Killeen, Texas facts for kids

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Killeen, Texas
City
City of Killeen
Nickname(s): "K-Town" aka "The K"
Motto: "Where freedom grows"
Location of Killeen, Texas
Location of Killeen, Texas
Country  United States
State  Texas
County Bell
Area
 • Total 54.2 sq mi (140.5 km2)
 • Land 53.6 sq mi (138.8 km2)
 • Water 0.7 sq mi (1.7 km2)
Elevation 890 ft (270 m)
Population (2015 est.)
 • Total 140,806
 • Density 2,595.6/sq mi (1,002.2/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes 76540-76549
Area code(s) 254
FIPS code 48-39148
GNIS feature ID 1360642
Website www.killeentexas.gov

Killeen is a city in Bell County, Texas, United States. According to the recent populations estimates, its population was 140,806, making it the 21st most populous city in Texas. It is the principal city of the Killeen–TempleFort Hood Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Killeen is directly adjacent to the main cantonment of Fort Hood, and as such its economy heavily depends on the post and the soldiers (and their families) stationed there. Elvis Presley was stationed there.

History

In 1881, the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway extended its tracks through central Texas, buying 360 acres (1.5 km2) a few miles southwest of a small farming community known as Palo Alto, which had existed since about 1872. The railroad platted a 70-block town on its land and named it after Frank P. Killeen, the assistant general manager of the railroad. By the next year the town included a railroad depot, a saloon, several stores, and a school. Many of the residents of the surrounding smaller communities in the area moved to Killeen, and by 1884 the town had grown to include about 350 people, served by five general stores, two gristmills, two cotton gins, two saloons, a lumberyard, a blacksmith shop, and a hotel. Killeen expanded as it became an important shipping point for cotton, wool, and grain in western Bell and eastern Coryell counties. About 780 people lived in Killeen by 1900. Around 1905, local politicians and businessmen convinced the Texas legislature to build bridges over Cowhouse Creek and other streams, doubling Killeen's trade area. A public water system began operation in 1914 and its population had increased to 1,300 residents.

Until the 1940s Killeen remained a relatively small and isolated farm trade center, but this changed drastically after 1942, when Camp Hood (re-commissioned as Fort Hood in 1950) was created as a military training post to meet the demands of the Second World War. Laborers, construction workers, contractors, soldiers, and their families moved into the area by the thousands, and Killeen became a military boomtown. The opening of Camp Hood also radically altered the nature of the local economy, since the sprawling new military post covered almost half of Killeen's farming trade area. The loss of more than 300 farms and ranches led to the demise of Killeen's cotton gins and other farm-related businesses. New businesses were started to provide services for the military camp. Killeen suffered a recession when Camp Hood was all but abandoned after the end of the Second World War, but when Fort Hood was established as a permanent army post in 1950, the city boomed again. Its population increased from about 1,300 in 1949 to 7,045 in 1950, and between 1950 and 1951 about 100 new commercial buildings were constructed in Killeen.

By 1955, Killeen had an estimated 21,076 residents and 224 businesses. Troop cutbacks and transfers in the mid-1950s led to another recession in Killeen which lasted until 1959, when various divisions were returned to Fort Hood. (Elvis Presley lived in Killeen for a time during his stint in the army.) The town continued to grow through the 1960s, especially after the Vietnam War led to increased activity at Fort Hood. By 1970 Killeen had developed into a city of 35,507 inhabitants and had added a municipal airport, a new municipal library, and a junior college (Central Texas College). By 1980, when the census counted 49,307 people in Killeen, it was the largest city in Bell County. By 1990 its population had increased to 63,535, and 265,301 people lived in the Killeen/Temple metropolitan area. In addition to shaping local economic development after 1950, the military presence at Fort Hood also changed the city's racial, religious, and ethnic composition. No blacks lived in the city in 1950, for example, but by the early 1950s the town had added Marlboro Heights, an all-black subdivision, and in 1956 the city school board voted to integrate the local high school. The city's first resident Catholic priest was assigned to the St. Joseph's parish in 1954, and around the same time, new Presbyterian and Episcopal churches were built. By the 1980s the city had a heterogeneous population including whites, blacks, Mexican Americans, Koreans, and a number of other foreign nationals.

After the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in the late summer of 1990, the city prepared for war, sending thousands of troops from the 2nd Armored Division and the 1st Cavalry Division to the Middle East.

In December 1991, one of Killeen's high school football teams, the Killeen Kangaroos, won the 5-A Division I state football championship by defeating Sugar Land Dulles 14–10 in the Astrodome.

By 2000, the census listed Killeen's population as 86,911, and by 2010 it was over 127,000, making it one of the fastest-growing areas in the nation. A large number of military personnel from Killeen have served in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. As of April 2008, over 400 of its soldiers had died in the two wars.

Geography

Killeen is located in western Bell County at 31°6′20″N 97°43′36″W / 31.10556°N 97.72667°W / 31.10556; -97.72667 (31.105591, −97.726586). It is bordered to the north by Fort Hood and to the east by Harker Heights. Killeen is 16 miles (26 km) west of Belton, the county seat and nearest access to Interstate 35.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 54.2 square miles (140.5 km2), of which 53.6 square miles (138.8 km2) is land and 0.66 square miles (1.7 km2), or 1.24%, is water.

Climate

Climate data for Killeen, Texas
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 88
(31.1)
94
(34.4)
96
(35.6)
98
(36.7)
100
(37.8)
107
(41.7)
109
(42.8)
107
(41.7)
112
(44.4)
102
(38.9)
91
(32.8)
82
(27.8)
112
(44.4)
Average high °F (°C) 58
(14.4)
63
(17.2)
70
(21.1)
78
(25.6)
84
(28.9)
91
(32.8)
95
(35)
96
(35.6)
89
(31.7)
80
(26.7)
68
(20)
60
(15.6)
77.7
(25.37)
Average low °F (°C) 34
(1.1)
38
(3.3)
45
(7.2)
53
(11.7)
61
(16.1)
69
(20.6)
72
(22.2)
71
(21.7)
65
(18.3)
56
(13.3)
44
(6.7)
36
(2.2)
53.7
(12.04)
Record low °F (°C) 5
(-15)
2
(-16.7)
19
(-7.2)
32
(0)
44
(6.7)
51
(10.6)
55
(12.8)
56
(13.3)
42
(5.6)
24
(-4.4)
19
(-7.2)
−2
(-18.9)
−2
(-18.9)
Precipitation inches (mm) 1.66
(42.2)
2.46
(62.5)
2.93
(74.4)
2.46
(62.5)
4.49
(114)
3.70
(94)
1.34
(34)
1.85
(47)
3.13
(79.5)
3.23
(82)
2.93
(74.4)
2.70
(68.6)
32.88
(835.2)
Source: weather.com

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1890 285
1900 780 173.7%
1910 1,265 62.2%
1920 1,208 −4.5%
1930 1,260 4.3%
1940 1,268 0.6%
1950 7,045 455.6%
1960 23,377 231.8%
1970 35,507 51.9%
1980 46,296 30.4%
1990 63,535 37.2%
2000 86,911 36.8%
2010 127,921 47.2%
Est. 2015 140,806 10.1%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2010, there were 127,921 people, 48,052 households, and 33,276 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,458.9 people per square mile (949.3/km²). There were 53,913 housing units at an average density of 999.9 per square mile (386.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 45.1% White, 34.1% Black, 0.8% Native American, 4% Asian, 1.4% Pacific Islander, 7.9% from other races, and 6.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 22.9% of the population.

Among the Hispanic population, 16,321 (12.8%) were of Mexican descent. 8,117 (6.3%) were of Puerto Rican descent, with a sizable population of Central Americans (excluding Mexicans) at 1,758 (1.4%).

There were 48,052 households out of which 40.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.1% were married couples living together, 17.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.8% were non-families. 24.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 3.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.66 and the average family size was 3.17.

In the city, the population was spread out with 33.2% under the age of 20, 38.7% from 20 to 39, 22.8% from 40 to 64, and 5.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 27 years.

The median income for a household in the city was $44,370, and the median income for a family was $36,674. The per capita income for the city was $20,095, compared to the national per capita of $39,997. About 11.2% of families and 16.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.5% of those under age 18 and 8.6% of those age 65 or over.

In 2007, Coldwell Banker ranked Killeen, Texas as the most affordable housing market in the United States with an average cost of $136,725.

Arts and culture

Vive Les Arts Theatre

Killeen is home to Vive Les Arts Theatre, a full-time arts organization which produces several Main Stage and Children's Theatre shows each year.

Luby's massacre

The Luby's massacre was a mass shooting that took place on October 16, 1991, at a Luby's restaurant in Killeen. The perpetrator, George Hennard, drove his pickup truck through the front window of the restaurant, and immediately shot and killed 23 people, and wounded 27 others before fatally shooting himself. It is the fourth deadliest massacre by a single shooter in U.S. history.

Twin towns – Sister cities

Osan, South Korea, has been Killeen's Sister City since 1995.

Killeen is also twinned with San Juan, Puerto Rico.

  • Bell County Historical Commission. Story of Bell County, Texas 2 vols. Austin: Eakin Press, 1988.
  • Duncan Gra'Delle, Killeen: Tale of Two Cities, 1882–1982. Killeen, Texas: 1984.

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