Plano ( /pleɪnoʊ/) is an affluent city in the state of Texas, located mostly within Collin County. The city's population was 259,841 at the 2010 census, making it the ninth-largest city in Texas (Corpus Christi is ranked at #8 and Laredo is ranked at #10) and the 71st most populous city in the United States. Plano is located within the metropolitan area commonly referred to as the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex. The city is home to many corporate headquarters, including Alliance Data, Cinemark Theatres, Dell Services, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Ericsson, Frito-Lay, HP Enterprise Services, J. C. Penney, Pizza Hut, Rent-A-Center, and Siemens PLM Software.
In 2005, Plano was designated the best place to live in the Western United States by CNN Money magazine. In 2006, Plano was selected as the 11th best place to live in the United States by CNN Money magazine. Plano schools consistently score among the highest in the nation. It has been rated as the wealthiest city in the United States by CNN Money with a poverty rate of less than 6.4%. In 2008, Forbes.com selected Plano, University Park, and Highland Park as the three "Top Suburbs To Live Well" of Dallas. The United States Census Bureau declared Plano the wealthiest city of 2008 by comparing the median household income for all U.S. cities whose populations were greater than 250,000. The annual Plano Balloon Festival and the Plano International Festival are two of the city's premiere cultural and entertainment events. In October 2010, Forbes magazine named Plano the safest city to live in America with a population greater than 250,000.
Settlers came to the area near present-day Plano in the early 1840s. Facilities such as a sawmill, a gristmill, and a store soon brought more people to the area. Mail service was established, and after rejecting several names for the budding town (including naming it in honor of then-President Millard Fillmore), the locals suggested the name Plano (from the Spanish word for "flat"), a reference to the local terrain. The name was accepted by the post office. In 1872, the completion of the Houston and Central Texas Railway helped the city grow, and the city was officially incorporated in 1873. The population grew to more than 500 by 1874. In 1881, a fire raged through the central business district, destroying most of the buildings. The town was rebuilt and business again flourished through the 1880s.