Baltimore is the largest city in the U.S. state of Maryland, and the 29th-most populous city in the country. It is the largest independent city in the United States, with the population of the Baltimore Metropolitan Area being 2.7 million, making it the 21st largest in the country.
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.
Industries such as health care and life sciences, international finance and banking, hospitality and entertainment, and maritime commerce attract a highly educated and productive workforce that according to the BDC includes the nation’s highest concentration of residents with advanced degrees. The city is located at a distance of less than 50km from the capital of the USA, Washington D.C., and there is a close urban connection between them, as well as a mutual airport.
Following rapid decay in the 1960s and 70s, Baltimore initiated urban renewal efforts that rank among the most ambitious in the United States. Downtown and many other neighborhoods have been revitalized. Hotels, office buildings and entertainment facilities like the Maryland Science Center and National Aquarium (Maryland’s largest tourist attraction) have replaced dilapidated wharves and warehouses. State-of-the-art stadiums have been constructed for the Baltimore Orioles and Baltimore Ravens.