The Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan statistical area is the fourth largest in the nation and composed of 12 counties, the largest of which are Dallas and Tarrant, with an aggregate of more than 6.6 million residents. Population growth in the region was tremendous during the past decade, outperforming most U.S. metros. The metro is expected to expand 1.5 percent per year through 2017.
Dallas-Fort Worth’s economy continues to evolve. Companies migrate to the area attracted by a friendly business climate, warm weather, no state income tax, and a right-to-work policy. These qualities combined with an educated work force, diverse population and low housing costs have led to extraordinary growth in the Metroplex and will continue to bring in new businesses. Economic expansion was further fueled by a rise of telecommunications and high-tech companies.
The region is home to 18 Fortune 500 companies in diverse economic sectors including retail, food, healthcare services, energy and telecommunications. They include ExxonMobil, AMR, AT&T, Kimberly- Clark and J.C. Penney. The area also has one of the highest concentrations of privately held companies, with at least $1 billion in annual revenues headquartered in the area. More than 10,000 national and international corporations maintain regional and subsidiary headquarters in the Metroplex.
Dallas-Fort Worth’s central location and vast intermodal facilities allow the Metroplex to be the preeminent distribution hub for the burgeoning Southwest, as increased energy costs have boosted the need for a greater regionalized transportation distribution system. Trade and transportation companies provide more than one-fifth of total employment and infuse billions of dollars each year into the local economy.
The eastern portion of the Metroplex is situated in the Blackland Prairie region, so named for its fertile black soil. This area is dotted with man-made lakes, as well as streams, creeks and rivers. The western portion of the Metroplex falls within the Fort Worth Prairie. Much of this former ranchland sits atop a natural oil field and the Barnett Shale geological formation.