Sioux City is a city in Woodbury and Plymouth counties in the western part of the State of Iowa. The population was 82,684 in the 2010 census, which makes it the fourth largest city in Iowa. The bulk of the city is in Woodbury County, of which it is the county seat, though a small portion is in Plymouth County.
Sioux City is the primary city of the five-county Sioux City, IA–NE–SD Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), with a population of 168,825 in 2010 and a slight increase to an estimated 168,921 in 2012. The Sioux City–Vermillion, IA–NE–SD Combined Statistical Area had a population of 182,675 as of 2010 and has grown to an estimated population of 183,052 as of 2012.
Sioux City is at the navigational head of the Missouri River, about 95 miles north of the Omaha–Council Bluffs metropolitan area. Sioux City and the surrounding areas of northwestern Iowa, northeastern Nebraska and southeastern South Dakota are sometimes referred to as Siouxland, especially by the local media.
Money recognized Sioux City in its August 2010 issue of "Best Places To Live".
In 2008 and 2009, the Sioux City Tri-State Metropolitan Area was recognized by Site Selection as the top economic development community in the United States for communities with populations between 50,000 and 200,000 people. In March 2013, Site Selection also recognized Sioux City as the 4th Top Metro area in the Midwest Region behind 1st place Kansas City, 2nd place Minneapolis–Saint Paul and 3rd place Omaha-Council Bluffs. Sioux City was also ranked 1st in regards to Metro Populations between 50,000 and 200,000.
Forbes placed the Sioux City metro in the Top 15 Best Small Places for Businesses and Careers and MSN.com ranked the area the #2 Most Livable Bargain Market. The Daily Beast, an American news reporting website, placed Sioux City on their list of The Top 40 Drunkest Cities in America, with a ranking of 14th.
Native Americans resided in the Sioux City area for thousands of years. Early French or Spanish fur traders were likely the first people of European descent to visit the area. The first documented US citizens to record their travels through this area were Meriwether Lewis and William Clark during the summer of 1804. Sergeant Charles Floyd, a member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, died here on August 20, 1804, the only death during the two and a half-year expedition.
Sioux City was laid out in the winter of 1854-55.
In 1891, the Sioux City Elevated Railway was opened and became the third steam powered elevated rapid transit system in the world, and later the first electric-powered elevated railway in the world after a conversion in 1892. However, the system fell into bankruptcy and closed within a decade.
The city gained the nickname "Little Chicago" during the Prohibition era due to its reputation for being a purveyor of alcoholic beverages.