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Dallas, Texas

Dallas redirects here. For other uses see Dallas (disambiguation)

Dallas is one of the ten largest cities in the United States and the heart of the largest metropolitan area in Texas. It is the county seat of Dallas County and small portions of the city also extend into the neighboring counties of Collin County, Denton County, Rockwall County, and Kaufman County.

Dallas is the largest city of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, a large metropolitan area in North Texas. As of the 2000 census, Dallas had a total population of 1,188,580. The Dallas-Fort Worth consolidated metropolitan area (locally known as the Metroplex) had a population of 5,222,000.

Dallas was founded in 1841. While Dallas County was established three years later in 1844 and was named after George M. Dallas, who was the United States Vice President at the time and supported Texas' annexation, the origin of the city's name is debatable. Dallas was called so by its residents at least as early as 1843. There are four theories as to the origin of the city's name; it was named:

The crime rate has been ranked first in the country's largest cities from 1998-2003. While most areas are peaceful, certain neighborhoods are avoided after dusk. Areas avoided are those in the downtown and near large tourist attractions, as well as sections of south Oak Cliff near the Dallas Zoo, and neighborhoods around Fair Park and south Dallas.

A nuclear submarine, the USS Dallas, was named after the city by the U.S. Navy.

The Dallas, Texas flag

Table of contents
1 Geography and Climate
2 Demographics
3 Economy
4 Transportation
5 People of Dallas
6 Religion
7 Journalism
8 Mayors
9 Sports
10 Historical Events
11 Other Facts about Dallas
12 Tallest Buildings in Dallas
13 Dallas in Film and TV
14 External links
15 Sources

Geography and Climate

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 997.1 km² (385.0 mi²). 887.2 km² (342.5 mi²) of it is land and 110.0 km² (42.5 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 11.03% water.

Dallas, as is the surrounding area, is mostly flat and lies at an elevation ranging from 450 to 550 feet. An escarpment rises another 200 feet in southern Dallas in the neighborhoods of Oak Cliff and Cockrell Hill, Texas and continues through the city of Cedar Hill.

A simulated-color satellite image of Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas, taken by NASA's Landsat 7 satellite. Dallas makes up the right half of the urbanized area.

The Trinity River is a major Texas river that passes from the northwest right by the southern portion of downtown Dallas as it heads southeast to Houston. The river is flanked on both sides with a 50 foot earthen levee to keep that part of the city from flooding. Several bridges traverse the river connecting southern Dallas to downtown Dallas. Businesses and Businessmen, like Belo and Ross Perot, Jr., have pushed in recent years to build a multi-million-dollar, landmark bridge over the river and convert that section of the river into a park area with nearby commercial and retail services somewhat similar to the River Walk in San Antonio or Townlake in Austin. Some proponents claim that this development would bring more life, commerce, revenue and lower crime to downtown Dallas and poorer, southern Dallas. Some critics charge the project is a facade to serve special, financial interests of businessmen. Although residents barely approved a bond proposal in 1998 to fund a program like the controversial Trinity River Project, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has so far rejected requests to partially fund the controversial project with federal money. The OMB cited concerns over claims that the project would alleviate the heavy traffic surrounding downtown or alleviate occasional flooding from the river in poor, black neighborhoods. Ron Kirk, Dallas' first black mayor, championed the project during his term as mayor as he did the new American Airlines Center in downtown. His successor, mayor Laura Miller--sometimes referred to as Dallas' first reform mayor--won the vacancy left by Kirk when he ran for the U.S. Senate. Miller won in part based on her platform that she would focus on the city's basic needs like roads and other infrastructure and city employees' pay: services that some claimed were neglected at the cost of special projects like the American Airlines Center.

White Rock Lake is Dallas' other significant water feature. The lake and surrounding park is a popular destination in the Lake Highlands/Casa Linda neighborhoods for boaters, joggers, bikers, skaters and related activities. The lake also boasts the 66-acre Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden on its shore.

Dallas lies near the bottom of a tornado region that runs up through the prairie lands of the midwest. In the spring, cool fronts moving down from Canada collide with warm, humid air streaming in from the Gulf Coast. When these fronts meet over Dallas, severe storms are generated with spectacular lightning shows, torrents of rain, large hail, and sometimes tornadoes.

Dallas gets about 30 inches of rain per year much of which is delivered in the spring time. The climate of Dallas is classified a humid subtropical climate, yet this part of Texas also tends to get hot, dry winds from the north and the west in the summer. In the winter, the winds are cool, and it can cause this region of Texas to fall below freezing occasionally. An inch of snow for a day or two occurs about once each winter, and about every other winter the cool air from the north and the humid air from the south lead to freezing rain which usually causes the city to come to a screeching halt for a day or two if the roads and highways become dangerously slick. Regardless, winters are relatively mild compared to the Texas Panhandle and other states to the north. Dallas winters are occasionally interspersed with indian summers.

Spring and fall and the pleasant, moderate temperatures that accompany those seasons are somewhat short-lived in Dallas. However short the season is, residents and visitors appreciate the beauty of the vibrant wildflowers (such as the bluebonnet, indian paintbrush and other flora) which bloom in spring and are planted around the highways throughout Texas. In the spring the weather can also be quite volatile and change quickly in a matter of minutes. The cliche about volatile climates that is popular in various parts of the U.S.--"if you don't like the weather, wait a little while and it'll change"--applies well to Dallas' spring weather. Many consider autumn, around late September and October, to be the best time to visit the Metroplex. Yet many events are also scheduled for more volatile season in spring.

Ongoing comparisons are made between Dallas' summer weather and Houston's. Texans generally agree that Houston is significantly more humid and Dallas is slightly hotter although given Houston's humidity it may have a higher heat index than Dallas.


Mustangs at Las Colinas, located in the suburb of Irving

As of the census of 2000, there are 1,188,580 people, 451,833 households, and 266,581 families residing in the city. The population density is 1,339.7/km² (3,469.9/mi²). There are 484,117 housing units at an average density of 545.7/km² (1,413.3/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 50.83% White, 25.91% African American, 0.54% Native American, 2.70% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 17.24% from other races, and 2.72% from two or more races. 35.55% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race. As Mexicans flood into southern Dallas along the I-35 corridor through Laredo, Texas and San Antonio, Hispanics outnumbered African-Americans for the first time in the 2000 census as the largest minority group in Dallas.

There are 451,833 households out of which 30.3% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.8% are married couples living together, 14.9% have a female householder with no husband present, and 41.0% are non-families. 32.9% of all households are made up of individuals and 6.5% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.58 and the average family size is 3.37.

In the city the population is spread out with 26.6% under the age of 18, 11.8% from 18 to 24, 35.3% from 25 to 44, 17.7% from 45 to 64, and 8.6% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 30 years. For every 100 females there are 101.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 100.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $37,628, and the median income for a family is $40,921. Males have a median income of $31,149 versus $28,235 for females. The per capita income for the city is $22,183. 17.8% of the population and 14.9% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 25.1% are under the age of 18 and 13.1% are 65 or older.

For a list of surrounding cities and towns, see:


The Dallas/Fort Worth area is called "Texas' Silicon Valley". Also, there are many more than 40,000 telecommunication employees in the "Telecom Corridor" housing such companies as
Southwestern Bell, AT&T, Alcatel, DSC Communications, Ericsson, Fujitsu, MCI, Northern Telecom, Rockwell, and Sprint. Central Dallas is supported by more than 100 miles of fiber optic cable. According to the Dallas Women's Covenant, there are more than 81,000 women-owned firms in metropolitan Dallas.

Although the Telecom industry was hit hard in the latest recession, most of Dallas business did better on average than other regional economies.

Major companies based in and around Dallas

Companies based in the Dallas city limits:
AMR Corporation (parent company of
American Airlines), Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway, Radio Shack, and Pier 1 Imports are based in Fort Worth. id Software is based in Mesquite. ExxonMobil, Michael's Stores, and Zale Corporation are headquartered in Irving. Electronic Data Systems, Frito Lay, Dr Pepper and JCPenney are headquartered in Plano. Sabre Holdings, the owner of Sabre Systems, is headquartered in Southlake. Daisytek is headquartered in Allen.

Halliburton Energy Services was once based in Dallas, but moved to Houston in 2003.


Dallas is served by two airports. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (known as DFW International) is located in the suburbs north of and equidistant to downtown Fort Worth and downtown Dallas. DFW International Airport is the largest airport in the state, the second largest in the United States, and third largest in the world. It is also home base to American Airlines, the world's largest airline. Love Field is located in the city limits 6 miles northwest of downtown and is headquarters to Southwest Airlines. Under the Federal "Wright Amendment" and "Shelby Amendment" laws, no large jet air service is allowed from Dallas Love Field to any point beyond Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas, Mississippi, and Alabama. As such, Southwest is the only major airline flying out of that airport. Ongoing efforts to relax or abandon these restrictions have not succeeded so far. (See Love Field Airport for a history of the Wright Amendment.)

Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) is the Dallas area public transportation company, providing buses, rail, and HOV lanes. DART began operating the first light rail system in Texas (and the Southwest United States) in 1996 and continues to expand its coverage. It remained the only light rail system in Texas until Houston opened its light rail system in 2004. Fort Worth's smaller public transit system connects with Dallas' via a commuter rail line connecting downtown Dallas with downtown Fort Worth and several points in between. However, most people in the Metroplex still choose to drive their vehicles rather than take public transportation.

Some of Dallas' roads are considered to be the most dangerous in the country and motorists tend to speed. Some sections of local freeways can seem like autobahns as vehicles travel at over 80 mph in 60 mph to 70 mph zones. However, during rush hours, most freeways are congested and traffic slows to a crawl.

Major Freeways and Tollways

People of Dallas

Dallasites are said to consider themselves more sophisticated than those in other parts of Texas, especially Fort Worth. Because of the economic prowess of the region, many of whom live there had come from other U.S. states or countries worldwide. Dallasites eat out about four times every week, which is the third highest rate in the country. Dallas has four times more restaurants per person than New York City. Dallasites are very fond of their local teams especially "America's Team", the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys are well loved by the locals even after many lackluster or losing seasons and even if another local team is a leader in its sport. Sports calendars and other memorabilia are very common, and on Sundays, people tend to watch sports games on their television sets. If a local blackout of cable occurs, people tend to crowd into a house with a satellite dish.

Because Dallas and Houston are the two major economic centers of Texas, they enjoy a friendly rivalry. The two cities or selected characteristics of them are often compared to each other. Even the adult industry is compared between the two cities. Houston has the lead, but both have a strong show of billboards and venues.

Famous People raised in Dallas


Dallas is located in the "
Bible Belt", named after the large Protestant influence on the community. Many places do not serve alcohol, and Baptist churches dot the maps. Fish emblems are seen on car trunks, and many local Christian radio stations and television stations are availible. Residents whom wish to drink alcohol must get a "unicard" in order to be served a beer or a margarita. Despite all of this, the divorce rate in the region is 50% higher than the national average. As with large cities, the city has Catholics, Jews, Muslims, and other groups inside the city.


List of Newspapers

Also, the Fort Worth-Star Telegram is based in
Fort Worth, Texas, and the Northside People and Park Cities People are based in other Dallas surburbs.


See: List of Dallas Mayors


Dallas is home to: All three teams play at the American Airlines Center.

Nearby Irving has the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League. Nearby Arlington has the Texas Rangers of Major League Baseball. Nearby Frisco has the Frisco RoughRiders of Minor League Baseball. Southlake is where the Dallas Burn of Major League Soccer play at. They plan to move to Frisco in 2005. The Dallas Diamonds, a Women's Professional Football League Women's American football team, plays in North Richland Hills. McKinney is home to the Dallas Revolution, an Independent Women's Football League Women's American football team.

Historical Events

Other Facts about Dallas

Tallest Buildings in Dallas

Dallas in Film and TV

Both photos courtesy of the web site of John Roberts : " class="external">

External links