Charlotte is the largest city in the U.S. state of North Carolina and the seat of Mecklenburg County. In 2012, the estimated population of Charlotte according to the U.S. Census Bureau was 775,202, making it the 17th largest city in the United States based on population. The Charlotte metropolitan area ranks 23rd largest in the US and had a 2012 population of 2,296,569. The Charlotte metropolitan area is part of a sixteen-county market region or combined statistical area with a 2011 U.S. Census population estimate of 2,442,564. Residents of Charlotte are referred to as "Charlotteans".
The city is a major U.S. financial center, the second largest financial center by assets following New York City. Bank of America and the East Coast operations of Wells Fargo are headquartered in the city. Charlotte is also home of the Carolina Panthers of the National Football League, the Charlotte Bobcats of the National Basketball Association, the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Carowinds amusement park, and the U.S. National Whitewater Center.