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Plano ( ) is a northern suburb of Dallasmarker, Texasmarker. Located mostly within Collin Countymarker, the population was 222,030 at the 2000 census, making it the ninth-largest city in Texas. According to a 2008 census estimate, Plano grew to 267,480 residents, making it the seventieth most populous city in the United Statesmarker. Plano is within the Dallas–Fort Worth metropolitan area, colloquially referred to as the Metroplex. The city is home to many corporate headquarters, including Ericsson Inc., Rent-A-Center, Crossmark, Perot Systems, Electronic Data Systems, JCPenney, Frito-Lay, Cinemark Theatres, Dr Pepper Snapple Group and UGS.

In 2005, Plano was designated the best place to live in the Western United States by CNN Money magazine. In 2006, Plano was selected as the 11th best place to live in the United States by CNN Money magazine. Plano schools consistently score among the highest in the nation. It has been rated as the wealthiest city in the United States by CNN Money with a poverty rate of less than 6.4%. In 2008, selected Plano, University Parkmarker, and Highland Parkmarker as the three "Top Suburbs To Live Well" of Dallasmarker. The United States Census Bureau declared Plano the wealthiest city of 2008 by comparing the median household income for all U.S. cities whose populations were greater than 250,000. The annual Plano Balloon Festival is the city's premiere cultural and entertainment event.


Haggard Park Downtown Plano

In the early 1840s, several settlers came to the area around Plano. Facilities such as a sawmill, a gristmill, and a store brought more people to the area. Mail service was established, and after rejecting several names for the budding town (including naming it in honor of then-President Millard Fillmore), the locals suggested the name Plano, from the Spanish word for "flat," a reference to the terrain of the area. The name was accepted by the post office.

In 1872, the completion of the Houstonmarker and Texas Railroads helped the city grow, and the population grew to more than 500 by 1874. In 1873, the city officially incorporated.

In 1881, a fire raged through the central business district, destroying most of the buildings: 51 in all. The town was rebuilt, and business again flourished through the 1880s. In 1895, the PISD (Plano Independent School District) was formed.

Unlike many of the other Dallasmarker suburbs, which were closer to Dallas itself, the population of Plano initially grew slowly, reaching 1,304 in 1900 and increasing to 3,695 in 1960. By 1970, Plano began to feel some of the boom its neighbors experienced following World War II. A series of public works projects and a change in taxes that removed the farming community from the town helped increase the overall population of Plano. In 1970, the population reached 17,872, and by 1980, the population exploded to 72,000. Sewers, schools and street development kept pace with this massive increase, largely due to Plano's flat topography, grid layout and planning initiatives.

During the 1980s, many large corporations moved their headquarters to Plano, including JC Penney and Frito-Lay, which helped the city grow, as more people moved closer to their workplaces. By 1990, the population reached 128,713 and dwarfed the county seat of McKinneymarker. In 1994, the city was recognized as an All-America City.

Among other sport accolades, Plano is home to the World Olympic Gymnastics Academy (WOGA), the training ground of 2004 and 2008 Olympic All Around Champions, Carly Patterson and Nastia Liukin. The gym is owned by Patterson's coach, Yevgeny Marchenko, and Liukin's coach and father, Valeri Liukin.

By 2000, the population nearly doubled again to 222,030, making it one of the largest Dallas suburbs. The city's population now is stabilizing. Plano is completely locked in by other municipalities and cannot expand in area. There is little undeveloped land remaining within the city limits. By 2005, its population was estimated at 250,096.


According to the United States Census Bureau, Plano has a total area of 71.6 square miles (185.5 km2).


  • July is the average warmest month.
  • The highest recorded temperature was 118°F in 1936.
  • On average, the coolest month is January.
  • The lowest recorded temperature was -7°F in 1930.
  • The maximum average precipitation occurs in May.


Plano is one of 12 suburbs in the Dallas area that opts into the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) public transportation system. During most of its membership in DART, Plano was lightly served by bus lines, but in recent years, the Red Line of the DART light rail project has opened stations in Downtown Planomarker and at Parker Roadmarker, which provide access to commuters traveling to work elsewhere in the Dallas area. Approximately 1% of the city's population uses DART.

Plano was the first city in Collin Countymarker to adopt a master plan for its road system. The use of wide, multi-lane, divided highways for all major roads allows for higher speed limits on those thoroughfares, generally 40 or 45 mph, but sometimes up to on the northern section of Preston Road.

Plano is served directly by several major roadways and freeways. Central Plano is bordered to the east by U.S. Highway 75, the west by Dallas North Tollway, the south by President George Bush Turnpike, and the north by SH 121 a toll road). Preston Road or State Highway 289 is a major thoroughfare that runs through the city.


Local Government

According to the city’s most recent Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the city’s general fund had $194.0.million in Revenues, $212.3 million in expenditures, $277.5 million in total assets, $31.4 million in total liabilities, and $337.2 million in cash and investments.

The structure of the management and coordination of city services is:

City Department Director
City Manager Thomas Muehlenbeck
Executive Director Public Safety Services & Technology Bruce Glasscock
Executive Director Development Frank Turner
Executive Director Public Services & Operations Rod Hogan
Director Public Works & Engineering Alan Upchurch
Director Environmental Health Brian Collins
Director Property Standards Cynthia O’Banner
Director Technology Services David Stephens
City Attorney Diane Wetherbee
City Secretary Diane Zucco
Director Parks & Recreation/Convention & Tourism Don Wendell
Police Chief Greg Rushin
Fire Chief Hugo Esparza
Director Public Works Jimmy Foster
Director Finance John McGrane
Director Library Services Joyce Baumbach
Director Budget & Research Karen Rhodes
Director Human Resources Lashon Ross
Director Customer/Utility Services Mark Israelson
Internal Auditor Mike Rogers CGFO, CGFM, CIA, CISA, CFE, CCP
Director Sustainability & Environmental Services Nancy Nevil
Director Planning Phyllis Jarrell


According to the City's 2008 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the city are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 Countrywide Home Loans (now part of Bank of America) 10,765
2 J.C. Penney, Inc. 5,200
3 Electronic Data Systems (now part of Hewlett-Packard) 5,000
4 Perot Systems Corporation (now part of Dell) 2,732
5 Alcatel-Lucent 2,280
6 CHC Acquisition Corporation 2,000
7 Frito-Lay 1,920
8 Dr. Pepper/Snapple Group 1,700
9 Medical Center of Plano 1,491
10 Presbyterian Hospital of Plano 1,480

Plano is the corporate headquarters for some of the country's largest and most recognized companies. Tree-lined Legacy Drive in the 75024 ZIP code, between Preston Road and the Dallas North Tollway, has many corporate campuses. The following companies headquarter (or have major regional offices) in Plano:

Approximately 80% of Plano's visitors are business travelers, due to its close proximity to Dallas and the many corporations headquartered in Plano. The city also has a medium-sized convention center that is owned and operated by the city.

Plano has made a concerted effort to draw retail to its downtown area and the Shops at Legacy in an effort to boost sales tax returns. The Shops at Legacy area has apartments, shops, and restaurants constructed with the new Urbanism philosophy. An experimental luxury Wal-Martmarker Supercenter is located at Park Boulevard and the Dallas North Tollway.

Petrofina's U.S. subsidiary, Fina Inc., announced that it will move its headquarters to Houstonmarker from Plano in 2000.


There are 70 public schools, 16 private schools, two campuses of the Collin County Community College District, and six libraries in Plano.

Plano Independent School District serves most of Plano. Student enrollment has increased dramatically over the past few decades. Plano has a unique high school system, in which grades 9-10 attend a high school and grades 11-12 attend a senior high.

There are three senior high schools (grades 11-12) in PISD; Plano Eastmarker, Plano Seniormarker, and Plano Westmarker.

Small portions of Plano are served by the Lewisville Independent School District, Frisco Independent School District, and Allen Independent School District.

Plano is the home to two campuses of the Collin County Community College District, one at the Courtyard Center on Preston Park Boulevard and the larger Spring Creek Campus on Spring Creek Parkway at Jupiter.

In 2006, Plano Independent School District announced that 115 seniors were selected as National Merit Semifinalists, the largest in the district's history.

Plano has given $1.1 billion in property tax revenue to other school districts through the Texas "Robin Hood" law, which requires school districts that are designated as affluent to give a percentage of their property tax revenue to other districts outside of the county. In 2008, PISD gave $86 million. Controversy erupted when the salaries of teachers in less affluent districts, like Garland ISD, exceeded the salaries of teachers in districts that had to pay into "Robin Hood".

SMU in Legacy, a branch of Southern Methodist Universitymarker, is a graduate university serving the needs of 3,000 working professionals. Its academic programs include business, engineering and computer training, education and continuing education. It also features The Guildhall at SMU [23310], which offers a masters program in video game development.

Media attention over suicide and heroin use among Plano students

Plano students achieved notoriety following a cluster of nine suicides in 1983 that raised national awareness about suburban teenage depression. Most of the suicides were committed by carbon monoxide poisoning, but some were the result of gunshot wounds. Plano students were again in the news in the late 1990s due to a city-wide heroin problem. The surge in heroin use was the focus of coverage by several major news outlets such as NBC's Dateline and MTV's "Wasted." Heroin use in Plano eventually led to more than a dozen overdose deaths of teenagers and young adults. Many non-fatal overdoses were reported. As a result, the Plano Police Department launched an undercover investigation known as "Operation Rockfest." The investigation led to 84 drug cases against 33 adults and four juveniles, including 14 students enrolled in Plano schools.

In July 2003, Taylor Hooton, a student athlete at Plano West Senior High Schoolmarker, committed suicide. His family believed the suicide was connected to depression caused by the use of steroids used for performance enhancement. Much like the city's suicide and heroin issues of the 1980s and 1990s, this incident drew national focus to the issues of high school athletes and steroid use. John Russo was featured on the cover of the December 20, 2004, issue of Newsweek magazine wearing a Plano West Senior High School shirt in an article about the use of steroids in high schools. On March 10, 2005, Don Hooton (the father of Taylor) testified before a Congressional subcommittee about the use of steroids in high school. This event was widely covered, as several prominent baseball players, including José Canseco and Mark McGwire, also testified.


As of the census of 2000, there were 222,030 people, 80,875 households, and 60,575 families in Plano. The population density was 3,102.4 people per square mile (1,197.8/km2). There were 86,078 housing units at an average density of 1,202.8/sq mi (464.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 78.26% White, 5.02% Black, 0.36% Native American, 10.18% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 3.86% from other races, and 2.28% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 10.07% of the population.

Census figures from 2006 show a marked change in the racial composition of Plano, with increases in the percentages of black (6.1%), Asian (14.7%), and Hispanic (14.4%) residents and a decrease in the percentage of white residents (75.6%).

There were 80,875 households. Of those, 42.0% had children under the age of 18. Married couples accounted for 64.3%; 7.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.1% were non-families. Approximately 20.2% of all households were individuals, and 2.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.73, and the average family size was 3.18.

Data indicates that 28.7% of Plano's population is under the age of 18, 7.0% is 18 to 24, 36.5% is 25 to 44, 22.9% is 45 to 64, and 4.9% who is 65 years of age or older. The median age is 34 years. For every 100 females, there are 99.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 97.2 males.

According to a 2007 estimate, the median income for a household in the city is $84,492, and the median income for a family is $101,616. About 3.0% of families and 4.3% of the population live below the poverty line, including 4.6% of those under age 18 and 7.8% of those age 65 or over making less than $59,873.

Plano was the highest income place with a population of 130,000 or more in 2000.

Plano was ranked the most affluent city with a population over 250,000 in the United States with the lowest poverty rate of 6.3%. Its neighbor, Frisco, was ranked the richest city for the population of under 250,000 in the United States with a 2.7% poverty rate. In 2007, Plano had the highest median income of a city with a population exceeding 250,000 in the nation at $84,942.

According to crime statistics, there were four homicides in Plano in 2006, the lowest homicide rate of all U.S. cities of 250,000 or more population.

Population trends

Date Population
1874 500
1890 1,200
1900 1,304
1910 1,200
1960 3,695
1970 17,872
1980 72,331
1990 128,713
1994 166,952
1995 178,949
1996 192,622
1997 207,781
1998 219,486
2000c 222,030
2001e 234,650
2002e 239,178
2003e 241,938
2004e 245,345
2005e 250,067
2006e 254,279
2007e 260,796
2008e 267,480
  • e = official estimate by the United States Census Bureau
  • c = decennial census figures as mandated by the Constitution

Asian Population

While only a marginal part of the population, North-Central Plano has seen an increase in the density of Asian residents. This highly concentrated area has established an area saturated with Asian supermarkets such as H Mart or Mei Hua, and frozen yogurt shops. This area has become known to residents as Asia Town or Chinaville.

Sister cities

Plano has three sister cities designated by Sister Cities International. This program's presence is seen in Plano ISD schools, where representatives from sister cities often meet and tour.

Notable residents

The following is a list of past and current residents of Plano, who have become famous outside of the community:

See also


  2. Plano leaders run from Census Bureau's 'wealthiest' designation
  3. City of Plano CAFR. Retrieved 2009-07-16.
  4. City of Plano Executive Team Listing. Retrieved 2009-07-16.
  5. Bivins, Ralph. " The Woodlands becomes a leader in office construction." Houston Chronicle. Sunday February 13, 2000. Business 8. Retrieved on November 12, 2009.
  6. Plano 2007 Income Estimates
  8. US Census--Texas by Place (04/2000)
  9. US Census--Texas by Place (07/2001)
  10. US Census--Texas by Place (07/2002)
  11. US Census--Texas by Place (07/2003)
  12. US Census--Texas by Place (07/2004)
  13. US Census--Texas by Place (07/2005)
  14. US Census--Texas by Place (07/2006)
  15. US Census--Texas by Place (07/2007)
  16. Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places over 100,000, Ranked by July 1, 2008 Population : April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2008 (SUB-EST2008-01
  17. List of Plano's sister cities, website. Retrieved on September 6, 2009.
  18. " Hsinchu celebrates ties with its Texas sister city." Taipei Times. Wednesday September 24, 2003. Retrieved on May 6, 2009.

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