Dallas County, Texas

Not to be confused with Dallam County, Texas.
Dallas County, Texas

The former Dallas County Courthouse in March 2009

Map of Texas highlighting Dallas County
Location in the U.S. state of Texas
Map of the United States highlighting Texas
Texas's location in the U.S.
Founded March 30, 1846
Named for George M. Dallas
Seat Dallas
Largest city Dallas
  Total 909 sq mi (2,354 km2)
  Land 873 sq mi (2,261 km2)
  Water 36 sq mi (93 km2), 4.0%
  (2010) 2,368,139
  Density 2,692/sq mi (1,039.57/km²)
Congressional districts 5th, 24th, 30th, 32nd, 33rd
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5
Website www.dallascounty.org

Dallas County is a county located in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 2,368,139.[1] It is the second-most populous county in Texas and the ninth-most populous in the United States. Its county seat is Dallas,[2] which is also the third-largest city in Texas and the ninth-largest city in the United States. The county was founded in 1846 and was possibly named for George Mifflin Dallas, the 11th Vice President of the United States under U.S. President James K. Polk.

Dallas County is included in the Dallas–Fort Worth–Arlington, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area (colloquially referred to as the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex).


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 909 square miles (2,350 km2), of which 873 square miles (2,260 km2) is land and 36 square miles (93 km2) (4.0%) is water.[3]

Adjacent counties


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 20152,553,385[4]7.8%
U.S. Decennial Census[5]
2012 Estimate[1]

As of the census[6] of 2010, there were 2,368,139 people, 807,621 households, and 533,837 families residing in the county. The population density was 2,523 people per square mile (974/km²). There were 854,119 housing units at an average density of 971/sq mi (375/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 53.54 White (33.12% Non-Hispanic White), 22.30% Black or African American, 0.10% Native American, 5.15% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 14.04% from other races, and 2.70% from two or more races. 38.30% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 807,621 households out of which 35.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.90% were married couples living together, 14.10% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.90% were non-families. 27.30% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.90% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.71 and the average family size was 3.34. As of the 2010 census, there were about 8.8 same-sex couples per 1,000 households in the county.[7]

In the wider county, the population was spread out with 27.90% under the age of 18, 10.70% from 18 to 24, 34.40% from 25 to 44, 18.90% from 45 to 64, and 8.10% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 99.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.00 males.

The median income for a household in the county was US$43,324, and the median income for a family was $49,062. Males had a median income of $34,988 versus $29,539 for females. The per capita income for the county was $22,603. About 10.60% of families and 13.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.00% of those under age 18 and 10.50% of those age 65 or over.


Dallas County, like all counties in Texas, is governed by a Commissioners Court. This court consists of the county judge (the chairperson of the Court) who is elected County-wide and four Commissioners who are elected by the voters in each of four districts.

The Commissioners Court is the policy-making body for the County; in addition, the County Judge is the senior executive and administrative position in the County. While the cities in the County handle many tasks in local government, the County holds responsibility for the following:

The Commissioners Court sets the County tax rate, adopts the budget, appoints boards and commissions, approves grants and personnel actions, and oversees the administration of county government. Each commissioner also supervises a Road and Bridge District. The Commissioners Court also approves the budget and sets the tax rate for the hospital district, which is charged with the responsibility for providing acute medical care for citizens who otherwise would not receive adequate medical services.[8]

The total 2010 fiscal year budget is approximately $871 million USD.[9]

Currently (November 2014), the major elected officials are[10]

Position Name Party
  County Judge Clay Jenkins Democratic
  Commissioner, Precinct 1 Theresa Daniel Democratic
  Commissioner, Precinct 2 Mike Cantrell Republican
  Commissioner, Precinct 3 John Wiley Price Democratic
  Commissioner, Precinct 4 Elba Garcia Democratic
  District Attorney Susan Hawk Republican
  District Clerk Felicia Pitre Democratic
  County Clerk John Warren Democratic
  Sheriff Lupe Valdez Democratic
  Tax Assessor-Collector John Ames Democratic
  Treasurer Pauline Medrano Democratic

There are 7 congressional districts either entirely or partly within Dallas County. There are 5 Republicans and 2 Democratic.

Representative Party Home Town/City District
Sam Johnson R Plano 3
Jeb Hensarling R Dallas 5
Kenny Marchant R Coppell 24
Michael C. Burgess R Lewisville 26
Eddie Bernice Johnson D Dallas 30
Pete Sessions R Dallas 32
Marc Veasey D Fort Worth 33

There are 5 Texas Senate districts either entirely or partly within Dallas County. There are 4 Republicans and 1 Democratic.

Senator Party Home Town/City District
Bob Hall R Greenville 2
Van Taylor R Plano 8
Kelly Hancock R Arlington 9
Don Huffines R Dallas 16
Royce West D Dallas 23

There are 15 members of the Texas House of Representatives who are based in Dallas County. There are 9 Republicans and 6 Democrats.

Representative Party Home Town/City District ↑
Eric Johnson D Dallas 100
Linda Koop R Dallas 102
Rafael Anchia D Dallas 103
Roberto R. Alonzo D Dallas 104
Rodney Anderson R Grand Prairie 105
Pat Fallon R Frisco 106
Kenneth Sheets R Dallas 107
Morgan Meyer R University Park 108
Helen Giddings D De Soto 109
Toni Rose D Dallas 110
Yvonne Davis D Dallas 111
Angie Chen Button R Richardson 112
Cindy Burkett R Mesquite 113
Jason Villalba R Preston Hollow 114
Matt Rinaldi R Irving 115

There are ten Judges of the Justice of the Peace Courts in Dallas County, four Republican and six Democrat.

Justice of the Peace Party Home Town/City Precinct ↑
Judge Thomas G. Jones D Dallas County JP 1-1
Judge Valencia Nash D Dallas County JP 1-2
Judge Gerry Cooper R Dallas County JP 2-1
Judge Bill Metzger R Dallas County JP 2-2
Judge Al Cerone R Dallas County JP 3-1
Judge Steve Seider R Dallas County JP 3-2
Judge Norris “Stretch” Rideaux D Dallas County JP 4-1
Judge Katy Hubener D Dallas County JP 4-2
Judge Sara Martinez D Dallas County JP 5-1
Judge Juan Jasso D Dallas County JP 5-2

There are five constables of the in Dallas County, two Republicans and three Democrats.

Constable Party Home Town/City Precinct ↑
Constable J.L. Garrett D Dallas County 1
Constable Ray Nichols R Dallas County 2
Constable Ben Adamcik R Dallas County 3
Constable Roy Williams D Dallas County 4
Constable Beth Villarreal D Dallas County 5

The Parkland Health & Hospital System (Dallas County Hospital District) operates the Parkland Memorial Hospital and various health centers.

The Commissioners Court meets every Tuesday morning at the Commissioners Courtroom located in the Dallas County Administration Building at 411 Elm St., corner of Elm and Houston streets. The building was the headquarters of the Texas School Book Depository Company until 1970. Assassin Lee Harvey Oswald shot President John F. Kennedy from a window located on the sixth floor which today houses the Sixth Floor Museum dedicated to the late president's memory.

Acts of the commissioners court are known as 'court orders'. These orders include setting county policies and procedures, issuing contracts, authorizing expenditures, and managing county resources and departments. Most importantly, the commissioners court sets the annual tax rate and the budget for Dallas County government and the courts. The commissioners also set the tax rate and budget for the Dallas County Hospital District which operates Parkland Hospital.

The commissioners court has direct control over all county offices and departments not otherwise administered by a county elected official. Those departments include Dallas County Elections, Health and Human Services, Facilities Management, Parks and Open Space Program, I.T. Services, Homeland Security and Emergency Services, among others. Through their budget making powers, the commissioners exercise indirect control over the District Attorney's office, Sheriff, District Clerk, County Clerk and County Treasurer. The commissioners also set the budget for each of the District, County, and Justice courts.

Dallas County employs a commissioners court administrator who is responsible for the day-to-day management of the commissioners court and implementing the Dallas County Master Plan and the directives of the commissioners court. The current commissioners court administrator is Darryl Martin who was hired by the commissioners in 2008.

Dallas County Jail, 111 West Commerce Street

Dallas County operates several jail facilities. They include:[11]

Texas Department of Criminal Justice operates the Hutchins State Jail for men in an unincorporated area adjacent to Hutchins.[13] Corrections Corporation of America operates the Dawson Unit, a co-gender state jail in Downtown Dallas, under contract.[14]

Federal Correctional Institution, Seagoville, is located in Seagoville.


Dallas County vote[15]
by party in presidential elections
Year Republican Democratic
2016 34.9% 261,865 61.1% 458,845
2012 41.6% 295,813 57.0% 405,571
2008 41.9% 310,000 57.2% 422,989
2004 50.4% 346,246 49.0% 336,641
2000 52.6% 322,345 44.9% 275,308
1996 46.8% 260,058 46.0% 255,766
1992 38.7% 256,007 35.0% 231,412
1988 58.4% 347,094 40.9% 243,198
1984 66.4% 405,444 33.3% 203,592
1980 59.2% 306,682 36.8% 190,459
1976 56.7% 263,081 42.3% 196,303
1972 69.5% 305,112 29.5% 129,662
1968 50.7% 184,193 34.1% 123,809
1964 45.1% 137,065 54.7% 166,472
1960 62.2% 149,369 37.0% 88,876
1956 65.1% 125,361 34.0% 65,472
1952 62.7% 118,218 36.8% 69,394
1948 37.8% 35,664 50.3% 47,464

Dallas County was once one of the Republican strongholds in Texas, having voted for the Republican presidential candidate in every election from 1952 to 2004, except when Texas native Lyndon B. Johnson successfully ran for a full term as President on the Democratic ticket in 1964. In the 2004 election, Democrats won their first countywide administrative office since 1986 by electing Lupe Valdez to the office of Dallas County Sheriff. The last Democratic countywide administrator was D. Connally elected County Surveyor prior to the office's abolition. Democrats also won three district court benches in 2004. Two years later in 2006, Democrats swept every contested countywide race including County Judge, District Clerk, County Clerk, District Attorney and County Treasurer as well as every contested judicial seat.

Starting in 1992, Dallas County began voting more Democratic than the state of Texas as a whole, with relatively narrow wins from 1992 to 2004 even as the Republican nominee won Texas easily. This trend culminated in 2008 when Barack Obama won Dallas County with a substantial margin. Obama's coattails allowed Democrats to win the remaining Republican held judicial seats. In 2012, Obama won Dallas County by virtually the same margin as he had done in 2008. in 2016, Hillary Clinton increased the Democratic margin of victory even further.

The Democratic gains in the county are primarily due to the exurban migration of disproportionately conservative, Republican-voting residents to the neighboring counties of Collin, Denton and Rockwall[16] As a result, those counties have become more solidly Republican. The tremendous growth in these neighboring counties was part of a larger explosion in exurban growth throughout the nation over the last decade which coincided with the real estate bust in 2007.[17] In North Texas, exurban growth was accelerated by transportation infrastructure expansion including the extensions of U.S. 75 north and the Dallas North Tollway in the mid 1990s, and the completion of the George Bush Turnpike after 2001. These and other enhancements opened up vast tracts of farmland to new housing developments.[18]

Dallas County has three openly-LGBT elected county officials. Lupe Valdez elected Sheriff in 2004 and a candidate for reelection in 2012; Jim Foster, elected county judge in 2006 serving one term then defeated in the Democratic primary in 2010; and Gary Fitzsimmons elected District Clerk in 2006.[19]

Although Dallas County has become much friendlier to Democrats in presidential and Senate elections since 1992, it remains a mostly Republican county in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Texas Legislature. This is in large part due to the pattern of using "racial gerrymandering" by the Republican dominated Texas Legislature to draw congressional and legislative districts.[20] Critics of Republican redistricting point out that although 90% of the Texas' 4 million new residents in 2010 were Hispanic,[21] and the Anglo share of Texas' population declined from 52 percent to 45 percent, Anglos retain a majority in 70 percent of Texas' Congressional Districts.[22] By "packing" minority Democratic voters into Congressional District 30 and State Senate District 23 in excess of 70% of the total population, it prevents these voters from impacting neighboring districts. Thus Dallas County has only two Democratic congressman, one representing only a small part of the county; and only one State Senator. Although racial gerrymandering affects the composition of legislative House districts, the failure of the local Democratic party organization to recruit and support legislative candidates relative to judicial candidates has been cited for the lack of Democratic representation.


The following school districts serve Dallas County:


Dallas Area Rapid Transit provides bus and rail service to many cities in Dallas County, with Dallas being the largest.

The Trinity Railway Express provides commuter rail service to Tarrant County, including downtown Fort Worth.

Major highways

NOTE: US 67 and US 77 are not signed fully along their routes in Dallas County.


Love Field, located in Dallas and in Dallas County, serves many domestic passengers.

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport is partially located in the city of Irving in Dallas County, and Grapevine and Euless in Tarrant County.


Cities (multiple counties)



Unincorporated community

Historical communities

See also


  1. 1 2 "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 10, 2013.
  2. "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  3. "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  4. "County Totals Dataset: Population, Population Change and Estimated Components of Population Change: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016.
  5. "U.S. Decennial Census". Census.gov. Archived from the original on May 11, 2015. Retrieved December 10, 2013.
  6. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on September 11, 2013. Retrieved 2011-05-14.
  7. Where Same-Sex Couples Live, June 26, 2015, retrieved July 6, 2015
  8. http://www.dallascounty.org/
  9. http://www.dallascounty.org/department/budget/documents/FY2010ApprovedBudgetDetail.pdf
  10. Elected Officials
  11. "Jail Information." Dallas County Sheriff's Office. Accessed September 14, 2008.
  12. Krause, Kevin. Suzanne Kays jail to close in Dallas this week." The Dallas Morning News. April 14, 2009. Retrieved on June 3, 2013.
  13. "HUTCHINS (HJ)." Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Accessed September 14, 2008.
  14. "DAWSON (JD)." Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Retrieved on June 3, 2013.
  15. http://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS/
  16. Wallsten, Peter (2004-06-28). "Bush Sees 'Fertile Soil' in Exurbia". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-06-25.
  17. Tavernise, Sabrina (April 4, 2012). "Census Data Offers Look at Effects of Recession". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-06-25.
  18. Kim, Theodore (February 4, 2012). "North Texas Growth Sprang from Pro-Growth Policies". Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 2012-06-25.
  19. Cloud, John (2007-05-17). "The Lavender Heart of Texas". Time magazine. Retrieved 2012-06-18.
  20. Weissert, Will (2014-07-14). "Texas accused of purposely excluding minorities in redistricting". The Dallas Morning News. Associated Press.
  21. ibid.
  22. Berman, Ari (2013-06-05). "Texas Redistricting Fight Shows Why Voting Rights Act Still Needed". The Nation.
  23. Rose-Mary Rumbley, "LETOT, CLEMENT" Handbook of Texas Online, accessed December 26, 2010.
  24. "Little Egypt,TX" in the Handbook of Texas Online, by Lisa C. Maxwell; accessed 05 December 2015.
  25. "Trinity Mills, TX" from the Handbook of Texas Online. By Matthew Hayes Nall. Retrieved on 31 March 2007.

External links

Coordinates: 32°46′N 96°47′W / 32.77°N 96.78°W / 32.77; -96.78

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