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Baltimore is the largest city in the U.S. state of Maryland. It is located in the central area of the state along the tidal portion of the Patapsco River, an arm of the Chesapeake Bay. The independent city is often referred to as Baltimore City to distinguish it from surrounding Baltimore County.

Founded in 1729, Baltimore is the largest seaport in the Mid-Atlantic United States and is situated closer to 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. After a decline in manufacturing, Baltimore shifted to a service-oriented economy.

At 620,961 residents in 2010, Baltimore's population has decreased by one-third since its peak in 1950. The Baltimore Metropolitan Area has grown steadily to approximately 2.7 million residents in 2010; the 20th largest in the country. Baltimore is also a principal city in the larger Baltimore–Washington combined statistical area of approximately 8.4 million residents.

The city is named after Lord Baltimore, a member of the Irish House of Lords and the founding proprietor of the Maryland Colony. Baltimore is an anglicization of the Irish Gaelic name Baile an Tí Mhóir, meaning "town of the big house", whence Baltimore, County Cork derives its name.

http://baltimore.org/
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