In 1920, local businessmen financed a new generator (sold by Fairbanks-Morse) for the town. Out of this was formed Garland Power & Light, the municipal electric provider that still powers the city today.
Businesses began to move into the area in the late 1930s. The Craddock food company and later the Byer-Rolnick hat factory (now owned by Resistol) moved into the area. In 1937, KRLD, a major Dallas radio station, built a radio tower in Garland, which is operational to this day. During World War II, several aircraft plants were operated in the area and Kraft Foods purchased one after the war for their own manufacturing usage. By 1950, the population had reached 10,571 people.
Following World War II, the suburban population boom that the nation experienced also reached Garland. By 1960, the population had more than tripled from 1950 numbers to 38,501. By 1970, it more than doubled again to 81,437. By 1980, the population had crossed the 100,000-person threshold with 138,857 people.
2007: 224,750 (NCTCOG estimate)
The success of the Special Events center has allowed for Hyatt Hotels to join in partnership with Garland ISD, and will be expected to host many future events.
Recently, voters approved a $450 million bond issue in May 2004, which covers new buildings and expansion for Dallas County Community College District, plus the addition of five community education campuses in under served or fast-growing areas of Dallas County - including plans for a Garland Education Center.
In 2006, it was announced that the Dallas County Community College District, would allow Richland College to oversee the development of the project, set to begin in late 2007. Goals for this campus include:
There were 73,241 households out of which 41.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.7% were married couples living together, 13.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.3% were non-families. 19.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.93 and the average family size was 3.37.
In the city the population was spread out with 29.8% under the age of 18, 9.6% from 18 to 24, 33.0% from 25 to 44, 20.5% from 45 to 64, and 7.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 98.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.3 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $49,156, and the median income for a family was $53,545. Males had a median income of $35,859 versus $29,392 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,000. About 6.8% of families and 8.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.3% of those under age 18 and 8.7% of those age 65 or over.
Most of Garland is in the Garland Independent School District (GISD). Parts of Garland extend into other districts, including the Dallas Independent School District (DISD), the Mesquite Independent School District (MISD), and the Richardson Independent School District (RISD).
The GISD does not have school zoning, so GISD residents may apply to any GISD school.
The GISD portion of Garland is served by several high schools. Garland High School is home to the district's International Baccalaureate program. North Garland High School is the math, science and technology magnet. Lakeview Centennial High School is GISD's "College and Career" magnet school. South Garland High School is known within the community for its vocational cosmetology program. Other GISD high schools include Naaman Forest High School, Rowlett High School, and Sachse High School.
The MISD portion of Garland is served by Price Elementary School, Vanston Middle School, and North Mesquite High School.
The RISD portion is served by O. Henry Elementary School, Liberty Junior High School, and Berkner High School.
As of November 2006, the GISD had 52,391 students and 3,236 teachers, for an average ratio of 16.2 students per teacher. The 2006 GISD property tax rate was $1.5449 per hundred dollars of assessed property value.
One train track runs parallel to Garland Road, coming out of Mesquite and heading all the way through the other side of Garland City.
As of August 2007, GPL cost data and consumer prices are not available to consumers, residents, or the general public. The GP&L 2006 Annual Report reflects a $41.8 million net income and cumulative total of $242.8 million in "retained earnings" from consumers. The city council reviews GP&L data in secret meetings and does not make the data available The Texas Public Utility Commission says GP&L is unregulated. The United States Department of Energy says Texas electric utilities are unregulated by the US Government since Texas is the only state not connected to the national power grid. GP&L claims to be non-profit, but they report millions of dollars in profits that are unaccounted for. Texas law, Local Government Code §402.902E, prohibits municipal electric utilities from using profits for any purpose other than to finally pay of bonds; however, the Dallas County District Attorney's office says this law is unenforceable since the Texas Legislature did not provide criminal or civil penalties for violation (Source: See TxLGC §402.902E) According to US Energy Information Administration statistics, GP&L customers pay some of the highest rates for electricity in the United States. A prominent former mayor of Garland, Jim Spence, says GPL raised prices in 2004 based on "bogus fuel cost data" to generate an average of $12 million for city subsidies Texas State Senator John Carona has been instrumental in protecting GP&L profits for the City of Garland.
The animated television series King of the Hill was created by former Garland resident Mike Judge, who used elements of Garland as an inspiration for its setting — the fictional (and similar-sounding) town of Arlen.
Other former and current Garland residents who have gained national and international recognition include singer LeAnn Rimes, actress Crystal Bernard, musician Dean Sams of the band Lonestar, singer Amber Dotson, singer/songwriter [Austin Cunningham]http:www.austincunningham.com, and rockabilly Hall Of Famer Gene Summers. Sports stars include NFL placekicker Mac Percival, Safety Melvin Bullitt and NBA players Mookie Blaylock and Ricky Pierce. Long before the infamous Waco incident, David Koresh attended Garland High (he dropped out before graduating).
According to a postcard from Buck Owens dated 3-31-98 he wrote: "Enclosed autograph. Thought you might get a kick out of knowing (that) Garland, (TX) is where I went to school (grades) 1-2-3 when we decided to move to Calif. (in) 1938- Buck Owens"
3D Realms, the video game creator is best known for creating the Duke Nukem series, is in Garland. Some episodes of the Chuck Norris television series Walker, Texas Ranger were filmed in Garland, as well as some scenes for the Fox Network series Prison Break. Garland has a street called Star Trek Lane, the first and probably the only official place name of the Star Trek television series created by Gene Roddenberry (who was born in El Paso, Texas).
The sport of Agility for dogs all started in Garland, Texas when Kenneth Tatsch, President and USDAA Founder, created The United States Dog Agility Associationto introduce the sport to north America and to include all breeds of dogs. Founded in 1986, the USDAA is now international and considered the world's largest independent authority for the sport of dog agility, with more than 22,000 registered competitors. The most recent international competition that was held in Garland was at Winter's Park in approximately 2002. The USDAA's corporate office is located at 300 South Kirby Street, Suite 101 in downtown Garland.