The city of St. Louis is located on the eastern border of Missouri and has a population of approximately 319,294. As of 2010, it was the 58th-largest city within the country. The combined statistical area of Greater St. Louis has a population of around 2,845,298, making it the country's 16th largest urban area. It is the 4th biggest city in the Midwest, and the largest within Missouri State.
St. Louis was established during 1767 by Pierre Laclede and Auguste Chouteau. St. Louis was able to rapidly develop into a bustling port on the Mississippi, soon after the Louisiana Purchase. The American Civil War aftermath caused a population boom in St. Louis, causing it to become the 4th largest city in the united States throughout the latter part of the 19th century. It became an independent city from St. Louis Country during the year 1876. The 1904 World's Fair and the 1904 Olympic Games were both held within St. Louis. The population of the city continued to grow until the year 1950. Since then, the population has started a to decline steadily.
The most well-known architectural landmark in St. Louis is the Gateway Arch, that was constructed in 1965 and spans over 630 feet. It was designed by Eero Sarrinen and represents the gateway to the American West. The largest and oldest outdoor musical theatre within the US, the Municipal Theatre, is also in St. Louis, housed in Forest Park. Forest park is also home to a large assortment of other cultural attractions, like the St. Louis Zoological Park, the Saint Louis Art Museum, the St. Louis Science Center and Observatory, the Municipal Theatre ("The Muny"), and the Missouri History Museum. The St. Louis Shakespeare Company, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis and the Opera Theatre of St. Louis are among the other attractions that are situated in St. Louis.
The St. Louis Metropolitan area has fairly a vast and diverse economy, with nearly all of the labor force hired by the retail and service sector. The main businesses comprise distribution and transportation, plant and life sciences, financial services, information technology and advanced manufacturing. St. Louis remains a main national center of wholesale trade because of its central location within Missouri State along with its fantastic transportation system.
Though declining, the manufacturing sector still plays a main part in the economy of the city. Approximately 20 percent of the salary earned by residents is from this sector. There are also some automobile manufacturing facilities situated in the Louis Area. Fenton is home to a couple of DaimlerChrysler plants, Hazelwood has a Ford Motor Company plant and Wentzville has a General Motors plant. The city is home to a Boeing manufacturing plant, which produces JDAM smart bombs and the F/A-18 Super Hornet. Boeing likewise operates its head office for it's Integrated Defense Systems division along with it's Phantom Works research and development operation.
Being the 3rd biggest inland port within the US and among the twenty-five biggest ports in North America, the city of St. Louis is major shipping port. is main shipping port and is the 3rd biggest inland port within the country. It is likewise considered one of the twenty-five largest ports within North America. For the most part it remains open and ice-free during the entire year because of it's location on the Mississippi River's northernmost point. Furthermore, it is likewise the southernmost point that offers lock-free navigation to the Gulf of Mexico.