Encyclopedia  |   World Factbook  |   World Flags  |   Reference Tables  |   List of Lists     
   Academic Disciplines  |   Historical Timeline  |   Themed Timelines  |   Biographies  |   How-Tos     
Sponsor by The Tattoo Collection
Dallas, Texas
Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

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 placing the metroplex 49th place for Largest cities of the world.

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 so called 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; these are downtown, 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.

Table of contents
1 Geography and Climate
2 Demographics
3 Economy
4 Transportation
5 People of Dallas
6 Education
7 Religion
8 Media and Journalism
9 Mayors
10 Sports
11 Historical Events
12 Other Facts about Dallas
13 Tallest Buildings in Dallas
14 Movies and TV Filmed in Dallas
15 External links
16 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.

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 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. Residents barely approved a bond proposal in 1998 to fund the Trinity River Project and work has progressed slowly towards implementing it. Ron Kirk, Dallas' first African-American 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 she would focus on the city's basic needs like roads and other infrastructure and city employees' pay: services 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 for 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 through the prairie lands of the midwest. In the spring, cool fronts moving 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, at times, tornados.

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 west in the summer. In the winter, the winds are cool, which can cause the region to fall below freezing occasionally. An inch of snow for a day or two falls 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 accompanying 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 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 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 more than 40,000 telecommunication employees in the "Telecom Corridor" housing such companies as
Southwestern Bell, AT&T;, Alcatel, DSC Communications, Ericsson, Fujitsu, MCI, Nortel Networks, 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 businesses in Dallas performed 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, FUNimation, 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. Educational Products, Inc is headquartered in Carrollton. 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 commercial airports:
Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (known as DFW International) and Dallas Love Field. In addition, Dallas Executive Airport (formerly Redbird Airport), is a general aviation airport located within the city limits, and Addison Airport is another general aviation airport located just outside the city limits in the suburb of Addison. Two more general aviation airports are located in the outer suburb of McKinney, and on the west side of the Metroplex, two general aviation airports are located in Fort Worth.

DFW International Airport is located in the suburbs north of and equidistant to downtown Fort Worth and downtown Dallas. In terms of size, DFW is the largest airport in the state, the second largest in the United States, and third largest in the world. In terms of traffic, DFW is the busiest in the state, fourth busiest in the United States, and sixth busiest in the world. DFW is also home base to American Airlines, the world's largest airline.

Love Field is located within the city limits of Dallas, 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 and Continental Express are the only major airlines 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.)

Trains and Buses

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.

Freeways and Tollways

See List of Dallas Freeways for detailed information on each freeway, such as official name, route, and termination points.

  • Texas 114 (state highways are known as SH 114, etc.)
  • Texas 121
  • Texas 161
  • Texas 183
  • Texas 190 (the free frontage roads of the President George Bush Turnpike)
  • Texas 360
  • Texas Loop 12
  • Texas Spur 97 (toll)
  • Texas Spur 280
  • Texas Spur 366 (Woodall Rodgers Freeway)
  • Texas Spur 408
  • Texas Spur 482
  • Dallas North Tollway (toll)
  • President George Bush Turnpike (toll) (its frontage roads are signed as Texas 190)

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 who 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 the number of 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 television.

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. Even the adult industry is compared. Houston has the lead, but both have a strong show of billboards and venues.

Famous People raised in Dallas

''Dallas skyline as seen from Reunion Tower at night


The city of Dallas is also home to several institutions of higher learning, including:


Dallas is located in the "
Bible Belt", because of 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 on the airwaves. Residents who 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.

Media and Journalism

List of Radio & Television Stations

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 of which play at the American Airlines Center, and

who play in the Cotton Bowl but will be moving to Frisco in 2005.

who play in Reunion Arena, and

Historical Events

Other Facts about Dallas

Tallest Buildings in Dallas

Movies and TV Filmed in Dallas

In addition, numerous TV movies and "
B-movies" have been filmed in Dallas, as well as a few lesser known, short-lived TV series.

All photos courtesy of the web site of John Roberts : http://www.miduppertexas.com/dallas/dallas.htm.

External links


{| id="toc" style="margin: 0 2em 0 2em;"
Regions: Central Texas | East Texas | North Texas | Northeast Texas | Rio Grande Valley | Texas Hill Country | Texas Panhandle | Llano Estacado | West Texas | Houston Metropolitan Area | Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex
Largest Metropolitan areas: Abilene | Amarillo | Austin- San Marcos | Beaumont- Port Arthur | Brownsville- Harlingen- San Benito | Bryan- College Station | Corpus Christi | Dallas-Fort Worth | El Paso | Houston-Galveston-Brazoria | Killeen- Temple | Laredo | Longview- Marshall | Lubbock | McAllen- Edinburg- Mission | Odessa-Midland | San Angelo | San Antonio | Sherman- Denison | Texarkana | Tyler | Victoria | Waco | Wichita Falls
See also: List of counties in Texas