Dallas County, Texas
|Dallas County, Texas|
The former Dallas County Courthouse in Dallas.
Location in the state of Texas
Texas's location in the U.S.
|Founded||March 30, 1846|
|Named for||George Mifflin Dallas|
908 sq mi (2,353 km²)
880 sq mi (2,278 km²)
29 sq mi (75 km²), 3.19%
2,692/sq mi (1,039.57/km²)
Dallas County is a county located in the U.S. state of Texas within the Dallas–Fort Worth–Arlington metropolitan area (colloquially referred to as the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex). As of the 2010 census, the county had an official population of 2,368,139 and is now the ninth most populous county in the United States. Dallas county was founded in 1846 and was possibly named for George Mifflin Dallas, the 11th Vice President of the United States.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 908 square miles (2,352 km2), of which 880 square miles (2,279 km2) is land and 29 square miles (75 km2) (3.19%) is water.
- Collin County (north)
- Rockwall County (northeast)
- Kaufman County (east)
- Ellis County (south)
- Tarrant County (west)
- Denton County (northwest)
Texas Almanac: 1850-2010
As of the census of 2010, there were 2,368,139 people, 807,621 households, and 533,837 families residing in the county. The population density was 2,523 people per square mile (974/km²). There were 854,119 housing units at an average density of 971/sq mi (375/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 33.12% Non-Hispanic White, 22.30% Black or African American, 0.10% Native American, 5.15% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 14.04% from other races, and 2.70% from two or more races. 38.30% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 807,621 households out of which 35.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.90% were married couples living together, 14.10% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.90% were non-families. 27.30% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.90% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.71 and the average family size was 3.34.
In the wider county, the population was spread out with 27.90% under the age of 18, 10.70% from 18 to 24, 34.40% from 25 to 44, 18.90% from 45 to 64, and 8.10% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 99.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.00 males.
The median income for a household in the county was US$43,324, and the median income for a family was $49,062. Males had a median income of $34,988 versus $29,539 for females. The per capita income for the county was $22,603. About 10.60% of families and 13.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.00% of those under age 18 and 10.50% of those age 65 or over.
Dallas County is governed by a Commissioners Court. The Dallas County Commissioners Court consists of the County Judge (the chairperson of the Court) who is elected County-wide and four Commissioners who are elected by the voters in each of four districts.
The Commissioners Court is the policy-making body for the County; in addition, the County Judge is the senior executive and administrative position in the County. While the cities in the County handle many tasks in local government, the County holds responsibility for the following:
"The Commissioners Court sets the County tax rate, adopts the budget, appoints boards and commissions, approves grants and personnel actions, and oversees the administration of county government. Each commissioner also supervises a Road and Bridge District. The Commissioners Court also approves the budget and sets the tax rate for the hospital district, which is charged with the responsibility for providing acute medical care for citizens who otherwise would not receive adequate medical services."
The total 2010 fiscal year budget is approximately $871 million USD.
Currently (November 2010), the major elected officials are
|County Judge||Clay Jenkins||Democratic|
|Commissioner, Precinct 1||Theresa Daniel||Democratic|
|Commissioner, Precinct 2||Mike Cantrell||Republican|
|Commissioner, Precinct 3||John Wiley Price||Democratic|
|Commissioner, Precinct 4||Elba Garcia||Democratic|
|District Attorney||Craig Watkins||Democratic|
|District Clerk||Gary Fitzsimmons||Democratic|
|County Clerk||John Warren||Democratic|
|Tax Assessor-Collector||John Ames||Democratic|
There are 6 congressional districts either entirely or partly within Dallas County. There are 5 Republicans and 1 Democrat.
|Michael C. Burgess||R||Lewisville||26|
|Eddie Bernice Johnson||D||Dallas||30|
|Marc Veasey||D||Fort Worth||33|
There are 5 Texas Senate districts either entirely or partly within Dallas County. There are 4 Republicans and 1 Democrat.
There are 16 members of the Texas House of Representatives who are based in Dallas County. There are 10 Republicans and 6 Democrats.
|Representative||Party||Home Town/City||District ↑|
|Roberto R. Alonzo||D||Dallas||104|
|Rodney E. Anderson||R||Grand Prairie||106|
|Helen Giddings||D||De Soto||109|
|Angie Chen Button||R||Richardson||112|
There are 10 Judges of the Justice of the Peace Courts in Dallas County. There are 5 Republican Judges and 5 Democratic Judges.
|Justice of the Peace||Party||Home Town/City||Precinct ↑|
|Judge Thomas G.Jones||D||Dallas County JP||1-1|
|Judge Valencia Nash||D||Dallas County JP||1-2|
|Judge Gerry Cooper||R||Dallas County JP||2-1|
|Judge Michael D. Windham||R||Dallas County JP||2-2|
|Judge Al Cerone||R||Dallas County JP||3-1|
|Judge Steve Seider||R||Dallas County JP||3-2|
|Judge Norris “Stretch” Rideaux||D||Dallas County JP||4-1|
|Judge Katy Hubener||D||Dallas County JP||4-2|
|Judge Sandra Ellis||R||Dallas County JP||5-1|
|Judge Juan Jasso||D||Dallas County JP||5-2|
There are 5 Constables of the in Dallas County. There are 2 Republicans and 3 Democrats.
|Constable||Party||Home Town/City||Precinct ↑|
|Constable Cleophas Steele||D||Dallas County||1|
|Constable Michael Gothard||R||Dallas County||2|
|Constable Ben Adamcik||R||Dallas County||3|
|Constable Roy Williams||D||Dallas County||4|
|Constable Beth Villarreal||D||Dallas County||5|
|2012||57.1% 403,170||41.7% 294,339|
|2008||57.5% 424,468||41.9% 309,477|
|2004||49.0% 336,641||50.4% 346,246|
|2000||44.9% 275,308||52.6% 322,345|
|1996||46.0% 255,766||46.8% 260,058|
|1992||35.0% 231,412||38.7% 256,007|
|1988||40.9% 243,198||58.4% 347,094|
|1984||33.4% 203,592||66.4% 405,444|
|1980||36.8% 190,459||59.2% 306,682|
|1976||42.3% 196,303||56.7% 263,081|
|1972||29.6% 129,662||69.5% 305,112|
|1968||34.1% 123,809||50.7% 184,193|
|1964||54.7% 166,472||45.1% 137,065|
|1960||37.0% 88,876||62.2% 149,369|
Dallas County voted for the Republican presidential candidate in every election from 1952 to 2004, except when Texas native Lyndon B. Johnson successfully ran for a full term as President on the Democratic ticket in 1964. In the 2004 election, Democrats won their first countywide administrative office since 1986 by electing Lupe Valdez to the office of Dallas County Sheriff. The last Democratic countywide administrator was D. Connally elected County Surveyor prior to the office's abolition. Democrats also won three district court benches in 2004. Two years later in 2006, Democrats swept every contested countywide race including County Judge, District Clerk, County Clerk, District Attorney and County Treasurer as well as every contested judicial seat. In 2008, Barack Obama won Dallas County with a substantial margin and Democrats won the remaining Republican held judicial seats. In 2012, Obama won Dallas County by virtually the same margin as in 2008.
The Democratic gains in the county are primarily due to the exurban migration of disproportionately conservative, Republican-voting residents to the neighboring counties of Collin, Denton and Rockwall. As a result, those counties have become more solidly Republican. The tremendous growth in these neighboring counties was part of a larger explosion in exurban growth throughout the nation over the last decade which collapsed with the real estate bust in 2007. In North Texas, exurban growth was accelerated by transportation infrastructure expansion including the extensions of U.S. 75 north and the Dallas North Tollway in the mid 1990s, and the completion of the George Bush Turnpike after 2001. These and other enhancements opened up vast tracts of farmland to new housing developments.
Dallas County is unique in having three openly LGBT county elected officials. Lupe Valdez elected Sheriff in 2004 and running for reelection in 2012; Jim Foster, elected County Judge in 2006 serving one term then defeated in the Democratic Primary in 2010; and Gary Fitzsimmons elected District Clerk in 2006 and currently serving.
In the United States House of Representatives, districts 30 and 32 are entirely within the county and districts 3, 5, 24, and 26 include portions of Dallas County. Five of the six districts are currently represented by Republicans. In order of district number they are Sam Johnson (R-03), Jeb Hensarling (R-05), Kenny Marchant (R-24), Michael C. Burgess (R-26), Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-30), and Pete Sessions (R-32).
Cities and towns
†Denotes a municipality whose physical boundaries extend beyond Dallas County
- Alpha (not incorporated)
- Buckingham (Annexed by Richardson in 1996)
- Embree (merged into Garland in 1887)
- Fruitdale (annexed by Dallas in 1964)
- Duck Creek (merged into Garland in 1887)
- Kleberg, Texas (Absorbed by City of Dallas in 1978)
- La Reunion (Absorbed by City of Dallas in 1860)
- Letot (Northwest Dallas County, annexed by Dallas)
- Long Creek (Merged into Sunnyvale in 1953)
- Hatterville (Merged into Sunnyvale in 1953)
- New Hope (Merged into Sunnyvale in 1953 - not to be confused with the Collin County town of the same name)
- Noel Junction not incorporated, Addison/Dallas
- Cedar Springs (Annexed by Dallas First Settled in February 1841. In 1929 the community was annexed by the city of Dallas. )
- Hord's Ridge (Merged by Oak Cliff in 1887 per The Handbook of Texas )
- Oak Cliff (Annexed by Dallas in 1903)
- Penn Springs (Annexed by Duncanville in 1947)
- Pleasant Grove (Annexed by Dallas by 1962)
- Preston Hollow (Annexed by Dallas in 1945)
- Renner (annexed by Dallas in 1977)
- Tripp (Merged into Sunnyvale in 1953)
- Trinity Mills (Annexed by Carrollton)
The following school districts serve Dallas County:
Love Field, located in Dallas and in Dallas County, serves many domestic passengers.
Dallas Area Rapid Transit provides bus and rail service to many cities in Dallas County, with Dallas being the largest.
Government and infrastructure
The Commissioners Court meets every Tuesday morning at the Allen Clemson Courtroom located in the Dallas County Administration Building at 411 Elm St., corner of Elm and Houston streets. The building was the headquarters of the Texas School Book Depository Company until 1970. Assassin Lee Harvey Oswald shot President John F. Kennedy from a window located on the sixth floor which today houses the Sixth Floor Museum dedicated to the late president's memory.
Acts of the commissioners court are known as 'court orders'. These orders include setting county policies and procedures, issuing contracts, authorizing expenditures, and managing county resources and departments. Most importantly, the commissioners court sets the annual tax rate and the budget for Dallas County government and the courts. The commissioners also set the tax rate and budget for the Dallas County Hospital District which operates Parkland Hospital.
The commissioners court has direct control over all county offices and departments not otherwise administered by a county elected official. Those departments include Dallas County Elections, Health and Human Services, Facilities Management, Parks and Open Space Program, I.T. Services, Homeland Security and Emergency Services, among others. Through their budget making powers, the commissioners exercise indirect control over the District Attorney's office, Sheriff, District Clerk, County Clerk and County Treasurer. The commissioners also set the budget for each of the District, County, and Justice courts.
Dallas County employs a county administrator who is responsible for the day-to-day management of county government and implementing the Dallas County Master Plan and the directives of the commissioners court. The current county administrator is Darryl Martin who was hired by the commissioners in 2008.
Dallas County operates several jail facilities. They include:
- 111 Riverfront Blvd (Dallas)
- North Tower Jail
- South Tower Jail - also known as the "Suzanne Kays Tower"
- West Tower Jail
- Government Center Jail - 600 Commerce Street (Dallas)
- Decker Detention Center - 899 North Stemmons Freeway (Dallas)
- (formerly) Suzanne Kays Jail - 521 North Industrial Boulevard (Dallas) - population integrated into the South Tower; demolished to clear way for the Trinity River Project
Texas Department of Criminal Justice operates the Hutchins Unit state jail for men in an unincorporated area adjacent to Hutchins. Corrections Corporation of America operates the Dawson Unit, a co-gender state jail in Downtown Dallas, under contract.
- Dallas County District Attorney
- List of museums in North Texas
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Dallas County, Texas
- United States Census Bureau. "2010 Census Data". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 20 December 2011.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- U.S. Decennial Census
- Texas Almanac: County Population History 1850-2010
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- Wallsten, Peter (2004-06-28). "Bush Sees 'Fertile Soil' in Exurbia". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-06-25.
- Tavernise, Sabrina (April 4, 2012). "Census Data Offers Look at Effects of Recession". New York Times. Retrieved 2012-06-25.
- Kim, Theodore (February 4, 2012). "North Texas Growth Sprang from Pro-Growth Policies". Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 2012-06-25.
- Cloud, John (2007-06-17). "The Lavender Heart of Texas". Time Magazine. Retrieved 2012-06-18.
- Rose-Mary Rumbley, "LETOT, CLEMENT" Handbook of Texas Online, accessed December 26, 2010.
- Trinity Mills, Texas from the Handbook of Texas Online. By Matthew Hayes Nall. Retrieved on 31 March 2007.
- "Jail Information." Dallas County Sheriff's Office. Accessed September 14, 2008.
- Krause, Kevin. Suzanne Kays jail to close in Dallas this week." The Dallas Morning News. April 14, 2009. Retrieved on June 3, 2013.
- "HUTCHINS (HJ)." Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Accessed September 14, 2008.
- "DAWSON (JD)." Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Retrieved on June 3, 2013.
- Dallas County Government official site
- Dallas County from the Handbook of Texas Online
- History of Dallas County, Texas: from 1837 to 1887 by John Henry Brown, published 1887, hosted by the Portal to Texas History.
- Memorial and biographical history of Dallas County, Texas published 1892, hosted by the Portal to Texas History.
- Official directory, taxpayers of Dallas County, Texas published 1896, hosted by the Portal to Texas History.
||Denton County||Collin County||Rockwall County|
|Tarrant County||Kaufman County|
|Johnson County||Ellis County|