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, 2014, the population estimate from the U.S. Census was 679,036, making it the 19th most populous city in the United States. Its U.S. metropolitan area covers all of El Paso and Hudspeth counties, with a population of 836,698. The El Paso MSA forms part of the larger El Paso–Las Cruces CSA, with a population of 1,050,374.
El Paso stands on the Rio Grande (Río Bravo del Norte), across the border from Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico. The two cities, along with Las Cruces (in the neighboring state of New Mexico), form a combined international metropolitan area, sometimes referred as the Paso del Norte or El Paso–Juárez–Las Cruces. The region of over 2.7 million people constitutes the largest bilingual-binational work force in the Western Hemisphere.
In 1659, Fray Garcia de San Francisco, established Our Lady of Guadalupe Mission of El Paso del Norte. Around this mission, the village of El Paso del Norte grew into what is now the El Paso–Juárez region. El Paso has been ranked the safest large city in the U.S. for four consecutive years and ranked in the top three since 1997. The city is the headquarters of one Fortune 500 and three publicly traded companies, as well as home to the Medical Center of the Americas, the only medical research and care provider complex in West Texas and southern New Mexico, and the University of Texas at El Paso, the city's primary university. The city hosts the annual Sun Bowl, the second oldest bowl game in the country. In 2010, El Paso received an All-America City Award.
El Paso has a strong federal and military presence. William Beaumont Army Medical Center, Biggs Army Airfield and Fort Bliss call the city home. Fort Bliss is one of the largest military complexes of the United States Army and the largest training area in the United States. 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).