Peoria ( pee-OR-ee-ə) is the county seat of Peoria County, Illinois, and the largest city on the Illinois River. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 115,007. , making it the eighth-most populated in Illinois, the second largest city in Central Illinois after the state capital, Springfield, and the third largest outside the Chicago metropolitan area.
It is the principal city of the Peoria Metropolitan Statistical Area in Central Illinois, consisting of the counties of Marshall, Peoria, Stark, Tazewell, and Woodford, which had a population of 373,590 in 2011. Established in 1691 by the French explorer Henri de Tonti, Peoria is the one of the oldest European settlements in Illinois. Originally known as Fort Clark, it received its current name when the County of Peoria was organized in 1825. The city was named after the Peoria tribe, a member of the Illinois Confederation. On October 16, 1854, Abraham Lincoln, then a senator, made a speech against the Kansas-Nebraska Act. A major port on the Illinois River, Peoria is a trading and shipping centre for a large agricultural area that produces maize, soybeans, and livestock. Although the economy is well diversified, the city's traditional manufacturing industries remain important and produce. earthmoving equipment, metal products, lawn-care equipment, labels, steel towers, farm equipment, building materials, steel, wire, and chemicals.