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The city of Killeen is located within Bell County and now has a population of roughly 140,021. Over the last ten years the city of Killeen has gone through substantial growth. During 2000, the population was just 86,911. By 2009, it was 119,510 and in the year 2010 the population had reached 127,921. Killeen is one of the principle cities of the Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood Metropolitan Statistical Area.

The area that Killeen City presently occupies was originally a small farming community called Palo Alto, that had existed ever since the year 1872. In the year 1881, the Gulf, Santa Fe and Colorado Railway obtained 360 acres of land, including the land where Palo Alto was located. They built a 70-block town on the land. The town was named after the assistant general manager of railroad, Frank P. Killeen. Killeen prospered, and by the next year a salon, railroad depot, some stores, and a school had been developed. Several residents from nearby communities relocated to the city and by the year 1884 the population had increased to approximately 350 people. By this time, Killeen City had two gristmills, five general stores, two saloons, two cotton gins, a blacksmith shop a hotel and a lumberyard.

Fort Hood is situated right beside the city of Killeen. As a result, the economy within Killeen is mainly dependent on the soldiers stationed at the Fort. Fort Hood is the area's biggest employer. Different fields of employment within the city of Killeen are educational services, government, construction, healthcare, food and accommodation services, and finance and insurance. Roughly 25 percent of the workforce works in sales and occupations. About 24% is employed in service work, and around 21% is involved in management, professional and related occupations.

Within the city of Killeen, a lot of the occupations offered within the city do need a college or university degree. The most common of these jobs include registered nurses, teachers, training and development specialists, management analysts, network and computer systems administrators, educational, school and vocational counselors, computer programmers and computer systems analysts. About 16% of the population holds a bachelors degree. The cost of living index is 79.9 and during 2009 the average income was $32,000.

The leading companies in the Killeen and the nearby area are Fort Hood, Central Texas College, Killeen Independent School District, MetroPlex Hospital, Walmart, Metroplex Adventist Hospital, West Business Services LP, H E Butt Grocery, Kmart Corporation, United States Postal Services, Mantech Telecommunications and Information, Frank Mayborn Enterprises, Lowe's Home Centers, Inc., Home Depot USA, Inc. and System Studies and Simulation Inc.