Bolivar is the county seat of Polk County, Missouri, United States. The population was 11,013 at the 2010 census. The city was named for Bolivar, Tennessee, home to many of the original settlers, and like that city its name is pronounced to rhyme with Oliver. The town is perhaps best known as the location of Southwest Baptist University and it was ranked number 87 on a list of 100 Best Small Towns in America in 1995. Bolivar is part of the Springfield, Missouri Metropolitan Statistical Area. Bolivar is named after the South American historical figure, Simón Bolívar, who was nicknamed El Libertador (The Liberator). In another nod to history, the local high school, Bolivar High School, calls its sports teams the Liberators.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.3 square miles (16.2 km²), all of it land.
As of the census of 2000, there were 9,143 people, 3,318 households, and 2,067 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,458.8 people per square mile (563.0/km²). There were 3,636 housing units at an average density of 580.1 per square mile (223.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 96.50% White, 0.86% African American, 0.60% Native American, 0.38% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.42% from other races, and 1.19% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.40% of the population.