Richardson is a city in Dallas and Collin counties in the State of Texas. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 99,223. In 2011 the population was estimated to be 101,742. Richardson is an affluent inner suburb of Dallas and home of The University of Texas at Dallas and the Telecom Corridor with a high concentration of telecommunications companies. More than 5,000 businesses have operations within Richardson's , including many of the world's largest telecommunications/networking companies: AT&T, Ericsson, Verizon, Cisco Systems, Samsung, MetroPCS, Texas Instruments, TriQuint Semiconductor, and Fujitsu.
In 2006, Richardson was ranked as the 15th best place to live in the United States by Money magazine. This ranked Richardson the 3rd best place to live in Texas. In 2007, the Morgan Quitno 14th Annual America's Safest and Most Dangerous Cities Awards pronounced Richardson the 69th safest city in America. In the same study Richardson ranked the 5th safest city in Texas. In 2008, Richardson was ranked as the 18th best place to live in the United States by Money magazine. This ranked Richardson the 4th best place to live in Texas. In 2009, Business Week's annual report on the "Best Places to Raise Kids," ranked Richardson 2nd in Texas. Richardson was the first North Texas city recognized as a best workplace for commuters by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the United States Department of Transportation in 2004. As of 2010 the city has continued to be recognized every year since 2004. In 2011 the Texas Recreation and Park Society awarded Richardson with the Texas Gold Medal for excellence in the field of recreation and park management. In 2014, Richardson was called the "5th happiest mid-sized city in America" by national real estate website and blog, Movoto.com, based on a number of metrics, such as low unemployment, low crime, and high income. Also in 2014 Richardson was named America's 17th Best City to Live in by 24/7 Wall St., based on crime, economy, education, housing, environment, leisure and infrastructure.
Settlers from Kentucky and Tennessee came to the Richardson area in the 1840s. Through the 1850s the settlement was located around the present-day site of Richland College. After the Civil War a railroad was built northwest of the original settlement, shifting the village's center closer to the railroad. Richardson was chartered in 1873, and the town was named after railroad contractor E.H. Richardson. In 1908, the Texas Electric Railway an electric railway known as the Interurban, connected Richardson to Denison, Waco, Corsicana and Fort Worth. In 1910 the population was approximately 600. A red brick schoolhouse was built in 1914. The schoolhouse is now the administrative office for the Richardson Independent School District. In 1924 the Red Brick Road, the present-day Greenville Avenue, was completed. The completion of the road brought increased traffic, population and property values. The town incorporated and elected a mayor in 1925. In 1940 the population was approximately 740.
After World War II the city experienced major increases in population, which stood at approximately 1,300 by 1950. Throughout the 1950s the city continued to see growth including the opening of the Collins Radio Richardson office, the Central Expressway, a police department, shopping centers and many homes. Texas Instruments opened its offices in Dallas on the southern border of Richardson in 1956. This was followed by significant gains in land values, population and economic status. In the 1960s Richardson experienced additional growth including several new parks, facilities and the creation of the University of Texas at Dallas within the city limits. By 1972 the population was approximately 56,000. Residential growth continued through the 1970s and slowed in the 1980s. Commercial development increased throughout the 1980s. Richardson had a population of 74,840 according to the 1990 census. Population increases throughout the 1990s was primarily from development of the northeast part of the city. The city of Buckingham, after being completely surrounded by Richardson, was annexed into the city in 1996.
Richardson had a population of 91,802 as of the 2000 census. By 2002 Richardson had four Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) light rail stations and had built the Eisemann Center for Performing Arts and Corporate Presentations and the adjacent Galatyn Park urban center, which has a two-acre public pedestrian plaza, a luxury hotel and mixed-use development. Richardson was a "dry city" with no alcohol sales until November 2006, when the local option election passed to allow the sale of beer and wine in grocery and convenience stores. Richardson received local media attention for removing its rocket slide, space age and Cold War-era playground equipment from Heights Park in July 2008. In the fall of 2008 Peter Perfect, a Style Network television show, came to Richardson. The business-makeover show remodeled SpiritWear, an apparel and embroidery store in the city's historic downtown area. The episode first aired on January 22, 2009. It was the first episode of the series to be filmed outside of California. In an April 2009 interview, Mike Judge said that he modeled Arlen, the setting for King of the Hill, after Richardson.