Abilene ( AB-i-leen) is a city in Taylor and Jones counties in West Texas, United States.
The population was 117,063 according to the 2010 census, making it the 27th-most populous city in the state of Texas. It is the principal city of the Abilene Metropolitan Statistical Area, which had a 2011 estimated population of 166,416. It is the county seat of Taylor County. Dyess Air Force Base is located on the west side of the city.
Abilene is located off Interstate 20, between exits 279 on its western edge and 292 on the east. Abilene is 150 miles (240 km) west of Fort Worth, Texas. The city is looped by I-20 to the north, US 83/84 on the west, and Loop 322 to the east. A railroad divides the city down the center into north and south.
The historic downtown area is on the north side of the railroad. The fastest-growing sections of the city are growing to the southwest, along Southwest Drive, the Winters Freeway, and the Buffalo Gap Road corridor; the southeast, along Loop 322, Oldham Lane, Industrial Drive, and Maple Street; and in the northeast near the intersection of SH 351 and I-20. Many developments have begun in these three areas within the last few years. Three lakes are in the city, Lytle Lake on the western edge of Abilene Regional Airport, Kirby Lake on the southeast corner of the US 83/84 and Loop 322 interchange, and Lake Fort Phantom Hill in Jones County in northern Abilene.
The largest hospital facility in the area is the Hendrick Medical Center, opened in 1934, and now consists of a 504-bed hospital facility, and employs 2,600 staff. It is one of seven healthcare institutions affiliated with the Baptist General Convention of Texas. The Abilene Regional Medical Center was built by a group of physicians in 1968 as the West Texas Medical Center. It has a 231-bed hospital, with 200 physicians and 800 staff.
The Presbyterian Medical Care Mission was founded in 1983 as a medical and dental clinic. Its services are focused to low-income individuals and families without insurance.
The cultural aspects of Abilene center around a mix of the local college and university campuses, the agriculture community of the surrounding area, and the numerous evangelical churches present. The Abilene Arts Alliance captured the essence of the city with "Frontiering", a brand name for the city introduced in November 2008 to connect its pioneer spirit with its modern efforts to push the boundaries of education, technology, transportation, energy, the arts, and health care. Abilene is also home to the restored Paramount Theatre, The Abilene Philharmonic, The Grace Museum, the Center for Contemporary Arts, the National Center for Children's Illustrated Literature, The Abilene Zoo, Frontier Texas!, the 12th Armored Division Museum, Taylor County Coliseum, six libraries (three private, three public), 26 public parks, six television stations, and several radio stations, including one NPR station (89.5 KACU).
The economy in Abilene was originally based on the livestock and agricultural sectors, but has since evolved and is now based strongly on government, education, healthcare, and manufacturing. The petroleum industry is prevalent in the surrounding area also. The city has established incentives to bring new businesses to the area, including job training grants, relocation grants, and more.
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How did Texas earn the grade of B? We examined the state taxes based on how age friendly they are. Texas has a state sales tax of 6.25%. Of particular interest is that Texas does not have taxes on social security. There are no estate taxes. There are no taxes imposed on inheritance. Texas has an effective property tax rate of 1.86%. Weighing these taxes and other taxes most likely to impact the aging population is how Texas earned its state tax grade of B.
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