Kansas City is the largest city in the state of Missouri. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city had an estimated population of 491,918 in 2018, making it the 38th most-populous city in the United States. It is the central city of the Kansas City metropolitan area, which straddles the Kansas–Missouri state line. Kansas City was founded in the 1830s as a Missouri River port at its confluence with the Kansas River coming in from the west. On June 1, 1850 the town of Kansas was incorporated; shortly after came the establishment of the Kansas Territory. Confusion between the two ensued and the name Kansas City was assigned to distinguish them soon after.
Sitting on Missouri’s western boundary, with Downtown near the confluence of the Kansas and Missouri Rivers, the modern city encompasses some 319.03 square miles, making it the 23rd largest city by total area in the United States. Most of the city lies within Jackson County, but portions spill into Clay, Cass, and Platte counties. Along with Independence, one of its major suburbs, it serves as one of the two county seats of Jackson County. Other major suburbs include the Missouri cities of Blue Springs and Lee’s Summit and the Kansas cities of Overland Park, Olathe, and Kansas City.
The city is composed of several neighborhoods, including the River Market District in the north, the 18th and Vine District in the east, and the Country Club Plaza in the south. Kansas City is known for its long tradition of jazz music and culture, especially theater – the city was the center of the Vaudevillian Orpheum circuit in the 1920s. It is also noted for its cuisine, including its distinctive Kansas City-style barbecue, and its craft breweries.
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