Kansas City (abbreviated KC or KCMO) is the largest city in Missouri by population and area. As of the 2020 census, the city had a population of 508,090 in 2020, making it the 36th most-populous city in the United States. It is the most populated municipality and historic core city of the Kansas City metropolitan area, which straddles the Kansas–Missouri state line and has a population of 2,392,035. Most of the city lies within Jackson County, with portions spilling into Clay, Cass, and Platte counties. Kansas City was founded in the 1830s as a port on the Missouri River 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 Kansas, with Downtown near the confluence of the Kansas and Missouri Rivers, the city encompasses about 319.03 square miles (826.3 km2), making it the 23rd largest city by total area in the United States. It serves as one of the two county seats of Jackson County, along with the major suburb of Independence. Other major suburbs include the Missouri cities of Blue Springs and Lee's Summit and the Kansas cities of Overland Park, Olathe, Lenexa, and Kansas City, Kansas.
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. Celebrated cultural traditions include Kansas City jazz, theater which was the center of the Vaudevillian Orpheum circuit in the 1920s, the Chiefs and Royals sports franchises, and famous cuisine based on Kansas City-style barbecue, Kansas City strip steak, and craft breweries.