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Dallas is a major city in the state of Texas and is the largest urban center of the fourth most populous metropolitan area in the United States. The city proper ranks ninth in the U.S. and third in Texas after Houston and San Antonio. The city’s prominence arose from its historical importance as a center for the oil and cotton industries, and its position along numerous railroad lines. The bulk of the city is in Dallas County, of which it is the county seat; however, sections of the city are located in Collin, Denton, Kaufman, and Rockwall counties. According to the 2010 United States Census, the city had a population of 1,197,816. The United States Census Bureau’s estimate for the city’s population increased to 1,300,092 as of July 1, 2015.

The city is the largest economic center of the 12-county Dallas–Fort Worth–Arlington metropolitan area (commonly referred to as DFW), which had a population of 7,102,796 as of July 1, 2015, representing growth in excess of 676,000 people since the 2010 census. In 2014, the metropolitan economy surpassed Washington, DC to become the fifth largest in the United States, with a 2014 real GDP over $504 billion. In 2013, the metropolitan area led the nation with the largest year-over-year increase in employment and advanced to become the fourth-largest employment center in the nation (behind New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago) with more than three million non-farm jobs. As of June 2016, the metropolitan job count has increased to 3,523,400 jobs. The city’s economy is primarily based on banking, commerce, telecommunications, technology, energy, healthcare and medical research, and transportation and logistics. The city is home to the third-largest concentration of Fortune 500 companies in the nation (behind New York City and Houston). In the latest rankings released in 2013, Dallas was rated as a “beta plus” world city by the Globalization and World Cities Study Group & Network, and was 14th in world rankings of GDP by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Located in North Texas, Dallas is the main core of the largest metropolitan area in the South and the largest inland metropolitan area in the United States that lacks any navigable link to the sea. Dallas and nearby Fort Worth were developed due to the construction of major railroad lines through the area allowing access to cotton, cattle, and later oil in North and East Texas. The construction of the Interstate Highway System reinforced Dallas’ prominence as a transportation hub with four major interstate highways converging in the city, and a fifth interstate loop around it. Dallas developed as a strong industrial and financial center, and a major inland port, due to the convergence of major railroad lines, interstate highways, and the construction of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, one of the largest and busiest airports in the world.

Population: 1,300,092 (2015)

Language: 

Of the languages spoken in Texas none has been designated the official language. Around two-thirds of Texas residents speak solely English at home, while another 29.10% speak Spanish. Throughout the history of Texas, English and Spanish have at one time or another been the primary dominant language used by government officials.

Currency:

The currency used nation-wide is the US dollar. Notes come in denominations of US$100, 50, 20, 10, 5 and 1 and coins are available in US$1 and 50, 25, 10, 5 and 1 cent.

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Geography

Dallas is the county seat of Dallas County. Portions of the city extend into neighboring Collin, Denton, Kaufman, and Rockwall counties. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 385.8 square miles (999.3 km2), 340.5 square miles (881.9 km2) of it being land and 45.3 square miles (117.4 km2) of it (11.75%) water. Dallas makes up one-fifth of the much larger urbanized area known as the Dallas–Fort Worth Metroplex, in which one quarter of all Texans live.

Climate

Dallas has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen: Cfa), though it is located in a region that also tends to receive warmer, drier winds from the north and west in the summer, bringing temperatures to the 100 °F (38 °C) mark about 20 days annually, the majority in August, and heat indices easily breaking 110 °F (43 °C). When only temperature itself is accounted for, the north central Texas region where Dallas is located is one of the hottest in the United States during the summer months, usually trailing only the Sonoran Desert of Arizona, the Chihuahuan Desert of west Texas and the Mojave Desert of southern Nevada. Dewpoints in the summer range from 66.5 to 67.6 °F (19 to 20 °C).

Winters in Dallas have a normal daily average temperature in January of 47.0 °F (8.3 °C) but sharp swings in temperature as strong cold fronts known as “Blue Northers” pass through the Dallas region, forcing daytime highs below the 50 °F (10 °C) mark for several days at a time and often between days with high temperatures above 80 °F (27 °C). Snow accumulation is seen in the city in about 70% of winter seasons, and snowfall generally occurs 1–2 days out of the year for a seasonal average of 1.5 inches (3.8 cm). Some areas in the region, however, receive more than that, while other areas receive negligible snowfall or none at all.

History

Preceded by thousands of years of varying indigenous cultures, the Caddo people inhabited the Dallas area before Spanish colonists claimed the territory of Texas in the 18th century as a part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain. Later, France also claimed the area but never established much settlement.

In 1819, the Adams-Onís Treaty between the United States and Spain defined the Red River as the northern boundary of New Spain, officially placing the future location of Dallas well within Spanish territory. The area remained under Spanish rule until 1821, when Mexico declared independence from Spain, and the area was considered part of the Mexican state of Coahuila y Tejas. In 1836, the Republic of Texas, with majority Anglo-American settlers, gained independence from Mexico to become a distinct nation.

In 1839, Warren Angus Ferris surveyed the area around present-day Dallas. John Neely Bryan established a permanent settlement near the Trinity River named Dallas in 1841. The origin of the name is uncertain. The Republic of Texas was annexed by the United States in 1845 and Dallas County was established the following year. Dallas was formally incorporated as a city on February 2, 1856.

With construction of railroads, Dallas became a business and trading center, and was booming by the end of the 19th century. It became an industrial city, attracting workers from Texas, the South and the Midwest. The Praetorian Building of 15 stories, built in 1909, was the first skyscraper west of the Mississippi and the tallest building in Texas for some time. It marked the prominence of Dallas as a city. A racetrack for Thoroughbreds was built and their owners established the Dallas Jockey Club. Trotters raced at a track in Fort Worth, where a similar Drivers Club was based. The rapid expansion of population increased competition for jobs and housing.

In 1921, the Mexican president Álvaro Obregón along with the former revolutionary general visited downtown Dallas’ Mexican Park in Little Mexico, the small park was located on the corner of Akard and Caruth Street, site of the current Fairmount Hotel. The small neighborhood of Little Mexico was home to the Hispanic population that had come to Dallas due to factors like the American Dream, better living conditions or the Mexican Revolution.

On November 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated on Elm Street while his motorcade passed through Dealey Plaza in downtown Dallas. The upper two floors of the building from which alleged assassin Lee Harvey Oswald shot Kennedy, the Texas School Book Depository, have been converted into a historical museum covering the former president’s life and accomplishments.

On July 7, 2016, multiple shots were fired at a peaceful protest in downtown Dallas, held against the police killings of two black men from other states. The gunman, later identified as Micah Xavier Johnson, began firing at police officers at 8:58 p.m., killing five officers and injuring nine. Two bystanders were also injured. This marked the deadliest day for U.S. law enforcement since the September 11 attacks. Johnson told police during a standoff that he was upset about recent police shootings of black men and wanted to kill whites, especially white officers. After hours of negotiation failed, police resorted to a robot-delivered bomb, killing Johnson inside El Centro College. The shooting occurred in an area of hotels, restaurants, businesses, and residential apartments only a few blocks away from Dealey Plaza.

Religion

According to a 2014 study by the Pew Research Center, Christianity is the most prevalently practiced religion in Dallas (78%). There is a large Protestant Christian influence in the Dallas community. Methodist, Baptist, and Presbyterian churches are prominent in many neighborhoods and anchor two of the city’s major private universities (Southern Methodist University and Dallas Baptist University). Dallas is also home to two evangelical seminaries, the Dallas Theological Seminary and Criswell College and many Bible schools including Christ For The Nations Institute.

The Christian creationist apologetics group Institute for Creation Research is headquartered in Dallas.

Dallas is called “Prison Ministry Capital of the World” by prison ministry community. It is a home for International Network of Prison Ministries, Coalition of Prison Evangelists, Bill Glass Champions for Life, for more than 30 years to Chaplain Ray’s International Prison Ministry, and for more than 60 other prison ministries.

Education

There are 337 public schools, 89 private schools, 38 colleges, and 32 libraries in Dallas.

Transportation

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.Walk Score ranked Dallas the twenty third most walkable of fifty largest cities in the United States.

Highways

Dallas is at the confluence of four 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 (16 km) 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 (72 km) from Downtown is under plan in Collin County.

Radiating out of Downtown Dallas’ 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 one of the few 5-level interchange in Dallas and is one of the largest freeway interchanges in the United States.

Air

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 9th largest in the world; DFW International Airport is larger than the island of Manhattan.

In terms of traffic, DFW is the busiest airport in the state, 5th busiest in the United States, and 6th busiest in the world. The headquarters of American Airlines, the largest air carrier in the world ahead of United Airlines and Delta Air Lines, 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, the largest domestic airline in the United States.