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The Best Southwest is a term commonly applied to four Dallas suburbs – Cedar Hill, DeSoto, Duncanville, and Lancaster – in southwestern Dallas County, Texas, United States. As of the 2010 census, the four suburbs had a combined population of 168,960.

The term "Best Southwest" was first used when the Cedar Hill, DeSoto, Duncanville, and Lancaster chambers of commerce formed a partnership to improve cooperation between the cities. They formed the Best Southwest Chamber Partnership in 1986, and it was incorporated in 1990.

The four municipalities, which are similar in population and form one of the most demographically diverse regions in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex, frequently work together on local events and projects.


Best Southwest area demographics based on 2000 census data.

Total Population 131,714
Households 45,535
Families 36,331

Racial makeup

White 69,367 52.66%
African American 50,589 38.41%
Asian 1,937 1.47%
Native American 521 0.40%
Some other race 6,699 5.15%
Two or more races 2,527 1.92%
Hispanics or Latinos of any race 15,095 11.46%

Economic characteristics

Median income (household) $53,293
Median income (family) $58,991
Median income (males) $38,953
Median income (females) $31,546
Per capita income $22,674

Population growth history

City 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010
Cedar Hill 2,610 6,849 19,988 32,093 45,028
DeSoto 6,617 15,538 30,544 37,646 49,047
Duncanville 14,105 27,781 35,008 36,081 38,524
Lancaster 10,522 14,807 22,117 25,894 36,361
Total 33,854 64,975 107,657 131,714 168,960


Colleges and Universities

  • Northwood University (Cedar Hill)
  • Cedar Valley College (Lancaster) - part of the Dallas College system

Public schools

Four school districts serve most of the Best Southwest area:

  • Cedar Hill Independent School District [1] (2005-2006 enrollment: 7,972)
Cedar Hill ISD serves most of Cedar Hill as well as small portions of Grand Prairie and Ovilla. The district has 14 campuses (two high schools, a ninth-grade center, two middle schools, three intermediate schools, and six elementary schools).
  • DeSoto Independent School District [2] (2005-2006 enrollment: 8,409)
DeSoto ISD covers most of DeSoto, the Dallas County portion of Glenn Heights, and a small portion of Ovilla. The district has 12 campuses (one high school, a freshman Ccampus, three middle schools, and seven elementary schools - four in DeSoto and one in Glenn Heights).
  • Duncanville Independent School District [3] (2005-2006 enrollment: 12,327)
The largest of the Best Southwest school districts, Duncanville ISD serves Duncanville, part of northwestern DeSoto, and a significant portion of southwest Dallas. The district has 16 campuses (one high school, three middle Sschools, three intermediate schools, and nine elementary schools - six in Duncanville and three in Dallas).
  • Lancaster Independent School District [4] (2005-2006 enrollment: 5,822)
A fast-growing district, Lancaster ISD covers most of Lancaster and a very small portion of Hutchins. The district has nine campuses (one high school, one middle Sschool, and seven elementary schools).

Other school districts that serve parts of the Best Southwest area include the Dallas Independent School District [5] (small portions of Lancaster and DeSoto) and the Midlothian Independent School District [6], which serves the small Ellis County portion of Cedar Hill.

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