Milwaukee (pronounced /mɪlwɔːkiː/); is the largest city in the U.S. state of Wisconsin, the 28th most populous city in the United States and 39th most populous region in the United States. It is the county seat of Milwaukee County and is located on the southwestern shore of Lake Michigan. According to 2010 census data, the City of Milwaukee has a population of 594,833. Milwaukee is the main cultural and economic center of the Milwaukee–Racine–Waukesha Metropolitan Area with a population of 1,751,316 as of 2010. Milwaukee is also the regional center of the seven county Greater Milwaukee Area, with an estimated population of 2,014,032 as of 2008.
The first Europeans to pass through the area were French missionaries and fur traders. In 1818, the French-Canadian explorer Solomon Juneau settled in the area, and in 1846 Juneau's town combined with two neighboring towns to incorporate as the City of Milwaukee. Large numbers of German and other immigrants helped increase the city's population during the 1840s and the following decades.
Once known almost exclusively as a brewing and manufacturing powerhouse, Milwaukee's image has changed with the decline of industry in the region. In the past decade, major new additions to the city include the Milwaukee Riverwalk, the Frontier Airlines Center, Miller Park, an internationally renowned addition to the Milwaukee Art Museum, and Pier Wisconsin, as well as major renovations to the U.S. Cellular Arena. In addition, many new skyscrapers, condos, lofts and apartments have been constructed in neighborhoods on and near the lakefront and riverbanks.