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Texas: The Lone Star State
A quick-reference demographic and geographic profile of the second-largest, second-most-populous state in the United States.

The Government

Capital: Austin
Government: Bicameral Legislature
28th state to enter the Union: Dec. 29, 1845
Present constitution adopted: 1876
State motto: Friendship (1930)
State symbols:
  • Flower: Bluebonnet (1901)
  • Bird: Mockingbird (1927)
  • Tree: Pecan (1919)
  • Song: "Texas, Our Texas" (1929)

Origin of name: Texas, or Tejas, was the Spanish pronunciation of a Caddo Indian word meaning "friends" or "allies."

Nickname: Texas is called the Lone Star State because of the design of the state flag: a broad vertical blue stripe at left centered by a single white star, with horizontal bars of white (uppermost) and red on the right.

The People


Population (1990 U.S. Census): 16,986,510
Population (Jan. 1998 State Data Center estimate): 19,598,471
Population (July 1998 U.S. Bureau of the Census estimate): 19,760,000

Ethnicity (1990)

  • White: 12,775,000
  • Black: 2,022,000
  • Asian: 319,000
  • American Indian: 66,000
  • Other: 1,804,780
  • Hispanic: 4,340,000

Population density, 1997: 74.2 per sq. mi.

Voting-age Pop., 1996: 13,622,000
(1998 Statistical Abstract of the United States, Bureau of the Census)

On an average day in Texas in 1997:
The population increased by 524.
There were 915 resident births.
There were 391 resident deaths.
There were 501 marriages.
There were 255 divorces.

(1997 Texas Vital Statistics, Texas Dept. of Health)

Ten largest cities:
Houston (Harris Co.): 1,841,064
San Antonio (Bexar Co.): 1,123,626
Dallas (Dallas Co.): 1,085,614
Austin (Travis Co.): 608,053
El Paso (El Paso Co.): 600,277
Fort Worth (Tarrant Co.): 489,277
Arlington (Tarrant Co.): 301,991
Corpus Christi (Nueces Co.): 276,712
Plano (Collin Co.) 198,186
Garland (Dallas Co.): 193,475

(Texas State Data Center estimates, Jan. 1, 1998)

Number of counties: 254
Number of incorporated cities: 1,194
Number of cities of 100,000 pop. or more: 23
Number of cities of 50,000 pop. or more: 47
Number of cities of 10,000 pop. or more: 209

The Natural Environment

Area (total): 267,277 sq. miles (171,057,280 acres)
Land area: 261,914 sq. miles (167,624,960 acres)
Water area: 5,363 sq. miles (3,432,320 acres)
Forested area: 22.032 million acres
State forests: 5 (7,519 acres)
National forests: 4 (637,386 acres)
Geographic center: About 15 miles northeast of Brady in northern McCulloch County.
Highest point: Guadalupe Peak (8,749 ft.) in Culberson County in far West Texas.
Lowest point: Gulf of Mexico (sea level).

Normal average annual precipitation range: From 58.3 inches at Orange, on the Gulf Coast, to 8.8 inches at El Paso, in West Texas. 111-year average precipitation 28.14"

Record highest temperature:
Seymour, August 12, 1936 120°F
Monahans, June 28, 1994 120°F
Record lowest temperature:
Tulia, Feb. 12, 1899 -23°F
Seminole, Feb. 8, 1933 -23°F


Gross State Product:
In current dollars (1996): $551.8 billion
In chained dollars (1992): (1992) $502.9 billion
Per Capita Personal Income: (1997) $23,656
Civilian Labor Force (average, 1996): 9,568,000

(1998 Statistical Abstract of the United States)


Principal products:
Chemicals and allied products, petroleum and coal products, food and kindred products, transportation equipment.

Farm products: Cattle, cotton, dairy products, nursery and greenhouse.

Minerals: Petroleum, natural gas, natural gas liquids.

Finance (as of 12/31/97):
Number of insured commercial banks: 839
Total deposits: $191.8 billion

Agriculture (1997):
Number of farms: 205,000
Land in farms (acres): 129,000,000
Cropland (acres, 1992): 28,261,000
Pastureland (acres, 1992): 16,710,000
Rangeland (acres, 1992): 94,155,000




Avant Ranch Sales specializing in South Texas Ranches and trophy deer hunting.
Jeff Avant Ranch Sales, Since  1982
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