Joplin 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. The population at the 2011 estimates places the city at 50,559, but with the recent annexation of Silver Creek, the population is now estimated at 51,186. In 2011, the surrounding Metropolitan Statistical Area had an estimated population of 176,849.
Although often believed to have been named for the ragtime composer Scott Joplin, who lived in Sedalia, Missouri, the town is named after the Reverend Harris Joplin, an early 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 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; "Joplin, Missouri" is among the lyrics to Bobby Troup's legendary song, immortalizing the city among others on the famous highway.