Baltimore is the largest city in Maryland and has long been one of the busiest ports in the eastern United States. In the 19th and early 20th centuries Baltimore boomed as a major industrial center, but has had some difficulties in more recent years as the major local industries experienced economic difficulties. Still, the city thrives with help from a number of regional banks and investment firms, a healthy convention business and the development of the "Inner Harbor".
The Inner Harbor became a prime example of inner city redevelopment practices when it began in the 1980's. Later, the state of Maryland built new baseball and football stadiums in the area. Nearby communities, such as Fells Point, Federal Hill and "Little Italy", have also boomed as locations near Baltimore's downtown became more desirable places to live.