Ballinger is at the junction of US 67 and US 83 and State Hwy 158, thirty-six miles northeast of San Angelo
in south central Runnels County
.The Colorado River and Elm Creek converge there, and the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway runs through the town.
Ballinger was established when the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway built westward out of Brownwood in 1886. Runnels City, the original county seat, campaigned for selection as the new railroad terminal but could not compete with the superior water supply offered at the future site of Ballinger, five miles to the south.
Ballinger is the main shipping and distribution center for Runnels County. The major sources of employment are light manufacturing, mining, and retail trade.