Kansas City is the largest city in Missouri by population and area. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city had a population of 508,090 in 2020, and was the 36th most-populous city in the United States as of the 2020 census. 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 2,192,035. Most of the city lies within Jackson County, but portions spill into Clay, Cass, and Platte counties. 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 Kansas, with Downtown near the confluence of the Kansas and Missouri Rivers, the city encompasses about 319.03 square miles, 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 major suburb Independence.