El Paso (/ɛlˈpæsoʊ/; from Spanish, “the pass”) is the county seat of El Paso County, Texas, United States, and lies in far West Texas. As of July 1, 2012, the population estimate from the US census was 672,538. El Paso is the 19th most populous city in the United States and the sixth most populous city in the state of Texas. Its metropolitan area is the 58th-largest United States metropolitan area and covers all of El Paso and Hudspeth counties, with a population of 830,735. The El Paso MSA forms part of the larger El Paso–Las Cruces combined statistical area, with a total population of 1,045,180 as of the 2012 Census estimate.
El Paso stands on the Rio Grande (Río Bravo del Norte), across the border from Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico. The two cities along with Las Cruces form a combined international metropolitan area, sometimes referred as the Paso del Norte or El Paso-Juarez-Las Cruces, with over 2.7 million people. The El Paso-Juárez region is the largest bilingual, binational work force in the Western Hemisphere, according to a labor report by the Wadley-Donovan Group, a management consulting firm.
In February 2013, El Paso was ranked as the safest large city in the United States for the third straight year according to the annual City Crime Rankings by CQ Press. El Paso has been in the study’s top three safest large cities since 1997. El Paso was also awarded an All-America City Award in 2010, the oldest community-recognition program in the United States.
El Paso is home to one Fortune 500 and three publicly traded companies. The city is also home to the Medical Center of the Americas, the only medical research and care provider complex in West Texas and southern New Mexico. The center includes institutions like the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center at El Paso, the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine and the Gayle Greve Hunt School of Nursing. El Paso is home to the University of Texas at El Paso, rated the 7th best university in Washington Monthly’s 2013 National Universities Rankings.
The city has a strong federal and military presence. El Paso is home to William Beaumont Army Medical Center, Biggs Army Airfield and Fort Bliss, one of the largest military complexes of the United States Army. Fort Bliss is home to the largest training area in the United States. It lies to the east and northeast of the city and its training areas extend north into New Mexico. Also headquartered in El Paso are the DEA domestic field division 7, El Paso Intelligence Center, Joint Task Force North, U.S. Border Patrol El Paso Sector and U.S. Border Patrol Special Operations Group (SOG).