Raleigh is the capital of North Carolina as well as the seat of Wake County. It is also a center of education, research, trade, industry, and cultural institutions. The city is located on the Fall Line, where the Piedmont meets the Coastal Plain, in the north central part of the state. With Durham and Chapel Hill, it forms a metropolitan area of more than one million people.
Raleigh was founded in 1792 after the state legislature chose the site for the state capital, naming it for English explorer Sir Walter Raleigh. Significant growth came following World War II, particularly after establishment of the Research Triangle Park in 1959. Raleigh was the birthplace of President Andrew Johnson in 1808, and is also home to the NC Museum of Art, the NC Symphony Orchestra, North Carolina State University, and several other institutions of higher education.
Raleigh is one of the fastest growing cities in the United States. According to the local planning department, Raleigh now ranks 50th in US population, larger than Tampa, New Orleans, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and St. Louis. Numerous projects are transforming the skyline and the city's urban character.