Ranked No. 3 on Kiplinger magazine's list of 10 Great Places to Live, College Station has been recognized as one of the nation's top 10 places for business, jobs, families and retirees. In addition, the city has been named America's No. 1 college town and was a finalist for the nation's friendliest. With a population of more than 107,000, it ranks among the 15 fastest-growing metros in the country. In addition, College Station boasts one of the lowest property tax rates in Texas.
College Station is home to Texas A&M University, one of the country's five largest public universities. The Aggies are members of the powerful Southeastern Conference, making big-time college sports a major local attraction. A&M's international influence supplies a healthy diversity of race, culture, and nationality that reflects much of the vibrancy, tradition and spirit that make the community a special place.
College Station is located in the heart of central Texas within a three-hour drive of five of the nation's 20 largest cities. A network of well-maintained highways and a regional airport served by major airlines provides convenient access from just about anywhere. College Station is the only city in the country with nationally accredited departments -- parks, public works, water, fire, police and public safety communications.
Safe and family-friendly
College Station is among the safest and most family-friendly places in Texas, consistently maintaining one of the state's lowest crime rates. Kiplinger's has also ranked College Station among the nation's 10 best places to raise a family. The College Station Independent School District is rated among the state's best and has produced more than 100 national merit semifinalists in the last decade.
The George Bush Presidential Library and Museum is one of the region's most popular tourist attractions with more than 125,000 annual visitors. Former President George H. W. Bush and Barbara make College Station their second home and are often seen around town.
College Station's 55 public parks cover more than 1,377 acres, with many providing amenities such as tennis and basketball courts, swimming pools, dog parks, playgrounds, picnic pavilions, walking/jogging and nature trails, a competition-quality skate park, and a large outdoor amphitheater and festival site.
The city offers a variety of adult and youth recreational programs suchas softball, basketball, volleyball and kickball leagues, summer swim lessons, and a competitive swim team, just to name a few.
In 2015, College Station ranked No. 2 nationally on Forbes magazine's list of the Best Small Places for Business and Careers. The city has worked closely with Texas A&M and the City of Bryan to develop the Biocorridor, a high-tech research area that will spark the area's economic growth for years to come.
In 2013, pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline announced plans for a $91 million influenza vaccine manufacturing facility that will anchor the Center for Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing. In the next 25 years, the center is expected to create about 7,000 jobs across Texas. In May 2016, the area's unemployment rate stood at 3.3 percent, which ranks among the lowest in Texas and nationally.
College Station History
In 2013, College Station celebrated the 75th anniversary of its incorporation as a city. The community's origins go back to the founding of Texas A&M College, which opened in 1876 as Texas' first state institution of higher education.
Because of the school's isolation, school administrators provided facilities for those who were associated with the college. The campus became the focal point of community development. The area was designated as College Station, Texas by the Postal Service in 1877. The name was derived from the train station located to the west of the campus.
Growth of both the community and college influenced residents' desire to create a municipal government, and the City of College Station was incorporated in 1938. The incorporation was a result of a petition by 23 men, representing on and off campus interests, to the board of directors of the college. The board of directors had no objection to the annexation and suggested that a belt around the campus be included in the proposed city.
Citizens voted 217 to 39 on Oct. 19, 1938, to incorporate. The first city council meeting was held on Feb. 25, 1939, in the Administration Building on the A&M campus.
The city council adopted a governmental structure similar to the council-manager form of government. At the time of incorporation, state law did not allow a general law city to hire a city manager. As a result, College Station employed a business manager until 1943 when state law was changed to permit general law cities to make use of the council-manager form of government. In fact, College Station was the first general law city in the State of Texas to employ a city manager. When College Station's population exceeded 5,000 in 1952, College Station voters approved a home rule charter that provided for the council-manager form of government.