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With a population of about 278,859, Plano is no longer just a suburb of Dallas but is a city of its own. Plano's location, just 19 miles due north of downtown Dallas, and its nationally recognized public school system make this city a popular choice for those moving to the Dallas area. Plano has 71.6 square miles. Most of this is in Collin County, but Denton County claims 3.1 square miles of Plano; both counties are among the fastest growing counties in the United States. Average elevation of Plano is 675 feet above sea level.
Almost 75% of Plano households earn two incomes, with a average family income of $114,060. Plano is the world headquarters of EDS, with some 10,000 employees, JC Penney, Frito-Lay, and Dr Pepper, as well as home to many information technology and telecommunications companies. Within Plano's city limits, there are more than 80,000 jobs. Plano has a strong retail base with Collin Creek Mall; more than 60 retail centers are located throughout the city. Restaurants from fast-food franchises to full-service restaurants, coffee shops, and tearooms are everywhere.
Plano ISD has received national recognition for its outstanding system of 55 schools with an enrollment of about 51,039. Higher education is also available with the Collin County Community College, whose Plano Spring Creek campus opened in 1988 and now has an enrollment of about 9,000 students per semester. Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University has chosen Plano as the site for a satellite campus. Also, the University of Texas at Dallas, a 4- year university specializing in science, engineering, management, and social science, is at Plano's southern border in Richardson.
For those interested insports, Plano offers municipal and private golf courses, tennis, swimming, indoor ice skating, and other team sports. For fishing, boating, and water sports, area lakes are within close driving distance. Located just 20 miles north of downtown Dallas, Plano is the largest city in Collin County. It is the fasting growing city in Texas and the fifth fastest growing city in the United States, adding almost 30,000 new residents. Plano residents enjoy a high quality of life. The city features 85 city parks, on more than 3,600 acres, three public libraries with more than 354,000 volumes, three public golf courses, five public swimming pools and dozens of athletic facilities.
Plano also draws more than 300.000 visitors annually for the Plano Balloon Festival. Plano had the lowest crime rate for Texas cities with more than 100,000 residents, and actively are the Neighborhood Crime Watch groups. Plano is known for its world-class corporate community with companies such as EDS, JCPenny, Frito Lay, Alcatel, With 21 Blue Ribbon Schoolsand an average SAT score of 1,126 Plano graduates are prepared for college.