Memphis is a city in the southwestern corner of the U.S. state of Tennessee and the county seat of Shelby County. The city is located on the fourth Chickasaw Bluff, south of the confluence of the Wolf and Mississippi rivers.
Memphis had a population of 653,450 in 2013, making it the largest city in the state of Tennessee. It is the largest city on the Mississippi River, the third largest in the greater Southeastern United States, and the 23rd largest in the United States. The greater Memphis metropolitan area, including adjacent counties in Mississippi and Arkansas, had a 2014 population of 1,317,314. This makes Memphis the second-largest metropolitan area in Tennessee, surpassed by metropolitan Nashville.
Memphis is the youngest of Tennessee’s major cities, founded in 1819 as a planned city by a group of wealthy Americans including judge John Overton and future president Andrew Jackson. A resident of Memphis is referred to as a Memphian, and the Memphis region is known, particularly to media outlets, as Memphis and the Mid-South.
Downtown Memphis rises from a bluff along the Mississippi River. The city and metro area spread out through suburbanization, and encompass southwest Tennessee, northern Mississippi and eastern Arkansas. Several large parks were founded in the city in the early 20th century, notably Overton Park in Midtown and the 4,500-acre (18 km2) Shelby Farms. The city is a national transportation hub and Mississippi River crossing for Interstate 40, (east-west), Interstate 55 (north-south), barge traffic, Memphis International Airport (FedEx’s „SuperHub“ facility) and numerous freight railroads that serve the city.
In both 2011 and 2012, the magazine Travel + Leisure ranked Memphis among the top ten „America’s Dirtiest City“, for widespread visibly littered public spaces, with unremoved trash, based on surveys by both readership and local citizens.
On a more positive note, in 2013 Forbes magazine ranked Memphis as one of the top 15 cities in the United States with an „emerging downtown“ area
Also in 2013, USA Today readers voted Beale Street as America’s Best Iconic Street and Graceland as the Best Iconic American Attraction. The National Civil Rights Museum (at the Lorraine Motel, the site of Rev. Martin Luther King’s assassination) ranked third in the poll of national attractions