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Updated November 30, 2023 | Infoplease Staff

Texas State Information

Discover Texas: Including historic events, disasters, entertainment, animals, geographic landmarks, travel ideas, family outings, serial killers, haunted places in Texas, and more!

Capital: Austin

Official Name: State of Texas

Organized as a Republic: March 2, 1836

Entered Union (rank): December 29, 1845 (28th state)

Present constitution adopted: 1876

State abbreviation/Postal code: Tex./TX

State Area Codes: 210, 214, 254, 281, 325, 361, 409, 430, 432, 469, 512, 682, 713, 737, 806, 817, 830, 832, 903, 915, 936, 940, 956, 972, 979

Fun Facts About Texas

Nickname: The Lone Star State

Origin of name: The name Texas comes from the Caddo word 'taysha' meaning "friend". The Spanish used the term to refer to the Caddo and their territory.

Motto: “Friendship”

Slogan: "Texas. It's Like a Whole Other Country"

State symbols

Flower: Bluebonnet (1901)

Tree: Pecan (1919)

Animal: Large Mammal: Texas Longhorn (1995); Small Mammal: nine-banded armadillo (1927)

Bird: Northern Mockingbird (1927)

Fish: Guadalupe Bass (1989)

Vegetables: Sweet Onion (1997)

Gem: Texas Blue Topaz (1969)

Colors: None officially designated

Song: "Texas, Our Texas" (1929)

Poem: "A Texas Prayer" (2019)

Grass: Sideoats Grama (1971)

Fossil: Paluxysaurus Jonesi (2009)

Dinosaur: Paluxysaurus Jonesi (2009)

Cookie: None officially designated

Insect: Monarch Butterfly (1995)

Ballad: "Texas, Our Texas" (1929)

Bilingual song: None officially designated

Question: None officially designatedFossil


Governor: Greg Abbott, R (to Jan. 2027)

Lieut. Governor: Dan Patrick, R (to Jan. 2027)

Secy. of State: Carlos Cascos (apptd. by gov.)

Comptroller: Glenn Hegar, R

Atty. General: Ken Paxton, R

U.S. Representatives: 36

Senators: John Cornyn, R (to Jan. 2027); Ted Cruz, R (to Jan. 2025)

Historical biographies of Congressional members

State website: https://texas.gov/


Residents: Texan

Resident population: 30,065,904 (2nd Largest State, 2023)

10 largest cities in Texas (2023): Houston, 2,302,878; San Antonio, 1,472,909; Dallas, 1,299,544; Austin, 974,447; Fort Worth, 956,709; El Paso, 677,456; Arlington, 394,602; Corpus Christi, 316,239; Plano, 289,547; Lubbock, 263,930.

Race/Ethnicity: White (48.12%); Black/African American (12.33%); Native American/Alaskan Native (1.03%); Hispanic/Latino (40.2%); Two or more races (17.6%); Other race (13.6%).

Religion: Catholic (23%); Evangelical Protestant (14%); Southern Baptist Convention (9%); Independent Baptist (Evangelical Trad.) (Unspecified %); Irreligious (20%); Judaism (1%); Islam (1%); Buddhism (1%); Hinduism (<1%); Other religions (<1%).

Sex: Male: 49.6% ; Female: 50.4%.

Age: Under 18: 26.2%; 18-64: 62.5%; 65 and over: 11.3%. Median Age: 35.9.


GDP: $1.776 trillion (2nd in U.S., 2020)

Unemployment: 4.1% (2023)


Land area: 261,232 sq mi. (676,587 sq km)

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

Number of counties: 254

Largest county by population and area: Harris, 4,713,325 (2020); Brewster, 6,193 sq mi.

State forests: 5

State parks/recreation areas: 115

See additional census data

Tourism office


See more on Texas:

Encyclopedia: Texas
Encyclopedia: Geography
Encyclopedia: Economy
Encyclopedia: Government
Encyclopedia: History
Texas Temperature Extremes

Printable Outline Maps


Map of Texas
Explore the geography and cartography of the Lone Star State with Infoplease's atlas pages.

Texas, the Lone Star State, is a melting pot of cultures, landscapes, and traditions, which is home to a plethora of vibrant cities like Austin, San Antonio, Houston, and Dallas. Known for its unique identity, Texas is the embodiment of both Southern charm and the untamed spirit of the West.

Texas Geography

The geography of Texas is as diverse as its people. This sprawling state, which boasts of the Rio Grande and Brazos rivers, is the second largest in the United States. Its landscapes are a mix of deserts, woodlands, and coastal swamps. This southern state is bordered to the east by Louisiana and is home to the Big Bend National Park, known for its stunning bluebonnets.

West Texas is a loosely defined part of the U.S. state of Texas, generally encompassing the arid and semi-arid lands west of a line drawn between the cities of Wichita Falls, Abilene, and Del Rio. It is a region known for its vast and diverse landscapes, which include the ruggedness of the Guadalupe Mountains, the lush greenery of the Davis Mountains, the stark beauty of the Chihuahuan Desert, and the iconic Rio Grande River.

Texas People & Population

Texans are a unique blend of cultures, with an impressive heritage tracing back to Native American, Spanish, and Anglo roots. The state's population is diverse and dynamic, with an enormous influx of migrants adding to its vibrancy. The most populous cities in the region are Houston, El Paso, San Antonio, and Austin.

Texas Government

Unique from the federal government, the political body of Texas is a robust entity, embodied by the Texas Legislature, which includes the Texas House and Texas Senate, and convenes on different matters. The state government is led by Gov. Greg Abbott, a stalwart of the GOP. The Lieutenant Governor, the Comptroller of Public Accounts, and the Secretary of State are other important officials in the Texas government.

In recent years, Texas has become a major player in national politics. The political landscape is continuously shifting, with increased influence from Democrats, especially in urban areas.

Texas Economy

The economy of Texas is powered by a variety of sectors, from health care to law enforcement. The state has fared reasonably well amidst the pandemic due to its robust economic machinery. Its thriving economy is also maintained by property tax revenues, which are a significant source of funding for state services.

Texas Interesting Facts

Texas has a colorful cultural tapestry, which includes a prominent music scene and a thriving film and television industry. The state's sports culture is also quite intense, with football reigning supreme. Another unique aspect of Texas is its official website, texas.gov, which often publishes trending tweets that signify the pulse of the state.

Sports in Texas

From high school football to professional baseball, Texas has a rich history of sports. The state is home to several professional sports teams, such as the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Astros. It also hosts major events like the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo and the South by Southwest music festival. In addition, universities in Texas are also known for their intense rivalries in college football and basketball.

Arts and Entertainment in Texas

Texas is home to several renowned art museums, such as the Dallas Museum of Art and the Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth. The state also boasts numerous performing arts venues, including the Houston Grand Opera and the Dallas Theater Center. For film lovers, Austin has become a hub for independent filmmaking, with organizations like South by Southwest showcasing new films each year.

The music culture in Texas is incredibly diverse. Popular genres that have originated in the state include country music, blues, and Tejano. Additionally, many famous musicians, such as Willie Nelson, Selena, and Stevie Ray Vaughan have made their mark on the music industry. Texas is also home to some of the best live music venues in the world, such as Austin City Limits and Billy Bob's Texas.

Texan Cuisine

The cuisine of Texas is a reflection of the diverse history of the state. Tex-Mex dishes, such as burritos and tacos, are some of the most popular foods in Texas. Barbecue is also extremely popular in the Lone Star State, with many cities hosting annual barbecue festivals. Additionally, Texan cooking incorporates influences from Cajun and Creole traditions. Pinto beans, cornbread, chili con carne and other works of Texas comfort food can be found all over the state.

Texas History

Texas has a rich and dynamic history. The 28th state in the Union, Texas was the Republic of Texas before joining the United States. Its history is marked by the struggle for independence, the Civil War, and the continuous fight for civil rights.

Pre-Colonial History

Before the arrival of European settlers, Texas was inhabited by various Native American tribes, including the Apache, Comanche, and Caddo. These tribes had their own unique cultures and societies and made significant accomplishments in areas such as agriculture, trade, and art. In fact, archaeological evidence suggests that these tribes have lived in the area for over 11,000 years.

Colonial History

Texas was first colonized by the Spanish in the 16th century, with the establishment of missions and presidios. They named the region “Texas” after a Native American word meaning “friends or allies.” In the 18th century, the region became a part of New Spain and later Mexico. The borders of the colony shifted over time, including the splitting of Texas from Coahuila y Tejas. Texas played a significant role in the American War of Independence, with individuals such as Bernardo de Gálvez providing support to the American colonists. Texas also experienced the institution of slavery during this period.

Pre-Civil War History

Throughout the 18th century, Spain and later Mexico colonized the territory. Mexico declared Texas a state in 1821, but the area soon became a battleground for Mexican independence

During the Antebellum years, Texas experienced rapid development, particularly in agriculture and the cattle industry. The state also witnessed political violence, including conflicts with Native American tribes and disputes over land. Major innovations and inventions, such as the development of cotton gin, contributed to the state's economic growth.

Post-Civil War History

Following the Civil War, Texas underwent a period of reconstruction and recovery. The cattle industry continued to thrive, and the discovery of oil in the early 20th century brought significant economic growth and development to the state.

Modern History

From World War II to the present day, Texas has played a prominent role in various events and developments. The state has been a major center for the aerospace and technology industries, with the establishment of NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. Texas has also been at the forefront of the civil rights movement, with significant contributions from leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Cesar Chavez. The state has experienced rapid population growth, urbanization, and diversification of its economy.

In recent years, Texas has become a major player in national politics. With shifting demographics and changing political landscapes, Texas voters are now more influential than ever in deciding the country's political fate.

Facts About Texas

The second-largest state in America, Texas is home to everything bigger and better. The Lone Star State has some of the most vibrant, cultural, and historic locations, including Houston, Austin, and Dallas, perfect for city walks and museum visits, shopping trips, and food tours.

In Texas, you can find the echoes of past Confederate States, rebellions, struggles for independence, and Native American tribes that still dwell on their ancestral lands. And you can explore more Texas facts right here on Infoplease, including the 28th state’s largest cities, national parks, movie locations, wildlife, geographic features, and more!

Arts & Culture

Native American Tribes in Texas

Top 30 Movies Filmed in Texas

Crime & Paranormal

22 Most Haunted Places in Texas

10 Most Infamous Serial Killers in Texas


Natural Disasters in Texas


The Texas Revolution: Santa Anna and The Alamo

Texas Rodeo History

Gushers: The Texas Oil Boom and Industry

Geography & Landmarks

National Parks in Texas

Highest Peaks in Texas

Texas Desert: The Chihuahuan Desert

15 Texas Landmarks: Natural, Manmade, and Historic

22 Lakes in Texas (Biggest, Best, and Why!)

16 Best Beaches in Texas


Things To Do in Texas With Kids

Best Hiking in Texas: Natural Must-Dos

15 Biggest and Best Cities in Texas


Texas Animals: Native Wildlife & Texas State Animals

People Also Ask…

If you are interested in more information about the state of Texas, then keep reading — we have compiled answers to the most common questions below. Plus, test your newfound state knowledge by taking our quiz on the Map of Texas!

What Texas Is Known For?

Texas is known for its cowboy culture, vibrant music scene, and abundance of BBQ. It's also the home of NASA’s Johnson Space Center, and boasts a booming economy based on energy, technology, and banking.

Is Texas State Good To Live?

Yes, Texas is an excellent place to live! The Lone Star State has a low cost of living, plenty of job opportunities in the bustling cities, and friendly folks across its 254 counties. Plus, it's home to some great universities like UT Austin and Texas A&M.

Are Texans Friendly?

Absolutely! Texans are known for their hospitality and southern charm. People of all backgrounds are welcomed in the Lone Star State, and Texans often go out of their way to make new visitors feel right at home.

What Are Texas Cities?

Some of the major cities in Texas include Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, Austin, El Paso, Arlington, and Corpus Christi. Additionally, there are numerous smaller towns throughout the state that offer a unique charm to their residents.

How Did Texas Get Its Name?

Texas was named after the Native American Caddo word “tejas,” which means “friends.” The Spanish explorers who first encountered this land used this term to describe its friendly inhabitants. Texas is also nicknamed the Lone Star State in honor of the single star on its flag, which symbolizes Texas’s pride in being an independent nation. In 1845, it became the 28th state in the Union.

Famous Texas Natives and Residents

Alvin Ailey choreographer; 
Wes Anderson filmmaker; 
Mary Kay Ash cosmetics entrepreneur; 
Stephen Fuller Austin founding father of Texas; 
Gene Autry singer and actor; 
Carol Burnett comedienne; 
George W. Bush president; 
Cyd Charisse actress and dancer; 
Denton A. Cooley heart surgeon; 
Joan Crawford actress; 
Dwight David Eisenhower president; 
Tom Ford designer, director; 
A. J. Foyt auto racer; 
Ben Hogan golfer; 
Sam Houston statesman; 

Howard Hughes industrialist and film producer; 
Jack Johnson boxer; 
Lyndon B. Johnson president; 
George Jones singer; 
Tommy Lee Jones actor; 
Janis Joplin singer; 
Scott Joplin composer; 
Beyonce Knowles singer/performer; 
Trini Lopez singer; 
Mary Martin singer and actress; 
Matthew McConaughey actor; 
Spanky McFarland actor; 
Audie Murphy actor and war hero; 
Chester Nimitz admiral; 
Sandra Day O'Connor jurist; 

Buck Owens singer; 
Selena singer; 
Lou Diamond Phillips actor; 
Katherine Anne Porter novelist; 
Wiley Post aviator; 
Dan Rather TV newscaster; 
Robert Rauschenberg painter; 
Tex Ritter singer; 
Robert Rodriguez fimmaker; 
Rip Torn actor and director; 
Tommy Tune dancer and choreographer; 
Stevie Ray Vaughan musician; 
Lupe Velez actress; 
Dooley Wilson actor and musician; 
Babe Didrikson Zaharias athlete and golfer.


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