St. Louis is an independent city on the eastern border of Missouri, United States. With a population of 319,294, it was the 58th-largest U.S. city at the 2010 U.S. Census. The Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) population of 2,812,896 is the 18th-largest in the country. The Greater St. Louis combined statistical area's (CSA) population of 2,878,255 is the 16th-largest CSA in the country, the fourth-largest in the Midwest. The Greater St. Louis area is the largest metropolitan area in Missouri.
The city of St. Louis was founded in 1764 by Pierre Laclède and Auguste Chouteau, and after the Louisiana Purchase, it became a major port on the Mississippi River. Its population expanded after the American Civil War, and it became the fourth-largest city in the United States in the late 19th century. It seceded from St. Louis County in March 1877, allowing it to become an independent city and limiting its political boundaries. In 1904, it hosted the 1904 World's Fair and the 1904 Olympic Games. The city's population peaked in 1950, after which began a long decline until the beginning of the 21st century.
The economy of St. Louis relies on service, manufacturing, trade, transportation of goods, and tourism, and the region is home to several major corporations: Express Scripts, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Graybar Electric, Scottrade, Sigma-Aldrich, Anheuser-Busch, Edward Jones Investments, Emerson Electric, Energizer, and Monsanto. St. Louis is home to three professional sports teams: the St. Louis Cardinals, one of the most successful Major League Baseball clubs; the hockey St. Louis Blues, and the football St. Louis Rams. The city is commonly identified with the Gateway Arch, part of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial in downtown St. Louis.