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Today, Plano boasts a population of 260,000 residents and is the ninth-largest city in Texas. Most of the city’s 72 square miles lie within the boundaries of Collin County, with three square miles in Denton County. Since 2000, Plano has added 37,811 residents to its roles. During the same period, Collin County has grown 59 percent to a population of 782,341.

Located 19 miles north of Dallas in north-central Texas, Plano is home to four Fortune 1000 organizations: JCPenney, Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, Rent-a-Center and Cinemark. Headquarters of major corporations include Frito Lay, HP Enterprise Services, Ericsson and Pizza Hut.

Not surprisingly, according to a 2008 survey of 69 U.S. cities with populations of more than 250,000 by Salary.com, Plano ranks #1 as the best place to build personal wealth and raise a family. A Reuters article (6/30/08) cited the attraction of large business to the city. Measurements considered in the survey included earnings, cost of living and unemployment rates, diversity of industry, education level of the cities' population, nearness to post-secondary institutions, percent of population below poverty level and median travel time to work.

The acclaimed Plano Independent School District (PISD) has long been a source of pride within the community. In August 2010, the Texas Education Agency rated PISD as Exemplary on all 25 academic indicators. Of the district’s 70 schools, 34 campuses also received an Exemplary rating. In addition, 23 Plano ISD schools have been honored with the prestigious National Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence award by the U.S. Department of Education. Three of the schools have been twice awarded through the national program.

Plano’s legacy of literacy goes further. According to a 2009 study by Central Connecticut State University of America’s most literate cities, Plano ranked #2 among cities 250,000 or larger in level of education. Educational literacy was evaluated on the percentage of the adult population with a high school diploma or higher and with a bachelor's degree or higher. Plano boasts 53 percent of adults with a bachelor’s degree or above.

A great place to live, Plano recently ranked as the safest city in the U.S. with a population more than 250,000, according to a study by Forbes magazine. In a 2010 article titled “America’s Safest Cities,” Forbes rated communities based on the number of violent crimes per 100,000 residents in 2009, as reported by the FBI, as well as on the number of traffic fatalities per 100,000 residents using 2008 data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

With a reputation as one of the best places to work and live in the U.S., Plano sees a bright future ahead.

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