Peoria is the largest city on the Illinois River and the county seat of Peoria County, Illinois, in the United States. Established in 1691 by the French explorer Henri de Tonti, Peoria is the oldest European settlement in Illinois, and is named after the Peoria tribe. As of the 2010 census, the city was the seventh-most populated in Illinois, with a population of 115,007. The Peoria Metropolitan Statistical Area had a population of 373,590 in 2011, making it the third largest metropolitan area in the state after the Chicago metropolitan area, and the Metro-East portion of the St. Louis metropolitan area. Peoria has become famous as a representation of the average American city because of its demographics and its perceived mainstream Midwestern culture. On the Vaudeville circuit, it was said that if an act would succeed in Peoria, it would work anywhere.
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