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McKinney An Idol's Hometown

Population: 136,180 | Area: 58.3 sq mi
Riding the trails in McKinney. Photo By City of McKinney

As the band played “Sweet Caroline,” residents lined the historic McKinney square. A fire truck made its way down the street. Police officers clopped by on horseback. Finally, Hollie Cavanagh, third runner-up in the recent American Idol season, could be seen waving from a convertible. “Hollie, you are my American Idol,” read the signs of two little girls in polka-dot dresses. As Cavanagh sang for the crowd, the dad of one fan said, “I’ll bet she’s more nervous for this than the finals because this is all for her.” May 26, 2012, was officially Hollie Cavanagh Day. Mayor Brian Loughmiller gave her a Hollie Cavanagh Street sign and a key to the city. McKinney has previously been known for its cheerleading scandal (you’ll, of course, recall the saucy photos posted in 2007 on MySpace of five cheerleaders, including the high school principal’s daughter). There’s also Adriatica, a newly built community designed to mirror a village in Croatia. And the guys who created Words With Friends ran their upstart company from downtown’s Cotton Mill. When locals think about mega-growth in North Texas, Frisco usually comes to mind, but McKinney has been in the top three of fastest-growing cities every year for the past 12. MSN Real Estate recently declared McKinney the second-fastest-growing city in the nation (second to Frisco, of course). McKinney has grown from a population of 21,283 in 1990 to 136,180 today, an increase of 540 percent. Never a dull moment, right?


  • Median Age: 32.7
  • Population Growth: 16.7 %
  • Population Density: 2335.9 ppl/sq mile


  • School District: McKinney ISD
  • Students Passing TAKS: 85%
  • Average SAT Score: 1073


  • Violent Crime Rate: 1.693 per 1,000 residents
  • Non-Violent Crime Rate: 23.7 per 1,000 residents

Real Estate:

  • Average Price of Homes Sold: $219,399