is a city in Bell County, Texas, United States. Adjacent to the county seat (Belton), Temple lies in the region referred to as Central Texas. Located off Interstate 35, Temple is 65 miles north of Austin and 34 miles south of Waco. As of the 2000 Census, the population was 54,514, but a 2006 estimate places the current population at a little over 60,000. It is a "principal city" in the Killeen–Temple–Fort Hood Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Currently known as the "Wildflower Capital of Texas," Temple was originally founded in 1881 as a railroad town. It was named in honor of Bernard Moore Temple, civil engineer and former surveyor with the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway Company that established the town. For many years it was the home of the Santa Fe Railway Company's hospital for its employees. Temple is known for its strength as a regional medical center (this is primarily due to the highly respected Scott & White Memorial Hospital). Scott & White is the the largest employer in town with about 10,000 employees. With Scott & White, the Veteran's Hospital Center , and other smaller clinics, Temple is home to more physicians per capita than any other community in the nation. Temple is the site of one of two major campuses for the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine. Medical students can elect to spend all four years of their medical education training or their two years of clinical training on the campus.
Besides health services, Temple is home to many regional distribution centers and headquarters to two large, multi-national companies, Wilsonart International and McLane Company. The Temple Daily Telegram is the daily newspaper.
Temple is located at (31.093678, -97.362202). Its residents are within relatively short driving distances to Texas's major cities: 134 miles to Dallas, 65 miles to Austin, 143 miles to San Antonio, and 187 miles to Houston. The city is bisected by Interstate 35. It is also bisected by the Balcones Fault, a reportedly dead fault. To the east of the fault line lies the Blackland Prairie region, a rich farming area. To the west of the fault line the terrain rises with shallower soils over low rolling limestone hills which are essentially the northeastern edge of the Texas Hill Country. The land to the west was originally well suited to ranching, but is currently under increasing development pressure as the Central Texas economy expands and is considered to be in transition from rural to more suburban land uses including residential developments, retail centers, and scientific/industrial complexes.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 65.4 square miles (169.5 km²), of which, 65.3 square miles (169.3 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.2 km²) of it (0.14%) is water.