Arlington is a city in the U.S. state of Texas, within the Dallas–Fort Worth–Arlington metropolitan area and Tarrant County. According to the U.S. Census Bureau's estimate, the city had a population of almost 374,000 at the end of 2011, making it the third largest municipality in the metropolitan area. Arlington is the fiftieth most populous city in the United States and the seventh most populous city in the state of Texas; it is also the largest city in the state that is not a county seat.
Located approximately east of downtown Fort Worth and west of downtown Dallas, Arlington is home to the University of Texas at Arlington, a doctoral-granting institution, and a General Motors assembly plant. Additionally Arlington hosts the Texas Rangers' Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, AT&T Stadium, the International Bowling Campus (which houses the United States Bowling Congress, International Bowling Museum and the International Bowling Hall of Fame), the headquarters for American Mensa, and the theme parks Six Flags Over Texas (the original Six Flags) and Hurricane Harbor. Arlington is the headquarters of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Region IV.
European settlement in the Arlington area dates back at least to the 1840s. After the May 24, 1841 battle between Texas General Edward H. Tarrant (Tarrant County is named after him) and Native Americans of the Village Creek settlement, a trading post was established at Marrow Bone Spring in present-day Arlington (historical marker at ). The rich soil of the area attracted farmers, and several agriculture-related businesses were well established by the late nineteenth century.
Large-scale industrialization began in 1954 with the arrival of a General Motors assembly plant. Automotive and aerospace development gave the city one of the nation's greatest population growth rates between 1950 and 1990. Arlington became one of the "boomburbs," the extremely fast-growing suburbs of the post-World War II era. U.S. Census Bureau population figures for the city tell the story: 7,692 (1950), 90,229 (1970), 261,721 (1990), 365,438 (2010) and almost 374,000 by 2011. Tom Vandergriff served as mayor from 1951 to 1977 during this period of explosive development. Six Flags Over Texas opened in Arlington in 1961. In 1972 the Washington Senators baseball team relocated to Arlington and began play as the Texas Rangers and in 2009 the Dallas Cowboys also began to play at newly constructed Cowboys Stadium, now AT&T Stadium.
Cathy Brown of The Dallas Morning News said in 1998 that "In addition, since Arlington's shirt collar is getting bluer, the flavor of the entire city is changing. The North Central Texas area now has Colleyville, Southlake, Grapevine to be what Arlington used to be. The decisions which produced the fade to blue were made too long ago for any of us today to alter."
Arlington is the largest city in the world without a fixed bus-route, light-rail or commuter train system of mass transit.