Texas

Cities

Texas pic1
Texas pic2
Texas pic3
Texas pic4
Texas pic5
Texas pic6
Texas pic7
Texas pic8
Texas pic9
Texas pic10
Texas pic11
Texas pic12
Texas pic13

Texas

Texas is a state in the South Central region of the United States. At 268,596 square miles (695,662 km2), and with more than 29.1 million residents in 2020, it is the second-largest U.S. state by both area (after Alaska) and population (after California). Texas shares borders with the states of Louisiana to the east, Arkansas to the northeast, Oklahoma to the north, New Mexico to the west, and the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas to the south and southwest; and has a coastline with the Gulf of Mexico to the southeast.

Etymology

The name Texas, based on the Caddo word táyshaʼ (/tʼajʃaʔ/) ‘friend’, was applied, in the spelling Tejas or Texas, by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves, specifically the Hasinai Confederacy, the final -s representing the Spanish plural. The Mission San Francisco de los Tejas was completed near the Hasinai village of Nabedaches in May 1690, in what is now Houston County, East Texas. During Spanish colonial rule, in the 18th century, the area was known as Nuevas Filipinas (‘New Philippines’) and Nuevo Reino de Filipinas (‘New Kingdom of the Philippines’), or as provincia de los Tejas (‘province of the Tejas‘), later also provincia de Texas (or de Tejas), (‘province of Texas’). It was incorporated as provincia de Texas into the Mexican Empire in 1821, and declared a republic in 1836. The Royal Spanish Academy recognizes both spellings, Tejas and Texas, as Spanish-language forms of the name of the U.S. state of Texas.

The English pronunciation with /ks/ is unetymological, contrary to the historical value of the letter x (/ʃ/) in Spanish orthography. Alternative etymologies of the name advanced in the late 19th century connected the Spanish teja ‘rooftile’, the plural tejas being used to designate indigenous Pueblo settlements. A 1760s map by Jacques-Nicolas Bellin shows a village named Teijas on the Trinity River, close to the site of modern Crockett.

Geography

Texas is the second-largest U.S. state, after Alaska, with an area of 268,820 square miles (696,200 km2). Though 10% larger than France, almost twice as large as Germany or Japan, and more than twice the size of the United Kingdom, it ranks only 27th worldwide amongst country subdivisions by size. If it were an independent country, Texas would be the 39th-largest.

Texas is in the south central part of the United States of America. Three of its borders are defined by rivers. The Rio Grande forms a natural border with the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas to the south. The Red River forms a natural border with Oklahoma and Arkansas to the north. The Sabine River forms a natural border with Louisiana to the east. The Texas Panhandle has an eastern border with Oklahoma at 100° W, a northern border with Oklahoma at 36°30′ N and a western border with New Mexico at 103° W. El Paso lies on the state’s western tip at 32° N and the Rio Grande.

Geology

Texas is the southernmost part of the Great Plains, which ends in the south against the folded Sierra Madre Occidental of Mexico. The continental crust forms a stable Mesoproterozoic craton which changes across a broad continental margin and transitional crust into true oceanic crust of the Gulf of Mexico. The oldest rocks in Texas date from the Mesoproterozoic and are about 1,600 million years old. These Precambrian igneous and metamorphic rocks underlie most of the state, and are exposed in three places: Llano uplift, Van Horn, and the Franklin Mountains, near El Paso. Sedimentary rocks overlay most of these ancient rocks. The oldest sediments were deposited on the flanks of a rifted continental margin, or passive margin that developed during Cambrian time.

This margin existed until Laurasia and Gondwana collided in the Pennsylvanian subperiod to form Pangea. This is the buried crest of the Appalachian Mountains–Ouachita Mountains zone of Pennsylvanian continental collision. This orogenic crest is today buried beneath the Dallas–Waco–Austin–San Antonio trend. The late Paleozoic mountains collapsed as rifting in the Jurassic period began to open the Gulf of Mexico. Pangea began to break up in the Triassic, but seafloor spreading to form the Gulf of Mexico occurred only in the mid- and late Jurassic.

The shoreline shifted again to the eastern margin of the state and the Gulf of Mexico's passive margin began to form. Today 9 to 12 miles (14 to 19 km) of sediments are buried beneath the Texas continental shelf and a large proportion of remaining US oil reserves are here. At the start of its formation, the incipient Gulf of Mexico basin was restricted and seawater often evaporated completely to form thick evaporite deposits of Jurassic age. These salt deposits formed salt dome diapirs, and are found in East Texas along the Gulf coast.

Wildlife

A wide range of animals and insects live in Texas. It is the home to 65 species of mammals, 213 species of reptiles and amphibians, and the greatest diversity of bird life in the United States—590 native species in all. At least 12 species have been introduced and now reproduce freely in Texas. Texas plays host to several species of wasps, including an abundance of Polistes exclamans, and is an important ground for the study of Polistes annularis. During the spring Texas wildflowers such as the state flower, the bluebonnet, line highways throughout Texas. During the Johnson Administration the first lady, Lady Bird Johnson, worked to draw attention to Texas wildflowers.

Climate

The large size of Texas and its location at the intersection of multiple climate zones gives the state highly variable weather. The Panhandle of the state has colder winters than North Texas, while the Gulf Coast has mild winters. Texas has wide variations in precipitation patterns. El Paso, on the western end of the state, averages 8.7 inches (220 mm) of annual rainfall, while parts of southeast Texas average as much as 64 inches (1,600 mm) per year. Dallas in the North Central region averages a more moderate 37 inches (940 mm) per year.

Snow falls multiple times each winter in the Panhandle and mountainous areas of West Texas, once or twice a year in North Texas, and once every few years in Central and East Texas. Snow falls south of San Antonio or on the coast only in rare circumstances. Of note is the 2004 Christmas Eve snowstorm, when 6 inches (150 mm) of snow fell as far south as Kingsville, where the average high temperature in December is 65 °F. Maximum temperatures in the summer months average from the 80s °F (26 °C) in the mountains of West Texas and on Galveston Island to around 100 °F (38 °C) in the Rio Grande Valley, but most areas of Texas see consistent summer high temperatures in the 90 °F (32 °C) range.

The state has three cities with populations exceeding one million: Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas. These three rank among the 10 most populous cities of the United States. As of 2020, six Texas cities had populations greater than 600,000 people. Austin, Fort Worth, and El Paso are among the 20 largest U.S. cities. Texas has four metropolitan areas with populations greater than a million: Dallas–Fort Worth–Arlington, Houston–Sugar Land–The Woodlands, San Antonio–New Braunfels, and Austin–Round Rock–San Marcos. The Dallas–Fort Worth and Houston metropolitan areas number about 7.5 million and 7 million residents as of 2019, respectively.

Three interstate highways—I-35 to the west (Dallas–Fort Worth to San Antonio, with Austin in between), I-45 to the east (Dallas to Houston), and I-10 to the south (San Antonio to Houston) define the Texas Urban Triangle region. The region of 60,000 square miles (160,000 km2) contains most of the state’s largest cities and metropolitan areas as well as 17 million people, nearly 75 percent of Texas’s total population. Houston and Dallas have been recognized as world cities. These cities are spread out amongst the state.

Demographics

The United States Census Bureau determined the resident population of Texas was 29,145,505 at the 2020 U.S census, a 15.9% increase since the 2010 United States census. At the 2020 census, the apportioned population of Texas stood at 29,183,290. The 2015 Texas Population Estimate program estimated the population was 27,469,114 on July 1, 2015. In 2010, Texas had a census population of 25,145,561. Texas is the second-most populous state in the United States after California.

In 2015, Texas had 4.7 million foreign-born residents, about 17% of the population and 21.6% of the state workforce. The major countries of origin for Texan immigrants were Mexico (55.1% of immigrants), India (5%), El Salvador (4.3%), Vietnam (3.7%), and China (2.3%). Of immigrant residents, some 35.8 percent were naturalized U.S. citizens. As of 2018, the population increased to 4.9 million foreign-born residents or 17.2% of the state population, up from 2,899,642 in 2000.

Race and ethnicity

In 2019, non-Hispanic whites represented 41.2% of Texas's population, reflecting a national demographic shift. Blacks or African Americans made up 12.9%, American Indians and Alaska Natives 1.0%, Asian Americans 5.2%, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders 0.1%, some other race 0.2%, and two or more races 1.8%. Hispanics or Latino Americans of any race made up 39.7% of the estimated population. At the 2020 census, the racial and ethnic composition of the state was 42.5% white (39.7% non-Hispanic white), 11.8% Black or African American, 5.4% Asian, 0.3% American Indian and Alaska Native, 0.1% Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander, 13.6% some other race, 17.6% two or more races, and 39.3% Hispanic and Latino American of any race.

In 2010, 49% of all births were Hispanics; 35% were non-Hispanic whites; 11.5% were non-Hispanic blacks, and 4.3 percent were Asians/Pacific Islanders. Based on U.S. Census Bureau data released in February 2011, for the first time in recent history, Texas's white population is below 50% (45%) and Hispanics grew to 38%. Between 2000 and 2010, the total population growth by 20.6%, but Hispanics and Latin Americans growth by 65%, whereas non-Hispanic whites grew by only 4.2%. Texas has the fifth highest rate of teenage births in the nation and a plurality of these are to Hispanics or Latinos.

Languages

The most common accent or dialect spoken by natives throughout Texas is sometimes referred to as Texan English, which itself is a sub-variety of a broader category of American English known as Southern American English. Creole language is spoken in some parts of East Texas. In some areas of the state—particularly in the large cities—Western American English and General American English, is increasingly common. Chicano English—due to a growing Hispanic population—is widespread in South Texas, while African-American English is especially notable in historically minority areas of urban Texas. At the 2019 American Community Survey's estimates, 64.4% of the population spoke only English, and 35.6% spoke a language other than English. Roughly 30% of the total population spoke Spanish. Approximately 50,742 Texans spoke French or a French-creole language. German and other West Germanic languages were spoken by 47,098 residents; Russian, Polish, and other Slavic languages by 27,956; Korean by 31,581; Chinese 22,616; Vietnamese 81,022; Tagalog 43,360; and Arabic by 26,281 Texans.

At the census of 2010, 65.8% (14,740,304) of Texas residents age 5 and older spoke only English at home, while 29.2% (6,543,702) spoke Spanish, 0.75 percent (168,886) Vietnamese, and Chinese (which includes Cantonese and Mandarin) was spoken by 0.56% (122,921) of the population over five. Other languages spoken include German (including Texas German) by 0.33% (73,137), Tagalog with 0.29% (64,272) speakers, and French (including Cajun French) was spoken by 0.25% (55,773) of Texans. Reportedly, Cherokee is the most widely spoken Native American language in Texas. In total, 34.2% (7,660,406) of Texas's population aged five and older spoke a language at home other than English as of 2006.

Religion

The majority of Texas's population have been and remain predominantly Christian, influenced by Spanish Catholic and American Protestant colonialism and missionary work (75.5%). Texas's large Christian population is also influenced due to its location within the Bible Belt. The following largest groups were the irreligious (20%), Judaism (1%), Islam (1%), Buddhism (1%) and Hinduism, and other religions at less than 1 percent each.

The largest Christian denomination as of 2014 has been the Catholic Church, per the Pew Research Center at 23% of the population, though Protestants altogether made up 50% of the Christian population in 2014; in another study by the Public Religion Research Institute in 2020, the Catholic Church's membership increased to encompassing 28% of the population identifying with a religious or spiritual belief. The largest Catholic jurisdictions in Texas are the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston—the first and oldest Latin Church diocese in Texas—the dioceses of Dallas, Fort Worth, and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Antonio. Non-Christian faiths accounted for 4% of the religious population in 2014, and 5% in 2020 per the Pew Research Center and Public Religion Research Institute.

Adherents of many other religions reside predominantly in the urban centers of Texas. Judaism, Islam, and Buddhism were tied as the second largest religion as of 2014 and 2020. In 1990, the Islamic population was about 140,000 with more recent figures putting the current number of Muslims between 350,000 and 400,000 as of 2012. The Jewish population was around 128,000 in 2008. In 2020, the Jewish population grew to over 176,000. Around 146,000 adherents of religions such as Hinduism and Sikhism lived in Texas as of 2004. Texas is the fifth-largest Muslim-populated state in the country. Of the unaffiliated, an estimated 2% were atheists and 3% agnostic.

Economy

As of 2021-Q3, Texas had a gross state product (GSP) of $2.0 trillion, the second highest in the U.S. Its GSP is greater than the GDPs of Brazil, Canada, Russia, South Korea and Spain, which are the world’s 9th-, 10th-, 11th-, 12th- and 13th-largest economies, respectively. The state’s median household income is $59,206. Texas’s economy is the second-largest of any country subdivision globally, behind California.

Texas’s large population, an abundance of natural resources, thriving cities and leading centers of higher education have contributed to a large and diverse economy. Since oil was discovered, the state’s economy has reflected the state of the petroleum industry. In recent times, urban centers of the state have increased in size, containing two-thirds of the population in 2005. The state’s economic growth has led to urban sprawl and its associated symptoms.

Agriculture and Mining

Texas has the most farms and the highest acreage in the United States. The state is ranked No. 1 for revenue generated from total livestock and livestock products. It is ranked No. 2 for total agricultural revenue, behind California. At $7.4 billion or 56.7 percent of Texas's annual agricultural cash receipts, beef cattle production represents the largest single segment of Texas agriculture. This is followed by cotton at $1.9 billion (14.6 percent), greenhouse/nursery at $1.5 billion (11.4 percent), broilers at $1.3 billion (10 percent), and dairy products at $947 million (7.3 percent).

Texas leads the nation in the production of cattle, horses, sheep, goats, wool, mohair and hay. The state also leads the nation in production of cotton which is the number one crop grown in the state in terms of value. The state grows significant amounts of cereal crops and produce. Texas has a large commercial fishing industry. With mineral resources, Texas leads in creating cement, crushed stone, lime, salt, sand and gravel. Texas throughout the 21st century has been hammered by drought. This has cost the state billions of dollars in livestock and crops.

Energy

Ever since the discovery of oil at Spindletop, energy has been a dominant force politically and economically within the state. If Texas were its own country it would be the sixth largest oil producer in the world according to a 2014 study. The Railroad Commission of Texas, contrary to its name, regulates the state's oil and gas industry, gas utilities, pipeline safety, safety in the liquefied petroleum gas industry, and surface coal and uranium mining. Until the 1970s, the commission controlled the price of petroleum because of its ability to regulate Texas's oil reserves. The founders of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) used the Texas agency as one of their models for petroleum price control.

Technology

With large universities systems coupled with initiatives like the Texas Enterprise Fund and the Texas Emerging Technology Fund, a wide array of different high tech industries have developed in Texas. The Austin area is nicknamed the "Silicon Hills" and the north Dallas area the "Silicon Prairie". Many high-tech companies are located in or have their headquarters in Texas (and Austin in particular), including Dell, Inc., Borland, Forcepoint, Indeed.com, Texas Instruments, Perot Systems, Rackspace and AT&T. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Lyndon B.

Johnson Space Center (NASA JSC) in Southeast Houston, sits as the crown jewel of Texas's aeronautics industry. Both SpaceX and Blue Origin have their test facilities in Texas. Fort Worth hosts both Lockheed Martin's Aeronautics division and Bell Helicopter Textron. Lockheed builds the F-16 Fighting Falcon, the largest Western fighter program, and its successor, the F-35 Lightning II in Fort Worth.

Commerce

Texas's affluence stimulates a strong commercial sector consisting of retail, wholesale, banking and insurance, and construction industries. Examples of Fortune 500 companies not based on Texas traditional industries are AT&T, Kimberly-Clark, Blockbuster, J. C. Penney, Whole Foods Market, and Tenet Healthcare. Nationally, the Dallas–Fort Worth area, home to the second shopping mall in the United States, has the most shopping malls per capita of any American metropolitan statistical area. Mexico, the state's largest trading partner, imports a third of the state's exports because of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). NAFTA has encouraged the formation of controversial maquiladoras on the Texas–Mexico border.

Education

The second president of the Republic of Texas, Mirabeau B. Lamar, is the Father of Texas Education. During his term, the state set aside three leagues of land in each county for equipping public schools. An additional 50 leagues of land set aside for the support of two universities would later become the basis of the state’s Permanent University Fund. Lamar’s actions set the foundation for a Texas-wide public school system.

Between 2006 and 2007, Texas spent $7,275 per pupil, ranking it below the national average of $9,389. The pupil/teacher ratio was 14.9, below the national average of 15.3. Texas paid instructors $41,744, below the national average of $46,593. The Texas Education Agency (TEA) administers the state’s public school systems. Texas has over 1,000 school districts; all districts except the Stafford Municipal School District are independent from municipal government and many cross city boundaries. School districts have the power to tax their residents and to assert eminent domain over privately owned property. Due to court-mandated equitable school financing for school districts, the state has a controversial tax redistribution system called the “Robin Hood plan”. This plan transfers property tax revenue from wealthy school districts to poor ones. The TEA has no authority over private or home school activities.

Higher Education

The state's two most widely recognized flagship universities are The University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University, ranked as the 21st and 41st best universities in the nation according to 2020's latest Center for World University Rankings report, respectively. Texas's controversial alternative affirmative action plan, Texas House Bill 588, guarantees Texas students who graduated in the top 10 percent of their high school class automatic admission to state-funded universities. The bill encourages demographic diversity while attempting to avoid problems stemming from the Hopwood v.

Texas (1996) case. Thirty-six (36) separate and distinct public universities exist in Texas, of which 32 belong to one of the six state university systems. Discovery of minerals on Permanent University Fund land, particularly oil, has helped fund the rapid growth of the state's two largest university systems: the University of Texas System and the Texas A&M System. The four other university systems: the University of Houston System, the University of North Texas System, the Texas State System, and the Texas Tech System are not funded by the Permanent University Fund.

Transportation

Texans have historically had difficulties traversing Texas due to the state’s large size and rough terrain. Texas has compensated by building America’s largest highway and railway systems. The regulatory authority, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), maintains the state’s immense highway system, regulates aviation, and public transportation systems.

The state is an important transportation hub. From the Dallas/Fort Worth area, trucks can reach 93 percent of the nation’s population within 48 hours, and 37 percent within 24 hours. Texas has 33 foreign trade zones (FTZ), the most in the nation. In 2004, a combined total of $298 billion of goods passed through Texas FTZs.

Highways

The first Texas freeway was the Gulf Freeway opened in 1948 in Houston. As of 2005, 79,535 miles (127,999 km) of public highway crisscrossed Texas (up from 71,000 miles (114,263 km) in 1984). To fund recent growth in the state highways, Texas has 17 toll roads with several additional tollways proposed. In Central Texas, the southern section of the State Highway 130 toll road has a speed limit of 85 miles per hour (137 km/h), the highest in the nation. All federal and state highways in Texas are paved.

Airports

Texas has 730 airports, second-most of any state in the nation. Largest in Texas by size and passengers served, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) is the second-largest by area in the United States, and fourth in the world with 18,076 acres (73.15 km2). In traffic, DFW airport is the busiest in the state, the fourth busiest in the United States, and sixth worldwide. American Airlines Group's American / American Eagle, the world's largest airline in total passengers-miles transported and passenger fleet size, uses DFW as its largest and main hub. It ranks as the largest airline in the United States by number of passengers carried domestically per year and the largest airline in the world by number of passengers carried. Southwest Airlines, headquartered in Dallas, has its operations at Dallas Love Field.

Texas's second-largest air facility is Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH). It served as the largest hub for the former Continental Airlines, which was based in Houston; it serves as the largest hub for United Airlines, the world's third-largest airline, by passenger-miles flown. IAH offers service to the most Mexican destinations of any U.S. airport. The next five largest airports in the state all serve more than three million passengers annually; they include Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, William P. Hobby Airport, San Antonio International Airport, Dallas Love Field and El Paso International Airport. The smallest airport in the state to be designated an international airport is Del Rio International Airport.

Ports

Around 1,150 seaports dot Texas's coast with over 1,000 miles (1,600 km) of channels. Ports employ nearly one-million people and handle an average of 317 million metric tons. Texas ports connect with the rest of the U.S. Atlantic seaboard with the Gulf section of the Intracoastal Waterway. The Port of Houston today is the busiest port in the United States in foreign tonnage, second in overall tonnage, and tenth worldwide in tonnage. The Houston Ship Channel spans 530 feet (160 m) wide by 45 feet (14 m) deep by 50 miles (80 km) long.

Railroads

Part of the state's tradition of cowboys is derived from the massive cattle drives which its ranchers organized in the nineteenth century to drive livestock to railroads and markets in Kansas, for shipment to the east. Towns along the way, such as Baxter Springs, the first cow town in Kansas, developed to handle the seasonal workers and tens of thousands of head of cattle being driven. The first railroad to operate in Texas was the Buffalo Bayou, Brazos and Colorado Railway, opening in August 1853. The first railroad to enter Texas from the north, completed in 1872, was the Missouri–Kansas–Texas Railroad. With increasing railroad access, the ranchers did not have to take their livestock up to the Midwest and shipped beef out from Texas. This caused a decline in the economies of the cow towns.

Find an Electric Vehicle Charger close to you

Find an EV charging station in any city in the USA.