US President Barack Obama gave a farewell speech in Chicago, reflecting on his time in office.
“By almost every measure, America is a better, stronger place” than it was eight years ago, Mr Obama said.
He implored Americans of all backgrounds to consider things from each others point of view, saying “we have to pay attention and listen”.
The country’s first black president, now 55, was first elected in 2008 on a message of hope and change.
His successor, President-elect Donald Trump, has vowed to undo some of Mr Obama’s signature policies.
Mr Trump will be sworn into office on 20 January.
Striking an upbeat tone, Mr Obama said that the peaceful transfer of power between presidents was a “hallmark” of American democracy.
But, he said, “our democracy won’t work without a sense that everyone has economic opportunity”.
Returning to Chicago, where he first declared victory in 2008, Mr Obama is delivering a parting message to Americans after a divisive and vicious election campaign which led to Mr Trump’s victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton.
He had said he wanted to return to “where it all started” for him and First Lady Michelle Obama, instead of delivering the speech from the White House.
The speech will aim to speak to everyone in America, including Trump supporters, White House officials had earlier said.
Mr Obama’s trip to Chicago is his last as president, and his 445th journey aboard Air Force One.