Fort Worth is one of the largest cities in the United States in terms of sheer size with almost 350 square miles of land in three counties. Located in North Central Texas, Fort Worth is the 5th largest city in Texas and the 17th largest in the U.S. with a population of 792,700.
Fort Worth proper has a population density of 2,166 people per square mile (835/square kilometer). The metro area is much larger, however, with 6.81 million residents, which makes it the 4th largest metropolitan area in the United States. Fort Worth is the second-largest city in the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington MSA, following Dallas with 1.23 million people. Other major cities in the MSA include Arlington (pop: 375,000), Plano (270,000), Garland (233,000), Irving (225,000), Grand Prairie (182,000), McKinney (143,000), and Mesquite (143,000).
Fort Worth History
The Treaty of Bird's Fort between many Indian tribes and the Republic of Texas in 1843 led to the establishment of Fort Worth as an Army outpost in 1849. Seven posts were created during this time following the Mexican-American War to protect Texan settlers in the region. While attacks from Native Americans were still a genuine threat at the time, settlers began to move to the fort.
The first resident of Fort Worth was E.S. Terrell. Seemingly overnight, the small outpost of Fort Worth became a busy town once it became a stop along the Chisholm Trail, on which millions of head of cattle were passed to market. Fort Worth soon grew with a thriving ranching industry and cattle center, which earned it the nickname "Cowtown."
Fort Worth went through very hard times during the Civil War and the Reconstruction that followed, with a population that reached just 175 for some time due to food and supply shortages. After more than a decade, the town once more began to grow. By 1876, the Texas and Pacific Railway reached the town and caused a significant boom. The population soon swelled, and it became a major point on the railroad system. After a long period of rampant crime and vice, Fort Worth's economy eventually turned to oil and natural gas. These industries are still a part of Fort Worth's economy and have helped to make it one of America's fastest-growing cities.
Fort Worth Population Growth
The Dallas-Fort Worth area has remained one of the country's fastest-growing metropolitan areas for several years in a row. In 2014, census figures found that Fort Worth had the highest population growth rate in the United States with growth of more than 42% between 2000 and 2013.
There is one reason above all others that draws in new residents: the region's strong economy and jobs market. Despite its economy, many experts warn that Fort Worth isn't ready for the growth, just as city leaders agree that it wasn't prepared for the rapid population boom almost 15 years ago. The growing population has led to some of the worst traffic problems in the state, long police response times, and a lack of funding and community services.
Fort Worth's growth rate shows no signs of slowing. By 2040, the population is expected to skyrocket from 793,000 today to almost 1.2 million.