Amarillo Population 2018

Amarillo is a city located in the state of Texas. It is the county seat of Potter County and is the 14th biggest city in Texas by population. In the Texas Panhandle area, it is the largest city by population. Current estimates show that the population is 199,582, but the metro area has a population that is steadily approaching 300,000 residents.

Amarillo History

What is currently known as Amarillo was established as a settlement in 1887 when J.I. Berry wanted to create a town located near the main trading center of the region. The town site was approved and was designated as the county seat for Potter County. Originally, it was named Oneida. The name was later changed to Amarillo and is believed to be named for the wildflowers that grow in the area.

In 1888, Joseph Glidden and Henry Sanborn began purchasing land to move the city due to the risk of floods in the current area. He appealed to businesses by offering to trade lots with them and to assist in paying moving expenses. As more people took up these offers, the commercial district of Polk Street began to develop. Growth continued the following year when a flood almost occurred at the original site. The new town was now elected as a county seat in the 1890s.

Before the next century, Amarillo had already established itself as a cattle-shipping point. Because of this, the population continued to grow. The 20th century saw an increase in the production of wheat, turning the city into a center for milling, grain and feed-manufacturing. The early 1900s also brought in oil and gas companies following the discovery of oil and natural gas. In the 1920s, the Cliffside Gas Field was purchased by the U.S. government and the Federal Bureau of Mines operated the Amarillo Helium plant. It was the only producer of commercial helium at the time and has earned Amarillo the nickname of “Helium Capital of the World.”

Growth only continued with the introduction of the Fort Worth and Denver City Railroad. The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway and the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad also came to the area and employed many of Amarillo’s residents.

The city was affected by an economic depression in the mid-1900s, but bounced back after it became a major tourist destination with the introduction of Routes 60, 66, 87 and 287. In 1949, the city was struck by a tornado, killing and injuring residents and destroying much of the city. Another tornado struck in 1982 but no deaths were recorded.

Today, the city is known as Rotor City, USA because of its hybrid aircraft assembly plant. It is also one of the largest meat-packing cities in the country. Amarillo is also the site of the only nuclear weapons assembly and disassembly facility in the U.S. The city’s population continues to grow, especially in the northwestern and southern areas of the city. Though the downtown area has went downhill, the local government has established partnerships to revitalize this area. The city is an appealing place for residents and visitors alike, boasting over 50 city parks, historic homes and buildings, restaurants, shopping centers and other attractions.

Amarillo Demographics

Amarillo has a population of over 199,000 people. The total area of the city is over 90 square miles and has a population density of 2,200 people per square mile.

The city’s population is primarily white and makes up about 60% of the total population. About 6.3% of the population is black, 3.1% is Asian, and almost 29% of the population is Hispanic or Latino of any race. The biggest age group is 25 to 44, which makes up almost 29% of the population, followed closely by residents that are under the age of 18, who make up 27.9% of the population. Over 12% are at least 65 years old. There are a higher percentage of females than males, with 88.5 men for every 100 women. Over 14.5% of the population lives below the federal poverty line.

Over 20% of the adults living in Amarillo have a bachelor’s degree. Almost 80% of residents over the age of 25 have their high school diploma.

Amarillo Population Growth

Amarillo has seen rapid growth throughout its history which is only expected to continue. The city’s population by the 1910 census had almost reach 10,000. By 1930, it surpassed 40,000 before growing to over 50,000 in the next decade. By 1960, Amarillo had over 137,000 residents. This number has continued to grow steadily with the exception of a 7.9% decline recorded at the 1970 census. The city’s population is just under 200,000 according to recent estimates and is expected to surpass 204,000 residents this year.

Year Population Growth Growth Rate

Amarillo Race Data

Race Population Percentage
Black or African American12,6016.31%
Two or More Races6,7673.39%
Some Other Race5,1012.56%
American Indian and Alaska Native1,1010.55%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander3340.17%

Population Pyramid

0k0k0k0k0k Male Population0k0k0k0k0k Female Population8580757065605550454035302520151050

Amarillo Housing Indicators

Indicator Value
Median Number of Rooms (per House)
Houses Without Mortgage
Houses With Mortgage
Vacancy Rate
Median Rent
Median Home Value
Renter-Occupied Units
Owner-Occupied Units
Total Housing Units

This chart shows the employment and labor force participation rates in Amarillo for residents over 16 years of age. The 2015 unemployment rate is 3.3% and the labor force participation rate is 67.6%.

Amarillo Family/Household Indicators

Indicator Value
Unmarried Partner Households (Same Sex)
Unmarried Partner Households (Opposite Sex)
Non Family Households
Female Householder (no husband) Families
Male Householder (no wife) Families
Married Couple Families
Average Family Size
Average Household Size