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Texas (/ˈtɛksəs/, locally /-sɪz/; Spanish: Texas
Texas
or Tejas
[ˈtexas]) is the second largest state in the United States by both area and population. Geographically located in the South Central region of the country, Texas
Texas
shares borders with the U.S. 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 southwest, while the Gulf of Mexico is to the southeast.

Houston is the List of cities in Texas
List of cities in Texas
by population">most populous city in Texas
Texas
and the United States
United States
cities by population">fourth largest in the U.S., while San Antonio is the second-most populous in the state and seventh largest in the U.S. Fort Worth
Fort Worth
metroplex">Dallas–Fort Worth and Greater Houston are the fourth and fifth largest metropolitan statistical areas in the country, respectively. Other major cities include Austin, the second-most populous state capital in the U.S., and El Paso. Texas
Texas
is nicknamed "The Lone Star State" to signify its former status as an independent republic, and as a reminder of the state's struggle for independence from Mexico. The "Lone Star" can be found on the Texas
Texas
state flag and on the Texan state seal.[9] The origin of Texas's name is from the word taysha, which means "friends" in the Caddo language.[10]

Due to its size and geologic features such as the Balcones Fault, Texas
Texas
contains diverse landscapes common to both the U.S. Southern and Southwestern regions.[11] Although Texas
Texas
is popularly associated with the U.S. southwestern deserts, less than 10% of Texas's land area is desert.[12] Most of the population centers are located in areas of former prairies, grasslands, forests, and the coastline. Traveling from east to west, one can observe terrain that ranges from coastal swamps and piney woods, to rolling plains and rugged hills, and finally the desert and mountains of the Big Bend.

The term "six flags over Texas"[note 1] refers to several nations that have ruled over the territory. Spain was the first European country to claim the area of Texas. France held a short-lived colony. Mexico
Mexico
controlled the territory until 1836 when Texas
Texas
won its independence, becoming an independent Republic. In 1845,[13] Texas
Texas
joined the union as the 28th state. The state's Texas
Texas
Annexation">annexation set off a chain of events that led to the Mexican–American War in 1846. A slave state before the American Civil War, Texas
Texas
declared its secession from the U.S. in early 1861, and officially joined the Confederate States of America on March 2 of the same year. After the Civil War and the restoration of its representation in the federal government, Texas
Texas
entered a long period of economic stagnation.

Historically four major industries shaped the Texas
Texas
economy prior to World War II: cattle and bison, cotton, timber, and oil.[14] Before and after the U.S. Civil War the cattle industry, which Texas
Texas
came to dominate, was a major economic driver for the state, thus creating the traditional image of the Texas
Texas
cowboy. In the later 19th century cotton and lumber grew to be major industries as the cattle industry became less lucrative. It was ultimately, though, the discovery of major petroleum deposits (Spindletop in particular) that initiated an Texas
Texas
oil boom">economic boom which became the driving force behind the economy for much of the 20th century. With strong investments in universities, Texas
Texas
developed a diversified economy and high tech industry in the mid-20th century. As of 2015, it is second on the list of the most Fortune 500 companies with 54.[15] With a growing base of industry, the state leads in many industries, including agriculture, petrochemicals, energy, computers and electronics, aerospace, and biomedical sciences. Texas
Texas
has led the nation in state export revenue since 2002, and has the second-highest gross state product. If it were a country, Texas
Texas
would be the 10th largest economy in the world.

Etymology

The name Texas, based on the Caddo
Caddo
language">Caddo word taysha (or tayshas) meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in East Texas.[16][17]

During Spanish colonial rule, the area was officially known as the Nuevo Reino de Filipinas: La Provincia de Texas (English: New Kingdom of the Philippines: The Province of Texas).[18]

Geography

Texas
Texas
Hill Country"> Texas
Texas
Hill Country

Texas
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 and almost twice as large as Germany or Japan, it ranks only 27th worldwide amongst country subdivisions by size. If it were an independent country, Texas
Texas
would be the 40th largest behind Chile and Zambia.

Texas
Texas
is in the south central part of the United States
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
Oklahoma
and Arkansas
Arkansas
to the north. The Sabine River forms a natural border with Louisiana
Louisiana
to the east. The Texas
Texas
Panhandle"> Texas
Texas
Panhandle has an eastern border with Oklahoma
Oklahoma
at 100° W, a northern border with Oklahoma
Oklahoma
at 36°30' N and a western border with New Mexico
New Mexico
at 103° W. El Paso lies on the state's western tip at 32° N and the Rio Grande.[19]

With 10 climatic regions, 14 soil regions and 11 distinct ecological regions, regional classification becomes problematic with differences in soils, topography, geology, rainfall, and plant and animal communities.[20] One classification system divides Texas, in order from southeast to west, into the following: Gulf Coastal Plains, Interior Lowlands, Great Plains, and Basin and Range Province.

The Gulf Coastal Plains
Gulf Coastal Plains
region wraps around the Gulf of Mexico
Gulf of Mexico
on the southeast section of the state. Vegetation in this region consists of thick piney woods. The Interior Lowlands region consists of gently rolling to hilly forested land and is part of a larger pine-hardwood forest.

The Great Plains
Great Plains
region in central Texas
Texas
is located in spans through the state's Texas
Texas
Panhandle">panhandle and Llano Estacado to the state's Texas
Texas
Hill Country">hill country near Austin. This region is dominated by prairie and steppe. "Far West Texas" or the "Trans-Pecos" region is the state's Basin and Range Province. The most varied of the regions, this area includes Sand Hills, the Stockton Plateau, desert valleys, wooded mountain slopes and desert grasslands.

Texas
Texas
has 3,700 named streams and 15 major rivers,[21][22] with the Rio Grande as the largest. Other major rivers include the Pecos, the Brazos, Colorado
Colorado
River (Texas)">Colorado, and Red River. While Texas
Texas
has few natural lakes, Texans have built over 100 artificial reservoirs.[23]

The size and unique history of Texas
Texas
make its regional affiliation debatable; it can be fairly considered a Southern or a Southwestern state, or both. The vast geographic, economic, and cultural diversity within the state itself prohibits easy categorization of the whole state into a recognized region of the United States. Notable extremes range from East Texas which is often considered an extension of the Deep South, to Far West Texas which is generally acknowledged to be part of the interior Southwest.[24]

Geology

Texas
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
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 MountainsOuachita Mountains zone of Pennsylvanian continental collision. This orogenic crest is today buried beneath the Dallas–Waco—Austin– San Antonio
San Antonio
trend.

The late Paleozoic mountains collapsed as rifting in the Jurassic period began to open the Gulf of Mexico. Pangea
Pangea
began to break up in the Triassic, but seafloor spreading to form the Gulf of Mexico
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
Gulf of Mexico
passive margin began to form. Today 9 to 12 miles (14 to 19 km) of sediments are buried beneath the Texas
Texas
continental shelf and a large proportion of remaining US oil reserves are located here. At the start of its formation, the incipient Gulf of Mexico
Gulf of Mexico
basin was restricted and seawater often evaporated completely to form thick evaporite deposits of Jurassic
Jurassic
age. These salt deposits formed salt dome diapirs, and are found in East Texas
East Texas
along the Gulf coast.[25]

East Texas
East Texas
outcrops consist of Cretaceous and Paleogene sediments which contain important deposits of Eocene lignite. The Mississippian and Pennsylvanian sediments in the north; Permian sediments in the west; and Cretaceous
Cretaceous
sediments in the east, along the Gulf coast and out on the Texas
Texas
continental shelf contain oil. Oligocene volcanic rocks are found in far west Texas
Texas
in the Big Bend area. A blanket of Miocene sediments known as the Ogallala formation in the western high plains region is an important aquifer.[26] Located far from an active plate tectonic boundary, Texas
Texas
has no volcanoes and few earthquakes.[27]

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.[28] At least 12 species have been introduced and now reproduce freely in Texas.[29]

Texas
Texas
plays host to several species of wasps. Texas
Texas
is one of the regions that has the highest abundance of Polistes exclamans.[30] Additionally, Texas
Texas
has provided an important ground for the study of Polistes annularis.

During the spring Texas
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
Texas
wildflowers.

Climate

Köppen climate types in Texas

The large size of Texas
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
Gulf Coast
has mild winters. Texas
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,[31] while parts of southeast Texas
Texas
average as much as 64 inches (1,600 mm) per year.[32] Dallas
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
San Antonio
or on the coast in rare circumstances only. 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.[33]

Maximum temperatures in the summer months average from the 80s °F (26 °C) in the mountains of West Texas
West Texas
and on Galveston Island to around 100 °F (38 °C) in the Rio Grande
Rio Grande
Valley"> Rio Grande
Rio Grande
Valley, but most areas of Texas
Texas
see consistent summer high temperatures in the 90 °F (32 °C) range.

Night-time summer temperatures range from the upper 50s °F (14 °C) in the West Texas
West Texas
mountains[34] to 80 °F (27 °C) in Galveston.[35]

The table below consists of averages for August (generally the warmest month) and January (generally the coldest) in selected cities in various regions of the state. El Paso
El Paso
and Amarillo are exceptions with July and December respectively being the warmest and coldest months respectively, but with August and January only being narrowly different.

Average daily maximum and minimum temperatures for selected cities in Texas[36]
Location August (°F) August (°C) January (°F) January (°C)
Houston 94/75 34/24 63/42 17/6
San Antonio 96/74 35/23 63/40 17/5
Dallas 96/77 36/25 57/37 16/3
Austin 97/74 36/23 61/45 16/5
El Paso 92/67 33/21 57/32 14/0
Laredo 100/77 37/25 67/46 19/7
Amarillo 89/64 32/18 50/23 10/–4
Brownsville 94/76 34/24 70/51 21/11

Storms

Thunderstorms strike Texas
Texas
often, especially the eastern and northern portions of the state. Tornado
Tornado
Alley"> Tornado
Tornado
Alley covers the northern section of Texas. The state experiences the most tornadoes in the United States, an average of 139 a year. These strike most frequently in North Texas
North Texas
and the Panhandle.[37] Tornadoes in Texas
Texas
generally occur in the months of April, May, and June.[38]

Some of the most destructive hurricanes in U.S. history have impacted Texas. A hurricane in 1875 killed about 400 people in Indianola, followed by another hurricane in 1886 that destroyed the town. These events allowed Galveston to take over as the chief port city. The 1900 Galveston hurricane subsequently devastated that city, killing about 8,000 people or possibly as many as 12,000. This makes it the deadliest natural disaster in U.S. history.[39] In 2017, Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Rockport as a Category 4 Hurricane, causing significant damage there. The storm stalled over land for a very long time, allowing it to drop unprecedented amounts of rain over the Greater Houston area and surrounding counties. The result was widespread and catastrophic flooding that inundated hundreds of thousands of homes. Harvey ultimately became the costliest hurricane worldwide, causing an estimated $198.6 billion in damage, surpassing the cost of Hurricane Katrina.[40]

Other devastating Texas
Texas
hurricanes include the 1915 Galveston hurricane, Hurricane Audrey in 1957 which killed over 600 people, Hurricane Carla in 1961, Hurricane Beulah in 1967, Hurricane Alicia in 1983, Hurricane Rita in 2005, and Hurricane Ike in 2008. Tropical storms have also caused their share of damage: Tropical Storm Allison
Tropical Storm Allison
(1989)">Allison in 1989 and again during 2001, and Claudette in 1979 among them.

Greenhouse gases

Texas
Texas
emits the most greenhouse gases in the U.S.[41][42][43] The state emits nearly 1.5 trillion pounds (680 billion kg) of carbon dioxide annually. As an independent nation, Texas
Texas
would rank as the world's seventh-largest producer of greenhouse gases.[42] Causes of the state's vast greenhouse gas emissions include the state's large number of coal power plants and the state's refining and manufacturing industries.[42] In 2010, there were 2,553 "emission events" which poured 44.6 million pounds of contaminants into the Texas
Texas
sky.[44]

History

Pre-European era

Texas
Texas
lies between two major cultural spheres of Pre-Columbian North America: the Southwestern and the Plains areas. Archaeologists have found that three major indigenous cultures lived in this territory, and reached their developmental peak before the first European contact. These were:[45]

No culture was dominant in the present-day Texas
Texas
region, and many peoples inhabited the area.[45] Native American tribes that lived inside the boundaries of present-day Texas
Texas
include the Alabama
Alabama
people">Alabama, Apache, Atakapan, Bidai, Caddo, Coahuiltecan, Comanche, Choctaw, Coushatta, Hasinai, Jumano, Karankawa, Kickapoo, Kiowa, Tonkawa, and Wichita.[46][47] The name Texas derives from táyshaʔ, a word in the Caddoan language of the Hasinai, which means "friends" or "allies".[2][17][48][49][50]

Whether a Native American tribe was friendly or warlike was critical to the fates of European explorers and settlers in that land.[51] Friendly tribes taught newcomers how to grow indigenous crops, prepare foods, and hunt wild game. Warlike tribes made life difficult and dangerous for Europeans through their attacks and resistance to the newcomers.[52]

Colonization

Flags of the six nations that have had sovereignty over some or all of the current territory of Texas

The first historical document related to Texas
Texas
was a map of the Gulf Coast, created in 1519 by Spanish explorer Alonso Álvarez de Pineda.[53] Nine years later, shipwrecked Spanish explorer Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca and his cohort became the first Europeans in what is now Texas.[54][55] Cabeza de Vaca reported that in 1528, when the Spanish landed in the area, "half the natives died from a disease of the bowels and blamed us."[56] Cabeza de Vaca also made observations about the way of life of the Ignaces Natives of Texas:

They went about with a firebrand, setting fire to the plains and timber so as to drive off the mosquitos, and also to get lizards and similar things which they eat, to come out of the soil. In the same manner they kill deer, encircling them with fires, and they do it also to deprive the animals of pasture, compelling them to go for food where the Indians want.[57]

Francisco Vázquez de Coronado describes his 1541 encounter with:

Two kinds of people travel around these plains with the cows; one is called Querechos and the others Teyas; they are very well built, and painted, and are enemies of each other. They have no other settlement or location than comes from traveling around with the cows. They kill all of these they wish, and tan the hides, with which they clothe themselves and make their tents, and they eat the flesh, sometimes even raw, and they also even drink the blood when thirsty. The tents they make are like field tents, and they set them up over some poles they have made for this purpose, which come together and are tied at the top, and when they go from one place to another they carry them on some dogs they have, of which they have many, and they load them with the tents and poles and other things, for the country is so level, as I said, that they can make use of these, because they carry the poles dragging along on the ground. The sun is what they worship most.[58]

European powers ignored the area until accidentally settling there in 1685. Miscalculations by René-Robert Cavelier de La Salle resulted in his establishing the colony of Fort Saint Louis at Matagorda Bay rather than along the Mississippi
Mississippi
River"> Mississippi
Mississippi
River.[59] The colony lasted only four years before succumbing to harsh conditions and hostile natives.[60]

A 1718 map of Texas
Texas
by Guillaume de L'Isle. Approximate state area highlighted, northern areas indefinite.

In 1690 Spanish authorities, concerned that France posed competitive threat, constructed several missions in East Texas.[61] After Native American resistance, the Spanish missionaries returned to Mexico.[62] When France began settling Louisiana
Louisiana
(New France)">Louisiana, mostly in the southern part of the state, in 1716 Spanish authorities responded by founding a new series of missions in East Texas.[63] Two years later, they created San Antonio as the first Spanish civilian settlement in the area.[64]

Nicolas de La Fora's 1771 map of the northern frontier of New Spain clearly shows the Provincia de los Tejas.[65]

Hostile native tribes and distance from nearby Spanish colonies discouraged settlers from moving to the area. It was one of New Spain's least populated provinces.[66] In 1749, the Spanish peace treaty with the Apache
Apache
people">Lipan Apache[67] angered many tribes, including the Comanche, Tonkawa, and Hasinai.[68] The Comanche
Comanche
signed a treaty with Spain in 1785[69] and later helped to defeat the Lipan Apache
Apache
and Karankawa tribes.[70] With more numerous missions being established, priests led a peaceful conversion of most tribes. By the end of the 18th century only a few nomadic tribes had not converted to Christianity.[71]

Stephen F. Austin was the first American empresario given permission to operate a colony within Mexican Texas.
Mexico
Mexico
in 1824. Coahuila
Coahuila
y Tejas"> Coahuila
Coahuila
y Tejas is the northeastern-most state.

When the United States
United States
Louisiana
Louisiana
Purchase">purchased Louisiana from France in 1803, American authorities insisted that the agreement also included Texas. The boundary between New Spain and the United States
United States
was finally set at the Sabine River in 1819, at what is now the border between Texas
Texas
and Louisiana.[72] Eager for new land, many United States
United States
settlers refused to recognize the agreement. Several filibusters raised armies to invade the area west of the Sabine River.[73] In 1821, the Mexican War of Independence included the Texas
Texas
territory, which became part of Mexico.[74] Due to its low population, Mexico
Mexico
made the area part of the state of Coahuila
Coahuila
y Tejas"> Coahuila
Coahuila
y Tejas.[75]

Hoping that more settlers would reduce the near-constant Comanche
Comanche
raids, Mexican Texas liberalized its immigration policies to permit immigrants from outside Mexico
Mexico
and Spain.[76] Under the Mexican immigration system, large swathes of land were allotted to empresarios, who recruited settlers from the United States, Europe, and the Mexican interior. The first grant, to Moses Austin, was passed to his son Stephen F. Austin after his death.

Austin's settlers, the Old Three Hundred, made places along the Brazos River in 1822.[77] Twenty-three other empresarios brought settlers to the state, the majority of whom were from the United States.[78] The population of Texas
Texas
grew rapidly. In 1825, Texas
Texas
had about 3,500 people, with most of Mexican descent.[79] By 1834, the population had grown to about 37,800 people, with only 7,800 of Mexican descent.[80] Most of these early settlers who arrived with Austin
Austin
and soon after were persons less than fortunate in life, as Texas
Texas
was devoid of the comforts found elsewhere in Mexico
Mexico
and the United States
United States
during that time period. Early Texas
Texas
settler David B. Edwards described his fellow Texans as being "banished from the pleasures of life."[81]

Many immigrants openly flouted Mexican law, especially the prohibition against slavery. Combined with United States' attempts to purchase Texas, Mexican authorities decided in 1830 to prohibit continued immigration from the United States.[82] New laws also called for the enforcement of customs duties angering both native Mexican citizens (Tejanos) and recent immigrants.[83]

The Anahuac Disturbances in 1832 were the first open revolt against Mexican rule and they coincided with a revolt in Mexico
Mexico
against the nation's president.[84] Texians sided with the federalists against the current government and drove all Mexican soldiers out of East Texas.[85] They took advantage of the lack of oversight to agitate for more political freedom. Texians met at the Convention of 1832 to discuss requesting independent statehood, among other issues.[86] The following year, Texians reiterated their demands at the Convention of 1833.[87]

Republic

Within Mexico, tensions continued between federalists and centralists. In early 1835, wary Texians formed Committees of Correspondence and Safety.[88] The unrest erupted into armed conflict in late 1835 at the Battle of Gonzales.[89] This launched the Texas
Texas
Revolution"> Texas
Texas
Revolution, and over the next two months, the Texians defeated all Mexican troops in the region.[90] Texians elected delegates to the Consultation, which created a provisional government.[91] The provisional government soon collapsed from infighting, and Texas
Texas
was without clear governance for the first two months of 1836.[92]

William Henry Huddle: Surrender of Santa Anna (1886; Texas
Texas
State Capitol"> Texas
Texas
State Capitol, Austin)

During this time of political turmoil, Mexican President Antonio López de Santa Anna personally led an army to end the revolt.[93] The Mexican expedition was initially successful. General José de Urrea defeated all the Texian resistance along the coast culminating in the Goliad massacre.[94] Santa Anna's forces, after a thirteen-day siege, overwhelmed Texian defenders at the Battle of the Alamo. News of the defeats sparked panic amongst Texas
Texas
settlers.[95]

The present-day outlines of the U.S. states superimposed on the boundaries of the 1836–1845 Republic of Texas

The newly elected Texian delegates to the Convention of 1836 quickly signed a Texas
Texas
Declaration of Independence">Declaration of Independence on March 2, forming the Republic of Texas. After electing interim officers, the Convention disbanded.[96] The new government joined the other settlers in Texas
Texas
in the Runaway Scrape, fleeing from the approaching Mexican army.[95] After several weeks of retreat, the Texian Army"> Texian Army commanded by Sam Houston attacked and defeated Santa Anna's forces at the Battle of San Jacinto.[97] Santa Anna was captured and forced to sign the Treaties of Velasco, ending the war.[98]

While Texas
Texas
had won its independence, political battles raged between two factions of the new Republic. The nationalist faction, led by Mirabeau B. Lamar, advocated the continued independence of Texas, the expulsion of the Native Americans, and the expansion of the Republic to the Pacific Ocean. Their opponents, led by Sam Houston, advocated the annexation of Texas
Texas
to the United States
United States
and peaceful co-existence with Native Americans. The conflict between the factions was typified by an incident known as the Texas
Texas
Archive War"> Texas
Texas
Archive War.[99]

Mexico
Mexico
launched two small expeditions into Texas
Texas
in 1842. The town of San Antonio
San Antonio
was captured twice and Texans were defeated in battle in the Dawson massacre. Despite these successes, Mexico
Mexico
did not keep an occupying force in Texas, and the republic survived.[100] The republic's inability to defend itself added momentum to Texas's eventual annexation into the United States.

Statehood

As early as 1837, the Republic made several attempts to negotiate annexation with the United States.[101] Opposition within the republic from the nationalist faction, along with strong abolitionist opposition within the United States, slowed Texas's admission into the Union. Texas
Texas
was finally Texas
Texas
annexation">annexed when the expansionist James K. Polk won the United States
United States
presidential election, 1844">election of 1844.[102] On December 29, 1845, United States
United States
Congress">Congress admitted Texas
Texas
to the U.S. as a constituent state of the Union.[103]

The population of the new state was quite small at first and there was a strong mix between the English-speaking American settlers that dominated in the eastern/northeastern portions of the state and the Spanish-speaking former Mexicans that dominated in the southern and western portions of the state. Statehood brought many new settlers. Because of the long Spanish presence in Mexico
Mexico
and various failed colonization efforts by the Spanish and Mexicans in northern Mexico, there were large herds of Texas
Texas
Longhorn">Longhorn cattle that roamed the state. Hardy by nature but also suitable for slaughtering and consumption, they represented an economic opportunity that many entrepreneurs seized upon, thus creating the cowboy culture for which Texas
Texas
is famous. While in the early days of the republic cattle and bison were slaughtered for their hides, soon a beef industry was established with cattle being shipped all over the U.S. and the Caribbean (within a few decades, beef had become a staple of the American diet).

After Texas's annexation, Mexico
Mexico
broke diplomatic relations with the United States. While the United States
United States
claimed that Texas's border stretched to the Rio Grande, Mexico
Mexico
claimed it was the Nueces River. While the former Republic of Texas
Republic of Texas
could not enforce its border claims, the United States
United States
had the military strength and the political will to do so. President Polk ordered General Zachary Taylor south to the Rio Grande
Rio Grande
on January 13, 1846. A few months later Mexican troops routed an American cavalry patrol in the disputed area in the Thornton Affair starting the Mexican–American War. The first battles of the war were fought in Texas: the Siege of Fort Texas, Battle of Palo Alto and Battle of Resaca de la Palma. After these decisive victories, the United States
United States
invaded Mexican territory ending the fighting in Texas.[104]

Proposals of 1850 for Texas
Texas
northwestern boundary

After a series of United States
United States
victories, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ended the two-year war. In return, for US$18,250,000, Mexico
Mexico
gave the U.S. undisputed control of Texas, ceded the Mexican Cession in 1848, most of which today is called the American Southwest, and Texas's borders were established at the Rio Grande.[104]

The Compromise of 1850 set Texas's boundaries at their present form. U.S. Senator James Pearce of Maryland
Maryland
drafted the final proposal[19] where Texas
Texas
ceded its claims to land which later became half of present-day New Mexico, a third of Colorado, and small portions of Kansas, Oklahoma, and Wyoming to the federal government, in return for the assumption of $10 million of the old republic's debt.[19] Post-war Texas
Texas
grew rapidly as migrants poured into the cotton lands of the state.[105]

They also brought or purchased enslaved African Americans, whose numbers tripled in the state from 1850 to 1860, from 58,000 to 182,566.[106]

Civil War and Reconstruction (1860–1900)

Civil war monument in Galveston, Texas

Texas
Texas
was at war again after the United States
United States
presidential election, 1860">election of 1860. At this time, blacks comprised 30 percent of the state's population, and they were overwhelmingly enslaved.[107] When Abraham Lincoln was elected, South Carolina
South Carolina
seceded from the Union. Five other Lower South states quickly followed. A State Convention considering secession opened in Austin
Austin
on January 28, 1861. On February 1, by a vote of 166–8, the Convention adopted an Ordinance of Secession from the United States. Texas
Texas
voters approved this Ordinance on February 23, 1861. Texas
Texas
joined the newly created Confederate States of America
Confederate States of America
on March 4, 1861 ratifying the permanent C.S. Constitution on March 23.[2][108]

Not all Texans favored secession initially, although many of the same would later support the Southern cause. Texas's most notable Unionist was the state Governor, Sam Houston. Not wanting to aggravate the situation, Houston
Houston
refused two offers from President Lincoln for Union troops to keep him in office. After refusing to swear an oath of allegiance to the Confederacy, Houston
Houston
was deposed as governor.[109]

While far from the major battlefields of the American Civil War, Texas
Texas
contributed large numbers of men and equipment to the rest of the Confederacy.[110] Union troops briefly occupied the state's primary port, Galveston. Texas's border with Mexico
Mexico
was known as the "backdoor of the Confederacy" because trade occurred at the border, bypassing the Union blockade.[111] The Confederacy repulsed all Union attempts to shut down this route,[110] but Texas's role as a supply state was marginalized in mid-1863 after the Union capture of the Mississippi
Mississippi
River"> Mississippi
Mississippi
River. The final battle of the Civil War was fought near Brownsville, Texas
Brownsville, Texas
at Palmito Ranch[112] with a Confederate victory.

Texas
Texas
descended into anarchy for two months between the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia and the assumption of authority by Union General Gordon Granger. Violence marked the early months of Reconstruction.[110] Juneteenth commemorates the announcement of the Emancipation Proclamation in Galveston by General Gordon Granger, almost two and a half years after the original announcement.[113][114] President Johnson, in 1866, declared the civilian government restored in Texas.[115] Despite not meeting reconstruction requirements, Congress resumed allowing elected Texas
Texas
representatives into the federal government in 1870. Social volatility continued as the state struggled with agricultural depression and labor issues.[116]

Like most of the South, the Texas
Texas
economy was devastated by the War. However, since the state had not been as dependent on slaves as other parts of the South it was able to recover more quickly. The culture in Texas
Texas
during the later 19th century exhibited many facets of a frontier territory. The state became notorious as a haven for people from other parts of the country who wanted to escape debt, criminal prosecution, or other problems. Indeed, "Gone to Texas" was a common expression for those fleeing the law in other states. Nevertheless, the state also attracted many businessmen and other settlers with more legitimate interests as well.

The cattle industry continued to thrive though it gradually became less profitable. Cotton and lumber became major industries creating new economic booms in various regions of the state. Railroad networks grew rapidly as did the port at Galveston as commerce between Texas
Texas
and the rest of the U.S. (and the rest of the world) expanded. As with some other states before, the lumber industry quickly decimated the History of Texas
History of Texas
forests">forests of Texas such that by the early 20th century the major of the forest population in Texas
Texas
was gone (later conservation efforts restored some of it but never to the level it once was).

Earlier 20th century

Spindletop, the first major oil gusher

In 1900, Texas
Texas
suffered the deadliest natural disaster in U.S. history during the Galveston hurricane.[39] On January 10, 1901, the first major oil well in Texas, Spindletop, was found south of Beaumont. Other fields were later discovered nearby in East Texas
East Texas
Oil Field">East Texas, West Texas, and under the Gulf of Mexico. The resulting " Texas
Texas
oil boom">oil boom" transformed Texas.[117] Oil production eventually averaged three million barrels per day at its peak in 1972.[118]

In 1901, the Democratic-dominated state legislature passed a bill requiring payment of a poll tax for voting, which effectively disenfranchised most blacks, and many poor whites and Latinos. In addition, the legislature established white primaries, ensuring that minorities were excluded from the formal political process. The number of voters dropped dramatically, and the Democrats crushed competition from the Republican and Populist parties.[119][120] The Socialist Party became the second-largest party in Texas
Texas
after 1912,[121] coinciding with a large socialist upsurge in the United States
United States
during fierce battles in the labor movement and the popularity of national heroes like Eugene V. Debs. The Socialists' popularity soon waned after their vilification by the United States
United States
government for their opposition to US involvement in World War I.

The Great Depression and the Dust Bowl dealt a double blow to the state's economy, which had significantly improved since the Civil War. Migrants abandoned the worst hit sections of Texas
Texas
during the Dust Bowl
Dust Bowl
years. Especially from this period on, blacks left Texas
Texas
in the Great Migration to get work in the Northern United States
United States
or California
California
and to escape the oppression of segregation.[107] In 1940, Texas
Texas
was 74 percent Anglo, 14.4 percent black, and 11.5 percent Hispanic.[122]

World War II
World War II
had a dramatic impact on Texas, as federal money poured in to build military bases, munitions factories, POW detention camps and Army hospitals; 750,000 young men left for service; the cities exploded with new industry; the colleges took on new roles; and hundreds of thousands of poor farmers left the fields for much better paying war jobs, never to return to agriculture.[123][124] Texas
Texas
manufactured 3.1 percent of total United States
United States
military armaments produced during World War II, ranking eleventh among the 48 states.[125]

Texas
Texas
modernized and expanded its system of higher education through the 1960s. The state created a comprehensive plan for higher education, funded in large part by oil revenues, and a central state apparatus designed to manage state institutions more efficiently. These changes helped Texas
Texas
universities receive federal research funds.[126]

On November 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas.[127]

Economic and political change (1950–present)

Beginning around the mid-20th century, Texas
Texas
began to transform from a rural and agricultural state to one that was urban and industrialized.[128] The state's population grew quickly during this period, with large levels of migration from outside the state.[128] As a part of the Sun Belt Texas
Texas
experienced strong economic growth, particularly during the 1970s and early 1980s.[128] Texas's economy diversified, lessening its reliance on the Petroleum
Petroleum
industry">petroleum industry.[128] By 1990, Hispanics overtook blacks to become the largest minority group in the state.[128]

During the late 20th century, the Republican Party replaced the Democratic Party as the dominant party in the state, as the latter became more politically liberal and as demographic changes favored the former.[128]

Government and politics

The current Texas
Texas
Constitution"> Texas
Texas
Constitution was adopted in 1876. Like many states, it explicitly provides for a separation of powers. The state's Bill of Rights is much larger than its United States
United States
Bill of Rights">federal counterpart, and has provisions unique to Texas.[129]

State government

The Texas
Texas
State Capitol"> Texas
Texas
State Capitol at night

Texas
Texas
has a plural executive branch system limiting the power of the governor, which is a weak executive compared to some other states. Except for the Secretary of State, voters elect executive officers independently; thus candidates are directly answerable to the public, not the governor.[130] This election system has led to some executive branches split between parties and reduced the ability of the governor to carry out a program. When Republican President George W. Bush served as Texas's governor, the state had a Democratic lieutenant governor, Bob Bullock. The executive branch positions consist of the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Comptroller of Public Accounts, Land Commissioner, Attorney General, Agriculture Commissioner, the three-member Texas
Texas
Railroad Commission"> Texas
Texas
Railroad Commission, the State Board of Education, and the Secretary of State.[130]

The bicameral Texas
Texas
Legislature"> Texas
Texas
Legislature consists of the Texas
Texas
House of Representatives">House of Representatives, with 150 members, and a Texas
Texas
Senate">Senate, with 31 members. The Texas
Texas
House of Representatives">Speaker of the House leads the House, and the lieutenant governor, the Senate.[131] The Legislature
Legislature
meets in regular session biennially for just over 100 days, but the governor can call for special sessions as often as desired (notably, the Legislature
Legislature
cannot call itself into session).[132] The state's fiscal year spans from the previous calendar year's September 1 to the current year's August 31. Thus, the FY 2015 dates from September 1, 2014 through August 31, 2015.

The judiciary of Texas is one of the most complex in the United States, with many layers and overlapping jurisdictions. Texas
Texas
has two courts of last resort: the Texas
Texas
Supreme Court"> Texas
Texas
Supreme Court, for civil cases, and the Texas
Texas
Court of Criminal Appeals"> Texas
Texas
Court of Criminal Appeals. Except for some municipal benches, partisan elections select judges at all levels of the judiciary; the governor fills vacancies by appointment.[133] Texas
Texas
is notable for its use of capital punishment, having led the country in executions since capital punishment was reinstated in the Gregg v. Georgia case (see Capital punishment in Texas).

The Texas
Texas
Ranger Division"> Texas
Texas
Ranger Division of the Texas
Texas
Department of Public Safety"> Texas
Texas
Department of Public Safety is a law enforcement agency with statewide jurisdiction. Over the years, the Texas
Texas
Rangers have investigated crimes ranging from murder to political corruption. They have acted as riot police and as detectives, protected the Texas
Texas
governor, tracked down fugitives, and functioned as a paramilitary force both for the republic and the state. The Texas
Texas
Rangers were unofficially created by Stephen F. Austin in 1823 and formally constituted in 1835. The Rangers were integral to several important events of Texas
Texas
history and some of the best-known criminal cases in the history of the Old West.[134]

The Texas
Texas
constitution defines the responsibilities of county governments, which serve as agents of the state. What are called commissioners court and court judges are elected to serve as the administrative arm. Most cities in the state, those over 5,000 in population, have home-rule governments. The vast majority of these have charters for council-manager forms of government, by which voters elect council members, who hire a professional city manager as operating officer.

Politics

Texas
Texas
Presidential elections results
[135]
Year Republican Democratic
United States
United States
presidential election, 2016">2016
52.23% 4,685,047 43.24% 3,877,868
United States
United States
presidential election, 2012">2012
57.15% 4,569,843 41.37% 3,308,124
United States
United States
presidential election, 2008">2008
55.39% 4,479,328 43.63% 3,528,633
United States
United States
presidential election, 2004">2004
61.09% 4,526,917 38.30% 2,832,704
United States
United States
presidential election, 2000">2000
59.30% 3,799,639 38.11% 2,433,746
United States
United States
presidential election, 1996">1996
48.80% 2,736,166 43.81% 2,459,683
United States
United States
presidential election, 1992">1992
40.61% 2,496,071 37.11% 2,281,815
United States
United States
presidential election, 1988">1988
56.01% 3,036,829 43.41% 2,352,748
United States
United States
presidential election, 1984">1984
63.58% 3,433,428 36.18% 1,949,276
United States
United States
presidential election, 1980">1980
55.30% 2,510,705 41.51% 1,881,148

Political history

Lyndon B. Johnson, Texan and 36th president of the United States

In the 1870s, white Democrats wrested power back in the state legislature from the biracial coalition at the end of Reconstruction. In the early 20th century, the legislature passed bills to impose poll taxes, followed by white primaries; these measures effectively disfranchised most blacks, poor whites and Mexican Americans.[119][120] In the 1890s, 100,000 blacks voted in the state; by 1906, only 5,000 could vote.[136] As a result, the Democratic Party dominated Texas
Texas
politics from the turn of the century, imposing racial segregation and white supremacy. It held power until after passage in the mid-1960s of national civil rights legislation enforcing constitutional rights of all citizens.

Although Texas
Texas
was essentially a one-party state during this time and the Democratic primary was viewed as "the real election," the Democratic Party had conservative and liberal factions, which became more pronounced after the New Deal.[137] Additionally, several factions of the party briefly split during the 1930s and 1940s.[137]

The state's conservative white voters began to support Republican presidential candidates by the mid-20th century. After this period, they supported Republicans for local and state offices as well, and most whites became Republican Party members.[138] The party also attracted some minorities, but many have continued to vote for Democratic candidates. The shift to the Republican Party is much-attributed to the fact that the Democratic Party became increasingly liberal during the 20th century, and thus increasingly out-of-touch with the average Texas
Texas
voter.[139] As Texas
Texas
was always a conservative state, voters switched to the GOP, which now more closely reflected their beliefs.[139][140] Commentators have also attributed the shift to Republican political consultant Karl Rove, who managed numerous political campaigns in Texas
Texas
in the 1980s and 1990s.[140] Other stated reasons included court-ordered redistricting and the demographic shift in relation to the Sun Belt that favored the Republican Party and conservatism.[128]

The Texas
Texas
redistricting">2003 Texas
Texas
redistricting of Congressional districts led by Republican Tom DeLay, was called by The New York Times "an extreme case of partisan gerrymandering".[141] A group of Democratic legislators, the " Texas
Texas
Eleven"> Texas
Texas
Eleven", fled the state in a quorum-busting effort to prevent the legislature from acting, but was unsuccessful.[142] The state had already redistricted following the 2000 census. Despite these efforts, the legislature passed a map heavily in favor of Republicans, based on 2000 data and ignoring the estimated nearly one million new residents in the state since that date. Career attorneys and analysts at the Department of Justice objected to the plan as diluting the votes of African American
African American
and Hispanic voters, but political appointees overrode them and approved it.[141] Legal challenges to the redistricting reached the national Supreme Court in the case League of United Latin American Citizens v. Perry (2006), but the court ruled in favor of the state (and Republicans).[143]

In the Texas
Texas
elections, 2014">2014 Texas
Texas
elections, the Tea Party movement made large gains, with numerous Tea Party favorites being elected into office, including Dan Patrick as lieutenant governor,[144][145] Ken Paxton as attorney general,[144][146] in addition to numerous other candidates[146] including conservative Republican Greg Abbott as governor.[147]

Texas
Texas
politics today

Texas
Texas
voters lean toward fiscal conservatism, while enjoying the benefits of huge federal investment in the state in military and other facilities achieved by the power of the Solid South in the 20th century. They also tend to have socially conservative values.[148][149]

Since 1980, most Texas
Texas
voters have supported Republican presidential candidates. In 2000 and 2004, Republican George W. Bush won Texas
Texas
with 60.1 percent of the vote, partly due to his "favorite son" status as a former governor of the state. John McCain won the state in United States
United States
presidential election, 2008">2008, but with a smaller margin of victory compared to Bush at 55 percent of the vote. Austin, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio
San Antonio
consistently lean Democratic in both local and statewide elections.

Residents of counties along the Rio Grande closer to the United States
United States
border">Mexico- United States
United States
border, where there are many Latino residents, generally vote for Democratic Party candidates, while most other rural and suburban areas of Texas
Texas
have shifted to voting for Republican Party candidates.[150][151]

As of the United States
United States
elections, 2014">general elections of 2014, a large majority of the members of Texas's U.S. House delegation are Republican, along with both U.S. Senators. In the United States
United States
Congress">114th United States
United States
Congress, of the 36 Texas
Texas
Congressional Districts">Congressional districts in Texas, 24 are held by Republicans and 11 by Democrats. One seat is currently vacant. Texas's Senators are John Cornyn and Ted Cruz. Since 1994, Texans have not elected a Democrat to a statewide office. The state's Democratic voters are made up primarily by liberal and minority groups in Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, Houston, Beaumont, and El Paso, as well as minority voters in East Texas
East Texas
and South Texas.

United States
United States
presidential election in Texas, 2016"> United States
United States
presidential election in Texas, 2016[152]
Party Candidate Running mate Votes Percentage Electoral votes
Republican Donald Trump Mike Pence 4,685,047 52.23% 36
Democratic Hillary Clinton Tim Kaine 3,877,868 43.24% 0
Libertarian Gary Johnson William Weld 283,492 3.16% 0
Green Jill Stein Ajamu Baraka 71,558 0.80% 0
Write-in Various candidates Various candidates 51,261 0.57% 0
Republican John Kasich[a] Carly Fiorina[a] 0 0.0% 1
Libertarian Ron Paul[a] Mike Pence 0 0.0% 1
Totals 8,969,226 100.00% 38
Voter turnout (voting age population)

Administrative divisions

Texas
Texas
has 254 counties— the most nationwide. Each county runs on Commissioners' Court system consisting of four elected commissioners (one from each of four precincts in the county, roughly divided according to population) and a county judge elected at large from the entire county. County government runs similar to a "weak" mayor-council system; the county judge has no veto authority, but votes along with the other commissioners.

Although Texas
Texas
permits cities and counties to enter "interlocal agreements" to share services, the state does not allow consolidated city-county governments, nor does it have metropolitan governments. Counties are not granted home rule status; their powers are strictly defined by state law. The state does not have townships— areas within a county are either incorporated or unincorporated. Incorporated areas are part of a municipality. The county provides limited services to unincorporated areas and to some smaller incorporated areas. Municipalities are classified either "general law" cities or "home rule".[153] A municipality may elect home rule status once it exceeds 5,000 population with voter approval.

Texas
Texas
also permits the creation of "special districts", which provide limited services. The most common is the school district, but can also include hospital districts, community college districts, and utility districts (one utility district located near Austin
Austin
was the plaintiff in Austin
Austin
Municipal Utility District No. 1 v. Holder">a landmark Supreme Court case involving the Voting Rights Act).

Municipal, school district, and special district elections are nonpartisan,[154] though the party affiliation of a candidate may be well-known. County and state elections are partisan.

Criminal law

Texas
Texas
has a reputation of very harsh criminal punishment for criminal offenses. It is one of the 32 states that practice capital punishment, and since the US Supreme Court allowed capital punishment to resume in 1976, 40% of all US executions have taken place in Texas.[155] As of 2008, Texas
Texas
had the 4th highest incarceration rate in the US.[156] Texas
Texas
also has strong self defense laws, allowing citizens to use lethal force to defend themselves, their families, or their property.[157]

Economy

Astronaut training at the Johnson Space Center in Houston

As of 2016, Texas
Texas
had a gross state product (GSP) of $1.599 trillion, the List of U.S. states by GDP
List of U.S. states by GDP
(nominal)">second-highest in the U.S.[158] Its GSP is greater than the GDPs of Australia and South Korea, which are the world's 12th- and 13th-largest economies, respectively. Texas's economy is the fourth-largest of any country subdivision globally, behind England (as part of the UK), California, and Tokyo Prefecture. Its List of U.S. states by GDP
List of U.S. states by GDP
per capita (nominal)">Per Capita personal income in 2009 was $36,484, ranking 29th in the nation.[159]

A geomap depicting the income, by county, in Texas
Texas
as of 2014

Texas's large population, 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.[159]

As of April 2013, the state's unemployment rate is 6.4 percent.[160]

In 2010, Site Selection Magazine ranked Texas
Texas
as the most business-friendly state in the nation, in part because of the state's three-billion-dollar Texas
Texas
Enterprise Fund"> Texas
Texas
Enterprise Fund.[161] Texas
Texas
has the joint-highest number of Fortune 500 company headquarters in the United States, along with California.[162][163]

In 2010, there were 346,000 millionaires in Texas, constituting the second-largest population of millionaires in the nation.[164][165]

Taxation

Texas
Texas
has a "low taxes, low services" reputation.[148] According to the Tax Foundation, Texans' state and local tax burdens rank among the lowest in the nation, 7th lowest nationally; state and local taxes cost $3,580 per capita, or 8.4 percent of resident incomes.[166] Texas
Texas
is one of seven states that lack a state income tax.[166][167]

Instead, the state collects revenue from property taxes (though these are collected at the county, city, and school district level; Texas
Texas
has a state constitutional prohibition against a state property tax) and sales taxes. The state sales tax rate is 6.25 percent,[166][168] but local taxing jurisdictions (cities, counties, special purpose districts, and transit authorities) may also impose sales and use tax up to 2 percent for a total maximum combined rate of 8.25 percent.[169]

Texas
Texas
is a "tax donor state"; in 2005, for every dollar Texans paid to the federal government in federal income taxes, the state got back about $0.94 in benefits.[166] To attract business, Texas
Texas
has incentive programs worth $19 billion per year (2012); more than any other US state.[170][171]

Agriculture and mining

Cotton modules after being harvested in West Texas
An oil well
Brazos Wind Farm in the plains of West Texas

Texas
Texas
has the most farms and the highest acreage in the United States. The state is ranked #1 for revenue generated from total livestock and livestock products. It is ranked #2 for total agricultural revenue, behind California.[172] 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
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).[173]

Texas
Texas
leads the nation in the production of cattle, horses, sheep, goats, wool, mohair and hay.[173] The state also leads the nation in production of cotton[172][174] which is the number one crop grown in the state in terms of value.[175] The state grows significant amounts of cereal crops and produce.[172] Texas
Texas
has a large commercial fishing industry. With mineral resources, Texas
Texas
leads in creating cement, crushed stone, lime, salt, sand and gravel.[172]

Texas
Texas
throughout the 21st century has been hammered by drought. This has cost the state billions of dollars in livestock and crops.[176]

Energy

Ever since the discovery of oil at Spindletop, energy has been a dominant force politically and economically within the state.[177] If Texas
Texas
were its own country it would be the sixth largest oil producer in the world.[178]

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 Petroleum
Petroleum
Exporting Countries">Organization of Petroleum
Petroleum
Exporting Countries (OPEC) used the Texas
Texas
agency as one of their models for petroleum price control.[179]

Texas
Texas
has known petroleum deposits of about 5 billion barrels (790,000,000 m3), which makes up about one-fourth of the known U.S. reserves.[180] The state's refineries can process 4.6 million barrels (730,000 m3) of oil a day.[180] The Baytown Refinery in the Houston
Houston
area is the largest refinery in America.[180] Texas
Texas
also leads in natural gas production, producing one-fourth of the nation's supply.[180] Several petroleum companies are based in Texas
Texas
such as: Petroleum
Petroleum
Corporation">Anadarko Petroleum
Petroleum
Corporation, Conoco-Phillips, Exxon-Mobil, Halliburton, Marathon Oil, Tesoro, and Valero, Western Refining.

According to the Energy Information Administration, Texans consume, on average, the fifth most energy (of all types) in the nation per capita and as a whole, following behind Wyoming, Alaska, Louisiana, North Dakota, and Iowa.[180]

Unlike the rest of the nation, most of Texas
Texas
is on its own alternating current power grid, the Texas
Texas
Interconnection"> Texas
Texas
Interconnection. Texas
Texas
has a Texas
Texas
electricity market">deregulated electric service. Texas
Texas
leads the nation in total net electricity production, generating 437,236 MWh in 2014, 89% more MWh than Florida, which ranked second.[181][182] As an independent nation, Texas
Texas
would rank as the world's eleventh-largest producer of electricity, after South Korea, and ahead of the United Kingdom.

The state is a leader in renewable energy commercialization; it produces the most wind power in the nation.[180][183] In 2014, 10.6% of the electricity consumed in Texas
Texas
came from wind turbines.[184] The Roscoe Wind Farm in Roscoe, Texas, is one of the world's largest wind farms with a 781.5 megawatt (MW) capacity.[185] The Energy Information Administration
Energy Information Administration
states that the state's large agriculture and forestry industries could give Texas
Texas
an enormous amount biomass for use in biofuels. The state also has the highest solar power potential for development in the nation.[180]

Technology

With large universities systems coupled with initiatives like the Texas Enterprise Fund and the Texas
Texas
Emerging Technology Fund"> Texas
Texas
Emerging Technology Fund, a wide array of different high tech industries have developed in Texas. The Austin
Austin
area is nicknamed the "Silicon Hills" and the north Dallas
Dallas
area the "Silicon Prairie". Texas
Texas
has the headquarters of many high technology companies, such as Dell, Inc., Texas
Texas
Instruments"> Texas
Texas
Instruments, Perot Systems, Rackspace and AT&T.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon B. Johnson
Space Center"> Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon B. Johnson
Space Center (NASA JSC) located in Southeast Houston, sits as the crown jewel of Texas's aeronautics industry. Fort Worth hosts both Lockheed Martin's Lockheed Martin
Lockheed Martin
Aeronautics">Aeronautics division and Bell Helicopter Textron.[186][187] Lockheed builds the F-16 Fighting Falcon, the largest Western fighter program, and its successor, the F-35 Lightning II in Fort Worth.[188]

Commerce

Texas's affluence stimulates a strong commercial sector consisting of retail, wholesale, banking and insurance, and construction industries. Examples of Fortune 500
Fortune 500
companies not based on Texas
Texas
traditional industries are AT&T, Kimberly-Clark, Blockbuster, J. C. Penney, Whole Foods Market, and Tenet Healthcare.[189] Nationally, the Dallas– Fort Worth
Fort Worth
area, home to the second shopping mall in the United States, has the most shopping malls per capita of any American metropolitan area.[190]

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
Mexico
border.[191]

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
United States
United States
Census">1850
212,592
United States
United States
Census">1860
604,215 184.2%
United States
United States
Census">1870
818,579 35.5%
United States
United States
Census">1880
1,591,749 94.5%
United States
United States
Census">1890
2,235,527 40.4%
United States
United States
Census">1900
3,048,710 36.4%
United States
United States
Census">1910
3,896,542 27.8%
United States
United States
Census">1920
4,663,228 19.7%
United States
United States
Census">1930
5,824,715 24.9%
United States
United States
Census">1940
6,414,824 10.1%
United States
United States
Census">1950
7,711,194 20.2%
United States
United States
Census">1960
9,579,677 24.2%
United States
United States
Census">1970
11,196,730 16.9%
United States
United States
Census">1980
14,229,191 27.1%
United States
United States
Census">1990
16,986,510 19.4%
United States
United States
Census">2000
20,851,820 22.8%
United States
United States
Census">2010
25,145,561 20.6%
Est. 2017 28,304,596 12.6%
1910 – 2010 census[192]
2016 Estimate[193]
Texas
Texas
population density map

The United States
United States
Census Bureau"> United States
United States
Census Bureau estimates that the population of Texas
Texas
was 27,469,114 on July 1, 2015, a 9.24 percent increase since the United States
United States
Census">2010 United States
United States
Census.[193]

As of 2004, the state had 3.5 million foreign-born residents (15.6 percent of the state population), of which an estimated 1.2 million are illegal immigrants. Texas
Texas
from 2000 to 2006 had the fastest growing illegal immigration rate in the nation.[194] In 2010, illegal immigrants constituted an estimated 6.0 percent of the population. This was the fifth highest percentage of any state in the country.[195][196] In 2015, the population of illegal immigrants living in Texas
Texas
was around 800,000.[197]

Texas's Rio Grande
Rio Grande
Valley"> Rio Grande
Rio Grande
Valley has seen significant migration from across the Mexico
Mexico
border">U.S.- Mexico
Mexico
border. During the 2014 crisis, many Central Americans, including unaccompanied minors traveling alone from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, reached the state, overwhelming Border Patrol resources for a time. Many sought asylum in the United States.[198][199]

In 2009, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security estimated that 1.68 million illegal immigrants lived in Texas.[200] While the number of illegal immigrants living in the U.S. has declined since 2009, in Texas
Texas
there was no change in population between 2009 and 2014.[201]

Texas's population density is 90.5 people per square mile (34.9/km2) which is slightly higher than the average population density of the U.S. as a whole, at 80.6 people per square mile (31.1/km2). In contrast, while Texas
Texas
and France are similarly sized geographically, the European country has a population density of 301.8 people per square mile (116.5/km2).

Two-thirds of all Texans live in a major metropolitan area such as Houston. The Dallas- Fort Worth
Fort Worth
Metropolitan Area is the largest in Texas. While Houston
Houston
is the largest city in Texas
Texas
and the fourth largest city in the United States, the Dallas- Fort Worth
Fort Worth
metropolitan area is larger than that of Houston.

Ethnicity

As of the 2015 Texas
Texas
Population Estimate Program, the population of the state was 27,469,114 non-Hispanic whites 11,505,371 (41.9%); Black Americans 3,171,043 (11.5%); other races 1,793,580 (6.5%); and Hispanics
Hispanics
and Latinos (of any race) 10,999,120 (40.0%).[202]

According to the 2010 United States
United States
census"> United States
United States
census, the racial composition of Texas
Texas
was the following:[203]

In addition, 37.6 percent of the population are Hispanic or Latino (of any race) (31.6 percent Mexican, 0.9 percent Salvadoran, 0.5 percent Puerto Rican, 0.4 percent Honduran, 0.3 percent Guatemalan 0.3 percent Spaniard, 0.2 percent Colombian, 0.2 percent Cuban)[204]

As of 2011, 69.8% of the population of Texas
Texas
younger than age 1 were minorities (meaning that they had at least one parent who was not non-Hispanic white).[205]

Texas
Texas
racial breakdown of population
Racial composition 1970[206] 1990[206] 2000[207] 2010[208]
White 86.8% 75.2% 71.0% 70.4%
Black 12.5% 11.9% 11.5% 11.9%
Asian 0.2% 1.9% 2.7% 3.8%
Native 0.2% 0.4% 0.6% 0.7%
Native Hawaiian and
other Pacific Islander
0.1% 0.1%
United States
United States
Census">Other race
0.4% 10.6% 11.7% 10.5%
Two or more races 2.5% 2.7%
War on the plains. Comanche (right) trying to lance Osage warrior. Painting by George Catlin, 1834

German, Irish, and English Americans are the three largest European ancestry groups in Texas. German Americans make up 11.3 percent of the population, and number over 2.7 million members. Irish Americans make up 8.2 percent of the population, and number over 1.9 million members. There are roughly 600,000 French Americans and 472,000 Italian Americans residing in Texas; these two ethnic groups make up 2.5 percent and 2.0 percent of the population respectively. In the United States
United States
Census">1980 United States
United States
Census the largest ancestry group reported in Texas
Texas
was English with 3,083,323 Texans citing that they were of English or mostly English ancestry making them 27 percent of the state at the time.[209] Their ancestry primarily goes back to the original thirteen colonies and thus many of them today identify as "American" in ancestry, though they are of predominately British stock.[210][211] There are nearly 200,000 Czech-Americans living in Texas, the largest number of any state.[212]

African Americans are the largest racial minority in Texas. Their proportion of population has declined since the early 20th century, after many left the state in the Great Migration. Blacks of both Hispanic and non-Hispanic origin make up 11.5 percent of the population; blacks of non-Hispanic origin form 11.3 percent of the populace. African Americans of both Hispanic and non-Hispanic origin number at roughly 2.7 million individuals.

Native Americans are a smaller minority in the state. Native Americans make up 0.5 percent of Texas's population, and number over 118,000 individuals. Native Americans of non-Hispanic origin make up 0.3 percent of the population, and number over 75,000 individuals. Cherokee made up 0.1 percent of the population, and numbered over 19,400 members. In contrast, only 583 identified as Chippewa.

El Paso, founded by Spanish settlers in 1659

Asian Americans are a sizable minority group in Texas. Americans of Asian descent form 3.8 percent of the population, with those of non-Hispanic descent making up 3.7 percent of the populace. They total more than 808,000 individuals. Non-Hispanic Asians number over 795,000. Just over 200,000 Indian Americans make Texas
Texas
their home. Texas
Texas
is also home to over 187,000 Vietnamese and 136,000 Chinese. In addition to 92,000 Filipinos and 62,000 Koreans, there are 18,000 Japanese Americans living in the state. Lastly, over 111,000 people are of other Asian ancestry groups, such as Cambodian, Thai, and Hmong. Sugar Land, a city within the Houston
Houston
metropolitan area, and Plano, located within the Dallas
Dallas
metropolitan area, both have high concentrations of ethnic Chinese and Korean residents. The Houston
Houston
and Dallas
Dallas
areas, and to a lesser extent, the Austin
Austin
metropolitan area, all contain substantial Vietnamese communities.

Americans with origins from the Pacific are the smallest minority in Texas. According to the survey, only 18,000 Texans are Pacific Islanders; 16,400 are of non-Hispanic descent. There are roughly 5,400 Native Hawaiians, 5,300 Guamanians, and 6,400 people from other groups. Samoan Americans were scant; only 2,920 people were from this group. The city of Euless, a suburb of Fort Worth, contains a sizable population of Tongan Americans, at nearly 900 people, over one percent of the city's population. Killeen has a sufficient population of Samoans and Guamanian, and people of Pacific Islander
Pacific Islander
descent surpass one percent of the city's population.

Multiracial individuals are also a visible minority in Texas. People identifying as multiracial form 1.9 percent of the population, and number over 448,000 people. Almost 80,000 Texans claim African and European heritage, and make up 0.3 percent of the population. People of European and Native American heritage number over 108,800 (close to the number of Native Americans), and make up 0.5 percent of the population. People of European and Asian heritage number over 57,600, and form just 0.2 percent of the population. People of African and Native American heritage were even smaller in number (15,300), and make up just 0.1 percent of the total population.

German trek on its way to New Braunfels

Hispanics
Hispanics
and Latinos
Latinos
are the second-largest group in Texas
Texas
after non-Hispanic European Americans. Over 8.5 million people claim Hispanic or Latino ethnicity. This group forms over 37 percent of Texas's population. People of Mexican descent alone number over 7.9 million, and make up 31.6 percent of the population. The vast majority of the Hispanic/Latino population in the state is of Mexican descent, the next two largest groups are Salvadorans and Puerto Ricans. There are over 222,000 Salvadorans and over 130,000 Puerto Ricans in Texas. Other groups with large numbers in Texas
Texas
include Hondurans, Guatemalans, Nicaraguans and Cubans, among others.[213][214] The Hispanics
Hispanics
in Texas
Texas
are more likely than in some other states (such as California) to identify as white; according to the 2010 U.S. Census, Texas
Texas
is home to 6,304,207 White Hispanics and 2,594,206 Hispanics
Hispanics
of "some other race" (usually mestizo).

Welcome to Praha, Texas, "Czech Capital of Texas".

German descendants inhabit much of central and southeast-central Texas. Over one-third of Texas
Texas
residents are of Hispanic origin; while many have recently arrived, some Tejanos have ancestors with multi-generational ties to 18th century Texas. In addition to the descendants of the state's former slave population, many African American
African American
college graduates have come to the state for work recently in the New Great Migration.[215] Recently, the Asian population in Texas
Texas
has grown—primarily in Houston
Houston
and Dallas. Other communities with a significantly growing Asian American
Asian American
population is in Austin, Corpus Christi, and the Sharyland area next McAllen, Texas. Three federally recognized Native American tribes reside in Texas: the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe, the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe, and the Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo.[47]

In 2010, 49 percent of all births were Hispanics; 35 percent were non-Hispanic whites; 11.5 percent were non-Hispanic blacks, and 4.3 percent were Asians/Pacific Islanders.[216] Based on Census Bureau data released on February 2011, for the first time in recent history, Texas's white population is below 50 percent (45 percent) and Hispanics
Hispanics
grew to 38 percent. Between 2000 and 2010, the total population growth by 20.6 percent, but Hispanics
Hispanics
growth by 65 percent, whereas non-Hispanic whites only grew by 4.2 percent.[217] Texas
Texas
has the fifth highest rate of teenage births in the nation and a plurality of these are to Hispanics.[218]

Cities and towns

List of cities in Texas
List of cities in Texas
by population">Largest city in Texas by year[219]
Year(s) City
1850–1870 San Antonio[220]
1870–1890 Galveston[221]
1890–1900 Dallas[219]
1900–1930 San Antonio[220]
1930–present Houston[222]

The state has three cities with populations exceeding one million: Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas.[223] These three rank among the 10 most populous cities of the United States. As of 2010, six Texas
Texas
cities had populations greater than 600,000 people. Austin, Fort Worth, and El Paso
El Paso
are among the 20 United States
United States
cities by population">largest U.S. cities. Texas
Texas
has four Texas
Texas
metropolitan areas">metropolitan areas with populations greater than a million: Fort Worth
Fort Worth
Metroplex">Dallas–Fort Worth–Arlington
, Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown, San Antonio–New Braunfels, and Austin–Round Rock–San Marcos. The Dallas– Fort Worth
Fort Worth
and Houston
Houston
metropolitan areas number about 6.3 million and 5.7 million residents, respectively.

Three interstate highwaysI-35 to the west (Dallas– Fort Worth
Fort Worth
to San Antonio, with Austin
Austin
in between), I-45 to the east ( Dallas
Dallas
to Houston), and I-10 to the south ( San Antonio
San Antonio
to Houston) define the Texas
Texas
Urban Triangle"> Texas
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.[224] Houston
Houston
and Dallas
Dallas
have been recognized as beta world cities.[225] These cities are spread out amongst the state. Texas
Texas
has 254 counties, which is more than any other state by 95 (Georgia).[226]

In contrast to the cities, unincorporated rural settlements known as colonias often lack basic infrastructure and are marked by poverty.[227] The office of the Texas
Texas
Attorney General stated, in 2011, that Texas
Texas
had about 2,294 colonias and estimates that about 500,000 lived in the colonias. Hidalgo County, as of 2011, has the largest number of colonias.[228] Texas
Texas
has the largest number of people of all states, living in colonias.[227]

Languages

The most common accent and/or dialect spoken by natives throughout Texas
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.[230][231] Creole language is spoken in East Texas.[232] In some areas of the state—particularly in the large cities – Western American English and General American English, have been on the increase. 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.

Top 10 Non-English Languages Spoken in Texas
Language Percentage of population
(as of 2010)[233]
Spanish 29.21%
Vietnamese 0.75%
Chinese (including Mandarin and Cantonese) 0.56%
German 0.33%
Tagalog 0.29%
French 0.25%
Korean and Urdu (tied) 0.24%
Hindi 0.23%
Arabic 0.21%
Niger-Congo languages of West Africa (Ibo, Kru, and Yoruba) 0.15%

As of 2010, 65.8% (14,740,304) of Texas
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 the age of five.[233]

Other languages spoken include German (including Texas
Texas
German"> Texas
Texas
German) by 0.33% (73,137,) Tagalog with 0.29% (73,137) speakers, and French (including Cajun French) was spoken by 0.25% (55,773) of Texans.[233] Reportedly, Cherokee
Cherokee
language">Cherokee is the most widely spoken Native American language in Texas.[234]

In total, 34.2% (7,660,406) of Texas's population aged five and older spoke a language at home other than English.[233]

Religion

The 2014 Pew Religious Landscape Survey showed the religious makeup of the state was as follows:

Religious affiliation in Texas
Texas
(2014)[235]
Affiliation % of Texas
Texas
population
Christian 77 77
 
Protestant 50 50
 
Evangelical Protestant 31 31
 
Mainline Protestant 13 13
 
Black church 6 6
 
Catholic 23 23
 
Mormon 1 1
 
Jehovah's Witnesses 1 1
 
Eastern Orthodox 0.5 0.5
 
Other Christian 1 1
 
Unaffiliated 18 18
 
Nothing in particular 13 13
 
Agnostic 3 3
 
Atheist 2 2
 
Non-Christian faiths 4 4
 
Jewish 1 1
 
Muslim 1 1
 
Buddhist 1 1
 
Hindu 0.5 0.5
 
Other Non-Christian faiths 0.5 0.5
 
Don't know/refused answer 0.5 0.5
 
Total 100 100
 
The Lakewood Church in Houston is the largest church in the United States.

The largest denominations by number of adherents in 2010 were the Roman Catholic
Catholic
Church (4,673,500); the Southern Baptist Convention (3,721,318); the United Methodist Church with (1,035,168); and Islam (421,972).[236]

Known as the buckle of the Bible Belt, East Texas
East Texas
is socially conservative.[237] The Fort Worth
Fort Worth
metroplex">Dallas– Fort Worth
Fort Worth
metroplex is home to three major evangelical seminaries and a host of Bible schools. Lakewood Church in Houston, boasts the largest attendance in the nation averaging more than 43,000 weekly.[238]

Adherents of many other religions reside predominantly in the urban centers of Texas. 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.[239] The Jewish
Jewish
population is around 128,000.[240] Around 146,000 adherents of religions such as Hinduism and Sikhism live in Texas.[241] It is the fifth-largest Muslim-populated state in the country.[242]

Culture

The Alamo is one of the most recognized symbols of Texas.

Historically, Texas
Texas
culture comes from a blend of Southern (Dixie), Western (frontier), and Southwestern (Mexican/Anglo fusion) influences, varying in degrees of such from one intrastate region to another. Texas
Texas
is placed in the Southern United States by the United States
United States
Census Bureau"> United States
United States
Census Bureau.[243] A popular food item, the breakfast burrito, draws from all three, having a soft flour tortilla wrapped around bacon and scrambled eggs or other hot, cooked fillings. Adding to Texas's traditional culture, established in the 18th and 19th centuries, immigration has made Texas
Texas
a melting pot of cultures from around the world.

Texas
Texas
has made a strong mark on national and international pop culture. The state is strongly associated with the image of the cowboy shown in westerns and in country western music. The state's numerous oil tycoons are also a popular pop culture topic as seen in the hit TV series Dallas
Dallas
(1978 TV series)">Dallas.

The internationally known slogan "Don't Mess with Texas" began as an anti-littering advertisement. Since the campaign's inception in 1986, the phrase has become "an identity statement, a declaration of Texas
Texas
swagger".[244]

Texas
Texas
self-perception

"Texas-sized" is an expression that can be used in two ways: to describe something that is about the size of the U.S. state of Texas,[245][246] or to describe something (usually but not always originating from Texas) that is large compared to other objects of its type.[247][248][249] Texas
Texas
was the largest U.S. state, until Alaska became a state in 1959. The phrase, "everything is bigger in Texas," has been in regular use since at least 1950;[250] and was used as early as 1913.[251]

Arts

Big Tex presided over every Texas
Texas
State Fair since 1952 until it was destroyed by fire in 2012

Houston
Houston
is one of only five American cities with permanent professional resident companies in all of the major performing arts disciplines: the Houston
Houston
Grand Opera"> Houston
Houston
Grand Opera, the Houston
Houston
Symphony Orchestra"> Houston
Houston
Symphony Orchestra, the Houston
Houston
Ballet"> Houston
Houston
Ballet, and The Alley Theatre.[252] Known for the vibrancy of its visual and performing arts, the Houston
Houston
Theater District"> Houston
Houston
Theater District—a 17-block area in the heart of Downtown Houston— ranks second in the country in the number of theater seats in a concentrated downtown area, with 12,948 seats for live performances and 1,480 movie seats.[252]

Founded in 1892, Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, also called "The Modern", is Texas's oldest art museum. Fort Worth
Fort Worth
also has the Kimbell Art Museum, the Amon Carter Museum, the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame, the Will Rogers Memorial Center, and the Bass Performance Hall downtown. The Arts District of Downtown Dallas has arts venues such as the Dallas
Dallas
Museum of Art"> Dallas
Dallas
Museum of Art, the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House, the Trammell & Margaret Crow Collection of Asian Art, and the Nasher Sculpture Center.[253]

The Deep Ellum district within Dallas
Dallas
became popular during the 1920s and 1930s as the prime jazz and blues hotspot in the Southern United States. The name Deep Ellum
Deep Ellum
comes from local people pronouncing "Deep Elm" as "Deep Ellum".[254] Artists such as Blind Lemon Jefferson, Robert Johnson, Huddie "Lead Belly" Ledbetter, and Bessie Smith played in early Deep Ellum
Deep Ellum
clubs.[255]

Austin, The Live Music Capital of the World, boasts "more live music venues per capita than such music hotbeds as Nashville, Memphis, Los Angeles, Las Vegas or New York City."[256] The city's music revolves around the nightclubs on 6th Street; events like the film, music, and multimedia festival South by Southwest; the longest-running concert music program on American television, Austin
Austin
City Limits"> Austin
Austin
City Limits
; and the Austin
Austin
City Limits Music Festival"> Austin
Austin
City Limits Music Festival held in Zilker Park.[257]

Since 1980, San Antonio
San Antonio
has evolved into "The Tejano Music"> Tejano Music Capital Of The World."[258] The Tejano Music Awards"> Tejano Music Awards have provided a forum to create greater awareness and appreciation for Tejano music and culture.[259]

Education

The second president of the Republic of Texas, Mirabeau B. Lamar, is the Father of Texas
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.[260] Lamar's actions set the foundation for a Texas-wide public school system.[261] Between 2006 and 2007, Texas
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
Texas
paid instructors $41,744, below the national average of $46,593. The Texas
Texas
Education Agency"> Texas
Texas
Education Agency (TEA) administers the state's public school systems. Texas
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.[262] 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.[263] The TEA has no authority over private or home school activities.[264]

Students in Texas
Texas
take the Texas
Texas
Assessments of Academic Readiness">State of Texas
Texas
Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) in primary and secondary school. STAAR assess students' attainment of reading, writing, mathematics, science, and social studies skills required under Texas
Texas
education standards and the No Child Left Behind Act. The test replaced the Texas
Texas
Assessment of Knowledge and Skills"> Texas
Texas
Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) test in the 2011–2012 school year.[265]

Although unusual in the West, school corporal punishment is not uncommon in more conservative areas of the state, with 28,569 public school students[266] paddled at least one time, according to government data for the 2011–2012 school year.[267] The rate of school corporal punishment in Texas
Texas
is surpassed only by Mississippi, Alabama, and Arkansas.[267]

Higher education

Texas
Texas
at Austin">The University of Texas
Texas
at Austin

The state's two most widely recognized flagship universities are Texas
Texas
at Austin">The University of Texas
Texas
at Austin and Texas
Texas
A&M University"> Texas
Texas
A&M University, ranked as the 52nd[268] and 69th[269] best universities in the nation according to the 2014 edition of U.S. News & World Report's "Best Colleges", respectively. Some observers[270] also include the University of Houston and Texas
Texas
Tech University"> Texas
Texas
Tech University as tier one flagships alongside UT Austin
Austin
and A&M.[271][272] The Texas
Texas
Higher Education Coordinating Board"> Texas
Texas
Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) ranks the state's public universities into three distinct tiers:[273]

Texas's controversial alternative affirmative action plan, Texas
Texas
House Bill 588"> Texas
Texas
House Bill 588, guarantees Texas
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 avoiding problems stemming from the Hopwood v. Texas (1996) case.

Texas
Texas
A&M University"> Texas
Texas
A&M University

Thirty-six (36) separate and distinct public universities exist in Texas, of which 32 belong to one of the six state university systems.[275][276] 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 Texas
Texas
System">University of Texas
Texas
System and the Texas
Texas
A&M University System"> Texas
Texas
A&M System. The four other university systems: the Houston
Houston
System">University of Houston
Houston
System, the North Texas
North Texas
System">University of North Texas
North Texas
System, the Texas State University
Texas State University
System"> Texas
Texas
State System, and the Texas Tech University
Texas Tech University
System"> Texas
Texas
Tech System are not funded by the Permanent University Fund.

The Carnegie Foundation classifies three of Texas's universities as Tier One research institutions: Texas
Texas
at Austin">The University of Texas
Texas
at Austin, the Texas
Texas
A&M University"> Texas
Texas
A&M University, and the University of Houston. The University of Texas
Texas
at Austin
Austin
and Texas
Texas
A&M University are flagship universities of the state of Texas. Both were established by the Texas Constitution
Texas Constitution
and hold stakes in the Permanent University Fund. The state has been putting effort to expand the number of flagship universities by elevating some of its seven institutions designated as "emerging research universities." The two that are expected to emerge first are the University of Houston
Houston
and Texas
Texas
Tech University, likely in that order according to discussions on the House floor of the 82nd Texas
Texas
Legislature.[277]

The state is home to various private institutions of higher learning—ranging from liberal arts colleges to a nationally recognized top-tier research university. Rice University in Houston
Houston
is one of the leading teaching and research universities of the United States
United States
and is ranked the nation's 17th-best overall university by U.S. News & World Report.[278] Trinity University, a private, primarily undergraduate liberal arts university in San Antonio, has ranked first among universities granting primarily bachelor's and select master's degrees in the Western United States
United States
for 20 consecutive years by U.S. News.[279] Private universities include Austin
Austin
College"> Austin
Austin
College
, Baylor University, University of Mary Hardin–Baylor, and Southwestern University.[280][281][282]

Universities in Texas
Texas
host three presidential libraries: George Bush Presidential Library at Texas
Texas
A&M University, the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum at The University of Texas
Texas
at Austin, and the George W. Bush
George W. Bush
Presidential Library"> George W. Bush
George W. Bush
Presidential Library at Southern Methodist University.

Healthcare

Notwithstanding the concentration of elite medical centers located in the state, The Commonwealth Fund ranks the Texas
Texas
healthcare system the third worst in the nation.[283] Texas
Texas
ranks close to last in access to healthcare, quality of care, avoidable hospital spending, and equity among various groups.[283] Causes of the state's poor rankings include politics, a high poverty rate, and the highest rate of illegal immigration in the nation.[194] In May 2006, Texas
Texas
initiated the program "code red" in response to the report that the state had 25.1 percent of the population without health insurance, the largest proportion in the nation.[284]

The Trust for America's Health ranked Texas
Texas
15th highest in adult obesity, with 27.2 percent of the state's population measured as obese.[285] The 2008 Men's Health obesity survey ranked four Texas
Texas
cities among the top 25 fattest cities in America; Houston
Houston
ranked 6th, Dallas
Dallas
7th, El Paso
El Paso
8th, and Arlington 14th.[286] Texas
Texas
had only one city, Austin, ranked 21st, in the top 25 among the "fittest cities" in America.[286] The same survey has evaluated the state's obesity initiatives favorably with a "B+".[286] The state is ranked forty-second in the percentage of residents who engage in regular exercise.[287]

Texas
Texas
has the highest maternal mortality rate in the developed world, and the rate by which Texas
Texas
women died from pregnancy related complications doubled from 2010 to 2014, to 23.8 per 100,000. A rate unmatched in any other U.S. state
U.S. state
or economically developed country.[288]

Medical research

Many elite research medical centers are located in Texas. The state has nine medical schools,[289] three dental schools,[290] and two optometry schools.[291] Texas
Texas
has two Biosafety Level 4 (BSL-4) laboratories: one at Texas
Texas
Medical Branch">The University of Texas
Texas
Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston,[292] and the other at the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research in San Antonio—the first privately owned BSL-4 lab in the United States.[293]

The Texas
Texas
Medical Center"> Texas
Texas
Medical Center in Houston, holds the world's largest concentration of research and healthcare institutions, with 47 member institutions.[294] Texas Medical Center
Texas Medical Center
performs the most heart transplants in the world.[295] The Texas
Texas
M. D. Anderson Cancer Center">University of Texas
Texas
M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston
Houston
is a highly regarded academic institution that centers around cancer patient care, research, education and prevention.[296]

San Antonio's South Texas
South Texas
Medical Center"> South Texas
South Texas
Medical Center facilities rank sixth in clinical medicine research impact in the United States.[297] The University of Texas
Texas
Health Science Center is another highly ranked research and educational institution in San Antonio.[298][299]

Both the American Heart Association and the Texas
Texas
Southwestern Medical Center">University of Texas
Texas
Southwestern Medical Center call Dallas
Dallas
home. The Southwestern Medical Center ranks "among the top academic medical centers in the world".[300] The Texas
Texas
Southwestern Medical School">institution's medical school employs the most medical school Nobel laureates in the world.[300][301]

Transportation

The High Five Interchange in Dallas is a five level interchange.

Texans have historically had difficulties traversing Texas
Texas
due to the state's large size and rough terrain. Texas
Texas
has compensated by building both America's largest highway and railway systems in length. The regulatory authority, the Texas
Texas
Department of Transportation"> Texas
Texas
Department of Transportation (TxDOT) maintains the state's immense highway system, regulates aviation,[302] and public transportation systems.[303]

Located centrally in North America, the state is an important transportation hub. From the Dallas/ Fort Worth
Fort Worth
area, trucks can reach 93 percent of the nation's population within 48 hours, and 37 percent within 24 hours.[304] Texas
Texas
has 33 Special
Special
Economic Zone">foreign trade zones (FTZ), the most in the nation.[305] In 2004, a combined total of $298 billion of goods passed though Texas
Texas
FTZs.[305]

Highways

"Welcome to Texas" road sign

The first Texas
Texas
freeway was the Gulf Freeway opened in 1948 in Houston.[306] As of 2005, 79,535 miles (127,999 km) of public highway crisscrossed Texas
Texas
(up from 71,000 miles (114,263 km) in 1984).[307] To fund recent growth in the state highways, Texas
Texas
has 17 toll roads (see list) with several additional tollways proposed.[308] In central Texas, the southern section of the Texas
Texas
State Highway 130">State Highway 130 toll road has a speed limit of 85 miles per hour (137 km/h), the highest in the nation.[309] All federal and state highways in Texas
Texas
are paved.

Airports

Texas
Texas
has 730 airports, second-most of any state in the nation. Largest in Texas
Texas
by size and passengers served, Fort Worth
Fort Worth
International Airport">Dallas/ Fort Worth
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).[310] In traffic, DFW is the busiest in the state, the fourth busiest in the United States,[311] and sixth worldwide.[312] American Airlines
American Airlines
Group"> American Airlines
American Airlines
Group's American / American Eagle, the world's largest airline in total passengers-miles transported and passenger fleet size,[313] uses DFW as its largest and main hub. Southwest Airlines, headquartered in Dallas, has its operations at Dallas
Dallas
Love Field"> Dallas
Dallas
Love Field.[314] It ranks as the largest airline in the United States
United States
by number of passengers carried domestically per year and the largest airline in the world by number of passengers carried.[315]

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.[316][317] IAH offers service to the most Mexican destinations of any U.S. airport.[318][319] The next five largest airports in the state all serve over 3 million passengers annually; they include Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, William P. Hobby Airport, San Antonio
San Antonio
International Airport"> San Antonio
San Antonio
International Airport, Dallas
Dallas
Love Field"> Dallas
Dallas
Love Field and El Paso
El Paso
International Airport"> El Paso
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.[320] Ports employ nearly one-million people and handle an average of 317 million metric tons.[321] Texas
Texas
ports connect with the rest of the U.S. Atlantic seaboard with the Gulf section of the Intracoastal Waterway.[320] The Port of Houston today is the busiest port in the United States
United States
in foreign tonnage, second in overall tonnage, and tenth worldwide in tonnage.[322] The Houston
Houston
Ship Channel"> Houston
Houston
Ship Channel spans 530 feet (160 m) wide by 45 feet (14 m) deep by 50 miles (80 km) long.[323]

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
Texas
was the Colorado
Colorado
Railway">Buffalo Bayou, Brazos and Colorado
Colorado
Railway, opening in August 1853.[324] The first railroad to enter Texas
Texas
from the north, completed in 1872, was the Texas
Texas
Railroad">Missouri–Kansas– Texas
Texas
Railroad
.[325] 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.

Since 1911, Texas
Texas
has led the nation in length of railroad miles within the state. Texas
Texas
railway length peaked in 1932 at 17,078 miles (27,484 km), but declined to 14,006 miles (22,540 km) by 2000. While the Railroad Commission of Texas originally regulated state railroads, in 2005 the state reassigned these duties to TxDOT.[326]

Both Dallas
Dallas
and Houston
Houston
feature light rail systems. Dallas
Dallas
Area Rapid Transit"> Dallas
Dallas
Area Rapid Transit (DART) built the first light rail system in the Southwest United States, completed in 1996.[327] The Trinity Railway Express (TRE) commuter rail service, which connects Fort Worth
Fort Worth
and Dallas, is provided by the Fort Worth
Fort Worth
Transportation Authority"> Fort Worth
Fort Worth
Transportation Authority (the T) and DART.[328] In the Austin
Austin
area, Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority operates a commuter rail service known as Capital MetroRail to the northwestern suburbs. The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, Texas (METRO) operates light rail lines in the Houston
Houston
area.

Amtrak provides Texas
Texas
with limited intercity passenger rail service. Three scheduled routes serve the state: the daily Texas
Texas
Eagle"> Texas
Texas
Eagle
(Chicago–San Antonio); the tri-weekly Sunset Limited (New Orleans–Los Angeles), with stops in Texas; and the daily Heartland Flyer (Fort Worth– Oklahoma
Oklahoma
City)
.

Sports

While American football has long been considered "king" in the state, Texans today enjoy a wide variety of sports.[329]

Texans can cheer for a plethora of professional sports teams. Within the "Big Four" professional leagues, Texas
Texas
has two NFL teams (the Dallas
Dallas
Cowboys"> Dallas
Dallas
Cowboys and the Houston
Houston
Texans"> Houston
Houston
Texans), two Major League Baseball teams (the Texas
Texas
Rangers (baseball)"> Texas
Texas
Rangers and the Houston
Houston
Astros"> Houston
Houston
Astros), three NBA teams (the Houston
Houston
Rockets"> Houston
Houston
Rockets, the San Antonio
San Antonio
Spurs"> San Antonio
San Antonio
Spurs, and the Dallas
Dallas
Mavericks"> Dallas
Dallas
Mavericks), and one National Hockey League team (the Dallas
Dallas
Stars"> Dallas
Dallas
Stars). The Dallas
Dallas
Fort Worth
Fort Worth
Metroplex"> Dallas
Dallas
Fort Worth
Fort Worth
Metroplex is one of only twelve American metropolitan areas that hosts sports teams from all the "Big Four" professional leagues. Outside of the "Big Four" leagues, Texas
Texas
also has a WNBA team, (the Dallas
Dallas
Wings"> Dallas
Dallas
Wings) and two Major League Soccer teams (the Houston
Houston
Dynamo"> Houston
Houston
Dynamo and FC Dallas).

Collegiate athletics have deep significance in Texas
Texas
culture, especially football. The state has ten Division I-FBS schools, the most in the nation. Four of the state's universities, the Baylor Bears, Texas
Texas
Longhorns"> Texas
Texas
Longhorns, TCU Horned Frogs, and Texas
Texas
Tech Red Raiders"> Texas
Texas
Tech Red Raiders, compete in the Big 12 Conference. The Texas
Texas
A&M Aggies"> Texas
Texas
A&M Aggies left the Big 12 and joined the Southeastern Conference in 2012, which led the Big 12 to invite TCU to join; TCU was previously in the Mountain West Conference. The Houston
Houston
Cougars"> Houston
Houston
Cougars and the SMU Mustangs compete in the American Athletic Conference. The Texas
Texas
State Bobcats"> Texas
Texas
State Bobcats and the UT Arlington Mavericks compete in the Sun Belt
Sun Belt
Conference"> Sun Belt
Sun Belt
Conference. Four of the state's schools claim at least one national championship in football: the Texas
Texas
Longhorns, the Texas
Texas
A&M Aggies, the TCU Horned Frogs, and the SMU Mustangs.

According to a survey of Division I-A coaches the rivalry between the University of Oklahoma and the University of Texas
Texas
at Austin, the Red River Shootout, ranks the third best in the nation.[330] The TCU Horned Frogs
TCU Horned Frogs
and SMU Mustangs
SMU Mustangs
also share a rivalry and compete annually in the Battle for the Iron Skillet. A fierce rivalry, the Lone Star Showdown, also exists between the state's two largest universities, Texas
Texas
A&M University and the University of Texas
Texas
at Austin. The athletics portion of the Lone Star Showdown
Lone Star Showdown
rivalry has been put on hold after the Texas
Texas
A&M Aggies joined the Southeastern Conference.

The University Interscholastic League (UIL) organizes most primary and secondary school competitions. Events organized by UIL include contests in athletics (the most popular being high school football) as well as artistic and academic subjects.[331]

Texans also enjoy the rodeo. The world's first rodeo was hosted in Pecos, Texas.[332] The annual Houston
Houston
Livestock Show and Rodeo"> Houston
Houston
Livestock Show and Rodeo is the largest rodeo in the world. It begins with trail rides that originate from several points throughout the state that convene at Reliant Park.[333] The Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show in Fort Worth
Fort Worth
is the oldest continuously running rodeo incorporating many of the state's most historic traditions into its annual events. Dallas
Dallas
hosts the State Fair of Texas each year at Fair Park.[334]

Texas
Texas
Motor Speedway"> Texas
Texas
Motor Speedway hosts annual NASCAR Cup Series and IndyCar Series auto races since 1997. Since 2012, Austin's Circuit of the Americas plays host to a round of the Formula 1 World Championship[335] —the first at a permanent road circuit in the United States
United States
since the United States
United States
Grand Prix">1980 Grand Prix at Watkins Glen International—, as well as Grand Prix motorcycle racing, FIA World Endurance Championship and United SportsCar Championship races.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ For example, as used by the large Grand Prairie–based national and international amusement park operator Six Flags
  1. ^ a b c Did not run and was not a candidate, but received one electoral vote by a faithless elector.

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