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, 2012, the population estimate from the US census was 672,538, making it the 19th most populous city in the United States. Its metropolitan area covers all of El Paso and Hudspeth counties, with a population of 830,735. The El Paso MSA forms part of the larger El Paso–Las Cruces CSA, with a population of 1,045,180 as of the 2012 Census estimate.
El Paso stands on the Rio Grande (Río Bravo del Norte), across the border from Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico. The two cities, along with Las Cruces, form a combined international metropolitan area, sometimes referred as the Paso del Norte or El Paso-Juarez-Las Cruces, with over 2.7 million people. The El Paso-Juárez region is the largest bilingual, binational work force in the Western Hemisphere.
In February 2013, El Paso was ranked the safest large city in the United States for the third straight year. El Paso has been ranked in the top three safest large cities since 1997. The city received an All-America City Award in 2010.
El Paso 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. The center includes institutions like the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center at El Paso, the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine and the Gayle Greve Hunt School of Nursing. El Paso's primary house of higher learning, University of Texas at El Paso, was rated the 7th best university in Washington Monthly's 2013 National Universities Rankings. The city is host to the annual Sun Bowl, the second oldest bowl game in the country.
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).