Nestled in the rolling prairies of north-central Texas, Dallas is a sophisticated, bustling metropolis that has earned its reputation in the marketplace of the world. Dallas is separated from its Fort Worth neighbor by less than 30 miles, leading many to link the two cities and their surrounding suburbs in the term "Metroplex," but each retains a distinctive identity. Basking in the glow of the nation's Sun Belt, Dallas has attracted people and businesses from colder regions for a number of years. The steady influx has caused Dallas to grow in size and importance, resulting in its status as a leader in culture, industry, fashion, transportation, finance, and commerce. The Dallas/Fort Worth area is the country's ninth most populated metropolitan area; with its continuous population growth, by 2010 it is expected to rank fourth.