Missouri has more neighbouring states than any other U.S. state. Bisecting the state is the Missouri River, flowing from Kansas City in the west, through the state’s capital, Jefferson City, in the centre, to just above St. Louis in the east, where it joins the Mississippi. Kansas City and St. Louis are Missouri’s most important centres of commerce and manufacturing. They are the nuclei of large metropolitan areas that extend into Kansas on the west and Illinois on the east. More than half of the state’s population lives in and around these two cities.