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Charlotte is the largest city in  North Carolina and the seat of Mecklenburg 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”. The city is located on the foothills of the Appalachian mountains, about 3 hours from the Atlantic Ocean. Charlotte is located halfway between Raleigh, NC and Atlanta, GA.

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 III 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 hostile residents, prompting him to write that Charlotte was “a hornet’s nest of rebellion,” leading to another city nickname: The Hornet’s Nest.

In 2007, the Charlotte metropolitan area had an estimated 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 relocate-America.com in its annual ranking, based on factors including employment opportunities, crime rates, and housing affordability. It was also named #8 of the 100 “Best Places to Live and Launch” by CNNMoney.com – cities picked for their vibrant lifestyles and opportunities for new businesses. Lifestyle was also noted when Prevention Magazine rated the Queen City 4th in the nation and the best “Walking City” in North Carolina in 2007 and Self Magazine named Charlotte one of “Five Cities with Big Outdoor Appeal” for features like its Public Art Walking Tour, accessible museums such as the Mint Museum of Craft + Design, and nearby outdoor excursions like the U.S. National Whitewater Center.

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