Mesquite has been recognized by Tree City USA for the last 17 years.
Mesquite prospered through the late 19th century and early 20th century as a farming community growing cotton, hay, corn and sugar and using the railroad to ship raw goods. The town remained predominantly agrarian until after World War II when the suburban boom also took root in Mesquite. The city's population rapidly grew from 1,696 in the 1950 census to 27,526 in 1960 and 55,131 in 1970.
By 1970, LBJ Freeway (I-635) was constructed, connecting Mesquite to its neighbors, Garland to the north and Balch Springs to the south. Also in 1971, Town East Mall was constructed. The mall was used by director Ron Howard to film portions of the movie "Cotton Candy" in 1978. The mall's associated traffic and shops would continue to grow the town. By the 1990 census, the city had grown to 101,484 people, nearly twice the population twenty years earlier.
In 1986, the Mesquite Arena (now named Resistol Arena) opened its doors as the new home for the Mesquite Championship Rodeo. By 1998, the facility was expanded to include a Convention Center, Exhibition Hall and a Hampton Inn & Suites.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 43.5 square miles (112.6 km²), of which, 43.4 square miles (112.5 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.1 km²) of it (0.12%) is water.
Mesquite is home to five public high schools: Mesquite High School, North Mesquite High School, West Mesquite High School, Poteet High School, John Horn High School. In 2001, the Mesquite Skeeters high school football team won the 5A Division I State Championship.
Two other nearby airports, Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and Dallas Love Field, provide regular commercial passenger service to the region. Love Field is approximately 15 miles from Mesquite; DFW Airport is approximately 30 miles from Mesquite.
Mesquite is not a member of Dallas Area Rapid Transit, so general public transportation is not available in the city. However, the city operates its own paratransit service for elderly and disabled residents.
About 5.0% of families and 6.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.8% of those under age 18 and 6.6% of those age 65 or over.
There were 43,926 households out of which 43.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.4% were married couples living together, 14.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.1% were non-families. 20.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.82 and the average family size was 3.27.
In the city the population was spread out with 30.5% under the age of 18, 9.2% from 18 to 24, 33.9% from 25 to 44, 19.3% 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 93.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.2 males.