77° Fort Worth
All TCU. All the time.

TCU 360

TCU 360

All TCU. All the time.

TCU 360

The Skiff Orientation Edition: Welcome, Class of 28!
The Skiff Orientation Edition: Welcome, Class of '28!
By Georgie London, Staff Writer
Published May 13, 2024
Advice from your fellow Frogs, explore Fort Worth, pizza reviews and more. 

    Dallas and Fort Worth are related… but hardly

    Downtown+Fort+Worth+mixes+its+urban+landscape+with+its+historical%2C+old-timey+feel.+Dallas%2C+on+the+other+hand%2C+embraces+its+modernity+with+neon+lights+and+towering+skyscrapers.+%28Garrett+Cook%2FStaff+Writer%29
    Garrett Cook
    Downtown Fort Worth mixes its urban landscape with its historical, old-timey feel. Dallas, on the other hand, embraces its modernity with neon lights and towering skyscrapers. (Garrett Cook/Staff Writer)

    Fort Worth and Dallas are considered sister cities, twin towns and to some non-Texans, indistinguishable from one another. There are countless differences between the two cities though, and just like with all siblings, one attempts to overshadow the other. 

    A few metrics to compare the two cities are population, crime, culture/cuisine, traffic and TCU/SMU.

    Population

    Dallas has a population of 1,299,544, down 0.4% from 2020, while Fort Worth has a population of 956,709, up 4.1% from 2020, according to the most recent U.S. Census estimation.

    Though Fort Worth is sometimes called a suburb of Dallas, Fort Worth ranked No. 1 by the Pacific Research Institute for being the “most pro-growth city in America.”

    “When people could live anywhere, they’re choosing to live in Fort Worth,” Fort Worth Mayor Mattie Parker said during the 2023 State of the City address. 

    Despite Fort Worth growing in population, it still trails Dallas by over 300,000 people. When comparing crime data and traffic, this gap is important to remember.

    Crime

    Sundance Square is a downtown Fort Worth entertainment hub known for its shops, steakhouses, concerts and fountains. (Garrett Cook/Staff Writer)

    In 2022, there were 214 homicides in Dallas, according to WFAA. During the same year, Fort Worth had 100, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

    Dallas had over double the amount of murders, yet it does not have double the population.

    From March 2022 to March 2023, Downtown Fort Worth averaged 40 crimes per month, compared to Dallas’ 368 monthly average, according to a Metroplex Civic & Business Association report.

    By several available crime metrics, Fort Worth has a lower percentage in almost every crime category compared to its sister city. 

    “We are very much involved within the community, and that puts us everywhere at every time,” Officer Daniel Segura with the Fort Worth Police Department said. “That’s a huge deterrent for criminal activity. Having law enforcement officers visible throughout the community can make a huge impact on the possibility of criminals wanting to do bad things.”

    Culture and cuisine

    The Fort Worth Stockyards, known for being home to the world’s only twice-daily cattle drive, is a DFW staple. (Garrett Cook/Staff Writer)

    Though Fort Worth is ranked the 13th largest city in the U.S., “locals often say that Fort Worth is more relaxed than Dallas and has more of a small town feel than its neighbor,” according to the Reside Real Estate website.

    From the Stockyards to Billy Bob’s to Sundance Square to the National Cowgirl Museum, Fort Worth is not nicknamed “Cowtown” for nothing. Fort Worth embraces the Texas cowboy stereotype and lives up to its slogan of “where the West begins.”

    In terms of its citizens, Fort Worth ranked No. 7 as the friendliest city in America, compared to Dallas at No. 11, according to a Preply survey. Moreover, Fort Worthers topped the list in terms of saying hello to people around them in public.

    Railhead Smokehouse, which prides itself on having the “best barbecue in Fort Worth,” according to its website, displays their motto, “Life is too short to live in Dallas” on their cups, T-shirts and walls. When asked how their barbecue is better than Dallas’, a Railhead manager chuckled and replied, “Go try it in Dallas. I think the barbecue is better in Fort Worth.”

    Traffic

    Though Dallas and Fort Worth both have a great deal of traffic, Dallas County has 20 of the 100 most congested road segments in Texas while Tarrant County has 11, according to the 2022 Texas A&M Transportation Institute’s ranked list of the 100 most congested road segments in Texas.

    Dallas ranked 14th among the most congested urban areas in the country, with Downtown Dallas having an average speed of 16 mph, according to the INRIX Global Traffic Scorecard. Fort Worth was not in the top 25.

    TCU vs. SMU

    Both universities have similar acceptance rates, enrollment numbers and graduation rates.

    Price-wise, for the 2022-2023 school year, the estimated yearly undergraduate cost for TCU students, before financial aid, was $69,130. For SMU undergraduates, it was $79,730.

    The TCU football team won the 2023 “Iron Skillet” 34-17 at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth on Sept. 23. (TCU 360/Shane Manson)

    TCU ranked No. 1 nationally for having the happiest students, according to the 2024 Princeton Review. TCU also ranked No. 16 for having the most beautiful campus. SMU didn’t rank in these categories. “TCU is, without a doubt, a happier campus with happier students,” Joe Winick, the TCU student body president, said. “We have way cooler fountains, and I’m pretty sure the sun doesn’t shine on [SMU’s] campus due to the number of skyscrapers in the immediate surrounding area. Not to mention our dominant ownership of the Iron Skillet.”

    The Battle of the Iron Skillet is the college football rivalry between TCU and SMU. TCU leads the competition 53-42-7. In September, the Horned Frogs defeated the Mustangs 34-17.

    Fort Worth and Dallas are certainly not the same. One even seems to be a bit better than the other, without naming names.

    More to Discover