietor of the Maryland Colony. Baltimore himself took his title from a place in Bornacoola parish, County Leitrim and County Longford, Ireland. Baltimore is an anglicized form of the Irish Baile an Tí Mhóir, meaning "Town of the Big House", not to be confused with Baltimore, County Cork, the Irish name of which is Dún na Séad.