El Paso, Texas 2020

El Paso is a large city located in El Paso County, in the westernmost corner of the US state of Texas. The city is located in a region where the borders of Texas, Chihuahua, New Mexico, and Mexico intersect. USA. It is the world’s leading international metropolis, seamlessly blending cultures and traditions from the rich history of the Old West to the vibrant colors of Mexico, the rich heritage of Native Americans and the allure of the desert sun. El Paso has been known for a long time, since the Spanish conquistadors first set foot on the banks of the Rio Grande in 1598, and to this day, with the annual influx of millions of tourists.

El Paso Geography and Climate

El Paso, Texas downtown skyline at sunset with Juarez, Mexico in the distance
El Paso, Texas downtown at dusk with Juarez, Mexico in the distance.

As the county seat of El Paso, El Paso is closer to the capital cities of four other states than it is to the state capital of Texas, Austin, which is 850 km away. The capitals of these other states are Hermosillo, Sonora (523 km), Ciudad Chihuahua (351 km), Phoenix, Arizona (690 km), and Santa Fe, New Mexico (439 km). El Paso is located within the easternmost Cordillera and Basin Region, which is the Chihuahuan Desert. It is situated below a small opening where the Rio Grande River emerges from the arid south of the Rocky Mountains in the foothills of the Franklin Mountains (at an elevation of 3,762 feet).

The Mesilla Valley begins on the west side of the city, and the desert and lower valley extend on the east side, both separated by the Franklin Mountains. At the southernmost point of the ridge, they come together in the central business district. Along with Fort Bliss and the El Paso International Airport, the 24,000-acre Franklin Mountains State Park, which is one of the largest urban parks in the country, is located entirely within the El Paso city limits. The twenty-third largest city in the country and the sixth largest city in the state, El Paso covers a total area of ​​671.46 km2, of which 669.33 km2 are occupied by land and 2.13 km2 are covered by water .

El Paso is located in a transition zone between the cold desert climate and the hot desert climate according to the Köppen Climate Classification. The city experiences hot summers and cool, mild winters. El Paso has an average annual temperature of 18.3 °C, with about 220 mm of precipitation per year. El Paso receives the most rain in July, while April receives the least amount of rain.

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El Paso History

Visitor Center at Chamizal National Memorial in El Paso, Texas
Visitor center at Chamizal National Memorial in El Paso, Texas. Image Credit: Mosamiazaz at en.wikipedia, Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Juan de Onate, a Spanish Franciscan friar who colonized New Mexico, first identified this important site in 1598 and gave it the Spanish name El Paso del Norte (meaning “The Passage of the North”). The first Spanish-Indian colony was established in the region of what is now Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, in 1659. The Butterfield Stage route to California passed through the city, which was laid out in 1859 and became an American city in 1873. Until the arrival of four railroads in 1881, it expanded slowly; by 1890, its population had more than multiplied by ten, reaching 10,338. Border conflicts were caused by the Rio Grande bending south in the 1860s; Mexican claims to El Chamizal, a wedge of land in Texas, were first made in 1895. The 55-acre Chamizal National Monument (built 1968) honors disagreement over river channel realignment that was finally resolved in 1963 .

Demographics and economy of El Paso

Wells Fargo Plaza and other buildings in downtown El Paso, Texas
Wells Fargo Plaza and other buildings in downtown El Paso, Texas. Editorial credit: Frontpage / Shutterstock.com

According to the latest US Census, El Paso has a population of 678,815 inhabitants, where 51% are women and 49% are men. The racial makeup of the city is 81.5% Hispanic or Latino, 12.6% White (not Hispanic/Latino), 3.4% African American or Black, and 1.4% Asian. The remaining population is distributed among American Indians, Alaska Natives (AI/AN), Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, and other mixed races. Spanish is spoken by 65.7% of the population. The rest speak English (32.2%), Asian and Pacific Islander languages ​​(0.9%), Indo-European languages ​​(0.8%), and other foreign languages ​​(0.4%). Only 51.8% of El Paso’s population are naturalized US citizens. Veterans make up 8.3% of El Paso’s population, of which 88.2% are male and 11.8% are female.

According to the same Census, El Paso has an employment rate of 55.2% with a poverty rate of 19.1%. The homeownership rate is 59.6%, where the median gross rental cost is $857 per month, with a median household income of $48,866. The unemployment rate in El Paso is 7.4%. The job market in El Paso has grown 1.9% over previous years. Compared to the US average of 33.5%, El Paso’s future job growth is expected to be 35.9% over the next ten years.

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Attractions in and around El Paso

Franklin Mountains State Park

Franklin Mountains State Park
Franklin Mountains State Park.

El Paso’s skyline frequently features the magnificent Franklin Mountains. Plus, they provide a much-needed recreational outlet for both El Pasoans and out-of-state visitors. Conveniently located on the north side of town and one of the largest metropolitan parks in the nation, the 27,000-acre Franklin Mountain State Park is a famous spot for hiking, mountain biking, and rock climbing. This sizable state park has lots of fun activities, including geocaching, ranger-led programs, and wildlife viewing. The Franklin Mountains also provide a variety of scenic routes for those short on time.

El Paso Mission Trail

Historic Mission Ysleta along the El Paso Mission Trail in Texas
Historic Mission Ysleta along the El Paso Mission Trail in Texas.

Beginning in El Paso and traversing the most important remaining Spanish mission sites in the state, the Mission Trail is one of the most incredible ways for visitors to experience Texas’ rich multicultural heritage. Among other missions, the Ysleta Mission is a notable landmark along this scenic driving route. It is the oldest such building in the state and was consecrated in 1682. Surrounding the missions are other places of cultural interest, including restaurants, art galleries, and organizations such as the Tigua Indigenous Cultural Center.

square theater

View of the historic Plaza Theater in El Paso, Texas
View of the historic Plaza Theater in El Paso, Texas. Editorial credit: EQRoy / Shutterstock.com

Located downtown, the Plaza Theater proudly serves as a reminder of El Paso’s musical past. The Plaza Theater Center for the Performing Arts, first built in 1930, presents some of El Paso’s best live performances and tourist attractions. Simply admiring the elaborately adorned auditorium space is part of the experience at this Spanish neo-colonial style theater. The stars painted on the ceiling reflecting the sky of a summer night and the mosaic floors, decorative metal railings and antique furniture add to the spooky atmosphere of this theater.

El Paso Museum of Art

El Paso Museum of Art in El Paso, Texas
El Paso Museum of Art in El Paso, Texas. Editorial credit: Marisol Rios Campuzano / Shutterstock.com

More than 7,000 works of American, European, and Mexican art, dating from the 12th century to the present, are housed in the El Paso Museum of Art’s extraordinary collection. Numerous fine works inspired by the Southwest can be found in the American art collection.

El Paso is a mix of cultures, people and cuisines. The city is full of historical attractions, and its distinctive desert landscapes are home to a variety of flora and fauna. El Paso is therefore a friendly and diverse city with much to offer.

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