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Amarillo is the 14th-largest city in the state of Texas, the largest in the Texas Panhandle, and the seat of Potter County. A portion of the city extends into Randall County. The population was 173,627 at the 2000 census. The Amarillo metropolitan area has an estimated population of 236,113 in four counties. In July 2009, the population was estimated at 189,389. By 2010 the population of the city will near an estimated 200,000.

Amarillo, originally named Oneida, is situated in the Llano Estacado region. The availability of the railroad and freight service provided by the Fort Worth and Denver City Railroad contributed to the city's growth as a cattle marketing center in the late 19th century. Amarillo is the regional economic center for the Texas Panhandle, and is economically important to Eastern New Mexico and the Oklahoma Panhandle.

The city was once the self-proclaimed "Helium Capital of the World" for having one of the country's most productive helium fields. The city is also known as "The Yellow Rose of Texas" (as the city takes its name from the Spanish word for yellow)., and most recently "Rotor City, USA" for its V-22 Osprey hybrid aircraft assembly plant. Amarillo operates one of the largest meat packing areas in the United States. Pantex, the only nuclear weapons assembly and disassembly facility in the country, is also a major employer. The attractions Cadillac Ranch and Big Texan Steak Ranch were located on the former U.S. Highway 66, which passes through the city.

Amarillo Cityscape
Most of Amarillo’s population growth and commercial development are occurring in the southern and northwestern parts of the city. Similar to many towns in the Texas Panhandle, the city’s downtown has suffered economic deterioration throughout the years. To help revitalize it, the organization Center City of Amarillo was formed to establish partnerships with groups who have a large presence in the city. Since its conception in the 1990s, Center City has sponsored public art projects and started block parties in the downtown area.

The 31-story Chase Tower, was opened in Amarillo's downtown in 1971. Completed in the same year as the Chase Tower, the Amarillo National Bank Plaza One building houses the headquarters of Amarillo National Bank, the city's largest financial institution. The Santa Fe Building, completed in 1930, was the regional offices of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway, but was vacant for several years until Potter County bought the building for $426,000 in 1995 to gain new office spaces.

Amarillo's historic homes and buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places reflect the economic growth from around 1900 to the start of World War II. Polk Street contains many of the city's historic downtown buildings and homes. The large historic homes on this street were built close to downtown, and homes were located on the west side of the street as a symbol of status because they would be greeted with the sunrise every morning.

The City of Amarillo's Parks and Recreation Department operates over 50 municipal parks, including a skatepark west of the city. Amarillo's largest parks are Medical Park, Thompson Memorial Park, and Memorial Park, near Amarillo College's Washington Street Campus. From 1978 to 2002, the Junior League of Amarillo and the City of Amarillo's Parks and Recreation Department co-sponsored Funfest, a family entertainment festival, benefiting the city parks and the league's Community Chest Trust Fund. Funfest was held in Thompson Memorial Park during Memorial Day weekend. The festival included Amarillo's only 26.2 mile foot race, the Funfest Marathon.

Amarillo Economy
Amarillo is considered the regional economic center for the Texas Panhandle as well as Eastern New Mexico and the Oklahoma Panhandle. The meat packing industry is a major employer in Amarillo; about one-quarter of the United States' beef supply is processed in the area. The city is also the location of headquarters for the Texas Cattle Feeders Association. Petroleum extraction is also a major industry. The helium industry has decreased in significance since the federal government privatized local operations in the late 1990s. Bell Helicopter Textron opened a helicopter assembly plant near the city's international airport in 1999.

The city's largest employer in 2005 is Tyson Foods, with 3,700 employees. The Amarillo Independent School District is next with 3,659 employees followed by BWXT Pantex, Baptist St. Anthony’s Health Care System, City of Amarillo, Northwest Texas Healthcare System, Amarillo College, and United Supermarkets. Other major employers include Bell Helicopter Textron, Owens-Corning, and ASARCO.

Approximately 14 million acres of agricultural land surrounds the city with corn, wheat and cotton as the primary crops. Other crops in the area include sorghum, silage, hay and soybeans. The Texas Panhandle, particularly in Hereford, Texas, serves as a fast growing milk producing area as several multi-million dollar state of the art dairies were built in early 2000s.

The Amarillo Economic Development Corporation (AEDC) is funded by a city sales tax, and it provides aggressive incentive packages to existing and prospective employers. In the mid-to-late 1990s, the AEDC gained notoriety by sending mock checks to businesses across the country, placing full-page advertisements in The Wall Street Journal, and paying an annual $1 million subsidy to American Airlines to retain jet service. The AEDC is largely responsible for bringing Bell Helicopter Textron's development of the V-22 Osprey hybrid aircraft and the future site of Marine One assembly in Amarillo.

Amarillo Education
According to the 2000 United States Census, 20.5% of all adults over the age of 25 in Amarillo have obtained a bachelor's degree, as compared to a national average of 24.4% of adults over 25, and 79.3% of Amarillo residents over the age of 25 have earned a high school diploma, as compared to the national average of 80.4%.

The higher education institutions in the city are Amarillo College, a two-year community college with over 10,000 students; Wayland Baptist University, a private university based in Plainview, has a branch campus in Amarillo; Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center at Amarillo School of Pharmacy, and Texas Tech University at Amarillo, a branch campus of Texas Tech University that offers selected master's degree programs. West Texas A&M University, a regional university headquartered in nearby Canyon, has a satellite campus in the Chase building in downtown Amarillo.

The public primary and secondary education are mostly handled by the Amarillo Independent School District (AISD) and Canyon Independent School District. (CISD) The AISD has approximately 29,000 students in 2004 while CISD has over 8,000 students in 2005. The AISD operates 4 high schools, 9 middle schools, 36 elementary schools, a specialty high school, and an alternative school. While, the CISD has 1 high school, 2 junior high/intermediate schools, and 4 elementary schools in Amarillo. Other school districts in the city are River Road, Highland Park, and Bushland Independent School Districts. Nonreligious and Christian denomination private schools in Amarillo include Arbor Christian Academy, Ascension Academy, Holy Cross Catholic Academy, San Jacinto Christian Academy, Amarillo Montessori Academy, St. Andrew's Episcopal School, St. Joseph's Catholic School and St. Mary's Catholic School.

From 1922 to 1938, the author Laura Vernon Hamner, who wrote a novelized biography of Charles Goodnight, served as the Potter County school superintendent. She was a ranch historian and radio personality. In her later years, she lived in the Herring Hotel, owned by Ernest Thompson, and was often known informally as "Miss Amarillo".


Amarillo TX Area Information

Amarillo TX Community Characteristics and Facts
  • Total Crime Risk: 144.0 (100 = National Average)
  • Population: 185,921
  • Population Growth Since 2000: 7.08%
  • Annual Max Avg. Temperature: 71 F
  • Annual Min Avg. Temperature: 43 F
  • Male Median Age: 32.6 years
  • Female Median Age: 34.9 years
  • Median Household Income: $45,500
  • Highest Education Level Attained: High School 27.74%, Bachelors 14.81%, Grad School 7.53%

Community Demographics

Information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Demographic Information FAQ

Amarillo Crime Rate Indexes Graph

Amarillo TX Crime Rate Indexes


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2010 Population Growth and Population Statistics Amarillo, TX Texas
Total Population 185,921 25,028,293
Square Miles 168.89 261,797.12
Population Density 1,100.80 95.60
Population Change Since 1990 20.93% 47.32%
Population Change Since 2000 7.08% 20.03%
Forecasted Population Change by 2014 4.32% 9.71%
Population Male 92,652 49.83% 12,517,396 50.01%
Population Female 93,269 50.17% 12,510,897 49.99%
Median Age 33.70 32.30

Amarillo TX Population Growth and Population Statistics


Information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Demographic Information FAQ

2010 Weather Summary Amarillo, TX Texas
Weather Index 138 175
Annual Maximum Avg. Temperature 71.0 °F 77.0 °F
Annual Minimum Avg. Temperature 43.0 °F 53.0 °F
Annual Avg. Temperature 56.9 °F 65.2 °F
Annual Heating Degree Days (Tot Degrees < 65) 4,258 2,368
Annual Cooling Degree Days (Tot Degrees > 65) 1,354 2,479
Percent of Possible Sunshine 73 66
Mean Sky Cover (Sunrise to Sunset - Out of 10) 5 5
Mean Number of Days Clear (Out of 365 Days) 153 140
Mean Number of Days Rain (Out of 365 Days) 71 72
Mean Number of Days Snow (Out of 365 Days) 5 1
Avg. Annual Precipitation (Total Inches) 20.00" 26.00"
Avg. Annual Snowfall (Total Inches) 15.00" 4.00"

Amarillo TX Weather, Forecast, Temperature and Precipitation


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Amarillo Population by Age Graph

Amarillo TX Population by Age


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Amarillo Quality of Life Indexes Graph

Amarillo TX Quality of Life Indexes


Information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Demographic Information FAQ



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