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El Paso (; "the pass") is a city in and the
county seat A county seat is an administrative centerAn administrative centre is a seat of regional administration or local government, or a county town, or the place where the central administration of a Township, commune is located. In countries with Fre ...
of El Paso County in the far southwestern part of the
U.S. state In the United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state ...
of
Texas Texas (, ; Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambigu ...

Texas
. The 2020 population of the city from the
U.S. Census Bureau The United States Census Bureau (USCB), officially the Bureau of the Census, is a principal agency of the U.S. Federal Statistical System, responsible for producing data about the American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, ...
was 678,815, making it the 23rd-largest city in the United States, the sixth-largest city in Texas, and the second-largest city in the
Southwestern United States The Southwestern United States, also known as the American Southwest or simply the Southwest, is a geographic and cultural list of regions of the United States, region of the United States that generally includes Arizona, New Mexico, and adjacen ...
behind
Phoenix, Arizona Phoenix ( ; nv, Hoozdo; es, Fénix or ) is the List of capitals in the United States, capital and List of cities and towns in Arizona#List of cities and towns, most populous city in the American state of Arizona, with 1,608,139 residents as o ...

Phoenix, Arizona
. The city is also the second-largest majority-Hispanic city in the United States, with 81% of its population being Hispanic. Its
metropolitan statistical area #REDIRECT Metropolitan statistical area #REDIRECT Metropolitan statistical area#REDIRECT Metropolitan statistical area In the United States, a metropolitan statistical area (MSA) is a geographical region with a relatively high population density a ...
covers all of El Paso and Hudspeth counties in Texas, and had a population of 843,725 in 2019. El Paso stands on the
Rio Grande The Rio Grande ( and ), known in Mexico as the Río Bravo del Norte and as the Río Bravo, is one of the principal river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another r ...

Rio Grande
across the
Mexico–United States border The Mexico–United States border ( es, frontera México–Estados Unidos) is an Border, international border separating Mexico and the United States, extending from the Pacific Ocean in the west to the Gulf of Mexico in the east. The border ...
from
Ciudad Juárez Ciudad Juárez ( ; ''Juarez City''. ) is the most populous city in the Administrative divisions of Mexico, Mexican state of Chihuahua (state), Chihuahua. It is commonly referred to as Juárez and was known as El Paso del Norte (''The Pass of the ...

Ciudad Juárez
, the most-populous city in the
Mexican state The states of Mexico are first-level administrative territorial entities of the country of Mexico, which officially is named United Mexican States Mexico ( es, México ; Nahuan languages: ), officially the United Mexican States (; EUM ), ...
of
ChihuahuaChihuahua may refer to: Places *Chihuahua (state), a Mexican state **Chihuahua (dog), a breed of dog named after the state **Chihuahua cheese, a type of cheese originating in the state **Chihuahua City, the capital city of the state **Chihuahua Muni ...
with over 1.4 million people. Las Cruces, in the neighboring U.S. state of
New Mexico ) , population_demonym = New Mexican ( es, Neomexicano, Neomejicano, Nuevo Mexicano) , seat = Santa Fe , LargestCity = Albuquerque , LargestMetro = Greater Albuquerque , OfficialLang = None , Languages = English English usually refer ...

New Mexico
, has a population of 215,579. On the U.S. side, the
El Paso metropolitan areaThe El Paso Metropolitan Statistical Area, as defined by the United States Census Bureau The United States Census Bureau (USCB), officially the Bureau of the Census, is a principal agency of the Federal Statistical System of the United States, U ...
forms part of the larger El Paso-Las Cruces combined statistical area, with a population of 1,060,397. These three cities form a combined international
metropolitan area A metropolitan area or metro is a region consisting of a densely populated urban core Urban means "related to a city". In that sense, the term may refer to: * Urban area, geographical area distinct from rural areas * Urban culture, the cul ...

metropolitan area
sometimes referred to as the ''Paso del Norte'' or the ''Borderplex''. The region of 2.5 million people constitutes the largest bilingual and binational work force in the
Western Hemisphere The Western Hemisphere is the half of Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continents and islands. The remaining ...
. The city is home to three publicly traded companies, and former
Western Refining Western Refining, Inc., is a Texas-based Fortune 200 and Global 2000 crude oil Petroleum (), also known as crude oil and oil, is a naturally occurring, yellowish-black liquid found in geological formations beneath the Earth's surface. It ...
, now
Marathon Petroleum Marathon Petroleum Corporation is an American petroleum refining, marketing, and transportation company headquartered in Findlay, Ohio. The company was a wholly owned subsidiary of Marathon Oil until a corporate spin-off in 2011. Following its ...

Marathon Petroleum
, as well as home to the Medical Center of the Americas, the only medical research and care provider complex in
West Texas West Texas is a loosely defined part of the U.S. state of Texas, generally encompassing the desert climate, arid and semi-arid climate, semiarid lands west of a line drawn between the cities of Wichita Falls, Texas, Wichita Falls, Abilene, Texas, ...
and Southern New Mexico, and the
University of Texas at El Paso The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) is a Public university, public research university in El Paso, Texas. It is a member of the University of Texas System. UTEP is the second-largest university in the United States to have a majority Mexic ...
, the city's primary university. The city hosts the annual
Sun Bowl The Sun Bowl is a college football bowl game that has been played since 1935 in the southwestern United States at El Paso, Texas. Along with the Sugar Bowl and Orange Bowl, it is the second-oldest bowl game in the country, behind the Rose Bowl Ga ...

Sun Bowl
college football postseason game, the second-oldest
bowl game In North America, a bowl game is one of a number of post-season college football College football (french: football universitaire) is gridiron football Gridiron football,William Beaumont Army Medical Center,
Biggs Army Airfield Biggs Army Airfield (formerly Biggs Air Force Base) is a United States Army The United States Army (USA) is the land Land is the solid surface of Earth that is not permanently submerged in water. Most but not all land is situated ...
, and
Fort Bliss Fort Bliss is a United States Army The United States Army (USA) is the land warfare, land military branch, service branch of the United States Armed Forces. It is one of the eight Uniformed services of the United States, U.S. uniformed se ...
are located in the area. Fort Bliss is one of the largest military complexes of the
United States Army The United States Army (USA) is the land Land is the solid surface of Earth that is not permanently submerged in water. Most but not all land is situated at elevations above sea level (variable over geologic time frames) and consists ma ...
and the second largest training area in the United States behind nearby
White Sands Missile Range White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) is a military testing area operated by the United States Army The United States Army (USA) is the land Land is the solid surface of Earth that is not permanently submerged in water. Most but not all ...
. The fort is headquartered in El Paso but a large part of the training area is in New Mexico. Also headquartered in El Paso are the
Drug Enforcement Administration The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA; ) is a Federal law enforcement in the United States, United States federal law enforcement agency under the U.S. Department of Justice tasked with combating drug trafficking and distribution within th ...

Drug Enforcement Administration
domestic field division 7,
El Paso Intelligence Center The El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC) was established in 1974 in response to a study by the Justice Management Division of the U.S. Department of Justice entitled, "A Secure Border." Recommendation number 7 of this study suggested the establ ...
,
Joint Task Force North Joint Task Force North (JTF North), formerly Joint Task Force Six (JTF-6), is a multi-service operation by the United States Department of Defense The United States Department of Defense (DoD, USDOD or DOD) is an United States federal execut ...

Joint Task Force North
,
United States Border Patrol The United States Border Patrol (USBP) is the United States Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) federal law enforcement arm within the United States Department of Homeland Security The United States Department of Homeland Security (DH ...
El Paso Sector, and U.S. Border Patrol Special Operations Group. El Paso is a five-time
All-America City Award The All-America City Award is a community recognition program in the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily located ...
winner, winning in 1969, 2010, 2018, 2020, and 2021, and ''
Congressional Quarterly Congressional Quarterly, Inc., or CQ, is part of a privately owned publishing company called CQ Roll Call that produces a number of publications reporting primarily on the United States Congress. CQ was acquired by the Economist Group and combined ...
'' ranked it in the top-three safest large cities in the United States between 1997 and 2014, including holding the title of safest city between 2011 and 2014.


History


Early years

The El Paso region has had human settlement for thousands of years, as evidenced by
Folsom point Folsom points are a distinct form of knapped stone projectile points In North American archaeological terminology, a projectile point is an object that was hafted to weapon that was capable of being thrown or projected, such as a javelin A ...

Folsom point
s from
hunter-gatherer A hunter-gatherer is a human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hairlessness, and intelligence allowing the use of culture, language and tools. T ...
s found at
Hueco Tanks Hueco Tanks is an area of low mountains and historic site in El Paso County, Texas El Paso County is the westernmost county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary, L. Brook ...
. The evidence suggests 10,000 to 12,000 years of human habitation. The earliest known cultures in the region were maize farmers. When the
Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambiguation), the name of several ...

Spanish
arrived, the Manso, Suma, and
Jumano Jumanos were a tribe or several tribes, who inhabited a large area of western Texas, New Mexico, and northern Mexico, especially near the La Junta de los Rios, Junta de los Rios region with its large settled Native indigenous population. Spanish E ...
tribes populated the area. These were subsequently incorporated into the ''
mestizo (; ; fem. ) is a racial classification used to refer to a person of a combined Ethnic groups in Europe, European and Indigenous peoples of the Americas, Indigenous American ancestry. The term was used as an ethnic/racial category for mixed-ra ...

mestizo
'' culture, along with immigrants from central Mexico, captives from
Comanchería The Comancheria or Comanchería (Comanche The Comanche or Nʉmʉnʉʉ ( com, Nʉmʉnʉʉ; "the people") are a Native American Native Americans may refer to: Ethnic groups * Indigenous peoples of the Americas, the pre-Columbian peoples of ...
, and '' genízaros'' of various ethnic groups. The
Mescalero Apache Mescalero or Mescalero Apache is an Apache The Apache () are a group of culturally related Native American Native Americans may refer to: Ethnic groups * Indigenous peoples of the Americas, the pre-Columbian peoples of North and South Americ ...
were also present. The Chamuscado and Rodríguez Expedition trekked through present day
El Paso, TX El Paso (; "the pass") is a city and the county seat of El Paso County, Texas, United States, in the far western part of the state. The 2019 population estimate for the city from the 2010 United States Census, U.S. Census was 681,728, making it ...

El Paso, TX
and forded the Rio Grande where they visited the land that is present day New Mexico in 1581-1582. The expedition was led by Francisco Sánchez, called "El Chamuscado," and Fray Agustín Rodríguez, the first Spaniards known to have walked along the Rio Grande and visited the Pueblo Indians since Francisco Vásquez de Coronado 40 years earlier. Spanish explorer Don Juan de Oñate was born in 1550 in
Zacatecas, Zacatecas Zacatecas () is the principal city within the municipality in Mexico of the same name, and the capital and the largest city of the state of Zacatecas. Located in north-central Mexico, the city had its start as a Spanish mining camp in the mid-1 ...
, Mexico and was the first
New Spain New Spain, officially the Viceroyalty of New Spain ( es, Virreinato de Nueva España, ), or Kingdom of New Spain, was an integral territorial entity of the Spanish Empire The Spanish Empire ( es, link=no, Imperio Español), also known as th ...

New Spain
(Mexico) explorer known to have rested and stayed 10 days by the
Rio Grande The Rio Grande ( and ), known in Mexico as the Río Bravo del Norte and as the Río Bravo, is one of the principal river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another r ...

Rio Grande
near El Paso, in 1598, celebrating a Thanksgiving Mass there on April 30, 1598. Four survivors of the Narváez expedition, Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca,
Alonso del Castillo Maldonado Alonso del Castillo Maldonado (died after 1547) was an early Spanish explorer in the Americas The Americas (also collectively called America) is a landmass comprising the totality of North and South America South America is a cont ...
, Andrés Dorantes de Carranza, and his enslaved Moor
Estevanico Estevanico ("Little Stephen"; modern spelling Estebanico; –1539), also known as Esteban de Dorantes or Mustafa Azemmouri, was a Moroccans, Moroccan explorer who became the first North African of Berbers, Berber origin to explore North America. ...
, are thought to have crossed the Rio Grande into present-day Mexico about 75 miles south of El Paso in 1535. El Paso del Norte (present-day
Ciudad Juárez Ciudad Juárez ( ; ''Juarez City''. ) is the most populous city in the Administrative divisions of Mexico, Mexican state of Chihuahua (state), Chihuahua. It is commonly referred to as Juárez and was known as El Paso del Norte (''The Pass of the ...

Ciudad Juárez
) was founded on the south bank of the Río Bravo del Norte (Rio Grande), in 1659 by Fray Garcia de San Francisco. In 1680, the small village of El Paso became the temporary base for Spanish governance of the territory of New Mexico as a result of the
Pueblo Revolt The Pueblo Revolt of 1680, also known as Popé's Rebellion or Popay's Rebellion, was an uprising of most of the indigenous Pueblo people The Puebloans or Pueblo peoples, are Native Americans in the Southwestern United States who share common ...
, until 1692, when was reconquered and once again became the capital. The
Texas Revolution The Texas Revolution (October 2, 1835 – April 21, 1836) was a rebellion of colonists from the United States and Tejano Tejanos (, ; singular: ''Tejano/a''; Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a ...
(1836) was generally not felt in the region, as the American population was small, not being more than 10% of the population. However, the region was claimed by Texas as part of the treaty signed with Mexico and numerous attempts were made by Texas to bolster these claims, but the villages that consisted of what is now El Paso and the surrounding area remained essentially a self-governed community with both representatives of the Mexican and Texan governments negotiating for control until Texas irrevocably took control in 1846. During this interregnum, 1836–1848, Americans nonetheless continued to settle the region. As early as the mid-1840s, alongside long extant Hispanic settlements such as the Rancho de Juan María Ponce de León, Anglo-American settlers such as Simeon Hart and Hugh Stephenson had established thriving communities of American settlers owing allegiance to Texas. Stephenson, who had married into the local Hispanic aristocracy, established the Rancho de San José de la Concordia, which became the nucleus of Anglo-American and Hispanic settlement within the limits of modern-day El Paso, in 1844: the Republic of Texas, which claimed the area, wanted a chunk of the Santa Fe trade. The
Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ( es, Tratado de Guadalupe Hidalgo), officially titled the Treaty of Peace, Friendship, Limits and Settlement between the United States of America and the Mexican Republic, is the peace treaty A peace treaty i ...

Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
effectively made the settlements on the north bank of the river part of the US, separate from Old El Paso del Norte on the Mexican side.''El Paso, A Borderlands History'', by W.H. Timmons, pp. 74, 75 The present Texas–New Mexico boundary placing El Paso on the Texas side was drawn in the Compromise of 1850. El Paso remained the largest settlement in New Mexico as part of the Republic of Mexico until its cession to the U.S. in 1848, when the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo specified the border was to run north of El Paso De Norte around the Ciudad Juárez Cathedral which became part of the state of Chihuahua. El Paso County was established in March 1850, with San Elizario as the first county seat. The United States Senate fixed a boundary between Texas and New Mexico at the 32nd parallel, thus largely ignoring history and topography. A military post called the "Post opposite El Paso" (meaning opposite El Paso del Norte, across the Rio Grande) was established in 1849 on Coons' Rancho beside the settlement of Franklin, which became the nucleus of the future El Paso, Texas; After the army left in 1851, the rancho went into default and was repossessed; in 1852, a post office was established on the rancho bearing the name El Paso as an example of cross-border town naming until El Paso del Norte was renamed Juarez in 1888. After changing hands twice more, the El Paso company was set up in 1859 and bought the property, hiring
Anson Mills Anson Mills (August 31, 1834 – November 5, 1924) was a United States Army officer, surveyor, inventor, and entrepreneur. Engaged in south Texas as a land surveyor and civil engineer, he both named and laid out the city of El Paso, Texas. Mills a ...
to survey and lay out the town, thus forming the current street plan of downtown El Paso. In ''Beyond the Mississippi'' (1867), Albert D. Richardson, traveling to California via coach, described El Paso as he found it in late 1859:
The Texan town of El Paso had four hundred inhabitants, chiefly Mexicans. Its business men were Americans, but Spanish was the prevailing language. All the features were Mexican: low, flat adobe buildings, shading cottonwoods under which dusky, smoking women and swarthy children sold fruit, vegetables, and bread; habitual gambling universal, from the boys' game of pitching ''quartillas'' (three cent coins) to the great saloons where huge piles of silver dollars were staked at monte. In this little village, a hundred thousand dollars often changed hands in a single night through the potent agencies of monte and poker. There were only two or three American ladies; and most of the whites kept Mexican mistresses. All goods were brought on wagons from the Gulf of Mexico, and sold at an advance of three or four hundred per cent on Eastern prices. From hills overlooking the town, the eye takes in a charming picture—a far-stretching valley, enriched with orchards, vineyards and corn-fields, through which the river traces a shining pathway. Across it appear the flat roofs and cathedral towers of the old Mexican El Paso; still further, dim misty mountains melt into blue sky.
During the
Civil War A civil war, also known as an intrastate war in polemology, is a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine publis ...
,
Confederate Confederacy may refer to: A confederation, an association of sovereign states or communities. Examples include: * Battle of the Trench, Confederate tribes * Confederate States of America, a confederation of secessionist American states that existed ...

Confederate
military forces were in the area until it was captured by the Union
California Column The California Column was a force of Union volunteers sent to Arizona and New Mexico during the American Civil War The American Civil War (also known by Names of the American Civil War, other names) was a civil war in the United States ...
in August 1862. It was then headquarters for the 5th Regiment California Volunteer Infantry from August 1863 until December 1864. After the Civil War's conclusion, the town's population began to grow as Texans continued to move into the villages and soon became the majority. El Paso itself, incorporated in 1873, encompassed the small area communities that had developed along the river. In the 1870s, a population of 23 non-Hispanic Whites and 150 Hispanics was reported. With the arrival of the
Southern Pacific The Southern Pacific (or Espee from the railroad initials- SP) was an American Class I railroad Rail transport (also known as train transport) is a means of transferring passengers and goods on wheeled vehicles running on rails, which ...
,
Texas and Pacific The Texas and Pacific Railway Company (known as the T&P) was created by federal charter in 1871 with the purpose of building a southern transcontinental railroad between Marshall, Texas, and San Diego, California. History The T&P had a significan ...
, and
Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway , often referred to as the Santa Fe or AT&SF, was one of the larger railroads in the United States. The railroad was chartered in February 1859 to serve the cities of Atchison, Kansas, Topeka, Kansas, an ...
railroads in 1881, the population boomed to 10,000 by the 1890 census, with many Anglo-Americans, recent immigrants, old Hispanic settlers, and recent arrivals from Mexico. The location of El Paso and the arrival of these more wild newcomers caused the city to become a violent and wild
boomtown A boomtown is a community A community is a social unit The term "level of analysis" is used in the social sciences to point to the location, size, or scale of a research target. "Level of analysis" is distinct from the term "unit of obser ...
known as the "Six-shooter Capital" because of its lawlessness. Indeed, prostitution and gambling flourished until World War I, when the
Department of the Army The United States Department of the Army (DA) is one of the three military departments within the Department of Defense of the U.S.. The Department of the Army is the federal government A federation (also known as a federal state) is ...
pressured El Paso authorities to crack down on vice (thus "benefitting" vice in neighboring Ciudad Juárez). With the suppression of the vice trade and in consideration of the city's geographic position, the city continued into developing as a premier manufacturing, transportation, and retail center of the U.S. Southwest.


1900–present

In 1909,
William Howard Taft William Howard Taft (September 15, 1857March 8, 1930) was the 27th president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the and of the . The president directs the of the and is the of the . The power of ...

William Howard Taft
and
Porfirio Díaz José de la Cruz Porfirio Díaz Mori ( or ; ; 15 September 1830 – 2 July 1915) was a Mexican general and politician who served seven terms as President of Mexico The president of Mexico ( es, link=no, Presidente de México), officially kn ...

Porfirio Díaz
planned a summit in El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, a historic first meeting between a U.S. president and a Mexican president and also the first time an American president crossed the border into Mexico, but tensions rose on both sides of the border, including threats of assassination, so the Texas Rangers, 4,000 U.S. and Mexican troops, U.S. Secret Service agents, FBI agents, and U.S. marshals were all called in to provide security.
Frederick Russell Burnham Frederick Russell Burnham DSO DSO may refer to: Organisations * Defence Science Organisation, now known as DSO National Laboratories, Singapore * Defense Sciences Office, part of the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency * Directorate o ...
, a celebrated scout, was put in charge of a 250-strong private security detail hired by
John Hays Hammond John Hays Hammond (31 March 1855 – 8 June 1936) was an American mining engineer, diplomat, and philanthropist. Known as the man with the Midas touch, he amassed a sizable fortune before the age of 40. An early advocate of deep mining, Ham ...
, who in addition to owning large investments in Mexico, was a close friend of Taft from Yale and a U.S. vice presidential candidate in 1908. On October 16, the day of the summit, Burnham and Private C.R. Moore, a Texas Ranger, discovered a man holding a concealed palm pistol standing at the El Paso Chamber of Commerce building along the procession route. Burnham and Moore captured, disarmed, and arrested the assassin within only a few feet of Taft and Díaz. By 1910, an overwhelming number of people in the city were Americans, creating a settled environment, but this period was short-lived as the
Mexican Revolution The Mexican Revolution ( es, Revolución Mexicana, 1910–1920) was a major revolution In political science Political science is the scientific study of politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated w ...
greatly impacted the city, bringing an influx of refugees – and capital – to the bustling boom town. Spanish-language newspapers, theaters, movie houses, and schools were established, many supported by a thriving Mexican refugee middle class. Large numbers of clerics, intellectuals, and businessmen took refuge in the city, particularly between 1913 and 1915. Ultimately, the violence of the Mexican Revolution followed with the large Mexican diaspora, who had fled into El Paso. In 1915 and again in 1916 and 1917, various Mexican revolutionary societies planned, staged, and launched violent attacks against both Texans and their political Mexican opponents in El Paso. This state of affairs eventually led to the vast Plan de San Diego, which resulted in the murder of 21 American citizens. The subsequent reprisals by local militia soon caused an escalation of violence, wherein an estimated 300 Mexicans and Mexican-Americans lost their lives. These actions affected almost every resident of the entire Rio Grande Valley, resulting in millions of dollars of losses; the end result of the Plan of San Diego was long-standing enmity between the two ethnic groups. Simultaneously, other Texans and Americans gravitated to the city, and by 1920, along with the U.S. Army troops, the population exceeded 100,000 and non-Hispanic Whites once again were in the clear majority. Nonetheless, the city increased the segregation between Mexicans and Mexican-Americans with non-Hispanic Whites. In reply, the Catholic Church attempted to garner the Mexican-American community's allegiance through education and political and civic involvement organizations, including the National Catholic Welfare Fund. In 1916, the Census Bureau reported El Paso's population as 53% Mexican and 44% Non-Hispanic whites. Mining and other industries gradually developed in the area. The
El Paso and Northeastern Railway The El Paso and Northeastern Railway (EP&NE) was a short line railroad that was built around the beginning of the twentieth century to help connect the industrial and commercial center at El Paso, Texas, with physical resources and the United Stat ...
was chartered in 1897, to help extract the natural resources of surrounding areas, especially in southeastern New Mexico Territory. The 1920s and 1930s had the emergence of major business development in the city, partially enabled by
Prohibition-era Prohibition in the United States was a nationwide United States Constitution, constitutional ban on the production, importation, transportation, and sale of alcoholic beverages from 1920 to 1933. Prohibitionists first attempted to end the tra ...
bootlegging. The military demobilization, and an agricultural economic depression, which hit places like El Paso first before the larger
Great Depression The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression An economic depression is a sustained, long-term downturn in economic activity in one or more economies. It is a more severe economic downturn than a economic recession, recess ...
was felt in the big cities, though, hit the city hard. In turn, as in the rest of the United States, the
Depression era The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression An economic depression is a sustained, long-term downturn in economic activity in one or more economies. It is a more severe economic downturn than a economic recession, recess ...
overall hit the city hard, and El Paso's population declined through the end of World War II, with most of population losses coming from the non-Hispanic White community. Nonetheless, they remained the majority to the 1940s. During and following the war, military expansion in the area, as well as oil discoveries in the Permian Basin, helped to engender rapid economic expansion in the mid-1900s. Copper smelting,
oil An oil is any nonpolar In chemistry Chemistry is the science, scientific study of the properties and behavior of matter. It is a natural science that covers the Chemical element, elements that make up matter to the chemical compound ...

oil
refining, and the proliferation of low-wage industries (particularly garment making) led the city's growth. Additionally, the departure of region's rural population, which was mostly non-Hispanic White, to cities like El Paso, brought a short-term burst of capital and labor, but this was balanced by additional departures of middle-class Americans to other parts of the country that offered new and better-paying jobs. In turn, local businesses looked south to the opportunities afforded by cheap Mexican labor. Furthermore, the period from 1942 to 1956 had the
bracero program The Bracero program (from the Spanish term ''bracero'', meaning "manual laborer" or "one who works using his arms") was a series of laws and diplomatic agreements, initiated on August 4, 1942, when the United States signed the Mexican Farm Labor ...
, which brought in cheap Mexican labor into the rural area to replace the losses of the non-Hispanic White population. In turn, seeking better-paying jobs, these migrants also moved to El Paso. By 1965, Hispanics once again were a majority. Meanwhile, the postwar expansion slowed again in the 1960s, but the city continued to grow with the annexation of surrounding neighborhoods and in large part because of its significant economic relationship with Mexico. The Farah Strike, 1972–1974, occurred in El Paso, Texas. This strike was originated and led by Chicanas, or Mexican-American women, due to Farah Manufacturing Company, one of the largest factories in the city, being unorganized and having low wages, discrimination, no benefits, lack of gender neutrality, health and safety hazards, and unattainable quotas. ''Texas Monthly'' described the Farah Strike as the "strike of the century." On August 3, 2019, a mass shooting/domestic terrorist attack committed by a white supremacist occurred at a
Walmart Walmart Inc. (; formerly Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.) is an American multinational Retail companies, retail corporation that operates a chain of hypermarkets (also called supercenters), discount department stores, and grocery stores from the United ...

Walmart
in El Paso, which left 23 people dead and 23 others injured.


Geography

El Paso is located at the intersection of three states (Texas, New Mexico, and Chihuahua) and two countries (the U.S. and Mexico). It is the only major Texas city on
Mountain Time The Mountain Time Zone of North America keeps time by subtracting seven hours from Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) when standard time (UTC−07:00) is in effect, and by subtracting six hours during daylight saving time (UTC−06:00). The clock ...
.
Ciudad Juarez Ciudad () is the word for Ciudad may also refer to: *, Hohokam ruins in Phoenix, Arizona *La Ciudad, district of , Mexico *''La ciudad'', novel by 1970 *La Ciudad *''Ciudad'' (film), directed by *Ciudad (band), Philippines band ' TV series *" ...
was once in Central Time, but both cities are now on Mountain Time. El Paso is closer to the capital cities of four other states –
Phoenix, Arizona Phoenix ( ; nv, Hoozdo; es, Fénix or ) is the List of capitals in the United States, capital and List of cities and towns in Arizona#List of cities and towns, most populous city in the American state of Arizona, with 1,608,139 residents as o ...

Phoenix, Arizona
( away);
Santa Fe, New Mexico Santa Fe ( ; , Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambigua ...

Santa Fe, New Mexico
( away); Ciudad Chihuahua, Chihuahua, ( away), and
Hermosillo Hermosillo (), formerly called Pitic (as in ''Santísima Trinidad del Pitic'' and ''Presidio del Pitic''), is a city located in the center of the northwestern Mexican state of Sonora. It is the municipal seat of the Hermosillo Municipality, hom ...

Hermosillo
,
Sonora Sonora (), officially Estado Libre y Soberano de Sonora ( en, Free and Sovereign State of Sonora), is one of the 31 states which, along with Mexico City Mexico City ( es, link=no, Ciudad de México, ; abbreviated as CDMX; nah, Āltepētl Mēx ...
( away) – than it is to the capital of its own state,
Austin Austin (, ) is the capital city A capital or capital city is the holding primary status in a , , , , or other , usually as its seat of the government. A capital is typically a that physically encompasses the government's offices and ...

Austin
( away). It is closer to
Los Angeles Los Angeles ( ; xgf, Tovaangar; es, Los Ángeles, , ), commonly referred to by the initialism An acronym is a word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be u ...

Los Angeles
,
California California is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper i ...

California
( away) than it is to
Orange Orange most often refers to: *Orange (colour), occurs between red and yellow in the visible spectrum *Orange (fruit), the fruit of the tree species '' Citrus'' × ''sinensis'' ** Orange blossom, its fragrant flower *Some other citrus or citrus-li ...

Orange
( away), the easternmost town in the state. El Paso is located within the
Chihuahuan Desert The Chihuahuan Desert ( es, Desierto de Chihuahua, ) is a desert A desert is a barren area of landscape where little precipitation occurs and, consequently, living conditions are hostile for plant and animal life. The lack of vegetatio ...

Chihuahuan Desert
, the easternmost section of the Basin and Range Region. The Franklin Mountains extend into El Paso from the north and nearly divide the city into two sections; the west side forms the beginnings of the
Mesilla Valley 250px, The Organ Mountains tower over the Mesilla Valley ( Las Cruces, NM in the foreground). The Mesilla Valley is a geographic feature of Southern New Mexico ) , population_demonym = New Mexican ( es, Neomexicano, Neomejicano) , seat = San ...
, and the east side expands into the desert and lower valley. They connect in the central business district at the southern end of the mountain range. The city's elevation is above sea level.
North Franklin Mountain North Franklin Mountain (or North Franklin Peak) is a mountain in the Franklin Mountains of El Paso, Texas El Paso (; "the pass") is a city and the county seat of El Paso County, Texas, United States, in the far western part of the state. Th ...
is the highest peak in the city at above sea level. The peak can be seen from in all directions. Additionally, this mountain range is home to the famous natural red-clay formation, the Thunderbird, from which the local Coronado High School gets its mascot's name. According to the
United States Census Bureau The United States Census Bureau (USCB), officially the Bureau of the Census, is a principal agency of the U.S. Federal Statistical System, responsible for producing data about the American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, ...
, the city has a total area of . The
Franklin Mountains State Park Franklin Mountains State Park is a Texas state park in El Paso, Texas El Paso (; "the pass") is a city and the county seat of El Paso County, Texas, United States, in the far western part of the state. The 2019 population estimate for the ci ...
, one of the largest urban parks in the United States, lies entirely in El Paso, extending from the north and dividing the city into several sections along with Fort Bliss and
El Paso International Airport El Paso International Airport (, es, Aeropuerto Internacional de El Paso) is four miles (6 km) northeast of downtown El Paso, in El Paso County, Texas El Paso County is the westernmost county A county is a geographical region of a c ...
. The Rio Grande Rift, which passes around the southern end of the Franklin Mountains, is where the Rio Grande flows. The river defines the border between El Paso and Ciudad Juárez to the south and west until the river turns north of the border with Mexico, separating El Paso from Doña Ana County, New Mexico. Urbici Soler, Mt. Cristo Rey, an example of a pluton, rises within the Rio Grande Rift just to the west of El Paso on the New Mexico side of the Rio Grande. Nearby volcanic features include Kilbourne Hole and Hunt's Hole, which are Maar volcanic craters west of the Franklin Mountains.


Climate

El Paso has a transitional climate between cold desert climate (Köppen climate classification, Köppen ''BWk'') and hot desert climate (Köppen ''BWh'') featuring hot summers, with little humidity, and cool to mild dry winters. Rainfall averages per year, much of which occurs from June through September, and is predominantly caused by the North American Monsoon. During this period, southerly and southeasterly winds carry moisture from the Pacific, the Gulf of California, and the Gulf of Mexico into the region. When this moisture moves into the El Paso area and places to the southwest, orographic lift from the mountains, combined with strong daytime heating, causes thunderstorms, some severe enough to produce flash flooding and hail, across the region. The sun shines 302 days per year on average in El Paso, 83% of daylight hours, according to the National Weather Service; from this, the city is nicknamed "The Sun City". Due to its arid, windy climate, El Paso often experiences sand and dust storms during the dry season, particularly during the springtime between March and early May. With an average wind speed often exceeding and gusts that have been measured at over , these wind storms kick up large amounts of sand and dust from the desert, causing loss of visibility. El Paso and the nearby mountains also receive snow. Weather systems have produced over of snow on several occasions. In the 1982–1983 winter season, three major snowstorms produced record seasonal snowfall. On December 25–26, 1982, of snow fell, producing a white Christmas for the city. This was followed by another on December 30–31, 1982. On April 4–7, 1983, of snow fell on El Paso, bringing the seasonal total to nearly . On December 13–14, 1987, a record storm dumped over of snow on El Paso, and two weeks later (December 25–26), another fell, bringing the monthly total for December 1987 to an all-time record high of of snow. The average annual snowfall for the city varies widely between different neighborhoods at different elevations, but is at the airport (but with a median of 0, meaning most years see no snow at all). Snow is most rare around Ysleta and the eastern valley area, which usually include large numbers of palm trees; in the higher neighborhoods, palm trees are more vulnerable to snow and cold snaps and are often seen with brown, frost-damaged fronds. One example of El Paso's varying climate at its most extreme was the damaging winter storm of early February 2011, which caused closures of schools, businesses, and City Hall. The snow, which was light, stopped after about a day, but during the ensuing cold episode, municipal utilities went into a crisis. The high temperature on February 2, 2011, was , the lowest daily maximum on record. In addition, the low temperature on February 3 was , breaking the monthly record low set during the Great Blizzard of 1899#Arctic cold, cold wave of 1899. Loss of desert vegetation, such as Mexican/California palm trees, oleanders, and Aizoaceae, iceplants to the cold weather was one of the results. Two local power plants failed, forcing El Paso Electric to institute rolling blackouts over several days, and electric wires were broken, causing localised blackouts. Many water utility pipes froze, causing areas of the city to be without water for several days. Monthly means range from in December to in July, but high temperatures typically peak in June before the monsoon arrives, while daily low temperatures typically peak in July or early August with the higher humidity the monsoon brings (translating to warmer nights). On average, 42 night lows are at or below freezing, with 118 days of + highs and 28 days of + highs annually; extremely rarely do temperatures stay below the freezing mark all day. The city's record high is on June 30, 1994, and its record low is on January 11, 1962; the highest daily minimum was on July 1 and 3, 1994, with weather records for the area maintained by the National Weather Service since 1879.


Flooding

Although the average annual rainfall is only about 8.8 in (225 mm), many parts of El Paso are subject to occasional flooding during intense summer monsoonal thunderstorms. In late July and early August 2006, up to of rain fell in a week, the flood-control reservoirs overflowed and caused major flooding citywide. The city staff estimated damage to public infrastructure at $21 million, and to private property (residential and commercial) at $77 million. Much of the damage was associated with development in recent decades in Arroyo (creek), arroyos protected by flood-control dams and reservoirs, and the absence of any storm drain utility in the city to handle the flow of rain water.


Neighborhoods


Downtown and central El Paso

This part of town contains some of the city's oldest and most historic neighborhoods. Located in the heart of the city, it is home to about 44,993 people. Development of the area started in 1827 with the first resident, Juan Maria Ponce de Leon, a wealthy merchant from Paso del Norte (present day Ciudad Juárez), who built the region's first structure establishing Rancho Ponce within the vicinity of S. El Paso Street and Paisano Dr. when the city was barely beginning. Today, central El Paso has grown into the center of the city's economy and a thriving urban community. It contains numerous historic sites and landmarks, mostly in the Sunset Heights district. It is close to the El Paso International Airport, the international border, and Fort Bliss. It is part of the El Paso Independent School District. Dr. James Day, an El Paso historian, said that downtown's main business area was originally centered between Second Avenue (now Paisano Drive) and San Francisco Avenue. At a later point, the main business area was centered around Stanton Street and Santa Fe Street. In the late 1800s, most of the White American residents lived to the north of the non-White areas, living in brick residences along Magoffin, Myrtle, and San Antonio Avenues. Hispanic and Latino Americans, Hispanic-American residents lived in an area called Chihuahuita ("little
ChihuahuaChihuahua may refer to: Places *Chihuahua (state), a Mexican state **Chihuahua (dog), a breed of dog named after the state **Chihuahua cheese, a type of cheese originating in the state **Chihuahua City, the capital city of the state **Chihuahua Muni ...
"), which was located south of Second Avenue and west of Santa Fe Street. Several African Americans and around 300 Chinese Americans also lived in Chihuahuita. Many of the Chinese Americans participated in the building of railroads in the El Paso area. Another downtown neighborhood is El Segundo Barrio, which is near the United States/Mexico border.


Northwest El Paso

Better known as West El Paso or the West Side, the area includes a portion of the Rio Grande floodplain upstream from downtown, which is known locally as the Upper Valley and is located on the west side of the Franklin Mountains. The Upper Valley is the greenest part of the county due to the Rio Grande. The West Side is home to some of the most affluent neighborhoods within the city, such as the Coronado Hills, Country Club, and Three Hills neighborhoods. It is one of the fastest-growing areas of El Paso. The main high schools in the westside include Canutillo High School, Coronado High School (El Paso, Texas), and Franklin High School (El Paso, Texas).


West-central El Paso

West-central El Paso is located north of Interstate 10 and west of the Franklin Mountains. The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) and the Cincinnati Entertainment district are located in the heart of the area. Historic districts Kern Place and Sunset Heights are in this part of town. Kern Place was founded in 1914 by Peter E. Kern, for whom the neighborhood was named. The homes of Kern Place are unique in architecture and some were built by residents themselves. One of the better known homes is the Paul Luckett Home located at 1201 Cincinnati Ave. above Madeline Park, and is made of local rock. It is known as "The Castle" due to its round walls and a crenelated rooftop. Kern Place is extremely popular with college and university students. The area is known for its glitzy entertainment district, restaurants and coffee shops that cater to both business patrons and university students. After UTEP's basketball and football games, UTEP fans pack the Kern Place area for food and entertainment at Cincinnati Street, a small bar district. This bar scene has grown over the years and has attracted thousands to its annual Mardi Gras block party, as well as after sporting events or concerts. Young men and women make up the majority of the crowds who stop in between classes or after work. Sunset Heights is one of the most historic areas in town, which has existed since the latter part of the 1890s. Many wealthy residents have had their houses and mansions built on this hill. Although some buildings have been renovated to their former glory, many have been neglected and have deteriorated. During the Mexican Revolution, a widely popular Mexican revolutionary leader, Doroteo Arango (also known as Francisco "Pancho" Villa), owned and resided in this area during the 1910s. During the 1910 Mexican Revolution many Mexicans fled Mexico and settled in Sunset Heights.Corchado, Alfredo.
Families, businesses flee Juárez for U.S. pastures
" ''The Dallas Morning News''. Sunday March 7, 2010. Retrieved on March 10, 2010.


Northeast El Paso

This part of town is located north of central El Paso and east of the Franklin Mountains. Development of the area was extensive during the 1950s and 1960s. It is one of the more ethnically diverse areas in the city due to the concentration of military families. The Northeast has not developed as rapidly as other areas, such as east El Paso and northwest El Paso, but its development is steadily increasing. The population is expected to grow more rapidly as a result of the troop increase at Ft. Bliss in the coming years. The area has also gained recognition throughout the city for the outstanding high-school athletic programs at Andress High School, Parkland High School (Texas), Parkland High School, Irvin High School, and Captain John L. Chapin High School, Chapin High School. In May 2021 a major developer announced plans for a Master Planned Community in the Northeast modeled after Scarborough's Sunfield Master Planned Community in Buda, Texas. The first phase of the development is to include about 2,500 homes, 10-acre park, walking trails, a four-acre resort-like area with a lazy river, kiddy splash pad, pool, grass areas, and a food truck area, the developers reported. Jessica Herrera, director of the city of El Paso Economic and International Development Department, in a statement released by the developers, said Campo del Sol will generate hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenues, "which will stimulate other growth and development on the north side of town."


East El Paso

The area is located north of Interstate 10, east of Airway Blvd., and south of Montana Ave. It is the largest and fastest growing area of town with a population over 200,000. It includes the 79936 ZIP Code, which was considered in 2013 as the most populous in the nation with over 114,000 people.


Mission Valley

Formerly known as the lower valley, it includes part of Eastside and all lower valley districts. It is the third-largest area of the city, behind east El Paso and central El Paso. Hawkins Road and Interstate 10 border the Mission Valley. This location is considered the oldest area of El Paso, dating back to the late 17th century when present-day Texas was under the rule of
New Spain New Spain, officially the Viceroyalty of New Spain ( es, Virreinato de Nueva España, ), or Kingdom of New Spain, was an integral territorial entity of the Spanish Empire The Spanish Empire ( es, link=no, Imperio Español), also known as th ...

New Spain
. In 1680, the Isleta Pueblo tribe revolted against the Spaniards who were pushed south to what is now El Paso. Some Spaniards and tribe members settled here permanently. Soon afterward, three Spanish missions were built; they remain standing, currently functioning as churches: Ysleta Mission-1682 (La Misión de Corpus Christi y de San Antonio de la Ysleta del Sur/Our Lady of Mt. Carmel), Socorro Mission-1759 (Nuestra Señora de la Purísima Concepción del Socorro)-1759, and San Elizario Chapel (Capilla de San Elcear)-1789. On April 30, 1598, the northward-bound Spanish conquistadors crossed large sand dunes about 27 miles south of present-day downtown El Paso. The expeditionaries and their horses reportedly ran toward the river, and two horses drank themselves to death. Don Juan de Oñate, a New Spain-born conquistador of Spanish parents, was an expedition leader who ordered a big feast north of the Río Grande in what is now San Elizario. This was the first documented and true Thanksgiving in North America. Oñate declared'' la Toma'' (taking possession), claiming all territory north of the Río Grande for King Philip II of Spain. Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo (related to the insurgent Isleta Pueblo Tribe) is also located in this valley. The Tigua is one of three Indian tribes in Texas whose sovereignty is recognized by the United States government. Ysleta is spelled with a "Y" because 19th-century script did not differentiate between a capital "Y" and a capital "I." Some people in this area and its twin city across the river, Ciudad Juárez, are direct descendants of the Spaniards.


Texas and New Mexico suburbs

El Paso is surrounded by many cities and communities in both Texas and New Mexico. The most populated suburbs in Texas are Socorro, Texas, Socorro, Horizon City, Texas, Horizon City, Fort Bliss, and San Elizario. Other Texas suburbs are Anthony, Texas, Anthony, Canutillo, Texas, Canutillo, Sparks, Texas, Sparks, Fabens, Texas, Fabens, and Vinton, Texas, Vinton. Although Anthony, New Mexico, Anthony, Santa Teresa, New Mexico, Santa Teresa, Sunland Park, New Mexico, Sunland Park, and Chaparral, New Mexico, Chaparral lie adjacent to El Paso County, they are considered to be part of the Las Cruces, New Mexico metropolitan area by the United States Census Bureau.


Cityscape


Tallest buildings

El Paso's tallest building, the Wells Fargo Plaza, was built in the early 1970s as State National Plaza. The black-windowed, building is famous for its 13 white horizontal lights (18 lights per row on the east and west sides of the building, and seven bulbs per row on the north and south sides) that were lit at night. The tower did use a design of the United States flag during the Independence Day (United States), July 4 holidays, as well as the American hostage crisis of 1980, and was lit continuously following the September 11 attacks in 2001 until around 2006. During the Christmas holidays, a design of a Christmas tree was used, and at times, the letters "UTEP" were used to support University of Texas at El Paso athletics. The tower is now only lit during the holiday months, or when special events take place in the city.


Demographics

The 2019
U.S. Census Bureau The United States Census Bureau (USCB), officially the Bureau of the Census, is a principal agency of the U.S. Federal Statistical System, responsible for producing data about the American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, ...
estimates determined El Paso had a population of 681,728, an increase of 5.2% since the 2010 census. At the 2010 United States census, 2010 U.S. census, 649,121 people, 216,694 households, and 131,104 families resided in the city. The population density was 2,263.0 people per square mile (873.7/km). There were 227,605 housing units at an average density of 777.5 per square mile (300.2/km). Of the 216,894 households in 2010, 37.6% had children under 18 living with them, 48.5% were married couples living together, 20.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.3% were not families. About 21.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 24.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.95 and the average family size was 3.47 In the city, the age distribution was 29.1% under the age of 18, 7.5% from 20 to 24, 26.2% from 25 to 44, 22.8% from 45 to 64, and 11.1% who were 65 or older. The median age was 32.5 years. The median income for a household in the city was $44,431, and for a family was $50,247. Males had a median income of $28,989 versus $21,540 for females. The per capita income for the city was $21,120. About 17.3% of families and 20.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 28.5% of those under age 18 and 18.4% of those age 65 or over. The 226,787 households in 2019 averaged of 2.97 people per household. The 2019 census estimate determined the city had an owner-occupied housing rate of 58.9% and median value of owner-occupied housing units at $127,400. The median gross rent from 2015 to 2019 was $837. From 2015 to 2019, the city's median monthly homeowner cost with a mortgage was $1,255 and without a mortgage $429. El Paso had a median household income of $47,568 and per capita income of $22,734 in 2019. Roughly 19% of the population lived at or below the poverty line.


Race and ethnicity

Census estimates from 2012 to 2013 determined the city's population was: White people, White– 92.0% (Non-Hispanic Whites, non-Hispanic whites: 11.8%), African Americans, African American or Black people, Black – 3.9%, Multiracial American, two or more races – 1.5%, Asian American, Asian – 1.3%, Native Americans in the United States, Native American – 1.0%, and Pacific Islands Americans, Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander – 0.2%. Ethnically, the city was 82.8% Hispanic and Latino Americans, Hispanic or Latino of any race as of 2013. In 2019, 12.8% of the population was non-Hispanic white, 3.6% Black or African American, 0.6% American Indian or Alaska Native, 1.4% Asian, 0.2% Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander, 2.7% two or more races, and 81.4% Hispanic or Latin American of any race. By 1996, a German community existed in El Paso, as the German Air Force headquarters for North America is in El Paso. A German school in El Paso serves all grade levels, though as of 1996, most of its students begin attending American schools at the secondary level. The German school is on
Fort Bliss Fort Bliss is a United States Army The United States Army (USA) is the land warfare, land military branch, service branch of the United States Armed Forces. It is one of the eight Uniformed services of the United States, U.S. uniformed se ...
.


Religion

Since El Paso is in the Bible Belt, Christianity is the largest religion in the city and its metropolitan statistical area. Nearly 45% of its population claim affiliation with the Catholic Church as of 2020, and are served by the Roman Catholic Diocese of El Paso. Protestantism, Protestants form a minority of Christians in the city limits, and the remainder of the non-Christian population were followers of Judaism, Islam, or eastern faiths, including Buddhism or Hinduism. The Irreligion, irreligious made the second largest non-Christian demographic.


Economy

El Paso has a diversified economy focused primarily within international trade, military, government civil service, oil and gas, health care, tourism, and Service (economics), service sectors. The El Paso metro area had a GDP of $29.03 billion in 2017. There was also $92 billion worth of trade in 2012. Over the past 15 years the city has become a significant location for American-based call centers. Cotton, fruit, vegetables, and livestock are also produced in the area. El Paso has added a significant manufacturing sector with items and goods produced that include petroleum, metals, medical devices, plastics, machinery, defense-related goods, and automotive parts. On July 22, 2020, Amazon announced plans to open the first 625,000 square foot fulfillment center in El Paso. The city is the second-busiest international crossing point in the U.S. behind San Diego. El Paso is home to one Fortune 500, ''Fortune ''500 company,
Western Refining Western Refining, Inc., is a Texas-based Fortune 200 and Global 2000 crude oil Petroleum (), also known as crude oil and oil, is a naturally occurring, yellowish-black liquid found in geological formations beneath the Earth's surface. It ...
, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). This makes the city one of six Texas metro areas to have at least one ''Fortune'' 500 company call it home; the others being Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth, San Antonio, Austin, and Corpus Christi, Texas, Corpus Christi. The second publicly traded company is Helen of Troy Limited, a NASDAQ-listed company that manufactures personal health-care products under many labels, such as OXO (kitchen utensils brand), OXO, Dr. Scholl's, Vidal Sassoon, Pert Plus, Brut (cologne), Brut, and Sunbeam Bread, Sunbeam, and the third is El Paso Electric listed on the NYSE, a public utility engaging in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity in West Texas and southern New Mexico. The fourth publicly traded company is Western Refining Logistics, also traded in the NYSE. It is a Western Refining subsidiary, which owns, operates, develops, and acquires terminals, storage tanks, pipelines, and other logistics assets. More than 70 ''Fortune'' 500 companies have offices in El Paso, including AT&T, Automatic Data Processing, ADP, Boeing, Charles Schwab Corporation, Charles Schwab, Delphi (auto parts), Delphi, Dish Network, Eureka (company), Eureka, The Hoover Company, Hoover, Raytheon, Prudential Financial, USAA and Verizon Wireless. Hispanic Business Magazine included 28 El Paso companies in its list of the 500 largest Hispanic owned businesses in the United States. El Paso's 28 companies are second only to Miami's 57. The list of the largest Hispanic owned businesses includes companies like Fred Loya Insurance, a Hispanic 500 company and the 18th largest Hispanic business in the nation. Other companies on the list are Dos Lunas Tequila, Dos Lunas Spirits, Dynatec Labs, Spira Footwear, DATAMARK, Inc. and El Taco Tote. El Paso was home to El Paso Corporation formerly known as El Paso Natural Gas Company. The city also has a large military presence with Fort Bliss, William Beaumont Army Medical Center, and
Biggs Army Airfield Biggs Army Airfield (formerly Biggs Air Force Base) is a United States Army The United States Army (USA) is the land Land is the solid surface of Earth that is not permanently submerged in water. Most but not all land is situated ...
. The defense industry in El Paso employs over 41,000 and provides a $6 billion annual impact to the city's economy. In 2013, Fort Bliss was chosen as the newly configured United States Air Force, U.S. Air Force Security Forces Regional Training Center which added 8,000 to 10,000 Air Force personnel annually. In addition to the military, the federal government has a strong presence in El Paso to manage its status and unique issues as an important border region. Operations headquartered in El Paso include the DEA Domestic Field Division 7,
El Paso Intelligence Center The El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC) was established in 1974 in response to a study by the Justice Management Division of the U.S. Department of Justice entitled, "A Secure Border." Recommendation number 7 of this study suggested the establ ...
,
Joint Task Force North Joint Task Force North (JTF North), formerly Joint Task Force Six (JTF-6), is a multi-service operation by the United States Department of Defense The United States Department of Defense (DoD, USDOD or DOD) is an United States federal execut ...

Joint Task Force North
, United States Border Patrol, U.S. Border Patrol El Paso Sector, and U.S. Border Patrol Special Operations Group. Call-center operations employ more than 10,000 people in the area. Automatic Data Processing has an office in West El Paso, employing about 1,100 people with expansion plans to reach 2,200 by 2020. Tourism is another major industry in El Paso, bringing in $1.5 billion and over 2.3 million visitors annually due to the city's sunny weather, natural beauty, rich cultural history, and many outdoor attractions. Education is also a driving force in El Paso's economy. El Paso's three large school districts are among the largest employers in the area, employing more than 20,000 people among them. UTEP has an annual budget of nearly $418 million and employs nearly 4,800 people. A 2010 study by the university's Institute for Policy and Economic Development stated the university's impact on local businesses is $417 million annually.


Arts and culture


Annual cultural events and festivals


Amigo Airsho

The Amigo Airsho is one of El Paso's premier events, and is ranked as one of the top-10 air shows in the country, filled with air entertainment and ground activities. Acts include the Franklin's Flying Circus, where performers walk on the wings of an airborne plane. Ground activities include a jet-powered school bus. After 31 years of being held at Biggs Army Airfield, the show was moved to Dona Ana Airport in 2014.


KLAQ Great River Raft Race

The KLAQ Great River Raft Race is an annual event celebrated on the second to last Saturday of June. Participants are encouraged to ride the river and float the Rio Grande with family and friends. The organizers encourage the building of unique rafts that get down the river, with prizes and trophies awarded for the most points earned, best-looking crew, and best-decorated raft. The race starts at the Vinton Bridge and ends 3 miles downstream at the Canutillo Bridge.


Southwestern International PRCA Rodeo

The Southwestern International PRCA Rodeo is the 17th-oldest rodeo in the nation and El Paso's longest-running sporting event. Consistently ranked as one of the top 50 shows in the country by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, this charitable event is a true celebration of western culture and heritage.


Fiesta de las Flores

La Fiesta de las Flores is one of the oldest Hispanic festivals in the Southwest. The three-day fiesta is held each year during the Labor Day weekend and emphasizes El Paso's Hispanic heritage and culture. The festival attracts 20,000 to 30,000 visitors from El Paso County, New Mexico, West Texas, and the State of Chihuahua, Mexico. Activities included in the fiesta are crowning of the queen, a Fiesta Parade, Senior Appreciation Dance, Military Appreciation Day, and live entertainment. The fiesta is also well known for the authentic regional cuisine, arts and crafts, games, and services available for the enjoyment of all attendees. Over 80 booths, sponsored by local vendors and nonprofit organizations, create the Hispanic ambience and culture.


El Paso Balloonfest

The El Paso Balloonfest is an annual event celebrated on Memorial Day weekend and is self described as "3 days of hot air balloons filling the El Paso skies, 3 afternoons of concerts and fun in the sun at Wet N' Wild Waterworld in Anthony, Texas." Over 60 balloons take to the air from TFCU launch field, which is adjacent to the water park. After the balloons launch, visitors have a weekend of water rides, swimming, concerts, and grilling. The concert aspect of the event features local bands, starting at noon, and different headlining artists in the afternoon. Overnight camping has been added for 2014.


El Paso Sun City Pride

The El Paso Sun City Pride is the largest annual LGBT event in the region, attracting thousands every June. The event was established in 2007.


Music festivals


El Paso Downtown Street Festival

The annual El Paso Downtown Street Festival is held during the last weekend of June in downtown El Paso near the El Paso Convention center. It is the oldest musical festival in the city and brings local, regional, and nationally known acts.


Neon Desert Music Festival

The annual Neon Desert Music Festival is a two-day event usually held on the last Saturday and Sunday of May on five stages in downtown El Paso, stretching from San Jacinto Plaza to Cleveland Square. The festival brings over 30 acts from the worlds of indie rock, Latin, and electronic dance music.


Music Under the Stars

The outdoor concert series, started in 1983, is held annually at the Chamizal National Memorial and draws over 60,000 attendees. It features local and international performers with wide-ranging musical genres - Classical, Country, Tejano, rock and others. The evening concerts are showcased every Sunday afternoon and start in early June and end in the middle of August.


Sun City Music Festival

The only El Paso musical festival not held downtown, instead it is held at Ascarate Park. The Sun City Music Festival is a two-day event dubbed as the largest electronic dance music festival in Texas.


Texas Showdown Festival

The Texas Showdown Festival is an annual event celebrating musicians and tattoo artists under one roof. Dubbed as the world's largest tattoo and musical festival, the event is held usually the last weekend of July at the El Paso County Coliseum.


Performing arts


Viva! El Paso

The outdoor musical extravaganza ''Viva! El Paso'' is performed in the McKelligon Canyon Amphitheatre. It is locally produced and chronicles the 400-year history and cultural evolution of the El Paso region. The show is performed each Friday and Saturday night in June, July, and August. It has entertained local residents and out-of-town visitors for over 35 years.


El Paso Symphony Orchestra

The El Paso Symphony was established in the 1930s, and is the oldest performing-arts organization in El Paso and the longest continuously running symphony orchestra in Texas. It has received both national and international recognition as a result of its very successful tours of Germany in 1996 and Turkey in 2000, and continues to represent the El Paso region with pride and distinction. The El Paso Symphony Orchestra Association season is anchored by 12 classical concerts. Special events serve as outreach toward new audiences.


Ballet in El Paso

Ballet was largely nonexistent in El Paso until the arrival of Ingeborg Heuser, a professional ballerina from Germany, in the 1950s. Heuser taught ballet at UTEP for 47 years and founded the city's first professional ballet company, firstly known as Texas Western Civic Ballet and eventually as ''Ballet El Paso''. The company dissipated due to financial trouble in 1997 and Heuser retired from UTEP soon after. The El Paso Youth Ballet was founded in 2009 by Heuser's student, Marta Katz, following Heuser's departure from the university. With students from the youth ballet, Heuser staged her last ''Nutcracker'' in 2006. The youth company continues to perform the ''Nutcracker'' and other preprofessional pieces in and around the El Paso area. The company provides the only platform for young ballet dancers to train and perform at such a level within the city since the folding of Ballet El Paso. El Paso City Ballet is a current professional ballet company in El Paso, providing local employment for professional dancers in the field of ballet. The company performs a variety of classical and contemporary works choreographed by Artistic Director Lisa Skaf and artists from the US and Latin America. It has been active since 2005, performing yearly productions.


Theaters

The Plaza Theatre (El Paso), Plaza Theatre is a National Register of Historic Places, National Historic Building of Significance built in 1930. It features the 2,050-seat Plaza Theatre (El Paso), Kendall Kidd Performance Hall, and the smaller 200-seat Plaza Theatre (El Paso), Philanthropy Theatre. It hosts Broadway theatre, Broadway productions, musical concerts, individual performers, and the annual Plaza Theatre (El Paso), Plaza Classic Film Festival. The Abraham Chavez Theatre is a 2,500-seat concert hall adjacent to the Williams Convention Center. Its exterior resembles a ''sombrero'' and features a three-story glass main entrance. Thetheatre is named after Maestro Abraham Chavez, who was the longtime conductor of the El Paso Symphony. Inside, the theatre has a lobby and a 40-by-56-ft stage, as well as 14 dressing rooms. The theater's seating is in three levels. Also, a meeting room is adjacent to the theater. Events held at Chavez Theatre include concerts, Broadway theatre, Broadway shows, graduation ceremonies, performances of the El Paso Symphony Orchestra, and other special events. McKelligon Canyon is a park, located in the Franklin Mountains, open to hikers and picnickers. In the canyon, McKelligon Canyon Amphitheatre is surrounded on three sides by canyon walls; the 1,500-seat amphitheater is used for concerts and special events, such as ''Viva! El Paso''. The El Paso Playhouse, a community theatre, provides entertainment and educational experiences to a diverse multicultural population through the high-quality production of plays and theatrical events. The playhouse provides a venue for artists, technicians, patrons, and community members to participate in the arts through regularly scheduled season productions and holiday performances. The theater is affiliated with Kids-N-Co, a theater for child actors to children's performances . The UTEP Dinner Theatre located inside the UTEP campus, and was founded in 1983 and is entirely produced, designed and directed by students. The theatre presents 4 fully staged musicals each season and a fully staged student produced musical.


Area museums

The Centennial Museum and Chihuahuan Desert Gardens, located on the grounds of UTEP, includes a comprehensive collection of El Paso Brown, Native American pottery, as well as educational exhibits for students. The El Paso Museum of Archaeology is located on the eastern slope of
North Franklin Mountain North Franklin Mountain (or North Franklin Peak) is a mountain in the Franklin Mountains of El Paso, Texas El Paso (; "the pass") is a city and the county seat of El Paso County, Texas, United States, in the far western part of the state. Th ...
, west of Gateway South Blvd. on TransMountain Rd. Its grounds include native plants of the American Southwest, as well samples of Native American shelters, in an unspoiled location. The museum includes dioramas for school children that illustrate the culture and geology of the American Southwest, such as
Hueco Tanks Hueco Tanks is an area of low mountains and historic site in El Paso County, Texas El Paso County is the westernmost county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary, L. Brook ...
in El Paso County. One diorama (see image to the right) is of the Cueva de la Olla (cave of the pot) which is located in the Sierra Madre Occidental, Sierra Madre of
ChihuahuaChihuahua may refer to: Places *Chihuahua (state), a Mexican state **Chihuahua (dog), a breed of dog named after the state **Chihuahua cheese, a type of cheese originating in the state **Chihuahua City, the capital city of the state **Chihuahua Muni ...
, an example of the Paquimé culture. The El Paso Museum of Art is located next to the Plaza Theatre (El Paso), Plaza Theater adjacent to San Jacinto Plaza, the public square downtown. It contains works of Southwestern artists such as Thomas C. Lea, III, Tom Lea. Other area museums include: * El Paso Holocaust Museum and Study Center * International Museum of Art El Paso * El Paso Museum of History * Fort Bliss Museums and Study Center * Insights El Paso Science Museum * The Magoffin Homestead, dating from 1875, is now a state historic site. * The National Border Patrol Museum is located adjacent to the El Paso Museum of Archaeology. * Railroad and Transportation Museum of El Paso * The Gene Roddenberry Planetarium * Lynx Exhibits


Sites within the city limits

* Ysleta Mission is recognized as the oldest continuously operated parish in the State of Texas. * Cathedral Parish of Saint Patrick (El Paso, Texas), Cathedral of Saint Patrick erected in 1916 is the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of El Paso. * Chamizal National Memorial * El Paso Zoo – a facility housing 220 species. * Magoffin Homestead, Magoffin Home State Historic Site * Plaza Hotel (El Paso), Plaza Hotel * Union Depot (El Paso), Union Depot * El Paso High School *
University of Texas at El Paso The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) is a Public university, public research university in El Paso, Texas. It is a member of the University of Texas System. UTEP is the second-largest university in the United States to have a majority Mexic ...
The university's distinctive style is a type of fortress architecture, Dzong, found in the present and former Buddhist mountain kingdoms of the Himalayas, Bhutan and Tibet.


Sports

El Paso is home to the
Sun Bowl The Sun Bowl is a college football bowl game that has been played since 1935 in the southwestern United States at El Paso, Texas. Along with the Sugar Bowl and Orange Bowl, it is the second-oldest bowl game in the country, behind the Rose Bowl Ga ...

Sun Bowl
, the second-oldest consecutive college football contest (after the Rose Bowl Game, Rose Bowl). Its first game was held in 1935. On September 18, 2012, the city council voted to approve the demolition of its city hall to make way for Southwest University Park, the new home of the El Paso Chihuahuas Triple-A (baseball), Triple-A team (San Diego Padres affiliate); it opened in 2014. The team was purchased by Mountainstar Sports Group of El Paso. City Hall was demolished on April 14, 2013. The El Paso Marathon takes place annually since 2007. The El Paso Patriots played their last season in 2013 and are no longer an organization. El Paso will get a United Soccer League, USL team starting in 2019. They will play at the Southwest University Park.


Parks and recreation

El Paso is home to the largest urban park in the nation. The
Franklin Mountains State Park Franklin Mountains State Park is a Texas state park in El Paso, Texas El Paso (; "the pass") is a city and the county seat of El Paso County, Texas, United States, in the far western part of the state. The 2019 population estimate for the ci ...
, with its more than , is completely located within the city limits. It is considered a small range (23 miles long, wide) that extends from the city north into
New Mexico ) , population_demonym = New Mexican ( es, Neomexicano, Neomejicano, Nuevo Mexicano) , seat = Santa Fe , LargestCity = Albuquerque , LargestMetro = Greater Albuquerque , OfficialLang = None , Languages = English English usually refer ...

New Mexico
.Charles R. Van Hise, Van Hise, C.R. and Charles Kenneth Leith, Leith, C.K. 1909. Pre-Cambrian Geology of North America. United States Geological Survey, Bulletin 360, 939 pp. (See pp. 746–748) It is home to the highest peak in the county
North Franklin Mountain North Franklin Mountain (or North Franklin Peak) is a mountain in the Franklin Mountains of El Paso, Texas El Paso (; "the pass") is a city and the county seat of El Paso County, Texas, United States, in the far western part of the state. Th ...
at 7,192 feet.The park is open year-round for recreation including hiking, mountain biking, picnicking, scenic driving and views of the city. The Wyler Aerial Tramway is operated by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and is in the Franklin Mountains State Park. The tramway complex covers on the east side of the Franklin Mountains. The gondolas travel along two -diameter steel cables to Ranger Peak, above sea level. The trip takes about four minutes and lifts riders above the boarding area.The tramway was built in 1959 by KTSM-FM, KTSM radio to aid in the construction of a transmitter tower. Karl O. Wyler managed the project. First opening to the public as the El Paso Aerial Tramway, the facility provided rides from 1960 to 1986, when high liability insurance costs forced the tram to stop public operations. The tram was only used to service the transmitter towers. Wyler donated the tramway for public use in his will. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department accepted the donation in 1997 and renovated and re-opened the tramway to the public in 2001. The tramway was closed indefinitely on September 18, 2020. Hueco Tanks State Historic Site is a Texas historic site in the
Hueco Tanks Hueco Tanks is an area of low mountains and historic site in El Paso County, Texas El Paso County is the westernmost county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary, L. Brook ...
area, approximately northeast of downtown El Paso and just west of the Hueco Mountains. The park is popular for recreation such as birdwatching and bouldering, and is culturally and spiritually significant to many Native Americans. This significance is partially manifested in the pictographs (rock paintings) that can be found throughout the region, many of which are thousands of years old. Hueco Tanks is also widely regarded as one of the best areas in the world for bouldering (rock climbing, low enough to attempt without ropes for protection), unique for its rock type, the concentration and quality of the climbing, and after which the Grade (bouldering), Hueco bouldering grades are named. In any given climbing season, which generally lasts from October through March, it is common for climbers from across Europe, Asia, and Australia to visit the park. Since implementation of the Public Use Plan, following a brief closure of the entire park due to the park service's inability to manage the growing crowds of international climbers, volunteer or commercial guides are required to access more than 2/3 of the park's area. Only North Mountain is accessible without guides, and then only for about 70 people at any given time. The park offers camping and showers for a small fee a day or, as is most popular for climbers, the nearby Hueco Rock Ranch offers camping where climbers can relax and socialize. Located in downtown El Paso, San Jacinto Plaza is a historical park notable for its alligator statues in the middle of the area. Known as "Alligator Plaza", it used to have a pond that held live alligators that the community can interact with starting in 1962. They were removed and relocated to the El Paso Zoo in 1974. The area around the park is typically used to hold major events such as "Chalk the Block Arts Festival" and "Winterfest". The Chamizal National Memorial is a 54.90-acre (22.22 ha) memorial park that serves primarily as a cultural center and contains art galleries, a theater, and an amphitheatre. A museum detailing the history of the Mexico–U.S. border is located inside the visitor center. The city is also home to 242 municipal parks.


Botanical gardens

* The Centennial Museum and Chihuahuan Desert Gardens, Chihuahuan Desert Gardens (CDG) display the flora of the Chihuahuan Desert and adjacent regions in the United States and Mexico. The Gardens were formally dedicated in September 1999 and contain over 625 different species of plants, comprising one of the largest captive assemblages of Chihuahuan Desert flora in the world. * The El Paso Municipal Rose Garden (officially named the All-American Rose Selection (AARS) public garden) is one of over 100 certified gardens within the United States. There are over 1,900 rosebushes with 500 varieties. The wrought-iron fenced garden has wide walkways with handicap accessibility, raised beds, a waterfall, and trees and shrubs. Several new rose varieties are planted each year, and after two years the highest-rated are named and receive the AARS symbol. * Feather Lake is a wildlife sanctuary based on a wetland built by the City of El Paso in 1969 as a stormwater-retention basin. Since 1976, the El Paso/Trans-Pecos Audubon Society has leased this land from the city and managed it for wildlife. Over 200 different species of birds, especially those associated with water, have been observed at the sanctuary. Fauna residing there include muskrats, spiny softshell turtles, pond sliders, and Aspidoscelis inornatus heptagrammus, Trans-Pecos striped whiptail lizards. * Keystone Heritage Park comprises an Archaic-period archaeological site, wetlands, and a desert botanical garden. The 4,500-year-old site is one of the oldest villages in the United States. The wetlands are home to many birds, and over 200 species have been spotted there on their seasonal migrations. The botanical garden features a variety of native plants, and includes a pavilion and a replica of an Archaic period brush hut. The newest component, The Chihuahuan Desert Experience, is a work in progress that will allow visitors to stroll the length of desert over a recreation of the plant indigenous life. * Rio Bosque Wetlands is a city park, managed by the Center for Environmental Resource Management of the
University of Texas at El Paso The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) is a Public university, public research university in El Paso, Texas. It is a member of the University of Texas System. UTEP is the second-largest university in the United States to have a majority Mexic ...
, which began restoration efforts in 1998. In the fall and winter, water flows through the park along the route of the river before it was confined within levees in the 1930s. Many animals and birds have returned to the area as the restoration proceeds, and over 200 species of birds have been sighted.


Golf courses

The metro area has 16 golf courses including Butterfield Trail Golf Club, the only public premium daily fee Tom Fazio designed golf course in the state of
Texas Texas (, ; Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambigu ...

Texas
. It was ranked No. 1 in
Texas Texas (, ; Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambigu ...

Texas
and No. 3 in the Nation on ''Golfweeks 2013 Best Municipal Golf Courses. Other golf courses found in the county include: * Ascarate Golf Course * Coronado Country Club * El Paso Country Club * Horizon City Golf Course * Lone Star Golf Club * Painted Dunes Desert Golf Club * Underwood Golf Complex


Government


City

The city government is officially nonpartisan. Mayors and city council members are elected for four year terms and may not be elected more than twice or serve for more than 10 years in their respective offices. Municipal elections are currently held in May in odd-numbered years, but a voter-approved charter amendment will change this to November in even-numbered years, beginning in 2018. Council members elected in 2015 will serve through December 2018, and council members and the mayor elected El Paso, Texas city elections, 2017, in 2017 will serve through December 2020. Those elected in 2018 and 2020 will serve regular four-year terms. The city operates under a council–manager form of government. Power is concentrated in the eight-member elected city council and mayor, who hire a manager to carry out its directives and oversee the delivery of public services. The current city manager is Tommy Gonzalez and the current List of mayors of El Paso, Texas, mayor of El Paso is Oscar Leeser, who was elected to the office in 2020. The terms of Lizarraga, Ordaz, Salcido, and Svarzbein will end in 2022. The terms of Mayor Leeser and Councillors Annello, Hernandez, Molinar, and Rivera will end in 2024. Ordaz has been on the council since 2014, Svarzbein since 2015, Annello, Hernandez, Lizarraga and Rivera since 2017, Salcido since 2018 and Molinar since 2021. Due to the term limits clause of the city charter Ordaz and Svarzbein are ineligible for reelection. All other councilors and the mayor are eligible for reelection.


County

The El Paso County Judge is Ricardo Samaniego, and the county commissioners are Carlos Leon (Precinct 1), David Stout (Precinct 2), Vince Perez (Precinct 3), and Carl Robinson (Precinct 4). The commissioners and the county judge are Democrats. Leon and Perez were first elected to their positions in 2012, were re-elected in 2016, and have been in office since 2013. Stout was first elected to his position in 2014, and has been in office since 2015. Samaniego and Robinson were first elected in 2018, and have been in office since 2019.


State

The El Paso metropolitan area is represented in the Texas State House by Democrats Cesar Blanco, Art Fierro, Mary Gonzalez, Joe Moody (Texas), Joe Moody, and Lina Ortega, and in the State Senate by José R. Rodríguez (D-El Paso). The Texas Department of Criminal Justice operates the El Paso I District Parole Office in the city. The El Paso II District Parole Office is in an unincorporated area east of Horizon City, Texas, Horizon City.


Federal

El Paso City and County vote overwhelmingly Democratic Party (United States), Democratic, like most of the Texas–Mexico border area and urban Texas. In the United States House of Representatives, most of El Paso is part of represented by Democrat Veronica Escobar. A small sliver in the eastern part of the city is part of , represented by Republican Party (United States), Republican Tony Gonzales. The current U.S. Senators for Texas are Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and John Cornyn (R-Texas).


Education

El Paso is home to the
University of Texas at El Paso The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) is a Public university, public research university in El Paso, Texas. It is a member of the University of Texas System. UTEP is the second-largest university in the United States to have a majority Mexic ...
, the largest public university in the region. UTEP was ranked as the 7th best university in Washington Monthly's 2013 National University Rankings, just behind Stanford and ahead of Harvard. Also, the university's School of Engineering is the nation's top producer of Hispanic engineers with M.S. and Ph.D. degrees. El Paso is also home to Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center at El Paso, Paul L. Foster School of Medicine, Texas Tech College of Architecture at El Paso, Brightwood College, Park University, Southwest University, Webster University and the University of Phoenix. Also due to its proximity, many El Paso students attend New Mexico State University where the school offers in-state tuition to El Paso County residents. The El Paso Community College serves most of the area as well as several technical schools and For-profit education, for profit schools. El Pasoans also have access to the Doña Ana Community College with campuses in Sunland Park, Anthony and Chaparral, New Mexico: This community college is a part of the New Mexico State University system. El Paso area students primarily attend public schools in four school districts, El Paso Independent School District, Ysleta Independent School District, Socorro Independent School District and Canutillo Independent School District, although there are nine independent school districts in the county. Numerous accredited private preparatory schools also serve El Paso students. These include various pre-high school religious (Christian, Catholic, Jewish) affiliates and Montessori schools, Cathedral High School (Texas), Cathedral High School, Loretto Academy (El Paso, Texas), Loretto Academy, Father Yermo High School, Lydia Patterson Institute, Faith Christian Academy, El Paso Jewish Academy, Rose of Sharon Christian Academy, Zion Lutheran Day School and Radford School. The University of El Paso offers the country's only bilingual M.F.A. creative writing program. El Paso is home to bi-national economic development groups; the Hub of Human Innovation and Technology Hub. The industry groups' tertiary vocational programs, give workforce training in automation, robotics and AI technology.


Public libraries

The El Paso Public Library serves the needs of the public in El Paso. It consists of 12 branches, a bookmobile, a mobile computer classroom and a mobile outreach unit (Kidsmobile). It also has multiple outreach services available.


Media


Newspapers

The main newspapers are the English-language daily ''El Paso Times'', founded in 1881; the Spanish-language daily ''El Diario de El Paso'', and the online newspape
''El Paso Herald Post''
started in 2015. The original and defunct ''El Paso Herald Post'' was also founded in 1881 as the ''El Paso Herald'', which then merged with the ''El Paso Post'' in 1931. The paper was shut down in 1997. ''El Paso Matters'' is an online newspaper. Weekly and niche magazines: * ''El Paso Inc'' * ''El Paso Scene'' * ''La Polaka'' * ''Jrznoticias'' * ''The City Magazine'' * ''The Prospector'', published by the University of Texas at El Paso * ''Tejano Tribune'', published by El Paso Community College


Radio stations

Radio stations from Las Cruces, New Mexico, and Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, can also be heard within the El Paso market.


Television

El Paso was the largest city in the United States without a PBS television station within the city limits until 1978. El Paso viewers had to watch channel 22, KRWG, from Las Cruces until 1978. In fact, the city had only three English-speaking channels and two Spanish-language channels (channel 2 and channel 5) from Juarez, and cable TV subscribers in the 1970s and 1980s could receive four Los Angeles independent channels: KTLA, KCAL-TV, KHJ, KTTV and KCOP as well as Spanish-language stations KMEX of Los Angeles and KWEX of San Antonio usually sharing the same cable channel slot. Over time, as more television stations signed on, more cable channels were added and those stations added network affiliations, the Los Angeles and San Antonio stations disappeared from the lineup. The last to be removed was KTLA in the fall of 2006 as a consequence of the 2006 United States broadcast TV realignment, WB-UPN merger into The CW Television Network, The CW, when KVIA-TV launched a digital subchannel with the network's programming.


In popular culture


Infrastructure


Healthcare

El Paso is the medical hub of
West Texas West Texas is a loosely defined part of the U.S. state of Texas, generally encompassing the desert climate, arid and semi-arid climate, semiarid lands west of a line drawn between the cities of Wichita Falls, Texas, Wichita Falls, Abilene, Texas, ...
and Southern
New Mexico ) , population_demonym = New Mexican ( es, Neomexicano, Neomejicano, Nuevo Mexicano) , seat = Santa Fe , LargestCity = Albuquerque , LargestMetro = Greater Albuquerque , OfficialLang = None , Languages = English English usually refer ...

New Mexico
, hosting numerous state-of-the-art medical centers. Some of the city's top hospitals include University Medical Center (El Paso, Texas), University Medical Center, William Beaumont Army Medical Center, Sierra Medical Center, Las Palmas Medical Center, Del Sol Medical Center, Sierra Providence East Medical Center, El Paso Children's Hospital, and Providence Memorial Hospital. University Medical Center is the only level I trauma center in the region. William Beaumont Army Medical Center will be replaced by a new state of the art $1.2 billion Fort Bliss Replacement Hospital expected to open in 2020. El Paso's newest hospital, The Hospitals of Providence Transmountain Campus opened in Northwest El Paso on January 27, 2017. The 106-bed teaching hospital is a collaboration between Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso and The Hospitals of Providence. The hospitals were strained during the COVID-19 pandemic in Texas, and 10 Refrigerator truck, refrigerated morgue trailers were installed to handle increased mortality. El Paso is also home to th
Medical Center of the Americas
an integrated complex of medical facilities anchored by Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso Campus, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center at El Paso, Paul L. Foster School of Medicine, University Medical Center, the El Paso Psychiatric Center and by the El Paso Children's Hospital. It is also the site to th
Cardwell Collaborative biomedical research building
the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso Campus, Gayle Greve Hunt School of Nursing, and the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. The Woody L. Hunt School of Dental Medicine is expected to open in 2021 in the MCA area as well.


Transportation

El Paso is served by
El Paso International Airport El Paso International Airport (, es, Aeropuerto Internacional de El Paso) is four miles (6 km) northeast of downtown El Paso, in El Paso County, Texas El Paso County is the westernmost county A county is a geographical region of a c ...
and Amtrak via the historic Union Depot (El Paso), Union Depot. Several roads and highways connect El Paso, including Interstate 10 (Texas), Interstate 10, U.S. Highway 54 (Texas), US Highway 54 (known locally as "54", the "North-South Freeway" or officially as the Patriot Freeway), Spur 601 (Texas), Spur 601 (Liberty Expressway), U.S. Highway 180 (Texas), US Highway 180 and U.S. Highway 62 (Texas), US Highway 62 (Montana Avenue), U.S. Highway 85 (Texas), US Highway 85 (Paisano Drive), Loop 375 (Texas), Loop 375, Loop 478 (Copia Street-Pershing Drive-Dyer Street), numerous Texas Farm-to-Market roads (a class of state highway commonly abbreviated to FM) and the city's original thoroughfare, State Highway 20 (Texas), State Highway 20, the eastern portion of which is known locally as Alameda Avenue (formerly U.S. Highway 80 (Texas), US Highway 80). Texas 20 also includes portions of Texas Avenue in central El Paso, Mesa Street from Downtown El Paso, Downtown to the West Side, and Doniphan Drive on the West Side. Northeast El Paso is connected to West El Paso by Transmountain Road (Loop 375). The city also shares four international bridges and one railbridge with Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. In 2009, El Paso was home to number 52, number 98, and number 100 of the 100 most congested roads in Texas, which are, respectively: North Zaragoza Road between Sun Fire Boulevard and Interstate 10; Lee Trevino Drive between Montana Avenue and Interstate 10; and Interstate 10 between Patriot Freeway and Loop 375. In 2009, 79.8% of El Paso (city) commuters drive to work alone. The 2009 modal share, mode share for El Paso (city) commuters are 10.3% for carpooling, 2.4% for transit, 2.5% for walking, and .2% for cycling. In 2016, Walk Score ranked El Paso as the 32nd most walkable of the 50 largest U.S. cities, rating it "car-dependent". The city of El Paso has a slightly lower than average percentage of households without a car. In 2015, 7.4 percent of El Paso households lacked a car, and increased to 8.4 percent in 2016. The national average was 8.7 percent in 2016. El Paso averaged 1.82 cars per household in 2016, compared to a national average of 1.8.


Airports

*
El Paso International Airport El Paso International Airport (, es, Aeropuerto Internacional de El Paso) is four miles (6 km) northeast of downtown El Paso, in El Paso County, Texas El Paso County is the westernmost county A county is a geographical region of a c ...
, a public airport four miles (6 km) northeast of downtown El Paso. It is the largest commercial airport in
West Texas West Texas is a loosely defined part of the U.S. state of Texas, generally encompassing the desert climate, arid and semi-arid climate, semiarid lands west of a line drawn between the cities of Wichita Falls, Texas, Wichita Falls, Abilene, Texas, ...
, handling 3,260,556 passengers in 2018. The El Paso International Airport serves the El Paso-Las Cruces Combined Statistical Area, El Paso-Las Cruces Combined Statistical area. *
Biggs Army Airfield Biggs Army Airfield (formerly Biggs Air Force Base) is a United States Army The United States Army (USA) is the land Land is the solid surface of Earth that is not permanently submerged in water. Most but not all land is situated ...
*Horizon Airport (El Paso, Texas), Horizon Airport * Dona Ana Airport *Las Cruces International Airport


Passenger rail

*Amtrak, the national passenger rail system, serves El Paso at the Union Depot (El Paso), Union Depot, operating its Sunset Limited/Texas Eagle three times weekly between
Los Angeles Los Angeles ( ; xgf, Tovaangar; es, Los Ángeles, , ), commonly referred to by the initialism An acronym is a word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be u ...

Los Angeles
and New Orleans via San Antonio and Houston and between Los Angeles and Chicago via San Antonio and Fort Worth.


Major highways

* Interstate 10 in Texas, Interstate 10: The primary thoroughfare through the city, connecting the city with other major U.S. cities such as
Los Angeles Los Angeles ( ; xgf, Tovaangar; es, Los Ángeles, , ), commonly referred to by the initialism An acronym is a word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be u ...

Los Angeles
, Phoenix, Arizona, Phoenix, Tucson, Arizona, Tucson, San Antonio, Houston, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Gulfport, Mississippi, Gulfport and Mobile, Alabama, Mobile, with the east end located in Jacksonville, Florida. I-10 is also a connector to Interstate 25, which connects with the cities of Albuquerque, , Colorado Springs, Colorado, Colorado Springs, Denver, Fort Collins, Colorado, Fort Collins, Cheyenne, Wyoming, Cheyenne, Casper, Wyoming, Casper, and north to the junction with I-90, located in Buffalo, Wyoming. * U.S. Route 54 in Texas, US Highway 54: Officially called the Patriot Freeway, it is also known as the North-South Freeway. A business route runs along Dyer Street, the former US 54, from the freeway near Fort Bliss to the Texas–New Mexico border, where it again rejoins the expressway. The original US 54 was a transcontinental route connecting El Paso with Chicago. * U.S. Route 62 in Texas, US Highway 62: Santa Fe Street south of Paisano Drive concurrently runs with US 85, Paisano Drive east of Santa Fe Street to Montana Avenue, then Montana Avenue concurrently with US 180. * U.S. Route 85 in Texas, US Highway 85: Santa Fe Street south of Paisano Drive concurrently runs with US 62 and Paisano Drive west of Santa Fe Street to I-10. * U.S. Route 180, US Highway 180: Montana Avenue is a bypass route to the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex to the east, and Flagstaff, Arizona to the west. * Texas State Highway 20, SH 20: Alameda Avenue (formerly US 80), Texas Avenue, Mesa Street and Doniphan Drive * Texas State Highway 178, SH 178: Artcraft Road in northwest El Paso extends from Interstate 10 west to the New Mexico state line, at which point it becomes New Mexico Highway 136, the Pete V. Domenici International Highway. * State Highway Loop 375 (Texas), Loop 375: Texas Highway Loop 375 encircles the city of El Paso. Between Interstate 10 and Fort Bliss, including the stretch that crosses the Franklin Mountains via Smuggler's Pass, it is TransMountain Road. In the Ft. Bliss Military Reservation between northeast and east El Paso, it is officially the Purple Heart Memorial Highway. In east El Paso, the north- and south-bound sections are known as Joe Battle Boulevard, or simply as "the Loop". South of Interstate 10 in Texas, I-10, in the east and westbound portion, it is known as the Cesar Chavez Border Highway, a four-lane expressway which is located along the Mexico–U.S. border between downtown El Paso and the Ysleta, El Paso, Texas, Ysleta area. * Texas State Highway Spur 601, Spur 601: Once known as the Inner Loop, it was officially named the Liberty Expressway by the El Paso City Council in April 2010 at the request of then Fort Bliss commander Maj. Gen. Howard Bromberg. It was fully completed on April 27, 2011; it connects the Patriot Freeway (U.S. Route 54, US 54) and
Biggs Army Airfield Biggs Army Airfield (formerly Biggs Air Force Base) is a United States Army The United States Army (USA) is the land Land is the solid surface of Earth that is not permanently submerged in water. Most but not all land is situated ...
to the Purple Heart Memorial Highway (State Highway Loop 375 (Texas), Loop 375). * North Loop Road, as well as Delta Drive between North Loop Road and Alameda Avenue (Texas Highway 20) * Zaragoza Road, running more or less north from the Ysleta International Bridge to US 62–180 (Montana Avenue), it lies mostly in east El Paso. * Texas Farm-to-Market Road 3255 runs north from US 54 to the New Mexico state line in northeast El Paso and bears the city street name Martin Luther King Boulevard. *Border West Expressway under construction (as of 2018), parallel to I-10 through downtown and the west side.


Mass transit

The Sun Metro Mass Transit System operates a system of medium- to large-capacity natural gas-powered buses all around the city of El Paso. El Paso County Transit makes trips with small-capacity buses mainly in the eastern El Paso area. In 2011, Sun Metro was named the most outstanding public transit system of the year in all of North America for a mid-size transit system by the American Public Transportation Association. On September 1, 2009, NMDOT Park and Ride began operating commuter bus service to and from Las Cruces, New Mexico. Historically, El Paso and Ciudad Juarez had a shared streetcar system with a peak electrified route mileage of in 1920. The first electrified line across the Rio Grande, which opened on January 11, 1902, was preceded by a network that relied on animal labor. The system quickly spread into residential and industrial areas of El Paso. In 1913, a interurban line was built to Ysleta. At the close of 1943, the holding company El Paso Electric sold its subsidiary, the El Paso Electric Railway Company and its Mexican counterpart, to one of National City Lines' subsidiaries. This resulted in the formation of El Paso City Lines, whose domestic streetcar lines were replaced by buses in 1947. The international streetcar line which crossed the border via the Stanton Street Bridge continued to operate until 1973. In 1977, El Paso City Lines and two other bus companies were bought by the municipality and merged to form Sun City Area Transit (SCAT). In 1987, SCAT restyled itself Sun Metro.


El Paso Streetcar

The El Paso Streetcar is a streetcar system that opened for service on November 9, 2018, and uses a fleet of restored PCC streetcars that had served the city's previous system until its closure in 1974. The system covers (round trip) in two loops from Downtown El Paso to
University of Texas at El Paso The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) is a Public university, public research university in El Paso, Texas. It is a member of the University of Texas System. UTEP is the second-largest university in the United States to have a majority Mexic ...
. The system was constructed under the authority of the Camino Real Regional Mobility Authority, but when the major construction was completed, around spring 2018, it was transferred to Sun Metro, for operation and maintenance. , construction of the system was projected to cost $97 million. In 2019, it was reported that the system is losing money and that the number of people using it only reached half its goal in the inaugural year.


International border crossings

The first bridge to cross the Rio Grande at El Paso del Norte was built in the time of Nueva España, over 250 years ago, from wood hauled in from Santa Fe. Today, this bridge is honored by the modern Paso del Norte International Bridge, Santa Fe Street Bridge, and Santa Fe Street in downtown El Paso. Several bridges serve the El Paso–Ciudad Juárez area: *Bridge of the Americas (El Paso – Ciudad Juárez), Bridge of the Americas, also known as the Cordova Bridge. *Good Neighbor International Bridge, also known as the Stanton Street Bridge *Paso del Norte International Bridge, also known as the Santa Fe Street Bridge. *Ysleta–Zaragoza International Bridge, also known as the Zaragoza Bridge. The city collects tolls at its international bridges, except for the Bridge of the Americas (El Paso–Ciudad Juárez), Bridge of the Americas, which is free. All bridges are open year-round.


Notable people

* Sue Worthington Bradley - American First Lady of Guam. * Paul Lambert (actor), Paul Lambert - Actor. * John Cameron Mitchell - American actor, playwright, screenwriter, and director. * Debbie Reynolds - American actress, singer, and businesswoman. * Don Bluth - American animator, film director, production designer, video game designer, and animation instructor.


See also

*List of museums in West Texas *List of people from El Paso, Texas *National Register of Historic Places listings in El Paso County, Texas


Notes


Footnotes


Source notes


References

* * * * * *


External links


City of El Paso WebsiteChamber of Commerce WebsiteEl Paso Developmental News
* * El Paso

from ''Vanity Fair (magazine), Vanity Fair'', March 2009.
''Forty years at El Paso, 1858–1898; recollections of war, politics, adventure, events, narratives, sketches, etc.''
by W. W. Mills, hosted by th
Portal to Texas History
{{Authority control El Paso, Texas, Cities in El Paso County, Texas County seats in Texas Mexico–United States border crossings Populated places established in 1659 1659 establishments in New Spain San Antonio–El Paso Road Special economic zones of the United States Cities in Texas Texas populated places on the Rio Grande