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Texas Facts

Quick Facts
Official Name Texas
Area268,58 sq mi (696,241 km2)
Population27,695,284 (2015 est)
Largest CityHouston
Official LanguagesNo official language ( Spoken : Spanish, English)
Time Zonemost of state Central: UTC 6/5 ,Tip of West Texas: Mountain: UTC 7/6
GovernorGreg Abbott
Lt. GovernorDan Patrick
U.S. SenatorJohn Cornyn, Ted Cruz
AbbreviationTX, Tex. US-TX
Joined the UnionDecember 29, 1845
NicknameThe Lone Star State
Highest PointGuadalupe Peak
Lowest PointGulf of Mexico
Official Websitewww.texas.gov

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Location and Geography : Texas is America’s second-largest state behind Alaska, and the largest one that is not separated from the main body of the United States. It is well-known for being impossibly large, larger than a great many countries in the world. Of all the states, it shares the longest border with Mexico. Texas usually appears in the public imagination as a barren desert, but in truth it encompasses a diverse range of ecosystems ranging from mountains to dry steppes to wet coastlands.

Counties and Regions : The state of Texas has 254 counties, more than any other US state. Texas is far too large to be easily classified into other geographical and cultural regions within the U.S.; some parts of Texas are more like the American South, and other parts of Texas are more like the American Southwest. Here are some of the more recognizable regions within Texas:

  • Brazos Valley
  • Central Texas
  • Hill Country
  • Gulf Coast/Coastal Bend
  • East Texas/Piney Woods
  • West Texas/Edwards Plateau
  • North Texas/Rolling Hills
  • Rio Grande Valley/Big Bend
  • Southeast Texas
  • Texas Panhandle

Population : Over 25 million people live in Texas and more keep coming, meaning that it might eventually catch up with California in terms of overall population. Some of the largest and fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the U.S. are located in Texas, especially because there is plenty of room for the cities to spread outwards.

Major Cities : Texas is home to three of the ten most populated cities in the United States: Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio. Almost three-quarters of the state’s population lives in a relatively small, highly developed area known as the “Texas Urban Triangle” that encompasses the metropolitan areas of Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio.

Story Behind the Name : The name “Texas” is derived from one of the Native American tribes that inhabited the land, the Caddo, from their word tejas that meant “friends” or “allies.” The Caddo were friendly and helpful to the European explorers who first arrived in the area, which led to the outside powers setting up successful colonies.

History and Colonization : People often use the term “six flags over Texas,” which refers to the fact that no fewer than six nations have claimed sovereignty over the state at different times in its history (Spain, France, Mexico, the
United States, the Republic of Texas, and the Confederate States of America). Spain first colonized what would later become Texas early in the sixteenth century, but it ran into difficulties determining ownership of the territory when France, which had colonized much of the Gulf Coast, began hedging in. France even founded an accidental colony in Texas called Fort Saint Louis, but this ill-fated town was not to survive. Because of the disputes between France and Spain, when France sold many of its territories to the United States with the Louisiana Purchase, there was a great deal of confusion as to whether Texas was included as a part of the deal.

Spain and the United States eventually agreed in 1819 that Texas would belong to the territory of New Spain, although many American settlers did not agree and continued to found homesteads on the land (until they well outnumbered the native and Spanish-descended population). After a few more years, in 1821, Mexico seceded from Spain, and it was officially considered to be a closed matter that Texas would be a part of Mexico. However, American immigrants continued to settle in the area, much to the chagrin of the Mexican government. Tensions rose until the settlers rebelled and declared an independent Republic of Texas, which lasted a decade before allowing itself to be annexed by the United States. Mexico objected to the annexation, and the resulting border dispute led to the Mexican-American War, from which the U.S. would eventually obtain a great deal more of Mexico’s land. Texas went on to become the 28th US state, but its current borders were not finalized until the Compromise of 1850.

Texas joined the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War, and entered a period of economic depression after the Confederacy’s defeat by the Union. Things remained difficult until the turn of the twentieth century, when the discovery of crude oil in Texas sparked a rapid influx of wealth and development in the region. Military technology and research became a huge business in Texas during World War II, further moving the fortunes of the state away from agriculture and towards industrialization. In the latter half of the twentieth century, low state taxes encouraged many major businesses to open up offices in Texas or even relocate there entirely, providing a surge to the state’s local economy. Today, Texas competes heavily with California as a center of high-tech industries in the United States.

More Texas Facts & Trivia

1) Texas, the constituent part of the U.S., became the 28th state of the union in the year 1845.

2) It is the second most populous (after California) as well as the second biggest state (after Alaska) out of the 50 states that make up the United States of America.

3) Texas is situated in the south-central region of the country and to the south shares an international borderline with the Mexican states of Coahuila, Tamaulipas, Chihuahua, and Nuevo Leon.

4) Texas also borders Louisiana to the east, New Mexico to the west, Arkansas to the northeast, and Oklahoma to the north.

5) The state approximately spans an area of 266,833 square miles with an increasing population of more than 26.9 million people, according to a July 2014 estimate.

6) Houston - the largest city of Texas - is also the fourth-biggest city in the U.S.

7) The nickname Lone Star State signifies Texas as a former sovereign republic - it serves as a reminder of the state's independence struggle from Mexico.

8) Texas is derived from the word - Tejas, which stands for 'friends' in the Caddo language.

9) Guadalupe is the highest peak in Texas that rises to 2,667 meters above the sea level.

10) The slogan "Six Flags over Texas" signifies the six nations that held sway over the territory of Texas.

11) Possessing abundance of natural wealth, Texas is a chief agricultural state and a major industrial hub. Chief manufacturing industries of Texas comprise oil refining, chemicals, food processing, transport equipment, and machinery.

12) Having a vast expanse of high prairie, it is a leading state in such categories as sheep, cattle, oil, and cotton. Other precious resources of Texas include helium, sulfur, salt, natural gas, clays, bromine, and cement.

13) Rio Grande is a major river in Texas that covers some 1,900 miles from the point of its origin in the Rocky Mountains, Colorado to the Gulf of Mexico. Other important rivers are Brazos, Trinity, Sabine, and Red rivers.

14) More than $50 billion is annually spent by millions of visitors to above 100 state parks, recreation zones, and other places of interest, such as the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston, the Gulf Coast resort region, the Big Bend, the Alamo of San Antonio, and Guadalupe Mountains National Park.

15) Texas is home to a wide range of insects and animals - having 590 native species from the prodigious bird life diversity of the United States, 213 species of amphibians and reptiles, and 65 species of mammals.

16) Texas, as an independent nation, would rank as the seventh-biggest producer of greenhouse gases in the world - emitting about 1.5 trillion pounds of Carbon dioxide every year. The reasons for the state's vast emissions of greenhouse gas are attributable to the state's manufacturing and refining industries and mega coal power plants.

17) The most horrendous natural calamity in the U.S. occurred in Galveston, the island city of Texas, which was once the country's largest cotton port and a significant gateway for emigrants. A Category 4 typhoon on 8 September 1900 completely ruined the city and killed as many as 12,000 people.

18) The first governor and first president of Texas was Sam Houston, whose statue called A Tribute to Courage is the largest freestanding statue of an American across the world.

19) The Texas Star in the Dallas State Fair Park is the biggest ferry wheel in the Western Hemisphere.

20) The oldest and the largest rattlesnake roundup of the world is held in Sweetwater, Texas, every year in the month of March.


Video on Facts about Texas

Last Updated on : February 06, 2016

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