According to the U.S. Census Bureau's estimate, the city had a population of almost 379,577 at the end of 2013 making it the third-largest municipality in the metropolitan area. Arlington is the forty-eighth-most populous city in the United States, the seventh-most populous city in the state of Texas, and the largest city in the state that is not a county seat.
Arlington is home to The University of Texas at Arlington, a doctoral-granting research institution, the Arlington Assembly plant used by General Motors, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Region IV, Texas Health Resources, American Mensa, and D. R. Horton. Additionally, Arlington hosts the Texas Rangers' Globe Life Park in Arlington, the Dallas Cowboys at the AT&T Stadium, the Dallas Wings at the College Park Center, the International Bowling Campus (which houses the United States Bowling Congress, International Bowling Museum and the International Bowling Hall of Fame), and the theme parks Six Flags Over Texas (the original Six Flags) and Hurricane Harbor.
Arlington borders Kennedale, Grand Prairie, Mansfield and Fort Worth, and surrounds the smaller communities of Dalworthington Gardens and Pantego.
European settlement in the Arlington area dates back at least to the 1840s. After the May 24, 1841 battle between Texas General Edward H. Tarrant (Tarrant County is named after him) and Native Americans of the Village Creek settlement, a trading post was established at Marrow Bone Spring in present-day Arlington (historical marker at 32°42.136′N 97°6.772′W). The rich soil of the area attracted farmers, and several agriculture-related businesses were well established by the late nineteenth century.
Arlington was founded in 1876 along the Texas and Pacific Railway. The city was named after General Robert E. Lee's Arlington House in Arlington County, Virginia. Arlington grew as a cotton-ginning and farming center, and incorporated in 1884. The city could boast of water, electricity, natural gas, and telephone services by 1910, along with a public school system. By 1925 the population was estimated at 3,031, and it grew to over 4,000 before World War II.
Large-scale industrialization began in 1954 with the arrival of a General Motors assembly plant. Automotive and aerospace development gave the city one of the nation's greatest population growth rates between 1950 and 1990. Arlington became one of the "boomburbs", the extremely fast-growing suburbs of the post-World War II era. U.S. Census Bureau population figures for the city tell the story: 7,692 (1950), 90,229 (1970), 261,721 (1990), 365,438 (2010) and almost 374,000 by 2011. Tom Vandergriff served as mayor from 1951 to 1977 during this period of explosive development. Six Flags Over Texas opened in Arlington in 1961. In 1972 the Washington Senators baseball team relocated to Arlington and began play as the Texas Rangers and in 2009 the Dallas Cowboys also began to play at the newly constructed Cowboys Stadium, now AT&T Stadium.
According to the United States Census Bureau, Arlington has a total area of 99.0 square miles (256 km2): 95.8 square miles (248 km2) of it was land, and 3.2 square miles (8.3 km2) of it (3.24%) is water.
Johnson Creek, a tributary of the Trinity River, and the Trinity River itself, flow through Arlington.
Arlington falls in the Cfa (humid subtropical) region of the Köppen climate classification system which is a climate zone characterized by hot, humid summers and mild to cool winters.The highest recorded temperature was 113 °F (45 °C) in 1980.
The lowest recorded temperature was −8 °F (−22 °C) in 1899.
The maximum average precipitation occurs in May.
Severe weather generally occurs April and May months.
Located in the famous Tornado Alley
Winters are typically mild with snow seldom occurring (snowless years are not unusual)
As of the census of 2010, there were 365,438 people, 133,072 households, and 90,099 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,811 people per square mile (1,472/km²). There were 144,805 housing units at an average density of 1,510 per square mile (5,833/km²). The 2011 estimated racial makeup of the city (based on the 2010 census) was 59% White, 18.8% Black or African American, 6.8% Asian, 0.7% Native American, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 11.3% from other races, and 3.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 27.4% of the population.
There were 133,072 households out of which 40% had children under the age of 18 living in them, 48% were married couples living together, 15% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32% were non-families. 25% of all households were made up of individuals and 5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.7 and the average family size was 3.3.
In the city, the 2010 population was spread out with 31% under the age of 20, 8% from 20 to 24, 30% from 25 to 44, 23% from 45 to 64, and 8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 104 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94 males 18 and over.
The median income for a household in the city was estimated to be $50,655 in 2011. Individual males working full-time year-round had a median income of $41,059 versus $35,265 for females. The per capita income for the city was $25,317.
About 16% of Arlington families in general and 31% of female-headed families with no husband present were living below the poverty line. 20% of the Arlington population as a whole, including 28% of individuals under age 18 and 8% of those age 65 or over were living in poverty.
43% of Arlington renters and 28% of homeowners were paying 35% or more of their household income for housing costs in 2011.
Arlington is among the top 50 largest cities in the United States by population.
Arlington is home to Six Flags Over Texas, a nationwide theme park that includes many notable attractions. Six Flags also opened Six Flags Hurricane Harbor, a waterpark, after the previous location, Wet 'n Wild, was sold to them in the mid-1990s.
With the relocation of the U.S. Bowling Congress, and the Bowling Proprietors Association of America and the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame, Arlington became the world headquarters for bowling. The International Bowling Museum and International Bowling Hall of Fame are located on the International Bowling Campus in Arlington.
For retail shopping, Arlington is home to The Parks Mall at Arlington, which houses numerous retail outlets, eateries, an ice skating rink, and a movie theatre. In addition, The Arlington Highlands was completed in mid-2007, serving as an entertainment hotspot with places such as Studio Movie Grill, Piranha Killer Sushi, BJ's Brewhouse, The Improv Theatre, Bar Louies, Plucker's, World Market, Chuy's Tex-Mex and Dave and Busters, among others. The Arlington Highlands is located on I-20 at Matlock Rd. The Lincoln Square located near the AT&T Stadium houses retail outlets, a Studio Movie Grill, and restaurants.
Arlington is also home to Theatre Arlington, one of the largest community theatres in the nation which produces quality live theatre year round and offers theater classes for all ages. The Mainstage Theatre at UT-Arlington is another well-known venue for live theatre in Arlington.
The Arlington Museum of Art in downtown and The Gallery at UT Arlington are the city's designated art venues. The Art Museum is currently host to a public art project called "The Star of Texas" to promote Arlington's newest slogan of being the "American Dream City". Twenty community artists were chosen to paint a large star sculpture with a unique interpretation of what it means to live the American dream in Arlington. From 2016 until 2019, these stars are available to discover all over Arlington. From the TCC campuses, to the Arlington Highlands shopping center, to all over downtown and other various locations, every star will lead visitors to a significant location in the city. In 2014, a community mural was created along the wall of Park Plaza Shopping Center, an east Arlington location that was the target of graffiti tagging for a long time.
The Planetarium Dome Theater at UT Arlington is one of the largest and most sophisticated in Texas.
Levitt Pavilion Arlington opened in 2009 and offers 50 free concerts per year in downtown Arlington featuring acclaimed artists and a diverse range of music genres. Notable performers have included Pentatonix, The Polyphonic Spree, The Quebe Sisters, The Band of Heathens, The Killdares, Ray Wylie Hubbard, and GRAMMY-winning Asleep at the Wheel. The Arlington Music Hall, Texas Hall, and AT&T Stadium are also popular destinations for live concerts in Arlington.
On July 4, the all-volunteer non-profit Arlington 4th Of July Parade Association puts on the annual parade through Downtown Arlington and UTA’s College Park District featuring floats and entries from local school, businesses, and organizations. The parade is broadcast on local radio stations as well as on the AISD TV station and website. The parade began in 1965 as decorated bicycles ridden through Randol Mill Park organized by citizen Dottie Lynn and Church Women United. It has grown to around 75,000 spectators a year enjoying the festivities.
The Arlington Convention & Visitors Bureau is the official tourism identity for the city of Arlington, Texas. The Arlington Convention & Visitors Bureau (ACVB) is tasked with pursuing conventions, meetings, tour groups, reunions and individual leisure travelers to increase city revenues from sale and lodging taxes. The Arlington CVB also supports local stakeholders that pursue high-profile special events and sporting events to fill hotels, Arlington Convention Center, AT&T Stadium, College Park Center, Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, and other venues around the city. The Arlington CVB offers complimentary services and lodging discounts to large groups and individual travelers.
The Arlington Visitors Welcome Center is located next to Rangers Ballpark in Arlington and adjacent to AT&T Stadium. Visitors can pick up discounts, Arlington Visitors Guide, maps and more.
Arlington has long been the home of the Texas Rangers baseball team, who made Arlington Stadium their first home upon moving to Dallas/Fort Worth from Washington, D.C. in 1972. In 1994, the Rangers built a new stadium, Globe Life Park in Arlington. The Rangers made trips to both the 2010 World Series and 2011 World Series both of which they lost, the first to the San Francisco Giants in 5 games, and the second to the St. Louis Cardinals in 7 games.
The Dallas Cowboys football team moved from Texas Stadium in Irving, Texas, in 2009 to the new AT&T Stadium, which is within walking distance of the Rangers Ballpark. Completed in 2009, it has attracted high-profile sporting events to Arlington, including the 2010 NBA All-Star Game, Super Bowl XLV in 2011, the 2013 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball South Regional Championships, and the 2014 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Final Four; the stadium was also the site of the first College Football Championship Game in January 2015 (covering the 2014 season). The Dallas Cowboys rent AT&T Stadium from the City of Arlington for $167,500 per month over a thirty-year period, a sum far less than market value; in the exchange the Cowboys have complete control over the facility's calendar and the revenues collected therefrom, including naming rights, billboard advertising, concession sales and most of the surrounding parking.
The Dallas Wings became the first Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) franchise in North Texas in 2015. They were known as the Tulsa Shock while based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, but reinvented their brand after relocating to North Texas. The Wings play home games at the College Park Center in Arlington.
The UT Arlington Mavericks are the athletic teams representing The University of Texas at Arlington. The Mavericks compete in the NCAA Division I Sun Belt Conference in 15 varsity sports; notably, UT-Arlington is one of the largest D-1 universities that does not participate in football.
UTA was a founding member of the Southland Conference in 1963 and participated in the league until the end of the 2011-12 athletic year. They joined the Western Athletic Conference for one year before moving to the Sun Belt Conference.
A new arena called the College Park Center is now the host facility for basketball and volleyball home games as well as other university activities. The arena opened February 1, 2012 and seats approximately 7,000 people. Baseball home games are held at the Clay Gould Ballpark and softball home games are at the Allan Saxe Field; both facilities completed $5.5 million in upgrade cost in early 2015.
The Mavericks' team name selection was made in 1971, predating the National Basketball Association's expansion franchise Dallas Mavericks' starting choice in 1980.
For the fourth year (2017) in a row the UTA Maverick Cheerleaders are NCA Collegiate National Champions.
Arlington Baptist College also competes in a number of sports. They are known as the Patriots and is an active member in the National Christian College Athletic Association, Southwest Region, Division II, and is a member of the Association of Christian College Athletics. The sports Arlington Baptist competes in range from: basketball (men and women's), golf (men and women's), cross country (men and women's), Track & Field (men), volleyball (women), softball (women), and baseball (men).
There are a wide variety of sport programs active at each high school in Arlington, some consistently rank among the state's best. For examples, Martin High School's varsity football and baseball programs have a long tradition of producing winning seasons and decorated players. In 2016, Arlington High School Lady Colts varsity volleyball team won a berth to the state playoffs for the 25th consecutive year. And in 2017, Sam Houston High boys soccer team made their first state championship appearance and finished the season as 6A state runner-ups.
Arlington High School and The Oakridge School own the city's only state football championships, having won it in 1951 under head coach Mayfield Workman and in 2011 under head coach Phillip Farhat, respectively. Lamar High School nearly pulled off the same feat in 1990, but had to settle for a state runner-up title. In recent years, Bowie High School, Martin High School and Mansfield Summit High School (a Mansfield ISD school located within Arlington) have enjoyed some success in getting close to winning state championships. Recently in 2017 Mansfield Timberview High School Boy Basketball took home the win from the Boys 5A State Championship.
Arlington High and Bowie High School play football home games at UT Arlington's Maverick Stadium. Cravens Field, on the campus of Lamar but funded by Martin High School, and Wilemon Field, on the campus of Sam Houston, are home to the other four teams in the city.
Bowie High School's girls basketball 2005 5A state title is the city's most recent basketball state title victory.
Arlington is the home of several notable athletes. 1998 American League Rookie of the Year Ben Grieve graduated from Martin High School in 1994. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim outfielder Vernon Wells grew up in Arlington and attended Bowie High School, San Francisco Giants outfielder Hunter Pence attended Arlington High School and played collegiate baseball at The University of Texas at Arlington, and St. Louis Cardinals pitcher John Lackey also played for UTA. Lamar High School alumnus Jeremy Wariner won two gold medals in the 2004 Athens Olympics, and the 2005 world championship in the 400 meters in Rome. UTA also produced Doug Russell, who won two gold medals in swimming at the Mexico City Olympics in 1968 and for whom a park on campus is named. Champion bodybuilder (Mr. Olympia 1998–2005) Ronnie Coleman resides in Arlington. Houston Comets Guard Erin Grant grew up in Arlington and attended Mansfield high school. NFL wide receiver Mark Clayton, now with the St. Louis Rams, graduated from Sam Houston High School in 2000 and was part of the University of Oklahoma's 2001 national championship team. Jared Connaughton, sprinter for the 2008 Canada olympic team, was a sprinter for the UT Arlington team. Myles Garrett, defensive end for the Cleveland Browns and 1st overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, graduated from Martin High School in 2014.
The Arlington City Council has been presided over by Mayor Jeff Williams since May, 2015, following the 12-year incumbency of Mayor Robert Cluck. The Arlington City Council is composed of the Mayor and eight City Council members. Elections are conducted every spring in May.
According to Arlington's most recent Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the city's various funds had $572.8 million in Revenues, $425.8 million in expenditures, $2.213 million in total assets, $835 million in total liabilities, and $297.7 million in cash in investments.
Fire protection is provided by the Arlington Fire Department, and emergency medical services are provided by American Medical Response, which also provides medical support to AT&T Stadium.
The city of Arlington is a voluntary member of the North Central Texas Council of Governments association, the purpose of which is to coordinate individual and collective local governments and facilitate regional solutions, eliminate unnecessary duplication, and enable joint decisions.
The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service maintains the Arlington Ecological Services Field Office (ARLES) on Northeast Green Oaks Boulevard in far northeastern Arlington; while it is one of the oldest Ecological Services Field Stations in the United States, today its activities are focused primarily on the illegal trafficking in exotic species through Dallas/Fort-Worth International Airport. The office is not staffed or funded for nor active on the protection and enhancement of local urban-area endangered species habitat, nor on the enforcement of the related provisions of the Endangered Species Act.
The United States Postal Service (USPS) operates the Arlington Main Post Office. Other post offices operated by the USPS include Bardin Road, East Arlington, Great Southwest, Oakwood, Pantego, and Watson Community.
The National Transportation Safety Board operates the Arlington Aviation field office in Arlington.
Arlington is home to several public and private colleges and universities.
The University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) is the largest university in North Texas. The university has a diverse student body of approximately 40,000 students as of fall 2016, and is a valuable asset to the city of Arlington and its economy. Buildings within the academic core of the UT Arlington campus are among the oldest structures in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, including Preston Hall, Ransom Hall, College Hall, Brazos House, and the original Arlington High School.
The Southeast Campus of Tarrant County College is located in Arlington.
Arlington Baptist College (ABC) is a private 4-year Bible college affiliated with the World Baptist Fellowship that offers undergraduate and graduate degrees. ABC traces its founding to J. Frank Norris, the controversial Independent Baptist minister.
Kaplan College, along with a branch of University of Phoenix is located in Arlington as well. The flagship campus of Ogle School (a cosmetology school) is located in Arlington.
Arlington's residents live in five independent school districts (or ISDs): Arlington ISD, Mansfield ISD, Grand Prairie ISD, Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD, and Kennedale ISD. In Texas, school district boundaries do not always follow city and county boundaries because all aspects of school district government apparatus, including district boundaries, are separated from city and county governments. Not all city of Arlington residents are in the AISD, and not all AISD students are residents of Arlington. There are currently ten AISD high schools.
Arlington has dozens of private and public charter primary and secondary schools not affiliated with any ISDs.
According to Arlingon's 2013 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the city are:
On July 2, 1902 the first Dallas/Fort-Worth "Interurban" electric trolley came to Arlington; this popular service ran between those three cities and points in between until Christmas Eve, 1934, providing easy transportation for both business and pleasure. The track ran through Arlington along what is now Abram Street.
Arlington Municipal Airport (GKY) is located entirely within Arlington and is a public use airport owned by the City of Arlington. It serves as a reliever airport for Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and Dallas Love Field (though it lacks scheduled airline service) and is currently used for general aviation purposes. Several companies operate aircraft services on the airport property, including the Bell Helicopter division of Textron.
For many years, Arlington had the somewhat notorious distinction of being the largest city in the United States that was not served by a public transportation system. Between 1980 and 2013, voters rejected three separate ballot proposals to bring public transportation to the city, though certain political and economic realities particular to North Texas made successful passage of those measures arguably more difficult in Arlington than in other parts of the state or country. On August 19, 2013, following unanimous approval by the Arlington city council, the Metro Arlington Xpress (MAX) bus route began a two-year pilot program providing a two-stop weekday bus route between College Park Center (on the campus of The University of Texas at Arlington) and the Trinity Railway Express (TRE) CentrePort Station near DFW Airport; from this station riders may take the TRE to Fort Worth, Dallas and points in between, all of which are served by comprehensive public transit systems. The MAX program was funded primarily by the City of Arlington and The University of Texas at Arlington, with cooperation and contributions from other regional transportation entities and municipalities, along with contributions from local businesses. In July 2015, the Arlington city council voted to extend the MAX program for an additional year. Under existing state finance laws, the voters of Arlington would have to approve any permanent funding for the MAX program.
Arlington does have four transit services targeting individual demographic groups: "Handitran" serves senior citizens and the disabled; Arlington hotels pay for a tourist-oriented shuttle-bus system for their guests; The University of Texas at Arlington runs a limited shuttle service for college students; and lastly Mission Arlington, an Arlington-run charity serving the severely indigent, has a bus service that circulates people needing social services or transportation to employment.
The city is served by two Interstate Highways, I-20, also known as Ronald Reagan Memorial Highway, and I-30, also named Tom Landry Memorial Highway. Other limited-access freeways include State Highway 360, which is named for the founder of Six Flags Over Texas, Angus G. Wynne, running along the eastern border, and U.S. Highway 287, which traverses the southwestern portion of the city. In most cases, the memorial names are not used in reference to these roadways.
The Union Pacific Railroad now owns and operates the original Texas and Pacific (later Missouri Pacific) transcontinental right-of-way and rail route though Arlington (parallel to which the Interurban originally ran); it offers no passenger stops in Arlington, its Arlington freight service is primarily to the local General Motors assembly plant, and most of its lengthy and numerous freight trains are merely passing through town to and from points far away.
Bette Park owns and operates the last existing dairy farm in Arlington, Texas.
Arlington and Bad Königshofen, Germany have been sister cities since 1952. Arlington operates the Bad Königshofen outdoor family aquatic center, named after its sister city. In return, Bad Königshofen has a recreational park named after Arlington. The relationship between the two cities dates to 1951, when the German town manager, Kurt Zuhlke, visited Arlington as part of a study tour in the U.S.