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Charlotte ( SHAR-lət) is the most populous city in the U.S. state of North Carolina. Located in the Piedmont region, it is the county seat of Mecklenburg County. The population was 874,579 as of the 2020 census, making it the 16th-most populous city in the U.S., the second-largest city in the Southeast behind Jacksonville, Florida, and seventh-largest city in the Southern United States. The city is the cultural, economic, and transportation center of the Charlotte metropolitan area, whose population ranks 23rd in the U.S., and had a population of 2,660,329, in 2020. The Charlotte metropolitan area is part of a sixteen-county market region or combined statistical area with a 2020 census-estimated population of 2,846,550.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, Charlotte tops the U.S. in millennial population growth. It is the third-fastest-growing major city in the United States. Residents are referred to as "Charlotteans".Charlotte is home to the corporate headquarters of Bank of America, Truist Financial, and the east coast headquarters of Wells Fargo, which along with other financial institutions has made it the second-largest banking center in the United States.Among Charlotte's many notable attractions, some of the most popular include the Carolina Panthers (NFL), the Charlotte Hornets (NBA), the Coca-Cola 600, the Wells Fargo Championship, the NASCAR Hall of Fame, the Charlotte Ballet, Children's Theatre of Charlotte, Carowinds amusement park, and the U.S. National Whitewater Center. 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.