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Charlotte is the largest city in the state of North Carolina and the seat of Mechlenburg County. Charlotte's population was estimated to be 687,456 in 2008, making it the 18th largest city in the United States. Residents of Charlotte are referred to as "Charlotteans".

Nicknamed the Queen City, Charlotte is named in honor of the German Princess Charlotte of Mecklenburg, who had become queen consort of British King George II the year before the city's founding. A second nickname derives from later in the 18th century. During the American Revolutionary War, British commander General Cornwallis occupied the city but was driven out afterwards by hostive residents, promting him to write that Charlotte was "a hornet's nest of rebellion.," leading to another city nickname: The Hornet's Nest.

In 2007, the Charlottte metropolitan are had a population of 1,701,799. The Charlotte metropolitan area is part of a wider thirteen-county labor market region or combined statistical area that has an estimated population of 2,338,289. Forbes named Charlotte as the third most undervalued real estate markets in the U.S. in 2007. In 2008, Charlotte was chosen the "Best PLace to Live in AMerica" by in its annual ranking, based on factors including employment opportunities, crim rates, and housing affordability.

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