Dallas is the ninth largest city in the United States and the city itself is the third largest by population in Texas. When combined with Forth Worth (and Arlington), the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex (often just called DFW or the metroplex) is the largest metropolitan area in the south and the fourth largest metro area in America. Collin, Dallas, Denton, Rockwell, and Kaufman counties are all Dallas. The most recent census showed Dallas with a population of just under 1.2 million. Dallas is the largest economic center of the 12 county Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metropolitan area (MSA). This combined area had more than 6.3 million people living there as of the 2010 census. The metroplex economy is the sixth largest in America and according to McKinsey Global Institute it has a real GDP of $374 billion (April 2012). That would make Dallas the 30th largest economy in the world, just behind South Africa and just ahead of the United Arab Emirates. Dallas’s economy is centered around banking, commerce, computer technology, energy, healthcare and medical research, telecommunications, transportation and logistics. It has the third most Fortune 500 companies in the country. Dallas is the largest inland metropolitan area in America that does not have any navigable connection to the sea.
Dallas rose to prominence from its historical importance as a center for both the oil and cotton industries (hence The Cotton Bowl). Dallas was also positioned along many railroad lines. When the interstate highway system came into being during the1950’s and 60’s, Dallas became a focal point for both East-West and North-South travel with the junction of four major interstate highways. Dallas is also home to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport which is one of the largest and busiest airports in the world.