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City of McAllen
—  City  —
Nickname(s): City of Palms
Location within the state of Texas
Coordinates: 26°12′59″N 98°14′11″W / 26.21639°N 98.23639°W / 26.21639; -98.23639Coordinates: 26°12′59″N 98°14′11″W / 26.21639°N 98.23639°W / 26.21639; -98.23639
Country United StatesUnited States
State TexasTexas
County Hidalgo
 - Type Council-Manager
 - City Council Mayor Richard F. Cortez
Scott Crane
Marcus Barrera
Hilda Salinas
Aida Ramirez
John Ingram
Jim Darling
 - City Manager Mike Perez
 - City 119.8 km2 (46.3 sq mi)
 - Land 119.1 km2 (46.0 sq mi)
 - Water 0.8 km2 (0.3 sq mi)
Elevation 37 m (121 ft)
Population (2000)
 - City 106,414 (city proper)
 Density 893.8/km2 (2,314.7/sq mi)
 Metro 569,463
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
 - Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes 78501-78505
Area code(s) 956
FIPS code 48-45384[1]
GNIS feature ID 1374829[2]

McAllen is the largest city in Hidalgo County, Texas, United States. It is located at the southern tip of Texas in an area known as the Rio Grande Valley and is part of the American Southwest. The population was 106,414 at the 2000 census, while the McAllen–EdinburgMission Metropolitan Statistical Area had a population of 569,463; rapid growth pushed the metropolitan area's population to 710,514 by 2007.[3] It is the 187th largest city in the U.S. and the 70th largest metropolitan area. Its southern boundary is located about five miles from the U.S.-Mexico border and the Mexican city of Reynosa, the Rio Grande River and about 70 miles west of South Padre Island and the Gulf of Mexico. McAllen is one of the fastest growing cities in the country.



McAllen is located at 26°12′59″N 98°14′11″W / 26.21639°N 98.23639°W / 26.21639; -98.23639 (26.216263, -98.236385)[4].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 46.3 square miles (119.8 km²). 46.0 square miles (119.1 km²) of it is land and 0.3 square miles (0.8 km²) of it (0.63%) is water.

Although McAllen is named the City of Palms, tropical vegetation is only locally dominant. There are many deciduous trees such as Rio Grande Ash (Fraxinus berlandieriana), Cedar Elm (Ulmus crassifolia), Sugarberry (Celtis laevigata) and Honey Mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa). In winter, when these trees are bare, many neighbourhoods take on a much more temperate appearance..


McAllen has a humid subtropical climate, similar to that of the Tampa Bay Area of Florida but with less precipitation and slightly higher summer maximum temperatures. The average high in January is 70 °F and the average low is 50 °F. The average high is 96 °F and the average low is 76 °F in August. The warm season is long, as average high temperatures are above 90°F (32 °C) and average low temperatures are above 70 °F (21 °C), with relatively high dew point values resulting in higher relative humidity values and heat index values from May through September.

Average annual precipitation is only 22.96 inches (583 mm). Most precipitation occurs in the warm season, with the least precipitation distinctly occurring in the cooler winter. As September is the peak of the North Atlantic Hurricane Season and tropical storms and hurricanes occasionally drop copious amounts of rainfall on the region, this month tends to be by far the wettest, averaging 4.08 inches (104 mm) of rain. The driest month is March, with only 0.72 inches (18 mm) of precipitation.

Despite frequent temperatures above 100 °F (38 °C), occasionally as early as February and as late as the end of October, the highest temperature ever recorded in McAllen is only 110 °F (43 °C), once in 1998 and once in 1999. The lowest temperature ever recorded in McAllen is 13 °F (-11 °C), on January 12, 1962.

Its unique location at the meeting of several different climates (subtropical, Chihuahuan desert, gulf coast, and great plains) has garnered a well deserved reputation as a Birding delight.

Climate data for McAllen, Texas
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 69.9
Average low °F (°C) 50.3
Precipitation inches (mm) 1.22
Source: National Weather Service[5]


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 106,414 people, 33,151 households, and 26,089 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,314.7 people per square mile (893.8/km²). There were 37,922 housing units at an average density of 824.9/sq mi (318.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 78.46% White, 0.61% African American, 0.40% Native American, 4.93% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 15.85% from other races, and 2.71% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 77.28% of the population.

There were 33,151 households out of which 43.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.0% were married couples living together, 16.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 21.3% were non-families. 17.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.18 and the average family size was 3.64.

In the city the population was spread out with 30.8% under the age of 18, 10.5% from 18 to 24, 29.3% from 25 to 44, 18.9% from 45 to 64, and 10.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30 years. For every 100 females there were 90.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $33,641, and the median income for a family was $36,050. Males had a median income of $30,089 versus $22,480 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,939. About 20.9% of families and 23.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 30.5% of those under age 18 and 20.3% of those age 65 or over.

Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1910 150
1920 5,331 3,454.0%
1930 9,074 70.2%
1940 11,877 30.9%
1950 20,067 69.0%
1960 32,728 63.1%
1970 37,636 15.0%
1980 66,281 76.1%
1990 89,000 34.3%
2000 106,414 19.6%



Mass transit

Public Transportation for the City of McAllen began in June 1997. In the beginning, McAllen’s public transportation system, McAllen Express (ME), was administered by the Lower Rio Grande Development Council. Since 2005, McAllen Express Transit (MET) has been operated as a Department of the City of McAllen. MET now has seven fixed routes serving residents and visitors of McAllen. MET operates six days out of the week, 13 hours per day. In 2003, changes in the census affected McAllen’s urbanized area, and MET lost $1.5 million in operating funds. Nonetheless, the City of McAllen has worked diligently to ensure that service levels are maintained, and continues to plan for service improvements. Ridership in 1997 totaled 42,578 passenger trips. The first full year of operation was in 1998, and the ridership recorded for that year was 201,506 passenger trips. In 2008 McAllen Express Transit accomplished record high numbers in ridership, totalling 412,151 passenger trips, accounting for more that twice the ridership recorded in 1998.


Adults Students Elderly
$1.00 $0.50 $0.50

The City of McAllen also operates the bus terminal facility in downtown McAllen, known as McAllen Central Station. Central Station serves as a hub for MET as well as 14 private domestic and international bus lines. Approximately 60 buses depart from Central Station on a daily basis. Central Station also hosts 2 million visitors per year. McAllen Central Station has been the first successful terminal of its kind in the region and has become a model facility for agencies such as Brownsville, Houston, and Baytown.


US Highway 83 running through a major retail district of McAllen.

U.S. 83 travels through McAllen as its major east-west artery. It runs less than a mile south of downtown McAllen.



Paseo Plaza at 10th Street and U.S. Highway 83

Prior to ratification of the North American Free Trade Agreement, economic activity in McAllen was centered around agriculture and petroleum.

A Foreign trade zone is located on the southwest side of the city. In addition to the industrial activity, there is a vibrant retail sector that is dependent on purchases made by wealthier, and largely, Mexican middle and upper middle-class consumers. This sector benefits greatly from the express highway links, on the Mexican side of the border, to Monterrey, Cd. Victoria and Tampico.

For the past couple of years, Mcallen's economy has been improving and has become one of the best improving economies in the United States. Also, the real estate market has been growing in the metro area. In a Forbes article on the internet, McAllen was number one in the best real estate markets in the United States. Even when the rest of the country has been affected be the financial crisis, McAllen hasn't been affected yet, instead, it is still growing.

McAllen has the second highest per capita health-care costs in the United States.[7]

Media and journalism

Television stations

Radio stations

  • KCAS The New KCAS 91.5 FM -
  • KURV 710 AM News Talk Radio
  • XERDO LA RADIO 1450 AM (Spanish Oldies/News)
  • XEMS Radio Mexicana 1490 AM (Regional Mexican)
  • XHRYS Uni 90.1 FM (Spanish Hit Radio)
  • XHRYN Uni 90.5 FM (Spanish Hit Radio)
  • XHRYA MasMusic 90.9FM (Bilingual Hit Music)
  • XMLS EXA 91.3 FM (Spanish Hit Radio)
  • XHAAA La Caliente 93.1 FM (Mexican Norteño)
  • KFRQ Q94.5 FM (Classic/Modern/Hard Rock) Official Site
  • XHRT Xtrema 95.3 FM (Spanish Hit Radio)
  • KBTQ Recuerdo 96.1 FM (Mexican Oldies)
  • KVMV Family Friendly & Commercial Free 96.9 FM (Adult Contemporary Christian)
  • KGBT-FM Solamente Exitos 98.5 FM (Mexican Norteño)
  • KKPS Que Pasa 99.5 FM (Local Tejano Music) Official Site
  • KTEX South Texas Country 100.3 FM (Country)
  • KNVO-FM Super Star 101.1 FM (Bilingual Hit Music) Official Site
  • XHAVO 101.5 FM 92.7 Musica International
  • KBFM Wild 104.1 FM (Hip-Hop/R&B)
  • KJAV The Jack 104.9 FM ("Jack" Format)
  • KSOX Oldies 105.5 FM (Oldies)
  • KHKZ Hot Kiss 106.3 FM (Hot AC) Official Site
  • XHVTH La mas buena 107.1 FM (Mexican Norteño)
  • KVLY Mix 107.9 FM (Hot AC) Official Site


Area newspapers


Area colleges and universities

Area school districts

McAllen Independent School District serves most of the city. Portions of the city extend into Edinburg Consolidated Independent School District, Hidalgo Independent School District, La Joya Independent School District, Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District, Sharyland Independent School District, and Valley View Independent School District.

In addition, residents are allowed to apply to magnet schools operated by the South Texas Independent School District. Idea Public Schools also has Quest Academy in North McAllen (mile 17 &1/2 and Rooth road) Idea Public Schools uses the IB curriculum, and the first one in Donna TX currently is a full K-12 environment. The new locations are expected to follow the same path.

McAllen ISD is also home to other IB schools-like Lamar Academy (Diploma Program/Middle Years Programme), De Leon M.S., Cathey M.S., Travis M.S., and Fossum M.S.(Middle Years Program).

McAllen Schools

Architecture and points of interest

  • Tallest buildings
  1. Chase Texas Tower (tallest tower in McAllen)
  2. BBVA Compass Tower
  3. Bentsen Tower
  4. Embassy Suites Hotel
  5. Mcallen Medical Center
  6. Rio Grande Regional Hospital
  • Gardens
  1. McAllen Botanical Gardens
  2. Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge
  3. Quinta Mazatlan
  • Others
  1. Microsoft Repair Shop
  2. Mcallen Convention Center
  3. La Plaza Mall
  4. Rio Grande Speedway
  5. Dodge Arena(Hidalgo,Texas)Hidalgo, Texas
  6. South Texas College
  7. International Museum of Art
  8. Cine El Rey
  9. Things to do in McAllen Texas/Rio Grande Valley

Surrounding cities

Nearest cities

Nearest major cities

Recreation and Sports

Birdwatching - The McAllen is positioned on the migratory path between North and South America, presenting bird and butterfly expeditions. The landscape hosts a diverse wildlife population.

McAllen has hosted the NAIA national football championship and NCAA Division II national football championship games in the 1980s. McAllen is home to Rio Grande Speedway, a 1/4 mile dirt track with races the 1st, and 3rd Saturday of each month from March through November, and a national multi-day event around December.

See also


External links

McAllen, Texas
Attractions & Sports

Dodge Arena  • Rio Grande Valley Dorados  • Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees  • Rio Grande Valley Vipers


Inter National Bank  • Lone Star National Bank  • Rio Bank  • McAllen Express Transit  • The Monitor (Texas)


International Museum of Art & Science  • McAllen Botanical Gardens  • Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge


South Texas College  • McAllen Independent School District  • South Texas Independent School District  • Idea Public Schools


Television:  • XHFOX  • XHRIO  • KGBT  • XHAB  • XERV  • XHREY  • KVEO  • KTLM  • KNVO  • XHVTV  • KTIZ  • KMBH  • XHOR


McAllen-Miller International Airport  • McAllen–Hidalgo–Reynosa International Bridge  • Pharr–Reynosa International Bridge  • Anzalduas International Bridge  •


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