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Abilene is a city in Taylor and Jones counties, in Texas. It is located in the west central part of the state. It is the county seat of Taylor County, and the principal city of the Abilene Metro Area. It has a total area of 110.6 square miles. 105.1 square miles of the area is land, and the rest is water. Lytle Lake on the western edge of Abilene Regional Airport, Kirby Lake on the southeast corner of the US 83/84 & Loop 322 interchange, and Lake Fort Phantom Hill in Jones County in north Abilene are the local water bodies. The town was established in 1881, and named after the city of Abilene, in Kansas. It was incorporated the following year. To the west of the city is the Dyess Air Force Base.
The city is the commercial, retail, medical, and transportation hub of a 19-county area more commonly known as "The Big Country," but also known as the "Texas Midwest". The area surrounding the city is predominantly agricultural. There is also a historic downtown area. Commercial and residential growth has been at record levels for the past decade or so. Public education is administered via the Abilene Independent School District (AISD) and Wylie Independent School District (WISD). There are a number of elementary, middle and high schools, both public and private. Options for higher education include Abilene Christian University, Hardin-Simmons University, McMurry University and a few more. Abilene Regional Airport and Elmdale Airpark Airport are the two major local airports. Hospitals within city limits include Abilene Regional Medical Center, and Hendrick Medical Center.
Recreational options include 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, five libraries (3 private, 2 public), twenty-six public parks, six television stations and several radio stations, including one NPR station (89.7 KACU). There are a number of public parks, as well as events such as The West Texas Fair & Rodeo, The Western Heritage Classic and the Abilene Gem and Mineral Show, and many more. The cost of living here is 17.10% lower than the country average.
This place gets about 24 inches of rain annually. The number of days with measurable precipitation is 65. Snowfall is about 5 inches per year.