Charlotte ( /ʃɑrlət/) is the largest city in the U.S. state of North Carolina and the seat of Mecklenburg County. In 2010, Charlotte's population according to the US Census Bureau was 731,424 , making it the 17th largest city in the United States based on population. The Charlotte metropolitan area had a 2009 population of 1,745,524. The Charlotte metropolitan area is part of a wider thirteen-county labor market region or combined statistical area with a 2009 estimated population of 2,389,763. Residents of Charlotte are referred to as "Charlotteans".
Charlotte has become a major U.S. financial center, and is now the second largest banking center in the United States after New York City. The nation's largest financial institution by assets, Bank of America, calls the city home. The city was also the former corporate home of Wachovia until its purchase by Wells Fargo in 2008; Charlotte will soon become the headquarters for East Coast Operations of Wells Fargo. Charlotte is also home of the Carolina Panthers of the National Football League, the Charlotte Bobcats of the National Basketball Association, the NASCAR Hall of Fame, and the U.S. National Whitewater Center.
Nicknamed the Queen City, Charlotte and its resident county are named in honor of Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, who had become queen consort of British King George III 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.