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Pharr is located just east of McAllen on US 281.

In 1956 a move to merge the town with neighboring McAllen was put to a public vote and defeated. The population of Pharr increased from 8,690 in 1950 to 14,106 in 1960. Businesses reported there in the 1960s included manufacturers of irrigation equipment, clay products, mattresses, food harvesting and processing equipment, and concrete products. In 1970 Pharr had 212 businesses and an estimated population of 15,829.

In 1980 Pharr had a population estimated at 19,483 and 327 businesses. In 1990 its population was 32,921. The town's growth can be attributed in part to the growth of nearby McAllen, the increasing number of births among the young Hispanic population, and the movement of vacationers and retirees to the area because of its warm climate.

In Hidalgo County, Pharr is part of the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas metro area.

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