El Paso, Texas

El Paso (/ɛl ˈpæs/; Spanish: [el ˈpaso] "the pass") is a city in and the county seat of El Paso County in the far western part of the U.S. state of Texas. The 2020 population of the city from the U.S. Census Bureau was 678,815,[4] making it the 23rd-largest city in the United States, the sixth-largest city in Texas, and the second-largest city in the Southwest behind Phoenix, Arizona.[7] El Paso ranks 5th in the nation with the largest proportion of Hispanic population. Its metropolitan statistical area covers all of El Paso and Hudspeth counties in Texas, and had a population of 843,725 in 2019.[8]

El Paso, Texas
City of El Paso
From top, left to right: Downtown El Paso, Southwest University Park, the Ysleta Mission, the University of Texas at El Paso, and the Franklin Mountains
Nicknames: 
The Sun City,[1] El Chuco[2]
Location in El Paso County and the state of Texas
El Paso, Texas
Location in El Paso County and the state of Texas
El Paso, Texas
El Paso, Texas (the United States)
El Paso, Texas
El Paso, Texas (North America)
Coordinates: 31°45′33″N 106°29′19″W
Country United States
State Texas
CountyEl Paso
First settlement1680
Settled as Franklin1849
Renamed El Paso1852
Town laid out1859
Incorporated1873
Government
  TypeCouncil–manager
  City Council
  • Mayor Oscar Leeser (D)
  • Peter Svarzbein
  • Alexsandra Annello
  • Cassandra Hernandez
  • Joe Molinar
  • Isabel Salcido
  • Claudia Ordaz
  • Henry Rivera
  • Cissy Lizarraga
  City managerTommy Gonzalez
Area
  City259.25 sq mi (671.46 km2)
  Land258.43 sq mi (669.33 km2)
  Water0.82 sq mi (2.13 km2)
Elevation
3,740 ft (1,140 m)
Population
  City678,815
  Rank23rd in the United States
6th in Texas
  Density2,626.69/sq mi (1,014.17/km2)
  Metro868,859 (67th)
Demonym(s)El Pasoan
Time zoneUTC−07:00 (MST)
  Summer (DST)UTC−06:00 (MDT)
ZIP Codes
  • 79900–79999
  • 88500–88599 (PO boxes)
Area codes915
FIPS code48-24000
GNIS feature ID1380946[6]
Primary airportEl Paso International Airport (ELP)
(major/international)
Secondary airportBiggs Army Airfield (KBIF)
(military)
Interstates
U.S. Routes
Websitewww.elpasotexas.gov

El Paso stands on the Rio Grande across the Mexico–United States border from Ciudad Juárez, the most-populous city in the Mexican state of Chihuahua with over 1.4 million people.[9] Las Cruces, in the neighboring U.S. state of New Mexico, has a population of 215,579.[10] On the U.S. side, the El Paso metropolitan area forms part of the larger El Paso-Las Cruces combined statistical area, with a population of 1,060,397.[10]

These three cities form a combined international metropolitan area sometimes referred to as the Paso del Norte or the Borderplex. The region of 2.5 million people constitutes the largest bilingual and binational work force in the Western Hemisphere.[11]

The city is home to three publicly traded companies, and former Western Refining, now Marathon Petroleum,[12] as well as home to the Medical Center of the Americas,[13] the only medical research and care provider complex in West Texas and Southern New Mexico,[14] and the University of Texas at El Paso, the city's primary university. The city hosts the annual Sun Bowl college football postseason game, the second-oldest bowl game in the country.[15]

El Paso has a strong federal and military presence. William Beaumont Army Medical Center, Biggs Army Airfield, and Fort Bliss are located in the area. Fort Bliss is one of the largest military complexes of the United States Army and the second largest training area in the United States behind nearby White Sands Missile Range. The fort is headquartered in El Paso but a large part of the training area is in New Mexico.[16] Also headquartered in El Paso are the Drug Enforcement Administration domestic field division 7, El Paso Intelligence Center, Joint Task Force North, United States Border Patrol El Paso Sector, and U.S. Border Patrol Special Operations Group.

El Paso is a five-time All-America City Award winner, winning in 1969, 2010, 2018, 2020, and 2021,[17] and Congressional Quarterly ranked it in the top-three safest large cities in the United States between 1997 and 2014,[18] including holding the title of safest city between 2011 and 2014.[19]