Joplin (/ˈdʒɒplɪn/) is a city in southern Jasper County and northern Newton County in the southwestern corner of the US state of Missouri. Joplin is the largest city in Jasper County, though it is not the county seat. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 50,150. In 2011, the surrounding Metropolitan Statistical Area had an estimated population of 174,237. In 2012, the city annexed the village of Silver Creek, which had a 2010 population of 623.
The city is named after the Reverend Harris Joplin, an early European-American settler and the founder of the area's first Methodist congregation. The town was established in 1873 and expanded significantly from the wealth created by the mining of lead and zinc; its growth faltered after World War II when the price of the mineral collapsed. The city gained travelers as Route 66 passed through it; it is mentioned in the lyrics to Bobby Troup's legendary song about the famous highway.
On May 22, 2011, Joplin was struck by an extremely powerful EF-5 tornado, which resulted in at least 158 deaths and more than 900 injuries; there was also the total destruction of thousands of houses, and severe damage to numerous apartments and businesses, St. John's Medical Center, and multiple school buildings.