Dallas /ˈdæləs/ is the ninth-largest city in the United States and the third-largest city in the state of Texas. 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 Bureau, the city had a population of 1,197,816. The U.S. Census Bureau’s estimate for the city’s population increased to 1,241,162 as of 2012.
The city is the largest economic center of the 12-county region. Dallas–Fort Worth–Arlington metropolitan area had a population of 6,700,991 as of 2012. The metropolitan economy is the sixth largest in the United States, with a 2012 real GDP of $420.34 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 NYC, LA and Chicago) with over three million non-farm jobs.
Dallas was founded in 1841 and formally incorporated as a city in February 1856. The city’s economy is primarily based on banking, commerce, telecommunications, computer technology, energy, healthcare and medical research, transportation and logistics. The city is home to the third largest concentration of Fortune 500 companies in the nation. Located in North Texas, Dallas is the main core of the largest inland metropolitan area in the United States that lacks any navigable link to the sea. With the advent of the interstate highway system in the 1950s and 1960s, Dallas became an east/west and north/south focal point of the interstate system with the convergence of four major interstate highways in the city, along with a fifth interstate loop around the city. Dallas developed a strong industrial and financial sector, and a major inland port, due largely to the presence of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, one of the largest and busiest airports in the world.
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. Dallas is also ranked 14th in world rankings of GDP by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
Dallas is known for its barbecue, authentic Mexican, and Tex-Mex cuisine. Famous products of the Dallas culinary scene include the frozen margarita. Fearing’s restaurant at the Ritz-Carlton Dallas hotel in Uptown Dallas was named the best hotel restaurant in the US for 2009 by Zagat Survey. The Ritz-Carlton Dallas hotel was also named 2009 best US hotel by Zagat, and 2009 No. 2 hotel in the world by Zagat, trailing only the Four Seasons King George V in Paris, France. A number of nationally ranked steakhouses can be found in the Dallas area, including Bob’s Steak & Chop House, currently ranked No. 1 according to the USDA Prime Steakhouses chart.
Dallas is centrally located and within a four-hour flight from most North American destinations. DFW International Airport is the world’s fourth busiest airport, offering nearly 1,750 flights per day and providing non-stop service to 145 domestic and 47 international destinations worldwide annually. In addition, Dallas Love Field Airport is conveniently located 10 minutes from downtown. Once here, visitors can ride DART, one of the fastest-growing light rail systems in the nation or the historic, free McKinney Avenue Trolley from the Dallas Arts District throughout the Uptown area with its restaurants, pubs, boutique hotels and shops.
Throughout the city, a visitor will enjoy the best shopping in the southwest, four-and five-diamond/star hotels and restaurants, the largest urban arts district in the nation, 14 entertainment districts and much more. Blend in moderate weather, year-round sports and true Southern hospitality for a true “taste” of the Dallas difference. Visitors are exposed to a city of success … where optimism meets opportunity. Its pioneering spirit is alive and well, and the philanthropic contributions from its many residents continue to enrich the community and quality of life.
Dallas is also a leading business and meeting city. In 2012, 18 area businesses were named Fortune 500 companies, including Exxon Mobil, Southwest Airlines and Texas Instruments.