|Meridian is a city in and the county seat of Lauderdale County, Mississippi, United States. It is the sixth largest city in the state and the principal city of the Meridian, Mississippi Micropolitan Statistical Area. Along major highways, the city is 93 mi (150 km) east of Jackson, Mississippi; 154 mi (248 km) west of Birmingham, Alabama; 202 mi (325 km) northeast of New Orleans; and 231 mi (372 km) southeast of Memphis, Tennessee. Established in 1860 at the intersection of the Mobile and Ohio Railroad and Southern Railway of Mississippi, Meridian relied heavily on the rails and goods transported on them. Rebuilt after the war, the city entered a "Golden Age", becoming the largest city in Mississippi between 1890 and 1930 and a leading center for manufacturing in the South. It had 44 trains coming in and out daily. Although its economy slowed with the decline of the railroad industry, the city has diversified, with healthcare, military, and manufacturing employing the most people in 2010. The population within the city limits, according to 2008 census estimates, is 38,232, but a population of 232,900 in a 45-mile (72 km) radius and 526,500 in a 65-mile (105 km) radius, of which 104,600 and 234,200 people respectively are in the labor force, feed the economy of the city.