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It is the principal city of the Killeen–Temple–Fort Hood Metropolitan Statistical Area.Killeen is directly adjacent to the main cantonment of Fort Hood.

By 1990, its population had increased to 63,535, and 265,301 people lived in the Killeen/Temple metropolitan area.

In addition to shaping local economic development after 1950, the military presence at Fort Hood also changed the city's racial, religious, and ethnic composition. By the early 1950s, Marlboro Heights, an all-black subdivision, had been developed.

Major Nidal Malik Hasan, a career officer and psychiatrist, sustained four gunshot wounds after a brief shootout with a civilian police officer. He was arrested and convicted by a court martial, where he was sentenced to death.

In 2011, Killeen got media attention from a new television series called Surprise Homecoming, hosted by Billy Ray Cyrus, about military families who have loved ones returning home from overseas.

The opening of Camp Hood radically altered the nature of the local economy, since the sprawling new military post covered almost half of Killeen's farming trade area.

The loss of more than 300 farms and ranches led to the demise of Killeen's cotton gins and other farm-related businesses.Its population increased from about 1,300 in 1949 to 7,045 in 1950, and between 19, about 100 new commercial buildings were constructed in Killeen.By 1955, Killeen had an estimated 21,076 residents and 224 businesses.) a few miles southwest of a small farming community known as Palo Alto, which had existed since about 1872.The railroad platted a 70-block town on its land and named it after Frank P.In 1956, the city school board voted to integrate the local high school.

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