Live Large. Think Big. A motto like this could only belong to the city of Dallas, the Big D, or D-Town, which covers approximately 343 square miles and, with a population of 1,232,940, is the ninth-largest city in the United States, the third-largest city in the state of Texas. The city, combined with Fort Worth and Arlington, helps form the fourth-largest metropolitan area with over 6.1 million people.
In 2008, Fortune magazine named 24 companies from the D-FW metro area - including Exxon Mobil, JCPenney and TXU - as Fortune 500 companies. The Metroplex is ranked fifth among metropolitan areas for Fortune 500 companies.
With many entertainment districts within a short distance of downtown, Dallas provides local history mixed with a melting pot of arts, culture, dining and more.
Founded in 1841 and formally incorporated as a city on February 1856, the city's economy is primarily based on banking, commerce, telecommunications, computer technology, energy, and transportation. Dallas is the core of the largest inland metropolitan area in the United States that lacks any navigable link to the sea. The city's prominence despite this comes from its historical importance as a center for the oil and cotton industries, its position along numerous railroad lines, its status as a major inland port, and a strong industrial and financial sector.
Texas Capital, Austin. Largest city, Houston. Nickname, Lone Star State. Motto, Friendship. State bird, mockingbird. State flower, bluebonnet. State tree, pecan.
Dallas and its surrounding area are mostly flat; the city itself lies at elevations ranging from 450 feet to 550 feet. The western edge of the Austin Chalk Formation, a limestone escarpment, rises 200 feet and runs roughly north-south through Dallas County. South of the Trinity River the uplift is particularly noticeable in the neighborhoods of Oak Cliff and the adjacent cities of Cockrell Hill, Cedar Hill, and Grand Prairie. Marked variations in terrain are also found in cities immediately to the west in Tarrant County surrounding Fort Worth, as well as along Turtle Creek north of Downtown.
Dallas, like many other cities in the world, was founded along a river. The city was founded at the location of a "white rock crossing" of the Trinity River, where it was easier for wagons to cross the river in the days before ferries or bridges. The Trinity River, though not usefully navigable, is the major waterway through the city. The river is flanked on both sides by 50 feet tall earthen levees to protect the city from frequent floods. Since it was rerouted in 1908, the river has been little more than a drainage ditch within a floodplain for several miles above and below downtown Dallas, with a more normal course further upstream and downstream, but as Dallas began shifting towards postindustrial society, public outcry about the lack of aesthetic and recreational use of the river ultimately gave way to the Trinity River Project, which was initialized in the early 2000s and is scheduled to be completed in the 2010s. the project promises improvements to the riverfront in the form of man-made lakes, new park facilities and trails, and transportation upgrades.
White Rock Lake, a reservoir constructed at the beginning of the 20th century, is Dallas's other significant water feature. The lake and surrounding park are a popular destination among boaters, rowers, joggers, and bikers, as well as visitors seeking peaceful respite from the city at the 66-acre Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, located on the lake's eastern shore. Bachman Lake, just northwest of Love Field Airport, is a smaller lake also popularly used for recreation. Northeast of the city is Lake Ray Hubbard, a vast 22,745-acre reservoir located in an extension of Dallas surrounded by the suburbs of Garland, Rowlett, Rockwall, and Sunnyvale. To the west of the city is Mountain Creek Lake, once home to the Naval Air Station Dallas (Hensley Field) and a number of defense aircraft manufacturers. North Lake, a small body of water in an extension of the city limits surrounded by Irving and Coppell, initially served as a water source for a nearby power plant but is now being targeted for redevelopment as a recreational lake due to its proximity to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, a plan that the lake's neighboring cities oppose.
Dallas has a humid subtropical climate, though it is located in a region that also tends to receive warm, dry winds from the north and west in the summer, bringing temperatures well over 100 °F at times and heat-humidity indexes soaring to as high as 117 °F.
Winters are generally mild, with typical daytime highs between 55 °F and 70 °F and nighttime lows between 35 °F and 50 °F. However, strong cold fronts known as "Blue Northers" sometimes pass through Dallas, plummeting nightly lows below 30 °F. Snowfall is seen on average 2–4 days out of the year and snow accumulation is typically seen at least once every winter. A couple of times each year, warm and humid air from the south overrides cold, dry air, leading to freezing rain, which often causes major disruptions in the city if the roads and highways become slick. On the other hand, daytime highs above 65 °F are not unusual during the winter season. In sum, extremes in weather are more readily seen in Dallas and Texas as a whole than along the Pacific and Atlantic coasts, due to the state's location in the interior of the United States.
Spring and autumn bring pleasant weather to the area. Springtime weather can be quite volatile, but temperatures themselves are mild. The weather in Dallas is also generally pleasant between late September and early December, and unlike springtime, major storms rarely form in the area.
In the spring, cool fronts moving south from Canada collide with warm, humid air streaming in from the Gulf Coast. When these fronts meet over north central Texas, severe thunderstorms are generated with spectacular lightning shows, torrents of rain, hail, and occasionally, tornadoes. Over time, tornadoes have perhaps been the biggest natural threat to the city.
Dallas's skyline contains several buildings over 700 feet in height, making the city the fifteenth-tallest city on earth.
Although some of Dallas's architecture dates from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, most of the notable architecture in the city is from the modernist and postmodernist eras. Iconic examples of modernist architecture include Reunion Tower, the JFK Memorial, I. M. Pei's Dallas City Hall. Fountain Place, Bank of America Plaza, Renaissance Tower, JPMorgan Chase Tower, and Comerica Bank Tower are good examples of postmodernist skyscrapers. Several smaller structures are fashioned in the Gothic Revival style, such as the Kirby Building, and the neoclassical style, as seen in the Davis and Wilson Buildings. One architectural "hotbed" in the city is a stretch of historic houses along Swiss Avenue, which contains all shades and variants of architecture from Victorian to neoclassical.
As part of the Trinity River Project, Dallas is also seeing construction of a series of new signature bridges designed by Santiago Calatrava. The first one to be built the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge will reach a height of over 40 stories above the river basin.
Central Dallas is anchored by Downtown, the center of the city and the epicenter of urban revival, along with Oak Lawn and Uptown, areas characterized by dense retail, restaurants, and nightlife. Downtown Dallas has a variety of named districts, including the West End Historic District, the Arts District, the Main Street District, Farmers Market District, the City Center business district, the Convention Center District, and the Reunion District. "Hot spots" north of Downtown include Uptown, Victory Park, Oak Lawn, Turtle Creek, LoMac, Cityplace and West Village.
East Dallas is home to Deep Ellum, a trendy arts area close to Downtown, the homey Lakewood neighborhood, historic Vickery Place and Bryan Place, and the architecturally significant Swiss Avenue. North of the Park Cities is Preston Hollow, home to Texas's wealthiest residents, as well as the most expensive homes in the state. The area is also characterized by a variety of high-powered shopping areas, including Galleria Dallas, NorthPark Center, Highland Park Village, and Preston Center. In the northeast quadrant of the city is Lake Highlands, one of Dallas's most unified middle-class neighborhoods.
Southwest of Downtown lies Oak Cliff, a hilly area that has undergone gentrification in recent years in neighborhoods such as the Bishop Arts District. Oak Cliff originated as a township founded in the mid-1800s and was annexed by the city of Dallas in 1903. Today, most of the area's northern residents are Hispanic. South Oak Cliff, on the other hand, became predominantly African-American after the early 1970s. Much of the southern portion of the city has struggled with high rates of poverty and crime.
South Dallas, a distinct neighborhood southeast of Downtown, lays claim to the Cedars, an eclectic artist hotbed south of downtown and Fair Park, home of the annual State Fair of Texas.
To spur growth in the southern sector of the city, University of North Texas opened a Dallas campus in October 2006 in south Oak Cliff. Large amounts of undeveloped land remains nearby, due to decades of slow growth south of Downtown. Further east, in the southeast quadrant of the city, is the large neighborhood of Pleasant Grove. Once an independent city, it is a collection of mostly lower-income residential areas stretching all the way to Seagoville in the southeast. Though a city neighborhood, Pleasant Grove is surrounded by undeveloped land on all sides, including swampland separating it from South Dallas that will in the future be part of the Great Trinity Forest, a subsection of the city's Trinity River Project.
Dallas is further surrounded by many suburbs and includes three enclaves within the city boundaries—Cockrell Hill, Highland Park, and University Park.
In terms of voting patterns, the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex is the third most liberal of the Texas metropolitan areas after Austin and El Paso. In contrast, 54% of Houston and San Antonio voters and an even higher percentage of rural Texan voters are conservative. Nonetheless, Dallas is known to many as a high-profile center of evangelical Protestant Christianity.
As a city, present-day Dallas can be seen as moderate, with conservative Republicans dominating the upper-middle class suburban neighborhoods of North Dallas and liberal Democrats dominating neighborhoods closer to Downtown as well as the city's southern sector. As a continuation of its suburban northern neighborhoods, Dallas's northern suburbs are overwhelmingly conservative. Plano, the largest of these suburbs, was ranked as the fifth most conservative city in America by The Bay Area Center for Voting Research, based on the voting patterns of middle-age adults. However, the city of Dallas (excluding its suburbs) generally votes for Democratic political candidates in local, state, and national elections. In the 2004 U.S. Presidential elections, over 75% of Dallas voters voted for John Kerry over George W. Bush, making the city the 32nd most liberal city in the United States by sheer percentages and more liberal than traditionally left-leaning cities such as Los Angeles, Milwaukee, and Cincinnati. Dallas County as a whole was split evenly, with 50% of voters voting for Bush and 49% voting for Kerry.
In 2004, Lupe Valdez was elected Dallas County Sheriff. An open lesbian, she is currently one of only two female sheriffs in the state of Texas, the other being Sheriff Rosanna Abreo of Bastrop County.
Nevertheless, in 2007, conservative Republican Tom Leppert defeated liberal Democrat Ed Oakley by a margin of 58% to 42% to become mayor of Dallas. Had Oakley been elected, he would have become the first openly-gay mayor of a large U.S. city. Though candidates' political leanings are well publicized in the media, Dallas's elections are officially non-partisan. The city's previous mayor was Laura Miller, a liberal Jewish woman who had previously written for the Dallas Observer, the city's most popular alternative newspaper.
Dallas is renowned for its barbecue, authentic Mexican, and Tex-Mex cuisine. Famous products of the Dallas culinary scene include the frozen margarita and the chain restaurants Chili's and Romano's Macaroni Grill. The French Room at the Hotel Adolphus in Downtown Dallas was named the best hotel restaurant in the US by Zagat Survey. A number of nationally ranked steakhouses can be found in the Dallas area, including Bob's Steak & Chop House, currently ranked #3 according to the USDA Prime Steakhouses chart behind Ruth's Chris Times Square and Bones Atlanta.
The Arts District in the northern section of Downtown is home to several arts venues, both existing and proposed. Notable venues in the district include the Dallas Museum of Art, the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, The Trammell & Margaret Crow Collection of Asian Art, the Nasher Sculpture Center, The Dallas Contemporary, and The Dallas Children's Theatre. Venues under construction or planned include the Winspear Opera House and the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts. The Arts District is also home to DISD's Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, a magnet school which was recently expanded.
Deep Ellum, immediately east of Downtown, originally became popular during the 1920s and 1930s as the prime jazz and blues hot spot in the South.Artists such as Blind Lemon Jefferson, Robert Johnson, Huddie “Leadbelly” Ledbetter, and Bessie Smith played in original Deep Ellum clubs such as The Harlem and The Palace. Today, Deep Ellum is home to hundreds of artists who live in lofts and operate in studios throughout the district alongside bars, pubs, and concert venues. A major art infusion in the area results from the city's lax stance on graffiti, and a number of public spaces including tunnels, sides of buildings, sidewalks, and streets are covered in murals. One major example, the Good-Latimer tunnel, was torn down in late 2006 to accommodate the construction of a light rail line through the site.
Like Deep Ellum before it, the Cedars neighborhood to the south of Downtown has also seen a growing population of studio artists and an expanding roster of entertainment venues. The area's art scene began to grow in the early 2000s with the opening of Southside on Lamar, an old Sears warehouse converted into lofts, studios, and retail.Current attractions include Gilley's Dallas and Poor David's Pub. Dallas Mavericks owner and local entrepreneur Mark Cuban purchased land along Lamar Avenue near Cedars Station in September 2005, and locals speculate that he is planning an entertainment complex for the site.
South of the Trinity River, the fledgling Bishop Arts District in Oak Cliff is home to a number of studio artists living in converted warehouses. Walls of buildings along alleyways and streets are painted with murals and the surrounding streets contain many eclectic restaurants and shops.
Dallas has an Office of Cultural Affairs as a department of the city government. The office is responsible for six cultural centers located throughout the city, funding for local artists and theaters, initiating public art projects, and running the city-owned classical radio station WRR.
Dallas is home to the Dallas Desperados (Arena Football League), Dallas Mavericks (National Basketball Association), and Dallas Stars (National Hockey League). All three teams play at the American Airlines Center.
The Major League Soccer team FC Dallas, formerly the Dallas Burn, used to play in the Cotton Bowl but moved to Pizza Hut Park in Frisco upon the stadium's opening in 2005. However, the college Cotton Bowl football game is still played at the stadium.
The Texas Tornado, three-time defending champions of the North American Hockey League, plays at the Deja Blue Arena in Frisco.
Nearby Irving is home to the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League. Since joining the league as an expansion team in 1960, the Cowboys have enjoyed substantial success, advancing to eight Super Bowls and winning five. Known widely as "America's Team," the Dallas Cowboys are financially the most valuable sports 'franchise' in the world, worth approximately 1.5 billion dollars. They are also the second most valuable sports organization in the world. The Cowboys are only out-valued by Manchester United, a soccer club from England, who are valued at 1.8 billion dollars. The Cowboys currently play at Texas Stadium and are relocating in 2009 to their new 100,000-seat stadium in under construction in suburban Arlington.
Also in Arlington is Rangers Ballpark, home of the Texas Rangers of Major League Baseball.
NASCAR and other auto racing leagues have a presence in the area as well. Races are held every year at Texas Motor Speedway north of Fort Worth, a major stop on the NASCAR circuit. About halfway between Dallas and Fort Worth, horse-racing takes place at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie.
Other teams in the Dallas area include the Dallas Harlequins of the USA Rugby Super League, as well as the Frisco RoughRiders, the Fort Worth Cats, and the Grand Prairie AirHogs—all minor league baseball teams.The Dallas Diamonds, the two-time national champions of the Women's Professional Football League, plays in North Richland Hills. McKinney is home to the Dallas Revolution, an Independent Women's Football League team.
Parks & Recreation
The City of Dallas maintains and operates 406 parks on 21,000 acres of parkland. Its flagship park is the 260-acre Fair Park, which hosted the Texas Centennial Exposition in 1936. The city is also home to Texas's first and largest zoo, the 95 acres Dallas Zoo, which opened at its current location in 1888.
The city's parks contain 17 separate lakes, including White Rock and Bachman lakes, spanning a total of 4,400 acres. In addition, Dallas is traversed by 61.6 miles of biking and jogging trails, including the Katy Trail, and is home to 47 community and neighborhood recreation centers, 276 sports fields, 60 swimming pools, 232 playgrounds, 173 basketball courts, 112 volleyball courts, 126 play slabs, 258 neighborhood tennis courts, 258 picnic areas, six 18-hole golf courses, two driving ranges, and 477 athletic fields.
To the west of Dallas in Arlington is Six Flags Over Texas, the original franchise in the Six Flags theme park chain. Hurricane Harbor, a large water park owned by Six Flags, is also in Arlington.
There is a large Protestant Christian influence in the Dallas community, as the city is deep within the Bible Belt. Methodist and Baptist churches are prominent in many neighborhoods and anchor two of the city's major private universities (Southern Methodist University and Dallas Baptist University). The Cathedral of Hope, a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Protestant church, is the largest congregation of its kind in the world. The city is also home to a sizable Mormon community, which led The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to build a major temple in the city in 1984.
The Catholic Church is also a significant organization in the Dallas area and operates the University of Dallas, a liberal-arts university in the Dallas suburb of Irving. Across the street from the university is one of only 13 Cistercian Abbeys in the United States and the only one that operates a private preparatory school as well. The Cathedral Santuario de Guadalupe in the Arts District oversees the second-largest Catholic church membership in the United States, with 70 parishes in the Dallas Diocese. Dallas is also home to three Eastern Orthodox Christian churches.
Further, a large Muslim community exists in the north and northeastern portions of Dallas, as well as in the northern Dallas suburbs. The oldest mosque in Texas is located in Denton, about 40 miles north of Downtown Dallas.
Dallas and its surrounding suburbs also have one of the largest Jewish communities in the United States. Most of the city's Jewish residents reside in North Dallas, particularly within 3 to 4 miles on either side of Hillcrest Road. Temple Emanu-El, the largest synagogue in the South/Southwest, was founded in 1873. The community is presently led by Rabbi David E. Stern. For more information, see the History of the Jews in Dallas, Texas.
Dallas also has a large Buddhist community. Immigrants from Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Nepal, Tibet, Japan, China, Taiwan, and Sri Lanka have all contributed to the Buddhist population, which is concentrated in the northern suburbs of Garland and Richardson. Numerous Buddhist temples dot the Metroplex, including The Buddhist Center of Dallas, Lien Hoa Vietnamese Temple of Irving, and Kadampa Meditation Center TexasandWat Buddhamahamunee of Arlington.
The most notable event held in Dallas is the State Fair of Texas, which has been held annually at Fair Park since 1886. The fair is a massive event, bringing in an estimated $350 million to the city's economy annually. The Red River Shootout, which pits the University of Texas at Austin against The University of Oklahoma at the Cotton Bowl also brings significant crowds to the city.
Other festivals in the area include several Cinco de Mayo celebrations hosted by the city's large Mexican population, an Saint Patrick's Day parade along Lower Greenville Avenue, Juneteenth festivities, the Greek Food Festival of Dallas, and an annual Halloween parade on Cedar Springs Road. With the opening of Victory Park, WFAA Channel 8 has begun to host an annual New Year's Eve celebration in AT&T Plaza that the television station hopes will reminisce of celebrations in New York's Times Square.
In its beginnings, Dallas relied on farming, neighboring Fort Worth's cattle market, and its prime location on Indian trade routes to sustain itself. Dallas's key to growth came in 1873 with the building of multiple rail lines through the city. As Dallas grew and technology developed, cotton became its boon, and by 1900, Dallas was the largest inland cotton market in the world, becoming a leader in cotton gin machinery manufacturing. By the early 1900s, Dallas was a hub for economic activity all over the southwestern United States and was selected in 1914 as the seat of the Eleventh Federal Reserve District. In the 1930s, oil was discovered east of Dallas near Kilgore, Texas. Dallas's proximity to the discovery put it immediately at the center of the nation's oil market. Oil discoveries in the Permian Basin, the Panhandle, the Gulf Coast, and Oklahoma in the following years further solidified Dallas's position as the hub of the market.
The end of World War II left Dallas seeded with a nexus of communications, engineering, and production talent by companies such as Collins Radio Corporation. Decades later, the telecommunications and information revolutions still drive a large portion of the local economy. The city is sometimes referred to as the heart of "Silicon Prairie" because of a high concentration of telecommunications companies in the region, the epicenter of which lies along the Telecom Corridor, home to more than 5,700 companies. The Corridor is home to Texas Instruments and regional offices for Alcatel Lucent, AT&T, Ericsson, Fujitsu, Nokia, Rockwell, Cisco Systems, Sprint, and Verizon, as well as the national offices of CompUSA and Nortel. In December 2007, Ontario's Research in Motion (RIM), makers of the BlackBerry handheld computer, announced Irving as the site of its U.S. headquarters.
In the 1980s, Dallas was a real estate hotbed, with the metropolitan population skyrocketing and the concurrent demand for housing and jobs. Several of Downtown Dallas's largest buildings are the fruit of this boom, but over-speculation and the savings and loan crisis prevented any further additions to Dallas' skyline. Between the late 1980s and the early 2000s, central Dallas went through a slow period of growth and has only recently bounced back. This time, the real estate market in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex has proven to be much more resilient than those of most other parts of the United States.
Dallas is no longer a hotbed for manufacturing like it was in the early 20th century, but plenty of goods are still manufactured in the city. Texas Instruments employs 10,400 people at its corporate headquarters and chip plants in neighboring Richardson, and defense and aircraft manufacturing still dominates the economy of nearby Fort Worth.
The Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex as a whole has the largest concentration of corporate headquarters in the United States. New additions to the list include AT&T, which announced plans in June 2008 to relocate its corporate headquarters to Downtown Dallas from San Antonio, and Comerica Bank, which relocated in 2007 from Detroit. Suburban Irving is home to four Fortune 500 companies of its own, including Exxon Mobil, the most profitable company in the world and the second largest by revenue, Kimberly-Clark, Fluor (engineering), and Commercial Metals. Additional companies internationally headquartered in the Metroplex include Southwest Airlines, American Airlines, RadioShack, Neiman Marcus, 7-Eleven, Brinker International, id Software, ENSCO Offshore Drilling, Mary Kay Cosmetics, CompUSA, Zales and Fossil. Corporate headquarters in the northern suburb of Plano include EDS, Frito Lay, Dr Pepper Snapple, and JCPenney.
In addition to its large number of businesses, Dallas has more shopping centers per capita than any other city in the United States and is also home to the second shopping center built in the United States, Highland Park Village, which opened in 1931. Dallas is home of the two other major malls in North Texas, the Dallas Galleria and NorthPark Center, which is also the largest mall in Texas. Both malls feature high-end stores and are major tourist draws for the region.
The city itself is home to 15 billionaires, placing it 9th worldwide among cities with the most billionaires. The ranking does not even take into account the eight billionaires who live in the neighboring city of Fort Worth.
Dallas is currently the third most popular destination for business travel in the United States, and the Dallas Convention Center is one of the largest and busiest convention centers in the country, at over 1,000,000 square feet, and the world's single-largest column-free exhibit hall.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,188,580 people, 451,833 households, and 266,580 families residing in Dallas proper. The population density was 3,469.9 people per square mile. There were 484,117 housing units at an average density of 1,413.3 per square mile.
There were 451,833 households out of which 30.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.8% were married couples living together, 14.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.0% are classified as non-families by the United States Census Bureau. Of 451,833 households, 23,959 are unmarried partner households: 18,684 heterosexual. 32.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.00% and the average family size was 3.37%.
In the city the population was 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 were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30 years. For every 100 females there were 101.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 100.5 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $37,628, and the median income for a family was $40,921. Males had a median income of $31,149 versus $28,235 for females. The per capita income for the city was $22,183. About 14.9% of families and 17.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.1% of those under age 18 and 13.1% of those aged 65 or over. In 2006 the median price for a house was $123,800, and save a 2003 recession, Dallas has seen a steady increase in the cost of homes over the past 6 years.
The racial makeup of Dallas was 52.9% white, 31.2% African American, 2.3% Asian, 0.4% Native American, 0.5% Pacific Islander, 20.3% from other races, and 5.3% from two or more races. 35.6% of the population was Hispanic or Latino of any race. Non-Hispanic whites accounted for 35.6% of the city's population. Hispanics outnumbered African-Americans for the first time in the 2000 census as the largest minority group in Dallas.
The city has historically been predominantly white, but its population has diversified as it has grown in size and importance over the 20th century to the point that non-Hispanic whites now represent only one-third of the city's population. In addition, almost 25% of Dallas's population and 17% of residents in the Metroplex as a whole are foreign-born.
Dallas is a major destination for Mexican immigrants, both legally and illegally. The southwestern and southeastern portions of the city, particularly Oak Cliff and Pleasant Grove, consists of a mixture of black and Hispanic residents, while the southern portion of the city is predominantly black. North Dallas, on the other hand, is mostly white, though many enclaves of predominantly black and Hispanic residents exist. In addition, Dallas and its suburbs are home to a large number of Asian American residents—Koreans, Taiwanese, Chinese, Filipino, Vietnamese, Indians, Bangladeshi, Pakistani, and Arabs all have large presences in the area, particularly in the suburbs of Garland, Richardson, Plano, Carrollton, Irving, Arlington, and Haltom City.
About half of Dallas's population was born outside of Texas. Many residents have migrated to the city from other parts of the country, particularly the Midwest, Northeast, and other Sunbelt states such as California.
There are 337 public schools, 89 private schools, 38 colleges, and 32 libraries in Dallas
Colleges and universities in the Dallas city limits
The University of Texas Southwestern Medical School is a medical school located in the city's Stemmons Corridor. It is part of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, one of the largest grouping of medical facilities in the world. The school is very selective, admitting only around 200 students a year. The facility enrolls 3,255 postgraduates and is home to four Nobel Laureates—three in physiology/medicine and one in chemistry.
Dallas Baptist University (DBU) is a private, coeducational university located in the Mountain Creek area of southwest Dallas. Originally located in Decatur, Texas, the school moved to Dallas in 1965. The school currently enrolls over 5,100 students.
Paul Quinn College is a private, historically black college located in southeast Dallas. Originally located in Waco, Texas, it moved to Dallas in 1993 and is housed on the campus of the former Bishop College, another private, historically black college. Dallas billionaire and entrepreneur Comer Cottrell, Jr., founder of ProLine Corporation, bought the campus of Bishop College and bequeathed it to Paul Quinn College in 1993. The school enrolls about 3,000 undergraduate students.
The University of North Texas at Dallas, currently located at a temporary site in South Oak Cliff along Interstate 20, is being built at a nearby location along Houston School Road. The school will be the first public university within Dallas city limits when completed.
Dallas Theological Seminary, also within the city limits, is recognized as one of the leading seminaries in the evangelical faith. Situated 3 miles (5 km) east of Downtown Dallas, it currently enrolls over 2,000 graduate students and has graduated over 12,000 alumni.
At the 2-year level, the Dallas County Community College District has seven campuses located throughout the area with branches in Dallas as well as the surrounding suburbs.
Colleges and universities near Dallas
Dallas is a major center of education for much of the south central United States. In addition to those located in the city, the surrounding area also contains a number of universities, colleges, trade schools, and other educational institutions.
Southern Methodist University (SMU) is a private, coeducational university in University Park, an independent city that, together with the adjacent town of Highland Park, is entirely surrounded by Dallas. SMU was founded in 1911 by the Southern Methodist Church and now enrolls 6,500 undergraduates, 1,200 professional students in the law and theology departments, and 3,500 postgraduates.
The University of Texas at Dallas, part of the state public university system, is located in the city of Richardson, adjacent to Dallas and in the heart of the Telecom Corridor. UT Dallas, or UTD, is renowned for its work in combining the arts and technology, as well as for its programs in engineering, computer science, economics, international political economy, neuroscience, speech and hearing, pre-health, pre-law and management. The university has many collaborative research relationships with UT Southwestern Medical Center. UT Dallas is home to approximately 15,000 students.
The University of Dallas, in the suburb of Irving, is an enclave of traditional Roman Catholicism in the mostly-Protestant religious landscape of Dallas. St. Albert the Great Dominican Priory and Holy Trinity Seminary are located on campus, while the Cistercian Monastery and Cistercian Preparatory School are located just to the southeast. The Highlands School, a PK–12 Legionary school, is connected to the east by jogging trails. As a center for religious study, the Cistercian Monastery continues to be notable in scholastic developments in theology.
Also in the nearby suburbs and neighboring cities are the University of North Texas and Texas Woman's University in Denton, as well as the University of Texas at Arlington in Arlington. Fort Worth also has two major universities within its city limits, Texas Christian University and Texas Wesleyan University. A number of colleges and universities are also located outside the immediate metropolitan area.
Primary and secondary schools
Most neighborhoods in the city of Dallas are located within the Dallas Independent School District, the 12th-largest school district in the United States. The school district operates independently of the city and enrolls over 161,000 students. In 2006, one of the district's magnet schools, The School for the Talented and Gifted in Oak Cliff, was named the best school in the United States (among public schools) by Newsweek, retaining the title in 2007. Another one of DISD's schools, the Science and Engineering Magnet, placed 8th in the same 2006 survey and moved up to the #2 spot the following year. Other DISD high schools named to the list were Hillcrest, W. T. White, and Woodrow Wilson high schools. Woodrow Wilson was also named the top comprehensive high school in Dallas by local publication D Magazine.
A few areas of Dallas also extend into other school districts, including Carrollton-Farmers Branch, Duncanville, Garland, Highland Park, Mesquite, Plano, and Richardson. The Wilmer-Hutchins Independent School District once served portions of southern Dallas, but it was shut down for the 2005-2006 year. WHISD students started attending other Dallas ISD schools during that time. Following the close, the Texas Education Agency consolidated WHISD into Dallas ISD.
There are also many private schools in Dallas, most notably Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas, St. Mark's School of Texas, The Hockaday School, Episcopal School of Dallas, Parish Episcopal School, Bishop Dunne Catholic School, Ursuline Academy of Dallas, Yavneh Academy of Dallas, and First Baptist Academy of Dallas. Many Dallas residents also attend The Highlands School in adjacent Irving, as well as Greenhill School and Trinity Christian Academy in adjacent Addison.
Dallas has many hospitals and a number of medical research facilities within its city limits. One major research center is UT Southwestern Medical Center in the Stemmons Corridor, along with the affiliated UT Southwestern Medical School. The health care complex includes within its bounds Parkland Memorial Hospital, Children's Medical Center, St. Paul University Hospital, and the Zale Lipshy University Hospital.
Dallas also has a VA hospital in the southern portion of the city, the Dallas Veterans Affairs Medical Center. The center is home to a Consolidated Mail Outpatient Pharmacy (CMOP), part of an initiative by the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide mail-order prescriptions to veterans using computerization at strategic locations throughout the United States.
Other hospitals in the city include Baylor University Medical Center in Deep Ellum, Methodist Dallas Medical Center in Oak Cliff, Methodist Charlton Medical Center near Duncanville, Medical City Dallas Hospital and Presbyterian Hospital in North Dallas, and the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children in Oak Lawn.
Like many other major cities in the United States, the primary mode of local transportation in Dallas is the automobile, though efforts have been made to increase the availability of alternative modes of transportation, including the construction of light rail lines, biking and walking paths, wide sidewalks, a trolley system, and buses.
The city is at the confluence of three major interstate highways—Interstates 20, 30, 35E, and 45. The Dallas area freeway system is set up in the popular hub-and-spoke system, shaped much like a wagon wheel. Starting from the center of the city, a small freeway loop surrounds Downtown, followed by the Interstate 635 loop about 10 miles outside Downtown, and ultimately the tolled President George Bush Turnpike. Inside these freeway loops are other boulevard- and parkway-style loops, including Loop 12 and Belt Line Road. Another beltway around the city upwards of 45 miles from Downtown is under plan in Collin County.
Radiating out of Downtown Dallas's freeway loop are the spokes of the area's highway system—Interstates 30, 35E, and 45, U.S. Highway 75, U.S. Highway 175, State Spur 366, the Dallas North Tollway, State Highway 114, U.S. Highway 80, and U.S. Highway 67. Other major highways around the city include State Highway 183 and State Spur 408. The recently-completed interchange at the intersection of Lyndon B. Johnson Freeway (Interstate 635) and Central Expressway (U.S. Highway 75) contains 5 stacks and is aptly called the High Five Interchange. It is currently the only 5-level interchange in Texas and is one of the largest freeway interchanges in the United States.
Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) is the Dallas-area public transportation authority, providing buses, rail, and HOV lanes to commuters. DART began operating the first light rail system in the Southwest United States in 1996 and continues to expand its coverage. Currently, two light rail lines are in service, the Red Line and the Blue Line. The Red Line travels through Oak Cliff, South Dallas, Downtown, Uptown, North Dallas, Richardson and Plano, while the Blue Line goes through Oak Cliff, Downtown, Uptown, East Dallas, Lake Highlands, and Garland. The Red and Blue lines are conjoined between 8th & Corinth Station in Oak Cliff and Mockingbird Station in North Dallas. The two lines service Cityplace Station, the only subway station in the Southwest. DART has also begun construction on its Green and Orange lines, which will serve DFW Airport, Love Field Airport, Irving and Las Colinas, Carrollton, Farmers Branch, the Stemmons Corridor, Victory Park, downtown, Deep Ellum, Fair Park, south Dallas and Pleasant Grove.
Fort Worth's smaller public transit system, The T, connects with DART via a commuter rail line, the Trinity Railway Express, linking Downtown Dallas's Union Station and Downtown Fort Worth's T&P Station, with several points in between. As is happening in other cities around the country with high-speed regional train service, DART's rail system has skyrocketed land values in parts of Dallas and has led to a flurry of residential and transit-oriented development.
Dallas is served by two commercial airports: Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) and Dallas Love Field (DAL). In addition, Dallas Executive Airport (formerly Redbird Airport), serves as a general aviation airport for the city, and Addison Airport functions similarly just outside the city limits in the suburb of Addison. Two more general aviation airports are located about 35 miles (56 km) north of Dallas in McKinney, and another two are located in Fort Worth, on the west side of the Metroplex.
DFW International Airport is located in the suburbs slightly north of and equidistant to Downtown Fort Worth and Downtown Dallas. In terms of size, DFW is the largest airport in the state, the 2nd largest in the United States, and 3rd largest in the world. In terms of traffic, DFW is the busiest airport in the state, 3rd busiest in the United States, and 6th busiest in the world. The headquarters of American Airlines, the largest air carrier in the world, is located less than a mile from DFW within the city limits of Fort Worth. Similarly, Love Field is located within the city limits of Dallas about 6 miles (10 km) northwest of Downtown, and is headquarters to Southwest Airlines.
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