El Paso is the sixth-largest city in Texas. It is located in the far western part of the state on the north bank of the Rio Grande, opposite the Mexican city of Ciudad Juárez on the south bank.
The city's real growth started with the arrival of the Southern Pacific Railroad in the year 1881. El Paso and Juárez make up the largest international metroplex in the world. El Paso is an important port of entry to the U.S. from Mexico.
Mexico changed the name of Paso del Norte to Ciudad Juárez in honor of Benito Juárez in 1888. Later, in 1967, the U.S. agreed to cede a long-disputed part of El Paso to Mexico due to changes in the course of the Rio Grande, which forms the international boundary between the two countries. El Paso and its sister city of Ciudad Juárez across the U.S.-Mexico border are inexorably merged by culture and economy.
The high-technology, medical-device manufacturing, plastics, refining, automotive, food processing, and defense-related industries are important to the economy. El Paso's service sector has experienced healthy growth since the 1980s. El Paso is also a major tourist attraction.