Erie is an industrial city on the shore of Lake Erie in the northwestern corner of the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. Named for the lake and the Native American tribe that resided along its southern shore, Erie is the state's fourth largest city (after Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Allentown), with a population of 104,000. Erie's Metropolitan Area consists of approximately 280,000 residents and an Urbanized Area population of approximately 195,000. The city is the seat of government for Erie County.
Erie is in proximity to Cleveland, Ohio; Buffalo, New York; and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Once teeming with heavy industry, Erie's heavy manufacturing sector now consists mainly of plastics and locomotive building. Known for its lake effect snow, Erie is in the heart of the rust belt and has begun to focus on tourism as a driving force in its economy. More than four million people each year visit Presque Isle State Park, for water recreation, and a new casino named for the state park is growing in popularity.
Erie is known as the Flagship City because of the presence of Oliver Hazard Perry's flagship Niagara. The city has also been called the Gem City because of the "sparkling" lake. Erie won the All-America City Award in 1972.