Charlotte is the largest city in the state of North Carolina. It is the county seat of Mecklenburg County. In 2016, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated the population was 842,051, making it the 17th-largest city in the United States based on population. The Charlotte metropolitan area ranks 22nd-largest in the U.S., and had a 2016 population of 2,474,314. The Charlotte metropolitan area is part of a sixteen-county market region or combined statistical area with a 2016 U.S. Census population estimate of 2,632,249. Between 2004 and 2014, Charlotte was ranked as the country's fastest growing metro area, with 888,000 new residents. Based on U.S. Census data from 2005 to 2015, it also tops the 50 largest U.S. cities as the millennial hub. It is the second-largest city in the southeastern United States, just behind Jacksonville, Florida. It is the third-fastest growing major city in the United States. It is listed as a "gamma-minus" global city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network. Residents are referred to as "Charlotteans".
Charlotte is home to the corporate headquarters of Bank of America and the east coast operations of Wells Fargo, which along with other financial institutions made it the second-largest banking center in the United States from 1995 to 2017 and the third-largest from 2017 to present. Among Charlotte's many notable attractions, some of the most popular include the Carolina Panthers of the National Football League (NFL), the Charlotte Hornets of the National Basketball Association (NBA), the Charlotte Independence of the United Soccer League (USL), two NASCAR Sprint Cup races and the NASCAR All-Star Race, the Wells Fargo Championship, the NASCAR Hall of Fame, the Charlotte Ballet, Carowinds amusement park, and the U.S. National Whitewater Center. Charlotte Douglas International Airport is a major international hub, and was ranked the 23rd-busiest airport in the world by passenger traffic in 2013.
Charlotte has a humid subtropical climate. It is located several miles east of the Catawba River and southeast of Lake Norman, the largest man-made lake in North Carolina. Lake Wylie and Mountain Island Lake are two smaller man-made lakes located near the city.