Baltimore is an independent city and the largest city in the state of Maryland in the United States. The city is a major U.S. seaport, situated closer to major Midwestern markets than any other major seaport on the East Coast. As of 2006, the population of Baltimore City was 640,961. The Baltimore Metropolitan Area, which includes the city's surrounding suburbs, has approximately 2.6 million residents. Baltimore is the largest city in the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area (CMSA) of approximately 8.1 million residents.
The city is named after the founding proprietor of the Maryland Colony, Lord Baltimore in the Irish House of Lords. Baltimore himself took his title from a place named Baltimore in Ireland, which is an Anglicized form of the Irish language Baile an T� Mhoir, meaning "Town of the Big House". Baltimore in County Cork was the seat of Lord Baltimore. Once an industrial town with an economic base in manufacturing, Baltimore's economy has shifted primarily to a service sector-oriented, with the largest employer no longer Bethlehem Steel but The Johns Hopkins University and The Johns Hopkins Hospital. Courtesy of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baltimore,_Maryland