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Texas

Capital: Austin

State abbreviation/Postal code: Tex./TX

Governor: Rick Perry, R (to Jan. 2015)

Lieut. Governor: David Dewhurst, R (to Jan. 2015)

Senators: John Cornyn, R (to Jan. 2015); Ted Cruz, R (to Jan. 2019)

U.S. Representatives: 36

Historical biographies of Congressional members

Secy. of State: Hope Andrade (apptd. by gov.)

Comptroller: Susan Combs, R (to Jan. 2015)

Atty. General: Greg Abbott, R (to Jan. 2015)

Entered Union (rank): Dec. 29, 1845 (28)

Present constitution adopted: 1876

Motto: Friendship

State symbols:

flowerbluebonnet (1901)
treepecan (1919)
birdmockingbird (1927)
song“Texas, Our Texas” (1929)
fishguadalupe bass (1989)
seashelllightning whelk (1987)
dishchili (1977)
folk dancesquare dance (1991)
fruitTexas red grapefruit (1993)
gemTexas blue topaz (1969)
gemstone cutLone Star cut (1977)
grasssideoats grass (1971)
reptilehorned lizard (1993)
stonepetrified palmwood (1969)
plantprickly pear cactus
insectmonarch butterfly
pepperjalapeño pepper
mammallonghorn
small mammalarmadillo
flying mammalMexican free-tailed bat

Nickname: Lone Star State

Origin of name: From an Indian word meaning “friends”

10 largest cities (2010 est.): Houston, 2,099,451; San Antonio , 1,327,407; Dallas, 1,197,816; Austin, 790,390; Fort Worth , 741,206; El Paso, 649,121; Arlington, 365,438; Corpus Christi, 305,215; Plano, 259,841; Laredo, 36,091

Land area: 261,797 sq mi. (678,054 sq km)

Geographic center: In McCulloch Co., 15 mi. NE of Brady

Number of counties: 254

Largest county by population and area: Harris, 4,092,459 (2010); Brewster, 6,193 sq mi.

State forests: 5 (7,314 ac.)

State parks: 115 (600,000+ ac.)

Residents: Texan

2010 resident population est.: 25,145,561

2010 resident census population (rank): 25,145,561 (2). Male: 12,472,280 (49.6%); Female: 12,673,281 (50.4%). White: 14,799,505 (71.0%); Black: 2,404,566 (11.5%); American Indian: 118,362 (0.6%); Asian: 562,319 (2.7%); Other race: 2,438,001 (11.7%); Two or more races: 514,633 (2.5%); Hispanic/Latino: 6,669,666 (32.0%). 2010 percent population 18 and over: 72.7; 65 and over: 10.3; median age: 33.6.

See additional census data

Area codes

Tourism office

Spanish explorers, including Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca and Francisco Vásquez de Coronado, were the first to visit the region in the 16th and 17th centuries, settling at Ysleta near El Paso in 1682. In 1685, Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle, established a short-lived French colony at Matagorda Bay.

Americans, led by Stephen F. Austin, began to settle along the Brazos River in 1821 when Texas was controlled by Mexico, recently independent from Spain. In 1836, following a brief war between the American settlers in Texas and the Mexican government, the Independent Republic of Texas was proclaimed with Sam Houston as president. This war was famous for the battles of the Alamo and San Jacinto. After Texas became a state in 1845, border disputes led to the Mexican War of 1846–1848.

Possessing enormous natural resources, Texas is a major agricultural state and an industrial giant. Second only to Alaska in land area, it leads all other states in such categories as oil, cattle, sheep, and cotton. Texas ranches and farms also produce poultry and eggs, dairy products, greenhouse and nursery products, wheat, hay, rice, sugar cane, and peanuts, and a variety of fruits and vegetables.

Sulfur, salt, helium, asphalt, graphite, bromine, natural gas, cement, and clays are among the state's valuable resources. Chemicals, oil refining, food processing, machinery, and transportation equipment are among the major Texas manufacturing industries.

Millions of tourists spend over $50 billion annually visiting more than 100 state parks, recreation areas, and points of interest such as the Gulf Coast resort area, the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston, the Alamo in San Antonio, the state capital in Austin, and the Big Bend and Guadalupe Mountains National Park.

The 2011 drought gave Texas its hottest, driest 12 months on record. The drought brought up the same questions of water supply as the state's seven year drought back in the 1950s. With the state's population predicted to double by the year 2060, Texas began researching new water sources in 2011.

See more on Texas:
Encyclopedia: Texas
Encyclopedia: Geography
Encyclopedia: Economy
Encyclopedia: Government
Encyclopedia: History
Monthly Temperature Extremes

All U.S. States: Geography & Climate
Printable Outline Maps
Record Highest Temperatures
Record Lowest Temperatures
Highest, Lowest, and Mean Elevations
Land and Water Area

All U.S. States: Population & Economy
Historical Population Statistics, 1790–Present
Per Capita Personal Income
Minimum Wage Rates
State Taxes
Federal Government Expenditure
Percent of People in Poverty
Births and Birth Rates
Homeownership
Percentage of Uninsured by State

All U.S. States: Society & Culture:
Most Livable States
Healthiest States
Most Dangerous States
Smartest States
Crime Index
Residency Requirements for Voting
Compulsory School Attendance Laws
Driving Laws
National Public Radio Stations


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