Baltimore (, locally: [ˈbɔɫ.mɔɻ]) is the largest city in the U.S. state of Maryland, and the 29th-most populous city in the country. It was established by the Constitution of Maryland and is not part of any county; thus, it is the largest independent city in the United States, with a population of 621,849 as of 2015. As of 2016, the population of the Baltimore metropolitan area was estimated to be just under 2.8 million, making it the 21st largest metropolitan area in the country.
Founded in 1729, Baltimore is the second-largest seaport in the Mid-Atlantic. 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 major manufacturing, industrialization and rail transportation, Baltimore shifted to a service-oriented economy, with the Johns Hopkins Hospital (founded 1889) and Johns Hopkins University (founded 1876), now the city's top two employers.
With hundreds of identified districts, Baltimore has been dubbed "a city of neighborhoods". Famous residents have included the writers Edgar Allan Poe, Edith Hamilton, Frederick Douglass, and H.L. Mencken; jazz musician James "Eubie" Blake; singer Billie Holiday; actor and filmmaker John Waters; and baseball player Babe Ruth. In the War of 1812, Francis Scott Key wrote The Star-Spangled Banner, later the American national anthem, in Baltimore. Baltimore has more public statues and monuments per capita than any other city in the country and is home to some of the earliest National Register Historic Districts in the nation, including Fell's Point, Federal Hill, and Mount Vernon, which were added to the National Register between 1969–1971. Close to a third of the city's buildings (over 65,000) are designated as historic in the National Register, which is more than any other U.S. city.