El Paso, Texas 2020

El Paso is a large city located in El Paso County, in the westernmost part of the US state of Texas. The city is in an area where the border between Texas, Chihuahua, New Mexico and the United States and Mexico intersect. It is the most important international metropolis in the world and perfectly combines the cultures and traditions of the rich history of the Wild West with the vibrant colors of Mexico, the rich Native American heritage and the lure of the desert sun. El Paso has been known for a long time from the beginning when the Spanish conquistadors first set foot on the banks of the Rio Grande in 1598, and until today, with the annual influx of millions of tourists.

Geography and climate of El Paso

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

As the county seat of El Paso County, El Paso is located closer to the capitals of four other states than the Texas state capital, 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 in the easternmost region of the Basin and Range, which is the Chihuahuan Desert. It is located under a small opening where the Rio Grande emerges from the arid southern Rocky Mountains at the foot of the Franklin Mountains (at an elevation of 3,762 feet).

The Mesilla Valley begins on the west side of town, and the desert and lower valley extend to the east side, both separated by the Franklin Mountains. At the southernmost point of the mountain range, they meet in the central business district. Along with Fort Bliss and El Paso International Airport, the 24,000-acre Franklin Mountains State Park, which is one of the nation’s largest urban parks, is located entirely within the city limits of El Paso. El Paso. The 23rd largest city in the country and the 6th largest city in the state, El Paso covers a total area of ​​671.46 km2, of which 669.33 km2 is occupied by land and 2.13 km2 by water .

El Paso is placed 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 precipitation in July, while in April it receives the least precipitation.

History of El Paso

Visitor Center at Chamizal National Memorial in El Paso, Texas
Visitor Center at the 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 location in 1598 and gave it the Spanish name El Paso del Norte (meaning “The North Pass”). The first Spanish-Indian settlement was established in the area of ​​what is now known as Ciudad Juarez, Mexico in 1659. Butterfield Stage’s road to California passed through the town, which was laid out in 1859 and became an American city in 1873. Until the arrival of four railroads in 1881, it grew slowly; by 1890 its population had more than increased tenfold, reaching 10,338. Border disputes were caused by the bend of the Rio Grande to the south in the 1860s; Mexican claims to El Chamizal, a piece of land in Texas, were first made in 1895. The 55-acre Chamizal National Memorial (built in 1968) honors the disagreement over the realignment of the river channel that has finally settled in 1963.

El Paso Demographics and Economy

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 last United States census, El Paso has a population of 678,815, of which 51% are female and 49% are male. The racial makeup of the city is 81.5% Hispanic or Latino, 12.6% White (non-Hispanic/Latino), 3.4% African American or Black, and 1. 4% Asian. The remaining population is split between American Indian, Alaska Native (AI/AN), Hawaiian and Pacific Islander, 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 United States 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 grew 1.9% over previous years. Compared to the US average of 33.5%, future employment growth in El Paso is expected to be 35.9% over the next ten years.

Attractions in and around El Paso

Franklin Mountains State Park

Franklin Mountains State Park
Franklin Mountains State Park.

The El Paso skyline frequently features the magnificent Franklin Mountains. Plus, they provide a much-needed recreational outlet for El Paso residents and out-of-state visitors. Conveniently located on the north side of the city and one of the largest metropolitan parks in the country, the 27,000-acre Franklin Mountain State Park is a popular spot for hiking, mountain biking, and rock climbing. This large state park offers many enjoyable activities, such as geocaching, ranger-led programs, and wildlife viewing. The Franklin Mountains also offer a range of scenic drives for those short on time.

El Paso Mission Trail

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

The Mission Trail, which begins in El Paso and passes through the state’s most important remaining Spanish mission sites, is one of the most incredible ways for visitors to experience Texas’ rich multicultural heritage. Among other missions, Ysleta Mission is a notable landmark along this scenic road route. It is the oldest such building in the state and was dedicated in 1682. Surrounding the missions are various other cultural sites, including restaurants, art galleries, and organizations like the Tigua Indian Cultural Center.

Plaza Theater

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

The Plaza Theater, which sits in the center of downtown, is a proud reminder of El Paso’s musical past. The Plaza Theater Performing Arts Center, which was first built in 1930, features some of the best shows and tourist attractions in El Paso. Simply admiring the ornate auditorium space is part of the experience of this Spanish Colonial Revival style theatre. Stars painted on the ceiling that reflect the sky of a summer night and mosaic floors, decorative metal railings and antique furniture all contribute to the eerie atmosphere of this theater.

El Paso Art Museum

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 day, are housed in the remarkable collection of the El Paso Museum of Art. Many excellent works of Southwestern inspiration 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 a lot to offer.

Comments are closed.