North Texas (also commonly called North Central Texas) is a term used primarily by residents of Dallas, Fort Worth, and surrounding areas to describe much of the north central portion of the U.S. state of Texas.[7][8][9][10] Residents of the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex generally consider North Texas to include the area south of Oklahoma, east of Abilene, west of Paris, and north of Waco.[11] A more precise term for this region would be the northern part of the central portion of Texas. It does not include the Panhandle of Texas, which expands further north than the region previously described, nor does it include most of the region near the northern border of Texas.

North Texas
North Texas counties in red
North Texas counties in red
Country United States
State Texas
Largest city Dallas
 • Total8,584,519[1][2][3][4][5][6]

Today, North Texas is centered upon the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex, the largest metropolitan area in Texas and the Southern United States. People in the Dallas and Fort Worth areas sometimes use the terms "Metroplex", "DFW", and "North Texas" interchangeably. However, North Texas refers to a much larger area that includes many rural counties along the northern border.[12] During the early years of the American Civil War, there were many Unionists in the rural counties, with there being few slaveholders. Many of the largest cities in North Texas outside Dallas and Fort Worth still follow a rural Southern way of life, especially in dialect, mannerisms, religion, and cuisine. Texan English, a dialect unique to the state, is most pronounced in this region.


Indigenous tribes in North Texas included the Caddo, Tawakoni, Wichita, Kickapoo and Comanche.[13][14][15][16] With European colonization, Mexican independence, and Texan independence and annexation to the United States, many of these tribes experienced demographic decline through relocation, slavery, etc. Since European colonization and the independence movements, the North Texas area was settled and most notably developed the cities of Dallas and Fort Worth.


The North Texas climate is subtropical with hot summers. It is also continental, characterized by a wide annual temperature range. Average annual precipitation also varies considerably, ranging from less than 28 to more than 48 inches (700–1200 mm). Severe storms are frequent in the spring, as the area lies in the southern section of "tornado alley".

South is the prevailing wind direction, and southerly winds are frequently high and persist for several days. Strong northerly winds often occur during the passage of cold fronts. Dusty conditions are infrequent, occurring mostly with westerly winds. Dust storm frequency and intensity depend on soil conditions in eastern New Mexico, West Texas, and the Texas Panhandle.

Winters can be mild, but northers occur about three times each month, and often are accompanied by sudden drops in temperature. In Dallas, a record-setting 12.8 inches of snow fell in February 2010. Periods of extreme cold that occasionally occur are short-lived, so that even in January mild weather occurs frequently.[17]

The highest temperatures of summer are associated with fair skies, westerly winds and moderate to high humidities. Characteristically, hot spells in summer are broken into three- to five-day periods by thunderstorm activity. There are only a few nights each summer when the low temperature exceeds 80 °F (27 °C). Summer daytime temperatures frequently exceed 100 °F (38 °C). Air conditioners are recommended for maximum comfort indoors and while traveling via automobile.

Throughout the year, rainfall occurs more frequently during the night. Usually, periods of rainy weather last for only a day or two, and are followed by several days with fair skies. A large part of the annual precipitation results from thunderstorm activity, with occasional heavy rainfall over brief periods of time. Thunderstorms occur throughout the year, but are most frequent in the spring. Hail falls on about two or three days a year, ordinarily with only slight and scattered damage. Windstorms occurring during thunderstorm activity are sometimes destructive. Snowfall is uncommon.

The average length of the warm season (freeze-free period) is about 249 days. The average last occurrence of 32 °F (0 °C) or below is mid March and the average first occurrence of 32 °F or below is in late November.[18]


Although the terms "Northeastern Texas" or "North Texas" are not official state designations, the Texas State Data Center and Office of the State Demographer lists the following counties as belonging to the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG):[19][20]

The Texas State Demographer also lists the following regional county groupings, some or all of which are often included in the informal meaning of the terms "North Texas" or "North Central Texas."

Additionally, some other Texas counties contiguous with those named above are sometimes included in the general meaning of "North Texas."

Major citiesEdit

City Population (2015) State Rank U.S. Rank
1,300,092 3 9
Fort Worth
833,319 5 13
388,125 7 50
264,537 9 69
236,897 12 91
236,607 13 93
Grand Prairie
187,809 15 127
162,898 17 155
154,407 18 162
144,788 20 181
133,168 23 197
131,044 26 202
110,815 32 255
Wichita Falls
104,710 35 285
104,039 36 288
98,143 40
Flower Mound
71,253 50

Other cities and townsEdit

Statistical areasEdit

In the North Texas region there is one combined statistical area, three metropolitan areas, and six micropolitan areas.

Dallas–Fort Worth TX-OK combined statistical areaEdit

Metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs)

Metropolitan divisions in the Dallas–Fort Worth–Arlington MSA:
  Fort Worth–Arlington–Grapevine
  • Dallas–Fort Worth–Arlington is the only MSA in Texas subdivided into metropolitan divisions:
    • Dallas–Plano–Irving (Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Hunt, Kaufman, and Rockwall counties)
    • Fort Worth–Arlington–Grapevine (Johnson, Parker, Tarrant, and Wise counties)
  • Sherman–Denison (Grayson County)

Micropolitan statistical areas (μSAs)

Wichita Falls areaEdit

Metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs)

Micropolitan statistical areas (μSAs)


Micropolitan statistical Areas (μSAs)


Top employersEdit

Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex[23]

Company No. of employees
Type of business
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. 34,000 Retail
American Airlines 27,000 Commercial airline
Texas Health Resources 22,296 Health care
Dallas Independent School District 19,740 Education
Baylor Health Care System 16,500 Health care

Wichita Falls metropolitan area[24]

# Employer # of Employees
1 Sheppard Air Force Base 12,272
2 Wichita Falls Independent School District 2,059
3 North Texas State Hospital 1,974
4 United Regional Health Care System 1,778
5 City of Wichita Falls 1,477
6 Midwestern State University 1,284
7 James V. Allred Unit 971
8 Cryovac 732
9 Work Services Corporation 730
10 Howmet Castings 704

Sherman–Denison metropolitan area[25]

# Employer # of Employees
1 Tyson Foods 1,400
2 Texoma Health Systems 1,375
3 Texas Instruments 1,200
4 Cigna 1,000
5 Wilson N Jones Health Systems 1,000

Colleges and universitiesEdit

Public universities
School Enrollment Location Mascot Athletic Affiliation
University System
The University of North Texas
42,372 Denton Mean Green NCAA Division I FBS
University of North Texas System
University of Texas at Arlington
39,714 Arlington Mavericks NCAA Division I
University of Texas System
University of Texas at Dallas
26,793 Richardson Comets NCAA Division III
(American Southwest)
University of Texas System
Texas Woman's University
15,472 Denton Pioneers NCAA Division II
(Lone Star)
Women's sports only
Tarleton State University
13,049 Stephenville Texans NCAA Division I FCS
Texas A&M University System
Texas A&M University–Commerce
12,385 Commerce Lions NCAA Division I FCS
Texas A&M University System
Midwestern State University
6,080 Wichita Falls Mustangs NCAA Division II
(Lone Star)
University of North Texas at Dallas
3,030 Dallas Trailblazers NAIA
University of North Texas System
Private universities
School Enrollment Location Mascot Athletic Affiliation
Southern Methodist University
11,643 University Park Mustangs NCAA Division I FBS
Texas Christian University
10,323 Fort Worth Horned Frogs NCAA Division I FBS
(Big 12)
Dallas Baptist University
5,445 Dallas Patriots NCAA Division II
(Lone Star)
Non–Football, compete in the Missouri Valley Conference at the Division I level for baseball
Texas Wesleyan University
3,378 Fort Worth Rams NAIA
University of Dallas
2,576 Irving Crusaders NCAA Division III
Non–Football, compete in Texas Rugby Union at the Division II level for Rugby
Southwestern Assemblies of God University
2,012 Waxahachie Lions NAIA NCCAA
Austin College
1,224 Sherman Roos NCAA Division III
Compete in the Southern Athletic Association for football
Paul Quinn College
600 Dallas Tigers NAIA
(Red River)


The North Texas region has teams from the four major professional sports leagues. Major professional sports first came to the area in 1960, when the Dallas Cowboys began competing in the National Football League and the Dallas Texans began competing in the American Football League. (The Texans later relocated to Kansas City and became the Chiefs). In 1972, Major League Baseball's Washington Senators moved to Arlington to become the Texas Rangers, named after the statewide law enforcement agency. The National Basketball Association expanded into North Texas in 1980 when the Dallas Mavericks were added to the league. The fourth sport was added in 1993 when the Minnesota North Stars of the National Hockey League moved to Dallas, becoming the Dallas Stars.

The Major League Soccer team FC Dallas is based in Frisco, and the Dallas Wings of the WNBA plays in Arlington. The area is also home to many minor league professional teams and four colleges that compete in NCAA Division I athletics.

Major professional sports teamsEdit

Club Sport Founded League Venue
Dallas Cowboys
Football 1960 NFL AT&T Stadium
Texas Rangers
Baseball 1972^ MLB Globe Life Field
Dallas Mavericks
Basketball 1980 NBA American Airlines Center
Dallas Stars
Hockey 1993^ NHL American Airlines Center
FC Dallas
Soccer 1996 MLS Toyota Stadium
Dallas Wings
Basketball 2015^ WNBA College Park Center

^- Indicates year team relocated to the area

Other professional teamsEdit

Club Sport Founded League Venue
Allen Americans Hockey 2009 ECHL Credit Union of Texas Event Center
Dallas Jackals Rugby union 2022 Major League Rugby Choctaw Stadium
Dallas Sidekicks Indoor soccer 2012 Major Arena Soccer League Credit Union of Texas Event Center
Frisco Fighters Indoor football 2021 Indoor Football League Comerica Center
Frisco RoughRiders Baseball 2003^ Double-A Central Dr Pepper Ballpark
Fort Worth Vaqueros FC Soccer 2014 National Premier Soccer League Farrington Field
Panther City Lacrosse Club Lacrosse 2021 National Lacrosse League Dickies Arena
Texas Legends Basketball 2010^ NBA G League Comerica Center

^- Indicates year team relocated to the area

Division I college teamsEdit

School City Mascot Conference
University of Texas at Arlington
Arlington Mavericks Sun Belt Conference
University of North Texas
Denton Mean Green Conference USA
Southern Methodist University
University Park Mustangs American Athletic Conference
Texas Christian University
Fort Worth Horned Frogs Big 12 Conference

Texas A&M University–Commerce

Commerce Lions Southland Conference
Dallas Baptist University
Dallas Patriots Missouri Valley Conference (baseball only)

The headquarters for both the Big 12 and Conference USA are located in Irving, and the Southland Conference headquarters are in Frisco.


Commercial airportsEdit

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport

Public transitEdit

Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Major highwaysEdit


Interstate 20
Interstate 35E

U.S. RoutesEdit

U.S. Route 75
U.S. Route 82
U.S. Route 287


Dallas North Tollway

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Hood County, Texas; Erath County, Texas; Denton County, Texas; Ellis County, Texas; Collin County, Texas; Dallas County, Texas". Retrieved 2022-07-20.
  2. ^ "U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Parker County, Texas; Palo Pinto County, Texas; Navarro County, Texas; Kaufman County, Texas; Johnson County, Texas; Hunt County, Texas". Retrieved 2022-07-20.
  3. ^ "U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Baylor County, Texas; Archer County, Texas; Wise County, Texas; Tarrant County, Texas; Somervell County, Texas; Rockwall County, Texas". Retrieved 2022-07-20.
  4. ^ "U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Montague County, Texas; Jack County, Texas; Hardeman County, Texas; Foard County, Texas; Cottle County, Texas; Clay County, Texas". Retrieved 2022-07-20.
  5. ^ "U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts:Grayson County, Texas; Fannin County, Texas; Cooke County, Texas; Young County, Texas; Wilbarger County, Texas; Wichita County, Texas". Retrieved 2022-07-20.
  6. ^ "U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Taylor County, Texas; Jones County, Texas; Haskell County, Texas; Knox County, Texas; Hamilton County, Texas". Retrieved 2022-07-20.
  7. ^ "North Texas Facts and Figures from the North Texas Commission". NTC-DFW. Retrieved 2022-06-02. It is a 9,000-square-mile, 13-county region that is home to 7.5 million people. North Texas is made up of 150 cities – including Dallas and Fort Worth – with 15 of those cities boasting a population of more than 100,000.
  8. ^ "Counties in the North Central Texas Region of Texas - US Travel Notes". Retrieved 2022-06-02.
  9. ^ "Why Grayson County? | North Texas Regional Airport". Retrieved 2022-06-02.
  10. ^ "TSHA | Grayson County". Retrieved 2022-06-02. Grayson County, in north central Texas, is bordered by the Red River and by Fannin, Collin, Denton, and Cooke counties. The county seat, Sherman, which lies approximately sixty-five miles north of Dallas, is part of the Sherman-Denison Metropolitan Statistical Area.
  11. ^ "North Central Texas Council of Governments". Texas Association of Regional Councils. Retrieved 2022-06-02.
  12. ^ W5JCK Map of North-Central Texas Counties
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^ "DFW Climate Narrative".
  19. ^ a b c Counties by Regional Councils of Governments
  20. ^
  21. ^ "Counties". Archived from the original on 2008-11-20. Retrieved 2008-05-20.
  22. ^ Texoma Council of Governments
  23. ^ Dallas Business Journal 2016
  24. ^ City of Wichita CAFR
  25. ^ "Sherman-Denison Employers". Archived from the original on 2015-06-11. Retrieved 2016-06-02.