Texas State Facts

Entered Union: Dec. 29, 1845 (28th State)
Organized as republic: 1836
Present constitution adopted: 1876

Fun Facts

State abbreviation/Postal code: Tex./TX
Nickname: The Lone Star State
Origin of name: From the Caddoan word for "ally," used to refer to Spanish-allied Hasinai Confederacy and the area they lived in. 
Motto: “Friendship”
Slogan: "The Friendly State"
State symbols:
Bird: Northern mockingbird (1927)
Dog: Blue Lacy (2005)
Fish: Guadalupe bass (1989)
Flying mammal: Mexican free-tailed bat (1995)
Insect: Monarch butterfly (1995)
Large mammal: Texas Longhorn
Reptile: Texas horned lizard (1993)
Shell: Lightning whelk (1987)
Small mammal: Nine-banded armadillo (1927)
Fiber/fabric: Cotton
Flower: Bluebonnets (1901)
Fruit: Texas red grapefruit (1991)
Grass: Sideoats grama (1971)
Nut: Native pecan (1919)
Pepper: Chiltepin
Plant: Prickly pear cactus (1995)
Shrub: Crape myrtle
Tree: Pecan (1964)
Dinosaur: Sauroposeidon 
Gem: Texas blue topaz (1969)
Gemstone cut: Lone Star cut
Mineral: Bowenite (1966)
Molecule: Buckyball
Soil: Houston black
Stone: Petrified palmwood
Bread: Pan de campo (2005)
Colors: Red, white, and blue (in state flag)
Dish: Chili (1977)
Folk dance: Square dance (1991)
Instrument: Acoustic guitar
Music: Western swing
Plays: Fort Griffin Fandangle, The Lone Star, Texas, Beyond Sundown
Ship: USS Texas
 "Texas, Our Texas" (1929)
Snack: Chips and salsa (1995)
Sport: Rodeo (1997)


Capital: Austin
State website:
Governor: Greg Abbott, R (to Jan. 2019)
Lieut. Governor: Dan Patrick, R (to Jan. 2019)
Secy. of State: Carlos Cascos (apptd. by gov.)
Comptroller: Glenn Hegar, R (to Jan. 2019)
Atty. General: Ken Paxton, R (to Jan. 2019)
U.S. Representatives: 36
Senators: John Cornyn, R (to Jan. 2021); Ted Cruz, R (to Jan. 2019)
See Also: Historical biographies of Texas Congress members


Residents: Texan
Resident population: 27,695,284 (2nd Largest State, 2015)
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
Race/Ethnicity: White (71.0%); Black (11.5%); American Indian (0.6%); Asian (2.7%); Other race (11.7%); Two or more races (2.5%); Hispanic/Latino (32.0%).
Religion: Protestant (50%); Catholic (23%); No religion (18%); Jewish (1%); Jehovah's Witness (1%); Buddhist (1%) Muslim (1%); Mormon (1%). 
Sex: Male (49.6%); Female (50.4%).
Age: Under 18 (27.3%); 18-64 (62.4%); 65 and over (10.3%). Median Age: 33.6
See Also: Additional Texas Census Data


GDP: 1.7 trillion dollars (2nd in U.S., 2016)
Unemployment: 4.4% (2015)
Overview: Texas is one of the most developed economies in the country; only California has a larger GDP, and only New York and California have more Fortune 500 companies. Texas is the largest exporter of all states, and is a leading producer in all manner of agricultural products from cotton to cattle. Texas also has a large defense and tech industry, as well as aeronautics and filmmaking. The state of Texas alone would be the 10th largest economy in the world.  


Land area: 268,581 sq mi (696,241 km2)
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/recreation areas: 115 (600,000+ ac.)
Area codes
Tourism office

See more on Texas:

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

Printable Outline Maps


Texas State History

Spanish explorers, including Ãlvar 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.

Famous Texas Natives and Residents

Alvin Ailey choreographer; 
Wes Anderson fimmaker; 
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.

See also: