Located 15 miles southwest of Houston, the city of Stafford, Texas, is located partly in Fort Bend County and partly in Harris County. While the settled area got its start as a plantation in the early 1800s, the population did not flourish until well into the 20th century. The city was finally incorporated in 1956, and today it has approximately 20,000 residents.
Stafford has an average annual rainfall of almost 50 inches. Temperatures range from an average low of 42 degrees in January to an average high of 94 degrees in July. Because it is near the Gulf of Mexico, Stafford has a very humid climate.
Stafford was included in Fortune magazine's 2008 list of "100 best places to live and launch" for small businesses.
The city has become a popular place for businesses to set up operations because it charges almost no property tax and has the lowest sales tax rate in the Houston metropolitan area. Many large and small corporations have offices and plants in Stafford. Employers include:
A large medical community has also established offices in Stafford.
Fountains on the Lake is a 74-acre retail center with 589,201 square feet of retail space. The center has a mix of both big box stores and smaller retail establishments.
Stafford accommodates about 6,300 houses, out of which, a little less than 5,900 are occupied. The ratio of renter-occupied houses for the city is 54 percent, as compared to 36 percent for the state.
The city's popular residential areas include Braeburn Gardens to the north, Dove Country to the South, and Arias to the west.
In Stafford, the mayor and six city council members make up the government, with various departmental directors reporting directly to them. Stafford's state representation comes from the 26th and 27th districts of the House of Representatives and the 13th and 17th districts of the Texas Senate.
Stafford has the only municipal school district in the state, meaning that the schools are controlled by the city government and not by a separate school board. Grades 1 through 12 are located on the same grounds. The average class size ranges from 15 to 18 students.
The Houston Community College System has a campus in Stafford. Stafford residents are also within driving distance of many Houston area institutions of higher learning, including:
Stafford residents cheer on Houston's sports teams, which include: