Learn about Carrollton, Texas

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Carrollton is a city in Texas. It is shared jointly by three counties: Denton, Dallas, and Collin. It is one of the suburban cities of Dallas and has been consistently voted one of the best places to live in the US.

According to a 2019 census estimate, Carrolton’s population was 139,248, making it the 23rd-most populous city in Texas.

A brief history of Carrollton

Like most modern-day cities and towns in the United States, the region now known as Carrollton consisted of vast grasslands. This region was once a part of a greater area where the native Wichita tribe (including Tawakoni and Taovaya tribes) inhabited.

European settlers first came to the region as farmers in 1842. The name Carrollton was likely named after Carrollton, Illinois, which happened to be the previous home of some early settlers. These pioneers purchased land from the Peters Colony. The settlers typically married young and had big families.

These hardy and determined pioneers endured all the risks and hardships for the sake of their dream of building a better life for themselves and future generations.

Like most communities at the time, Carrollton’s livelihood was exclusively agricultural. But the town’s fortunes changed with the arrival of the Dallas-Wichita Railroad in 1878. From that point on, Carrollton’s economy improved and its industries expanded. The line extended to Denton and was later renamed Missouri-Kansas-Texas (aka “Katy”) Railroad in 1881.

By 1885, the community had flour mills, cotton gins, two churches, and a school.

In 1888, the arrival of the St. Louis-Southwestern Railroad (which crossed the Katy) further boosted Carrollton’s economy. The town became a shipping center for livestock, cotton, cottonseed, and grain.

Carrollton was incorporated in 1913 as a general law city. At this point, the town square had become the center of the prosperous community.

As Carrollton’s industry diversified, the city became the home of a brick factory, dairy plant, a fruits and vegetables cannery, and an ice plant. But it was the gravel industry, which had begun in 1912, that transformed Carrollton’s fortunes dramatically. By the late 1940s, Carrollton had become known as a “grain and gravel” town.

Since the post-war era, Carrollton’s population has continued to increase. In 1950, the city’s population was 1,610. Going fast forward to 1970, it grew to 13,855. The rapidly growing number of residents spilled out of north Dallas, resulting in significant suburban growth. By 1990, Carrollton’s population had reached 82,169; by 2010, it had increased even further to 119,097.

Carrollton Square

Carrollton – one of the best places to live in the US

Carrollton has consistently placed in many lists of “the best places to live” in Texas and the USA. Residents are drawn to the city’s high quality of life, good schools, abundant parks and outdoor spaces, and safe neighborhoods. 

  • 2006 – One of the “Top 100 Places to Live” by Relocate America.
  • 2006 – 19th best place to live in the United States by Money magazine.
  • 2013 – Third best place to live in America by Areavibes.com.
  • 2015 – Tenth best place to live in Texas by Nerdwallet.com.
  • 2019 – 39th best place to live in Texas by ChamberofCommerce.org.

Carrollton was also ranked ninth in a Better Homes and Gardens HomeCity list of “The 25 Best Cities to Do Business in Texas” in 2020. The high number of businesses per 100 residents (10.3) and the high number of residents with at least a bachelor’s degree are the factors behind Carrollton’s impressive ranking.

Due to its proximity to major cities, high livability, excellent business opportunities, and general quality of life, it’s easy to see why Carrollton continues to attract people who wish to live and do business here. It’s a big city that still feels like a small town where residents know and care about each other. In Carrollton, everything feels connected, and it’s not just by rails and highways. It’s also connected to its past and history and in the sense that family, friends, and neighbors feel rooted here.

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