EtymologyThe name ''Texas'', based on the Caddo word () 'friend', was applied, in the spelling or , by the Spanish to the themselves, specifically the Hasinai Confederacy, the final ''-s'' representing the Spanish plural. The '' '' was completed near the Hasinai village of Nabedaches in May 1690, in what is now Houston County, . During Spanish colonial rule, in the 18th century, the area was known as (' New Philippines') and ('New Kingdom of the Philippines'), or as ('province of the '), later also (or ), ('province of Texas'). It was incorporated as into the in 1821, and declared in 1836. The recognizes both spellings, and , as Spanish-language forms of the name of the U.S. state of Texas. The English pronunciation with is unetymological, contrary to the historical value of the letter () in . Alternative etymologies of the name advanced in the late 19th century connected the Spanish 'rooftile', the plural being used to designate indigenous settlements.Charles Dimitry, "American Geographical Nomenclature", ''Appletons' Journal'' 15 (1876)
Pre-European eraTexas lies between two major cultural spheres of : the and the areas. have found that three major indigenous cultures lived in this territory, and reached their developmental peak before the first European contact. These were: the from the upper region, centered west of Texas; the , also known as , which extended along the east of Texas; and the civilizations of , centered south of Texas. Influence of in northern Mexico peaked around AD 500 and declined over the 8th to 10th centuries. When Europeans arrived in the Texas region, several different cultures of Native peoples, divided into many smaller tribes, were living there. They were an, n, Athabaskan, , and Uto-Aztecan. The Uto-Aztecan Puebloan peoples lived neared the Rio Grande in the western portion of the state, the Athabaskan-speaking Apache tribes lived throughout the interior, the Caddoans controlled much of the Red River region and the Atakapans were mostly centered along the Gulf Coast. At least one tribe of Coahuiltecans, the Aranama, lived in southern Texas. This entire culture group, primarily centered in northeastern Mexico, is now extinct. It is difficult to say who lived in the northwestern region of the state originally. By the time the region came to be explored, it belonged to the fairly well-known Comanche, another Uto-Aztecan people who had transitioned into a powerful horse culture, but it is believed that they came later and did not live there during the 16th century. It may have been claimed by several different peoples, including Uto-Aztecans, Athabaskans, or even Dhegihan Siouans. No culture was dominant in the present-day Texas region, and many peoples inhabited the area. Native American tribes who lived inside the boundaries of present-day Texas include the , , Atakapan, , Caddo, Aranama, , , , , , , Kickapoo, , , and . The region was primarily controlled by the Spanish for the first couple centuries of contact, until the Texas Revolution. They were not particularly kind to their native populations—even less so with the Caddoans, who were not trusted as their culture was split between the Spanish and the French. When the Spanish briefly managed to conquer the Louisiana colony, they decided to switch tactics and attempt being exceedingly friendly to the Indians, which they continued even after the French took back the colony. After the 1803 Louisiana Purchase, the United States inherited this odd circumstance. The Caddoans preferred the company of Americans and almost the entire population of them migrated into the states of Louisiana and Arkansas. The Spanish felt jilted after having spent so much time and effort and began trying to lure the Caddo back, even promising them more land. Seemingly without actually knowing how they came by it, the United States (who had begun convincing tribes to self-segregate from whites by selling everything and moving west ever since they gained the Louisiana Purchase) faced an overflow of native peoples in Missouri and Arkansas and were able to negotiate with the Caddoans to allow several displaced peoples to settle on unused lands in eastern Texas. They included the , Houma Choctaw, and Mingo Seneca, among others, who all came to view the Caddoans as saviors, making those peoples highly influential.Glover, William B. "A History of the Caddo Indians". Reprinted from 'The Louisiana Historical Quarterly'; Vol. 18, No. 4. October 1935 Whether a Native American tribe was friendly or warlike was critical to the fates of European explorers and s in that land. Friendly tribes taught newcomers how to grow indigenous crops, prepare foods, and hunt During the Texas Revolution, the U.S. became heavily involved. Prior treaties with the Spanish forbade either side from militarizing its native population in any potential conflict between the two nations. At that time, several sudden outbreaks of violence between Caddoans and Texans started to spread. The Caddoans were always clueless when questioned, The Texan and American authorities in the region could never find hard evidence linking them to it and often it was so far-flung from Caddoan lands, it barely made any sense. It seems most likely that these were false-flag attacks meant to start a cascading effect to force the natives under Caddoan influence into armed conflict without breaking any treaties—preferably on the side of the Spanish. While no proof was found as to who the culprit was, those in charge of Texas at the time attempted multiple times to publicly blame and punish the Caddoans for the incidents with the U.S. government trying to keep them in check. Furthermore, the Caddoans never turned to violence because of it, excepting cases of self-defense. By the 1830s, the U.S. had drafted the Indian Removal Act, which was used to facilitate the Trail of Tears. Fearing retribution of other native peoples, Indian Agents all over the eastern U.S. began desperately trying to convince all their native peoples to uproot and move west. This included the Caddoans of Louisiana and Arkansas. Following the Texas Revolution, the Texans chose to make peace with their Native peoples but did not honor former land claims or agreements. This began the movement of Native populations north into what would become Indian Territory—modern-day Oklahoma.
ColonizationThe first historical document related to Texas was a map of the , created in 1519 by Spanish explorer . Nine years later, shipwrecked Spanish explorer Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca and his cohort became the first Europeans in what is now Texas. 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." Cabeza de Vaca also made observations about the way of life of the Ignaces Natives of Texas: describes his 1541 encounter: 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 rather than along the . The colony lasted only four years before succumbing to harsh conditions and hostile natives. In 1690 Spanish authorities, concerned that France posed a competitive threat, constructed several in . After Native American resistance, the Spanish missionaries returned to Mexico. When France began settling , mostly in the southern part of the state, in 1716 Spanish authorities responded by founding a new series of missions in East Texas. Two years later, they created as the first Spanish civilian settlement in the area. 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. In 1749, the Spanish peace treaty with the angered many tribes, including the , , and . The Comanche signed a treaty with Spain in 1785 and later helped to defeat the Lipan Apache and tribes. With more numerous missions being established, priests led a peaceful conversion of most tribes. By the end of the 18th century only a few ic tribes had not converted to Christianity. When the United States from France in 1803, American authorities insisted the agreement also included Texas. The boundary between New Spain and the United States was finally set at the Sabine River in 1819, at what is now the border between Texas and Louisiana. Eager for new land, many United States settlers refused to recognize the agreement. Several raised armies to invade the area west of the Sabine River. Marked by the , some men who had escaped from the Spanish held (Old) Philippines had immigrated to and also passed through Texas (New Philippines) and reached where Philippine exiles aided the United States in the defense of against a invasion, with s in the settlement assisting in the . In 1821, the included the Texas territory, which became part of Mexico. Due to its low population, the territory was assigned to other states and territories of Mexico; the core territory was part of the state of , but other parts of today's Texas were part of , , or the Mexican Territory of . Hoping more settlers would reduce the near-constant Comanche raids, liberalized its immigration policies to permit immigrants from outside Mexico and Spain. Under the Mexican immigration system, large swathes of land were allotted to '' s'', who recruited settlers from the United States, Europe, and the Mexican interior. The first grant, to , was passed to his son Stephen F. Austin after his death. Austin's settlers, the , made places along the in 1822. Twenty-three other empresarios brought settlers to the state, the majority of whom were from the United States. The population of Texas grew rapidly. In 1825, Texas had about 3,500 people, with most of Mexican descent. By 1834, the population had grown to about 37,800 people, with only 7,800 of Mexican descent. Most of these early settlers who arrived with Austin and soon after were persons less than fortunate in life, as Texas was devoid of the comforts found elsewhere in Mexico and the United States during that time. Early Texas settler David B. Edwards described his fellow Texans as being "banished from the pleasures of life". Many immigrants openly flouted Mexican law, especially the prohibition against . Combined with United States' attempts to purchase Texas, Mexican authorities decided in 1830 to prohibit continued immigration from the United States. from the United States into Mexico continued to increase the population of Texas anyway. New laws also called for the enforcement of angering native Mexican citizens ('' s'') and recent immigrants alike. The in 1832 were the first open revolt against Mexican rule, and they coincided with a revolt in Mexico against the nation's president. s sided with the against the current government and drove all Mexican soldiers out of East Texas. They took advantage of the lack of oversight to agitate for more political freedom. Texians met at the to discuss requesting independent statehood, among other issues. The following year, Texians reiterated their demands at the Convention of 1833.
RepublicWithin Mexico, tensions continued between federalists and centralists. In early 1835, wary formed Committees of Correspondence and Safety. The unrest erupted into armed conflict in late 1835 at the . This launched the , and over the next two months the Texians defeated all Mexican troops in the region. Texians elected delegates to the , which created a provisional government. The provisional government soon collapsed from infighting, and Texas was without clear governance for the first two months of 1836. During this time of political turmoil, Mexican President personally led an army to end the revolt. The Mexican expedition was initially successful. General defeated all the Texian resistance along the coast culminating in the . Santa Anna's forces, after a thirteen-day siege, overwhelmed Texian defenders at the . News of the defeats sparked panic among Texas settlers. The newly elected Texian delegates to the quickly signed a on March 2, forming the . After electing interim officers, the Convention disbanded.Roberts and Olson (2001), p. 144. The new government joined the other settlers in Texas in the , fleeing from the approaching Mexican army. After several weeks of retreat, the commanded by attacked and defeated Santa Anna's forces at the . Santa Anna was captured and forced to sign the Treaties of Velasco, ending the war. The prohibited the government from restricting slavery or freeing slaves, and required free people of African descent to leave the country. While Texas had won its independence, political battles raged between two factions of the new Republic. The nationalist faction, led by , 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 to the United States and peaceful co-existence with Native Americans. The conflict between the factions was typified by an incident known as the . With wide popular support, Texas first applied for annexation to the United States in 1836, but its status as a slaveholding country caused its admission to be controversial and it was initially rebuffed. This status, and Mexican diplomacy in support of its claims to the territory, also complicated Texas's ability to form foreign alliances and trade relationships. The Indians furnished the main Native American opposition to the Texas Republic, manifested in multiple raids on settlements. Mexico launched two small expeditions into Texas in 1842. The town of San Antonio was captured twice and Texans were defeated in battle in the Dawson massacre. Despite these successes, Mexico did not keep an occupying force in Texas, and the republic survived. The cotton price crash of the 1840s depressed the country's economy.
StatehoodAs early as 1837, the Republic of Texas made several attempts to negotiate with the United States. Opposition within the republic from the nationalist faction, along with strong opposition within the United States, slowed Texas's admission into the Union. Texas was finally when the expansionist won the election of 1844. On December 29, 1845, the admitted Texas to the U.S. as a constituent state of the Union. The population of the new state was quite small at first, and there was a strong mix between the English-speaking American settlers who dominated in the state's eastern/northeastern portions and the Spanish-speaking former Mexicans ( ) who dominated in the state's southern and western portions. Statehood brought many new settlers. Because of the long Spanish presence in Mexico and various failed colonization efforts by the Spanish and Mexicans in northern Mexico, there were large herds of that roamed the state. Hardy by nature, but also suitable for slaughtering and consumption, they represented an economic opportunity many entrepreneurs seized upon, thus creating the cowboy culture for which Texas is famous. After Texas's annexation, Mexico broke diplomatic relations with the United States. While the United States claimed Texas's border stretched to the Rio Grande, Mexico claimed it was the leaving the under contested Texan sovereignty. While the former Republic of Texas could not enforce its border claims, the United States had the military strength and the political will to do so. President Polk ordered General south to the Rio Grande on January 13, 1846. A few months later Mexican troops routed an American cavalry patrol in the disputed area in the starting the . The first battles of the war were fought in Texas: the , and . After these decisive victories, the United States invaded Mexican territory, ending the fighting in Texas. After a series of United States victories, the ended the two-year war. In return, for US$18,250,000, Mexico gave the U.S. undisputed control of Texas, ceded the in 1848, most of which today is called the American Southwest, and Texas's borders were established at the Rio Grande. The set Texas's boundaries at their present form. U.S. Senator of Maryland drafted the final proposal where Texas ceded its claims to land which later became half of present-day , a third of , and small portions of , , and to the federal government, in return for the assumption of $10 million of the old republic's debt. Post-war Texas grew rapidly as migrants poured into the cotton lands of the state. They also brought or purchased enslaved African Americans, whose numbers tripled in the state from 1850 to 1860, from 58,000 to 182,566.
Civil War to late 19th centuryTexas was at war again after the election of 1860. At this time, blacks comprised 30 percent of the state's population, and they were overwhelmingly enslaved. When was elected, South Carolina seceded from the Union. Five other Deep South states quickly followed. A state convention considering secession opened in Austin on January 28, 1861. On February 1, by a vote of 166–8, the convention adopted an from the United States. Texas voters approved this Ordinance on February 23, 1861. Texas joined the newly created Confederate States of America on March 4, 1861, ratifying the permanent C.S. Constitution on March 23. 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, . Not wanting to aggravate the situation, 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 was deposed as governor. Around 2,000 Texans served in the , with a large contingent of recent immigrants in being a Unionist stronghold. While far from the major battlefields of the , Texas contributed large numbers of men and equipment to the rest of the Confederacy. Union troops briefly occupied the state's primary port, Galveston. Texas's border with Mexico was known as the "backdoor of the Confederacy" because trade occurred at the border, bypassing the Union blockade. The Confederacy repulsed all Union attempts to shut down this route, but Texas's role as a supply state was marginalized in mid-1863 after the Union capture of the . The final battle of the Civil War was fought at Palmito Ranch, near Brownsville, Texas, and saw a Confederate victory. Texas descended into anarchy for two months between the Battle of Appomattox Courthouse, surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia and the assumption of authority by Union General Gordon Granger. Violence marked the early months of Reconstruction Era, Reconstruction. Juneteenth commemorates the announcement of the Emancipation Proclamation in Galveston by General Gordon Granger, almost two and a half years after the original announcement. President Johnson, in 1866, declared the civilian government restored in Texas. Despite not meeting reconstruction requirements, Congress resumed allowing elected Texas representatives into the federal government in 1870. Social volatility continued as the state struggled with agricultural depression and labor issues. Like most of the South, the 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 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, war tensions, 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 and the rest of the U.S. (and the rest of the world) expanded. As with some other states before, the lumber industry quickly expanded in Texas and was its largest industry before the beginning of the 20th century.
Early to mid-20th centuryIn 1900, Texas suffered the deadliest natural disaster in U.S. history during the 1900 Galveston hurricane, Galveston hurricane. On January 10, 1901, the first major oil well in Texas, , was found south of Beaumont, Texas, Beaumont. Other fields were later discovered nearby in East Texas Oil Field, East Texas, West Texas, and under the . The resulting "Texas oil boom, oil boom" transformed Texas. Oil production eventually averaged three million barrels per day at its peak in 1972. In 1901, the Democratic-dominated state legislature passed a bill requiring payment of a Poll tax (United States), poll tax for voting, which effectively Disenfranchisement after the Reconstruction Era, disenfranchised most blacks and many poor whites and Latinos. In addition, the legislature established white primaries, ensuring 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. The Socialist Party of Texas, Socialist Party became the second-largest party in Texas after 1912, coinciding with a large socialist upsurge in the 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 government for their opposition to U.S. 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 during the Dust Bowl years. Especially from this period on, blacks left Texas in the Great Migration (African American), Great Migration to get work in the Northern United States or California and to escape the oppression of segregation. In 1940, Texas was 74% Non-Hispanic Whites, Anglo, 14.4% black, and 11.5% Hispanic. 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. Texas manufactured 3.1 percent of total United States military armaments produced during World War II, ranking eleventh among the 48 states. Texas modernized and expanded its Education in Texas#Public colleges and universities, 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 universities receive federal research funds.
Mid-20th to early 21st centuryOn November 22, 1963, President Assassination of John F. Kennedy, John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas. Beginning around the mid-20th century, Texas began to transform from a rural and agricultural state to one urban and industrialized. The state's population grew quickly during this period, with large levels of migration from outside the state. As a part of the Sun Belt, Texas experienced strong economic growth, particularly during the 1970s and early 1980s. Texas's economy diversified, lessening its reliance on the petroleum industry. By 1990, Latin Americans, Hispanics and Latin Americans overtook blacks to become the largest minority group in the state. Texas has the largest Black and African American population with over 3.9 million. During the late 20th century, the Republican Party (United States), Republican Party replaced the Democratic Party (United States), Democratic Party as the dominant party in the state, as the latter became more Modern liberalism in the United States, politically liberal and as demographic changes favored the former. Beginning in the early 21st century, metropolitan areas including Dallas–Fort Worth and Greater Austin became centers for the Texas Democratic Party in statewide and national elections as liberal policies became more accepted in urban areas. From the mid-2000s to 2019, Texas gained an influx of business relocations and regional headquarters from companies in . Texas became a major destination for migration during the early 21st century and was named the most popular state to move for three consecutive years. Another study in 2019 determined Texas's growth rate at 1,000 people per day. During the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, the first confirmed case of the virus in Texas was announced on March 4, 2020. On April 27, 2020, Governor Greg Abbott announced phase one of re-opening the economy. Amid a rise in COVID-19 cases in autumn 2020, Abbott and other U.S. governors refused to enact further lockdowns. In November 2020, Texas was selected as one of four states to test Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine distribution. As of February 2, 2021, there had been over 2.4 million confirmed cases in Texas, with at least 37,417 deaths. During February 13–17, 2021, the state faced a major weather emergency as Winter Storm Uri hit the state, as well as most of the Southeastern and Midwestern United States. Historically high power usage across the state caused the state's power grid to become overworked and ERCOT (the main operator of the Texas Interconnection grid) declared an emergency and began to implement rolling blackouts across Texas, causing a 2021 Texas power crisis, power crisis. Over 3 million Texans were without power and over 4 million were under boil notices.
GeographyTexas is the List of U.S. states and territories by area, second-largest U.S. state, after , with an area of . Though 10% List of countries by area, larger than France, almost twice as large as Germany or Japan, and more than twice the size of the United Kingdom, it ranks only 27th worldwide amongst List of the largest country subdivisions by area, country subdivisions by size. If it were an independent country, Texas would be the List of countries by area, 39th-largest. Texas is in the South Central United States, south central part of the United States of America. Three of its borders are defined by rivers. The forms a natural border with the Mexican states of , , , and to the south. The Red River of the South, Red River forms a natural border with Oklahoma and Arkansas to the north. The Sabine River (Texas-Louisiana), Sabine River forms a natural border with Louisiana to the east. The Texas Panhandle has an eastern border with Oklahoma at 100th meridian west, 100° W, a northern border with Oklahoma at Parallel 36°30' north, 36°30' N and a western border with New Mexico at 103rd meridian west, 103° W. El Paso lies on the state's western tip at 32nd parallel north, 32° N and the Rio Grande. With 10 Köppen climate classification, climatic regions, 14 Agricultural soil science, soil regions and 11 distinct Ecoregion, ecological regions, regional classification becomes problematic with differences in soils, topography, geology, rainfall, and plant and animal communities. 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 region wraps around the 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 Cross Timbers, Cross Timbers region and Caprock Escarpment are part of the Interior Lowlands. The Great Plains region in Central Texas spans through the state's Texas Panhandle, panhandle and Llano Estacado to the state's Texas Hill Country, hill country near Austin. This region is dominated by 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 has 3,700 named streams and 15 major rivers, with the as the largest. Other major rivers include the Pecos River, Pecos, the Brazos River, Brazos, Colorado River (Texas), Colorado, and Red River of the South, Red River. While Texas has few natural lakes, Texans have built more than a hundred List of lakes in Texas, artificial reservoirs. The size and unique history of 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 List of regions of the United States, recognized region of the United States. Notable extremes range from which is often considered an extension of the Deep South, to Trans-Pecos, Far West Texas which is generally acknowledged to be part of the Southwestern United States, interior Southwest.
GeologyTexas 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 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, Texas, Llano uplift, Van Horn, Texas, Van Horn, and the Franklin Mountains (Texas), 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 (geology), Pennsylvanian subperiod to form Pangea. This is the buried crest of the Appalachian Mountains–Ouachita Mountains zone of Pennsylvanian continental collision. This orogeny, orogenic crest is today buried beneath the Dallas–Waco, Texas, Waco–Austin–San Antonio trend. The late Paleozoic mountains collapsed as rifting in the Jurassic period began to open the Gulf of Mexico. Pangea began to break up in the Triassic, but seafloor spreading to form the 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's passive margin began to form. Today of sediments are buried beneath the Texas continental shelf and a large proportion of remaining US oil reserves are here. At the start of its formation, the incipient Gulf of Mexico basin was restricted and seawater often evaporated completely to form thick evaporite deposits of Jurassic age. These salt deposits formed salt dome diapirs, and are found in East Texas along the Gulf coast. 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 sediments in the east, along the Gulf coast and out on the Texas continental shelf contain oil. Oligocene volcanic rocks are found in far west Texas in the Big Bend, Texas, Big Bend area. A blanket of Miocene sediments known as the Ogallala Aquifer, Ogallala formation in the western high plains region is an important aquifer. Located far from an active plate tectonic boundary, Texas has no volcanoes and few earthquakes.
WildlifeA 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. At least 12 species have been introduced and now reproduce freely in Texas. Texas plays host to several species of wasps, including an abundance of ''Polistes exclamans'', and is an important ground for the study of ''Polistes annularis''. During the spring Texas wildflowers such as the state flower, the Lupinus texensis, bluebonnet, line highways throughout Texas. During the Johnson Administration the first lady, Lady Bird Johnson, worked to draw attention to Texas wildflowers.
ClimateThe large size of Texas and its location at the intersection of multiple Köppen climate classification, climate zones gives the state highly variable weather. The Texas Panhandle, Panhandle of the state has colder winters than North Texas, while the Gulf Coast has mild winters. Texas has wide variations in precipitation patterns. El Paso, on the western end of the state, averages of annual rainfall, while parts of southeast Texas average as much as per year. Dallas in the North Central region averages a more moderate 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 or on the coast only in rare circumstances. Of note is the 2004 Christmas Eve snowstorm, when of snow fell as far south as Kingsville, Texas, Kingsville, where the average high temperature in December is 65 °F. Maximum temperatures in the summer months average from the 80s °Fahrenheit, F (26 °C) in the mountains of West Texas and on Galveston Island to around in the , but most areas of Texas see consistent summer high temperatures in the range. Night-time summer temperatures range from the upper 50s °F (14 °C) in the West Texas mountains to in Galveston. 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.
StormsThunderstorms strike Texas often, especially the eastern and northern portions of the state. 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 and the Panhandle.NOOA.gov
Greenhouse gases, Texas emitted the most greenhouse gases in the U.S., almost twice the amount of California, the second-most polluting state. the state emits about of carbon dioxide annually. As an independent state, Texas would rank as the world's seventh-largest producer of greenhouse gases. Causes of the state's vast greenhouse gas emissions include the state's large number of Fossil fuel power plant, coal power plants and the state's refining and manufacturing industries. In 2010, there were 2,553 "emission events" which poured of contaminants into the Texas sky.
Administrative divisionsThe state has three cities with populations exceeding one million: Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas. These three rank among the 10 most populous cities of the United States. As of 2020, six Texas cities had populations greater than 600,000 people. Austin, Fort Worth, and El Paso are among the 20 List of United States cities by population, largest U.S. cities. Texas has four List of Texas metropolitan areas, metropolitan areas with populations greater than a million: , , , and . The Dallas–Fort Worth and Houston metropolitan areas number about 7.5 million and 7 million residents as of 2019, respectively. Three Interstate Highway System, interstate highways—Interstate 35 (Texas), I-35 to the west (Dallas–Fort Worth to San Antonio, with Austin in between), Interstate 45 (Texas), I-45 to the east (Dallas to Houston), and Interstate 10 (Texas), I-10 to the south (San Antonio to Houston) define the Texas Urban Triangle region. The region of 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. Houston and Dallas have been recognized as global city, world cities. These cities are spread out amongst the state. In contrast to the cities, unincorporated rural settlements known as Colonia (border settlement), colonias often lack basic infrastructure and are marked by poverty. The office of the Texas Attorney General stated, in 2011, that Texas had about 2,294 colonias, and estimates about 500,000 lived in the colonias. Hidalgo County, Texas, Hidalgo County, as of 2011, has the largest number of colonias.Grinberg, Emmanuella.
DemographicsThe United States Census Bureau determined the resident population of Texas was 29,145,505 at the 2020 United States census, 2020 U.S census, a 15.9% increase since the 2010 United States census. At the 2020 census, the apportioned population of Texas stood at 29,183,290. The 2015 Texas Population Estimate program estimated the population was 27,469,114 on July 1, 2015. In 2010, Texas had a census population of 25,145,561. Texas is the second-most populous state in the United States after California. In 2015, Texas had 4.7 million foreign-born residents, about 17% of the population and 21.6% of the state workforce. The major countries of origin for Texan immigrants were Mexico (55.1% of immigrants), India (5%), El Salvador (4.3%), Vietnam (3.7%), and China (2.3%). Of immigrant residents, some 35.8 percent were Naturalization, naturalized U.S. citizens. As of 2018, the population increased to 4.9 million foreign-born residents or 17.2% of the state population, up from 2,899,642 in 2000. In 2014, there were an estimated 1.7 million undocumented immigrants in Texas, making up 35% of the total Texas immigrant population and 6.1% of the total state population. In addition to the state's foreign-born population, an additional 4.1 million Texans (15% of the state's population) were born in the United States and had at least one immigrant parent. According to the American Community Survey's 2016 estimates, 1,597,000 residents were undocumented immigrants, a decrease of 103,000 since 2014. Of the undocumented immigrant population, 960,000 have resided in Texas from less than 5 up to 14 years. An estimated 637,000 lived in Texas from 15 to 19 and 20 years or more. Texas's has seen significant migration from across the U.S.–Mexico border. During the 2014 American immigration crisis, 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 Right of asylum, asylum in the United States. Texas's population density as of 2010 is 96.3 people per square mile (34.9/km2) which is slightly higher than the average List of countries by population density, population density of the U.S. as a whole, at 87.4 people per square mile (31.1/km2). In contrast, while Texas and France are similarly sized geographically, the European country has a population density of 301.8 people per square mile (116.5/km2). Of its dense population, two-thirds of all Texans live in major metropolitan areas such as Houston. The Dallas–Fort Worth metropolitan area is the largest in Texas. While Houston is the largest city in Texas and the fourth-largest city in the United States by population, the Dallas–Fort Worth metropolitan area is larger than the city and metropolitan area of Houston.
Race and ethnicityIn 2019, Non-Hispanic or Latino whites, non-Hispanic whites represented 41.2% of Texas's population, reflecting a national demographic shift. African Americans, Blacks or African Americans made up 12.9%, Native Americans in the United States, American Indians and Alaska Natives 1.0%, Asian Americans 5.2%, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islander Americans, Pacific Islanders 0.1%, some other race 0.2%, and Multiracial Americans, two or more races 1.8%. Hispanic and Latino Americans, Hispanics or Latin Americans of any race made up 39.7% of the estimated population. At the 2020 census, the racial and ethnic composition of the state was 42.5% White Americans, white (39.7% non-Hispanic white), 11.8% Black or African American, 5.4% Asian, 0.3% American Indian and Alaska Native, 0.1% Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander, 13.6% some other race, 17.6% two or more races, and 39.3% Hispanic and Latin American of any race. In 2010, 49% of all births were Hispanics; 35% were non-Hispanic whites; 11.5% were non-Hispanic blacks, and 4.3 percent were Asians/Pacific Islanders. Based on U.S. Census Bureau data released in February 2011, for the first time in recent history, Texas's white population is below 50% (45%) and Hispanics grew to 38%. Between 2000 and 2010, the total population growth by 20.6%, but Hispanics and Latin Americans growth by 65%, whereas non-Hispanic whites grew by only 4.2%. Texas has the fifth highest rate of teenage births in the nation and a plurality of these are to Hispanics or Latinos.
LanguagesThe most common accent (sociolinguistics), accent or dialect spoken by natives throughout 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. Creole language is spoken in some parts of East Texas. In some areas of the state—particularly in the large cities—Western American English and General American English, is increasingly common. 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. At the 2019 American Community Survey's estimates, 64.4% of the population spoke only English, and 35.6% spoke a language other than English. Roughly 30% of the total population spoke Spanish. Approximately 50,742 Texans spoke French or a French-creole language. German and other West Germanic languages were spoken by 47,098 residents; Russian, Polish, and other Slavic languages by 27,956; Korean by 31,581; Chinese 22,616; Vietnamese 81,022; Tagalog 43,360; and Arabic by 26,281 Texans. At the census of 2010, 65.8% (14,740,304) of Texas residents age5 and older spoke only English language, English at home, while 29.2% (6,543,702) spoke , 0.75 percent (168,886) Vietnamese language, Vietnamese, and Chinese language, Chinese (which includes Cantonese and Standard Chinese, Mandarin) was spoken by 0.56% (122,921) of the population over five. Other languages spoken include German language, German (including Texas German) by 0.33% (73,137), Tagalog language, Tagalog with 0.29% (64,272) speakers, and French language, French (including Cajun French) was spoken by 0.25% (55,773) of Texans. Reportedly, Cherokee language, Cherokee is the most widely spoken Native American language in Texas. In total, 34.2% (7,660,406) of Texas's population aged five and older spoke a language at home other than English as of 2006.
ReligionThe majority of Texas's population have been and remain predominantly Christianity, Christian, influenced by Spanish Catholic and American Protestant colonialism and missionary work (77%). Texas's large Christian population is also influenced due to its location within the Bible Belt. The following largest groups were the Spiritual but not religious, irreligious (18%), nothing in particular (13%), Judaism (1%), Islam (1%), Buddhism (1%) and Hinduism and other religions at less than 1 percent each. The largest Christian denomination as of 2014 is the Catholic Church (23%). The largest Catholic jurisdictions in Texas are the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Galveston–Houston, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, the dioceses of Roman Catholic Diocese of Dallas, Dallas, Roman Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth, Fort Worth, and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Antonio. In Protestantism, Evangelicalism, Evangelicals form the largest theological branch (31%) followed by Mainline Protestants (13%) and Black church, historically African American Protestant churches (6%). Baptists formed the largest Evangelical Protestant group in Texas (14%); they made up the second largest Mainline Protestant group behind Methodism, Methodists (4%). Nondenominational Christianity, Nondenominational and interdenominational Christians were the second largest Evangelical group (7%) followed by Pentecostalism, Pentecostals (4%). The largest Evangelical Baptists in the state were the Southern Baptist Convention (9%) and independent Baptists (3%). The Assemblies of God USA, Assemblies of God made the largest Evangelical Pentecostal denomination at the 2014 study. Among Mainline Protestants, the United Methodist Church was the largest denomination (4%). American Baptist Churches USA comprised the second largest Mainline Protestant group (2%). According to the Pew Research Center, the largest historically African American Christian denominations are the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc., National Baptist Convention (USA) and the Church of God in Christ. Black Methodists and other Christians made up less than 1 percent each of the Christian demographic. Other Christians made up 1 percent of the total Christian population, and the Eastern Orthodox Church, Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches, Oriental Orthodox formed less than 1 percent of the statewide Christian populace. The The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Texas, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the largest Nontrinitarianism, nontrinitarian Christian group in Texas alongside the Jehovah's Witnesses. Non-Christian faiths accounted for 4% of the religious population in 2014. Adherents of many other religions reside predominantly in the urban centers of Texas. Judaism, Islam, and Buddhism were tied as the second largest religion as of 2014. 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 as of 2012. The Jewish population was around 128,000 in 2008. In 2020, the Jewish population grew to over 176,000. Around 146,000 adherents of religions such as Hinduism and Sikhism lived in Texas as of 2004. Texas is the fifth-largest Muslim-populated state in the country. Of the unaffiliated, an estimated 2% were Atheism, atheists and 3% Agnosticism, agnostic.
EconomyAs of 2019, Texas had a gross state product (GSP) of $1.9 trillion, the List of U.S. states by GDP (nominal), second highest in the U.S. Its GSP is List of countries by GDP (nominal), greater than the GDPs of Brazil, Canada, Russia, South Korea and , which are the world's 9th-, 10th-, 11th-, 12th- and 13th-largest economies, respectively. The state's median household income is $59,206. Texas's economy is the second-largest of any List of country subdivisions by GDP over 200 billion USD, country subdivision globally, behind California. Texas's large population, an 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. As of May 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the state's unemployment rate was 13 percent. In 2010, ''Site Selection Magazine'' ranked Texas as the most business-friendly state in the nation, in part because of the state's three-billion-dollar Texas Enterprise Fund. Texas has the joint-highest number of company headquarters in the United States, along with California. In 2010, there were 346,000 millionaires in Texas, constituting the second-largest population of millionaires in the nation. In 2018, the number of millionaire households increased to 566,578.
TaxationTexas has a "low taxes, low services" reputation. 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. Texas is one of seven states that lack a state income tax. Instead, the state collects revenue from property taxes (though these are collected at the county, city, and school district level; Texas has a state constitutional prohibition against a state property tax) and sales taxes. The state sales tax rate is 6.25 percent, but local taxing jurisdictions (cities, counties, special purpose districts, and transit authorities) may also impose sales and use tax up to 2percent for a total maximum combined rate of 8.25 percent. Texas is a "tax donor state"; in 2005, for every dollar Texans paid to the federal government in Income tax in the United States, federal income taxes, the state got back about $0.94 in benefits. To attract business, Texas has incentive programs worth $19 billion per year (2012); more than any other U.S. state.
Agriculture and miningTexas has the most farms and the highest acreage in the United States. The state is ranked for revenue generated from total livestock and livestock products. It is ranked for total agricultural revenue, behind California. 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 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). Texas leads the nation in the production of cattle, horses, sheep, goats, wool, mohair and hay. The state also leads the nation in production of cotton which is the number one crop grown in the state in terms of value. The state grows significant amounts of cereal crops and produce. Texas has a large commercial fishing industry. With mineral resources, Texas leads in creating cement, crushed stone, lime, salt, sand and gravel. Texas throughout the 21st century has been Drought in the United States, hammered by drought. This has cost the state billions of dollars in livestock and crops.
EnergyEver since the discovery of oil at , energy has been a dominant force politically and economically within the state. If Texas were its own country it would be the sixth largest oil producer in the world according to a 2014 study. The Railroad Commission of Texas, contrary to its name, regulates the state's oil industry, 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 Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) used the Texas agency as one of their models for petroleum price control. Texas has known petroleum deposits of about , which makes up about one-fourth of the known U.S. reserves. The state's Oil refinery, refineries can process of oil a day. The Port Arthur Refinery in Southeast Texas is the largest refinery in the U.S. Texas also leads in natural gas production, producing one-fourth of the nation's supply. Several List of petroleum companies, petroleum companies are based in Texas such as: Occidental Petroleum, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Halliburton, Marathon Oil, Tesoro Corporation, Tesoro, Valero Energy, and 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. Unlike the rest of the nation, most of Texas is on its own alternating current power grid, the Texas Interconnection. Texas has a Deregulation of the Texas electricity market, deregulated electric service. Texas leads the nation in total net electricity production, generating 437,236 MWh in 2014, 89% more MWh than Florida, which ranked second. As an independent nation, Texas would rank as the world's eleventh-List of countries by electricity consumption, 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 Texas, wind power in the nation. In 2014, 10.6% of the electricity consumed in Texas came from wind turbines. The Roscoe Wind Farm in Roscoe, Texas, is one of the world's largest wind farms with a 781.5 megawatt (MW) capacity. The Energy Information Administration states the state's large agriculture and forestry industries could give Texas an enormous amount biomass for use in biofuels. The state also has the highest solar power potential for development in the U.S.
TechnologyWith large universities systems coupled with initiatives like the Texas Enterprise Fund and the Texas Emerging Technology Fund, a wide array of different industries have developed in Texas. The Austin area is nicknamed the "Silicon Hills" and the north Dallas area the "Silicon Prairie". Many high-tech companies are located in or have their headquarters in Texas (and List of companies based in Austin, Texas, Austin in particular), including Dell, Inc., Borland, Forcepoint, Indeed.com, Texas Instruments, Perot Systems, Rackspace and AT&T. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center (NASA JSC) in Southeast Houston, sits as the crown jewel of Texas's aeronautics industry. Both SpaceX and Blue Origin have their test facilities in Texas.Fort Worth, Texas, Fort Worth hosts both Lockheed Martin's Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, Aeronautics division and Bell Helicopter Textron. Lockheed builds the F-16 Fighting Falcon, the largest Western fighter program, and its successor, the F-35 Lightning II in Fort Worth.
CommerceTexas's Affluence in the United States, affluence stimulates a strong commercial sector consisting of retail, wholesale, banking and insurance, and construction industries. Examples of Fortune 500 companies not based on Texas traditional industries are AT&T Inc, AT&T, Kimberly-Clark, Blockbuster Inc., Blockbuster, J. C. Penney, Whole Foods Market, and Tenet Healthcare. Nationally, the Dallas–Fort Worth area, home to the Highland Park Village, second shopping mall in the United States, has the most shopping malls per capita of any American metropolitan statistical area. 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 border.
CultureHistorically, Texas culture comes from a blend of Southern Southern United States, (Dixie), Western (frontier), and Southwestern Southwestern United States, (Mexican/Anglo fusion) influences, varying in degrees of such from one intrastate region to another. Texas is placed in the Southern United States by the United States Census Bureau. 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 a melting pot of cultures from around the world. Texas has made a strong mark on national and international pop culture. The entire 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 (1978 TV series), ''Dallas''. The internationally known slogan "Don't Mess with Texas" began as an anti-littering advertising campaign, advertisement. Since the campaign's inception in 1986, the phrase has become "an identity statement, a declaration of Texas swagger".
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 of Texas, or to describe something (usually but not always originating from Texas) that is large compared to other objects of its type. Texas was the largest U.S. state until became a state in 1959. The phrase "everything is bigger in Texas" has been in regular use since at least 1950; and was used as early as 1913.
ArtsHouston is one of only five American cities with permanent professional resident companies in all the major performing arts disciplines: the Houston Grand Opera, the Houston Symphony Orchestra, the Houston Ballet, and The Alley Theatre. Known for the vibrancy of its Visual arts, visual and performing arts, the 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. Founded in 1892, Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, also called "The Modern", is Texas's oldest art museum. 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, Dallas, Arts District of Downtown Dallas has arts venues such as the 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. The Deep Ellum district within Dallas became popular during the 1920s and 1930s as the prime jazz and blues hotspot in the Southern United States. The name Deep Ellum comes from local people pronouncing "Deep Elm" as "Deep Ellum". Artists such as Blind Lemon Jefferson, Robert Johnson (musician), Robert Johnson, Huddie "Lead Belly" Ledbetter, and Bessie Smith played in early Deep Ellum clubs. Austin, ''Music of 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". The city's music revolves around the nightclubs on 6th Street (Austin), 6th Street; events like the film, music, and multimedia festival South by Southwest; the longest-running concert music program on American television, ''Austin City Limits''; and the Austin City Limits Music Festival held in Zilker Park. Since 1980, San Antonio has evolved into "The Tejano Music Capital Of The World". The Tejano Music Awards have provided a forum to create greater awareness and appreciation for Tejano music and culture.
EducationThe second List of Presidents of the Republic of Texas, president of the Republic of Texas, , is the ''Father of Texas Education''. During his term, the state set aside three league (unit), 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. Lamar's actions set the foundation for a Texas-wide public school system. Between 2006 and 2007, 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 paid instructors $41,744, below the national average of $46,593. The Texas Education Agency (TEA) administers the state's public school systems. Texas has List of school districts in Texas, over 1,000 school districts; all districts except the Stafford Municipal School District are independent from municipal government and many cross city boundaries. School districts have the power to taxation, 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. The TEA has no authority over private or homeschooling, home school activities. Students in Texas take the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) in primary and secondary school. STAAR assess students' attainment of reading (activity), reading, writing, mathematics, science, and social studies skills required under Texas education standards and the No Child Left Behind Act. The test replaced the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) test in the 2011–2012 school year. Generally prohibited in the Western world, West at large, school corporal punishment is not unusual in the more conservative, rural areas of the state, with 28,569 public school students paddle (spanking), paddled at least one time, according to government data for the 2011–2012 school year. The rate of school corporal punishment in Texas is surpassed only by Mississippi, Alabama, and .
Higher educationThe state's two most widely recognized flagship universities are The University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University, ranked as the 21st and 41st best universities in the nation according to 2020's latest Center for World University Rankings report, respectively. Some observers also include the University of Houston and Texas Tech University as tier one flagships alongside UT Austin and A&M.Texas Tech University has quietly emerged as top-tier institution
HealthcareNotwithstanding the concentration of elite medical centers in the state, The Commonwealth Fund ranks the Texas healthcare system the third worst in the nation. Texas ranks close to last in access to healthcare, quality of care, avoidable hospital spending, and equity among various groups. Causes of the state's poor rankings include politics, a high poverty rate, and the highest rate of illegal immigration in the nation. In May 2006, Texas initiated the program "code red" in response to the report the state had 25.1 percent of the population without health insurance, the largest proportion in the nation. The Trust for America's Health ranked Texas 15th highest in adult obesity, with 27.2 percent of the state's population measured as obese. The 2008 Men's Health (magazine), Men's Health obesity survey ranked four Texas cities among the top 25 fattest cities in America; Houston ranked 6th, Dallas 7th, El Paso 8th, and Arlington, Texas, Arlington 14th. Texas had only one city (Austin, ranked 21st) in the top 25 among the "fittest cities" in America. The same survey has evaluated the state's obesity initiatives favorably with a "B+". The state is ranked forty-second in the percentage of residents who engage in regular exercise according to a 2007 study. Texas has the Maternal Healthcare System in Texas, highest maternal mortality rate in the developed world, and the rate by which 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 or economically developed country. In May 2021, Texas passed an abortion bill that will ban abortion from as early as six weeks, before many women realize that they are pregnant. The ban includes women or girls who become pregnant by incest or rape. The law, known as the Texas Heartbeat Act, took effect on September 1.
Medical researchTexas has many elite research medical centers. The state has 15 List of colleges and universities in Texas#Health science, medical schools, four dental schools, and two optometry schools. Texas has two Biosafety Level 4 (BSL-4) laboratories: one at The University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston, and the other at the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research in San Antonio—the first privately owned BSL-4 lab in the United States. The Texas Medical Center in Houston, holds the world's largest concentration of research and healthcare institutions, with over 50 member institutions. Texas Medical Center performs the most heart transplants in the world. The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston is a highly regarded academic institution that centers around cancer patient care, research, education and prevention. San Antonio's South Texas Medical Center facilities rank sixth in clinical medicine research impact in the United States. The UTHSCSA, University of Texas Health Science Center is another highly ranked research and educational institution in San Antonio. Both the American Heart Association and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center call Dallas home. The University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, institution's medical school employs the most medical school Nobel laureates in the world.
TransportationTexans have historically had difficulties traversing Texas due to the state's large size and rough terrain. Texas has compensated by building America's largest highway and railway systems. The regulatory authority, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), maintains the state's immense highway system, regulates aviation, and public transportation systems. The state is an important transportation hub. From the Dallas/Fort Worth area, trucks can reach 93 percent of the nation's population within 48 hours, and 37 percent within 24 hours. Texas has 33 Special Economic Zone, foreign trade zones (FTZ), the most in the nation. In 2004, a combined total of $298 billion of goods passed through Texas FTZs.
HighwaysThe first Texas freeway was the Gulf Freeway opened in 1948 in Houston. As of 2005, of public highway crisscrossed Texas (up from in 1984). To fund recent growth in the state highways, Texas has 17 toll roads (see List of Toll Roads in the United States#Texas, list) with several additional tollways proposed. In Central Texas, the southern section of the Texas State Highway 130, State Highway 130 toll road has a speed limit of , the highest in the nation. All federal and state highways in Texas are paved.
AirportsTexas has 730 airports, second-most of any state in the nation. Largest in Texas by size and passengers served, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) is the second-largest by area in the United States, and fourth in the world with . In traffic, DFW airport is the busiest in the state, the fourth busiest in the United States, and sixth worldwide. American Airlines Group's American Airlines, American / American Eagle Airlines, American Eagle, the world's largest airline in total passengers-miles transported and passenger fleet size, uses DFW as its largest and main Airline hub, hub. It ranks as the largest airline in the United States by number of passengers carried domestically per year and the World's largest airlines#Scheduled domestic passengers carried, largest airline in the world by number of passengers carried. Southwest Airlines, headquartered in Dallas, has its operations at Dallas Love Field. 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. IAH offers service to the most Mexican destinations of any U.S. airport. The next five largest airports in the state all serve more than three million passengers annually; they include Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, William P. Hobby Airport, San Antonio International Airport, Dallas Love Field and El Paso International Airport. The smallest airport in the state to be designated an international airport is Del Rio International Airport.
PortsAround 1,150 seaports dot Texas's coast with over of channel (geography), channels. Ports employ nearly one-million people and handle an average of 317 million metric tons. Texas ports connect with the rest of the U.S. Atlantic seaboard with the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, Gulf section of the Intracoastal Waterway. The Port of Houston today is the busiest port in the United States in foreign tonnage, second in overall tonnage, and List of world's busiest ports by cargo tonnage, tenth worldwide in tonnage. The Houston Ship Channel spans wide by deep by long."Welcome to the Houston-Galveston Navigation Channel Project Online Resource Center" (description), United States Army Corps of Engineers, December 2005
RailroadsPart of the state's Cowboy#Texas tradition, tradition of cowboys is derived from the massive Cattle drives in the United States, cattle drives which its ranchers organized in the nineteenth century to Cattle drives in the United States, drive livestock to railroads and markets in Kansas, for shipment to the east. Towns along the way, such as Baxter Springs, Kansas, 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 was the Buffalo Bayou, Brazos and Colorado Railway, opening in August 1853. The first railroad to enter Texas from the north, completed in 1872, was the . 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 has led the nation in length of railroad miles within the state. Texas railway length peaked in 1932 at , but declined to by 2000. While the Railroad Commission of Texas originally regulated state railroads, in 2005 the state reassigned these duties to TxDOT. In the Dallas–Fort Worth area, three public transit agencies provide rail service: Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART), Denton County Transportation Authority (DCTA), and Trinity Metro. DART began operating the first light rail system in the Southwest United States in 1996. The Trinity Railway Express (TRE) commuter rail service, which connects Fort Worth and Dallas, is provided by Trinity Metro and DART. Trinity Metro also operates the TEXRail commuter rail line, connecting downtown Fort Worth and Northeast Tarrant County to DFW Airport. The A-train (Denton County), A-train commuter rail line, operated by DCTA, acts as an extension of the DART Green line into Denton County. In the 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 area. Amtrak provides Texas with limited intercity passenger rail service. Three scheduled routes serve the state: the daily ''Texas Eagle'' ; the tri-weekly ''Sunset Limited'' , with stops in Texas; and the daily ''Heartland Flyer'' . Texas may get one of the nation's first high-speed rail line. Plans for a privately funded high-speed rail line between Dallas and Houston have been planned by the Texas Central Railway company.
Government and politicsThe current Texas Constitution was adopted in 1876. Like many State constitution (United States), states, it explicitly provides for a separation of powers. The state's Bill of Rights is much larger than its United States Bill of Rights, federal counterpart, and has provisions unique to Texas.
State governmentTexas 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 of Texas, secretary of state, voters elect executive officers independently; thus candidates are directly answerable to the public, not the governor. 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 Party (United States), Republican president George W. Bush served as Texas's governor, the state had a Democratic Party (United States), Democratic lieutenant governor, Bob Bullock. The executive branch positions consist of the List of Governors of Texas, governor, Lieutenant Governor of Texas, lieutenant governor, comptroller of public accounts, land commissioner, attorney general, agriculture commissioner, the three-member Texas Railroad Commission, the State Board of Education, and the secretary of state. The Bicameralism, bicameral Texas Legislature consists of the Texas House of Representatives, House of Representatives, with 150 members, and a Texas Senate, Senate, with 31 members. The Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives, Speaker of the House leads the House, and the lieutenant governor, the Senate. The Legislature meets in regular session biennially for just over a hundred days, but the governor can call for special sessions as often as desired (notably, the Legislature cannot call itself into session). The state's fiscal year begins September1. The judiciary of Texas is among the most complex in the United States, with many layers and overlapping jurisdictions. Texas has two courts of last resort: the Texas Supreme Court, for civil cases, and the 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. 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 Ranger Division of the Texas Department of Public Safety is a police, law enforcement agency with statewide jurisdiction. Over the years, the Texas Rangers have investigated crimes ranging from murder to political corruption. They have acted as riot police and as detectives, protected the Texas governor, tracked down fugitives, and functioned as a paramilitary force both for the republic and for the state. The 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 history and some of the best-known criminal cases in the history of the American Old West, Old West. The 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 an operating officer.
PoliticsIn 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 tax (United States), poll taxes, followed by white primaries; these measures effectively Disfranchisement after Reconstruction era, disfranchised most blacks, poor whites and Mexican Americans. In the 1890s, 100,000 blacks voted in the state; by 1906, only 5,000 could vote. As a result, the Democratic Party dominated Politics of 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 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. Additionally, several factions of the party briefly split during the 1930s and 1940s. 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. 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 the Democratic Party became increasingly Liberalism in the United States, liberal during the 20th century, and thus increasingly out-of-touch with the average Texas voter. As Texas was always a Conservatism in the United States, conservative state, voters switched to the GOP, which now more closely reflected their beliefs. Commentators have also attributed the shift to Republican political consultant Karl Rove, who managed numerous political campaigns in Texas in the 1980s and 1990s. Other stated reasons included court-ordered redistricting and the demographic shift in relation to the Sun Belt that favored the Republican Party and conservatism. The 2003 Texas redistricting of Congressional districts led by Republican Tom DeLay, was called by ''The New York Times'' "an extreme case of partisan gerrymandering". A group of Democratic legislators, the "Texas Eleven", fled the state in a quorum-busting effort to prevent the legislature from acting, but was unsuccessful. 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 then. Career attorneys and analysts at the Department of Justice objected to the plan as diluting the votes of African American and Hispanic voters, but political appointees overrode them and approved it. Legal challenges to the redistricting reached the national Supreme Court of the United States, 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). In the Texas elections, 2014, 2014 Texas elections, the Tea Party movement made large gains, with numerous Tea Party favorites being elected into office, including Dan Patrick (politician), Dan Patrick as lieutenant governor, Ken Paxton as attorney general, in addition to numerous other candidates including conservative Republican Greg Abbott as governor. 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 social conservatism, socially conservative values. Since 1980, most Texas voters have supported Republican presidential candidates. In 2000 and 2004, Republican George W. Bush won Texas with respectively 59.3 and 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 2008 United States presidential election, 2008, but with a smaller margin of victory compared to Bush at 55 percent of the vote. Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio consistently lean Democratic in both local and statewide elections. The state's changing demographics may result in a change in its overall political alignment, as a majority population of Black and Hispanic/Latino voters support the Democratic Party (United States), Democratic Party. Residents of counties along the closer to the Mexico–United States border, where there are many Latino residents, generally vote for Democratic Party candidates, while most other rural and suburban areas of Texas have shifted to voting for Republican Party candidates. As of the 2020 United States elections, general elections of 2020, a large majority of the members of Texas's U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. House delegation are Republican Party (United States), Republican, along with both United States Senate, U.S. Senators. In the 117th United States Congress, of the 36 Texas Congressional Districts, Congressional districts in Texas, 23 are held by Republicans and 13 by Democrats. 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, Beaumont, Dallas, El Paso, Houston, and San Antonio as well as minority voters in East and South Texas.
Criminal lawTexas has a reputation of very harsh criminal punishment for criminal offenses. It is one of the 32 states that practice capital punishment in Texas, capital punishment, and since the US Supreme Court allowed capital punishment to resume in 1976, 40% of all U.S. executions have taken place in Texas. As of 2018, Texas had the 8th highest List of U.S. states and territories by incarceration and correctional supervision rate, incarceration rate in the U.S. Texas also has strong right of self-defense and self defense laws, allowing citizens to use lethal force to defend themselves, their families, or their property.
SportsWhile American football has long been considered "king" in the state, Texans enjoy a wide variety of sports. Texans can cheer for a plethora of professional sports teams. Within the Major North American professional sports leagues, "Big Four" professional leagues, Texas has two National Football League, NFL teams (the Dallas Cowboys and the Houston Texans), two Major League Baseball teams (the Houston Astros and the Texas Rangers (baseball), Texas Rangers), three National Basketball Association, NBA teams (the San Antonio Spurs, the Houston Rockets, and the Dallas Mavericks), and one National Hockey League team (the Dallas Stars). The Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex is one of only U.S. cities with teams from four major league sports, twelve American metropolitan areas that host sports teams from all the "Big Four" professional leagues. Outside the "Big Four", Texas also has a Women's National Basketball Association, WNBA team, (the Dallas Wings) and three Major League Soccer teams (Austin FC, Houston Dynamo FC, Houston Dynamo and FC Dallas). College athletics, Collegiate athletics have deep significance in Texas culture, especially American football, football. The state has twelve Division I-FBS schools, the most in the nation. Four of the state's universities, the Baylor Bears, Texas Longhorns, TCU Horned Frogs, and Texas Tech Red Raiders, compete in the Big 12 Conference. The 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 Cougars and the SMU Mustangs compete in the American Athletic Conference. The Texas State Bobcats and the Texas–Arlington Mavericks, UT Arlington Mavericks compete in the Sun Belt Conference. Four of the state's schools claim at least one national championship in football: the Texas Longhorns, the Texas A&M Aggies, the TCU Horned Frogs, and the SMU Mustangs. According to a survey of Division I-A coaches the College rivalry, rivalry between the University of Oklahoma and the University of Texas at Austin, the Red River Shootout, ranks the third-best in the nation. The TCU Horned Frogs and 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 A&M University and the University of Texas at Austin. The athletics portion of the Lone Star Showdown rivalry has been put on hold after the 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. Texans also enjoy the rodeo. The world's first rodeo was hosted in Pecos, Texas. The annual Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is the largest rodeo in the world. It begins with trail rides from several points throughout the state that convene at Reliant Park. The Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show in Fort Worth is the oldest continuously running rodeo incorporating many of the state's most historic traditions into its annual events. Dallas hosts the State Fair of Texas each year at Fair Park. 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— the first at a permanent road circuit in the United States since the 1980 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* Index of Texas-related articles * Outline of Texas
Bibliography* * originally published 2004 by New York: Free Press * * * * * * * * * * *