Billings is the largest city in Montana, with a population estimated at 109,550 as of 2018. Located in the south-central portion of the state, it is the seat of Yellowstone County and the principal city of the Billings Metropolitan Area, which has a population of 171,677. It has a trade area of over 500,000. Billings was nicknamed the "Magic City" because of its rapid growth from its founding as a railroad town in March 1882. The city is named for Frederick H. Billings, a former president of the Northern Pacific Railroad. With one of the largest trade areas in the United States, Billings is the trade and distribution center for much of Montana east of the Continental Divide, Northern Wyoming, and western portions of North Dakota and South Dakota. Billings is also the largest retail destination for much of the same area. The city is experiencing rapid growth and a strong economy it has had and is continuing to have the largest growth of any city in Montana.