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)
Flower: Bluebonnets(1901)
Fruit:Texas red grapefruit (1991)
Grass:Sideoats grama (1971)
Nut:Native pecan (1919)
Plant:Prickly pear cactus (1995)
Shrub:Crape myrtle
Tree:Pecan (1964)
Gem:Texas blue topaz (1969)
Gemstone cut:Lone Star cut
Mineral:Bowenite (1966)
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
"Texas, Our Texas" (1929)
Snack:Chips and salsa (1995)
Sport:Rodeo (1997)


State website:https://texas.gov/
Governor: Greg Abbott, R (to Jan. 2023)
Lieut. Governor: Dan Patrick, R (to Jan. 2023)
Secy. of State: Carlos Cascos (apptd. by gov.)
Comptroller:Glenn Hegar, R (to Jan. 2023)
Atty. General: Ken Paxton, R (to Jan. 2023)
U.S. Representatives: 36
Senators: John Cornyn, R (to Jan. 2021); Ted Cruz, R (to Jan. 2025)
See Also:Historical biographies of TexasCongress members


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 TexasCensus Data


GDP: 1.7 trillion dollars (2ndin 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:268,581sqmi(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:

TexasTemperature Extremes

Printable Outline Maps

Texas State History

Texas has records of human habitation dating back over eleven thousand years. Located along the Rio Grande, Texas was at the intersection of several major culture groups including the Puebloan peoples, Mississippian peoples, and the Mesoamerican peoples centered around Teotihuacan. By colonial times, there were sixmajor culture groups in Texas, including Comanche, Atakapa, Coahuiltecan, Puebloan, Apachean, and Caddoan peoples (most famously the confederations of the Natchitoches, Hasinai, Wichita, and Caddo). As in many places in colonial history, the interactions between the different cultures of Texas and the colonizing cultures was complex. The name "Texas" comes the Hasinai word for "allies,"tysha?the Spanish referred to their allies, the Hasinai, astejas.

The early colonial history of Texas had several distinct phases. Spanish explorers, includinglvar Nez Cabeza de VacaandFrancisco Vsquez de Coronado, were the first to visit the region in the 16thcentury. They were largely uninterested in Texas for the next hundred and fifty years, focusing their conquering and colonial efforts on other prosperous colonies like Florida. The French then began scouting out the region in the 17th century.In 1685,Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle, established a short-lived French colony atMatagordaBay. The Spanish decided to dedicate an expedition to drive out the French?the French had already been driven out of Texas after angering their former native allies (from whom they'd "borrowed" canoes without payment), but the expedition ignited interest in settling there.

For the next century and a half, the Spanish began to build up a great number of missions and towns throughout Texas, juggling political alliances and rivalries with the different nations in Texas. They were at times allies and at times enemies of the Lipan Apache, Comanche, Hasinai, and the Mescalero. On top of all that, Texas acted as the buffer between the competing colonial territories of France and Spain. After the Louisiana Purchase, it became the disputed buffer between New Spain and the United States.

In 1821 Mexico became independent of Spain, including the territory of Texas. To handle raiding by the now-hostile Comanche, and to increase settlement and grow their economy, Mexico began a program of granting land and concessions to heads of household regardless of immigrant status. This attracted American immigrants, led byStephen F. Austin,to settle along theBrazos River. The Americans largely chafed against the Mexican government, especially over the issue of slavery?slavery was illegal in Mexico, but the Americans from the South were intent on keeping their slaves. In 1836, following a brief war between the American settlers in Texas and the Mexican government, the Independent Republic of Texas was proclaimed withSam Houstonas president. This war was famous for the battles of the Alamo andSan Jacinto. After Texas became a state in 1845, border disputes led to theMexican-American Warof 1846?1848.

Texas continued to grow and expand up to and through the Civil War. Texas sided with the Confederacy, as it was a major slave state,but had some of the largest pockets of pro-Union citizens in the South. Confederate Texans persecuted and executed several hundred pro-Union Texan citizens. The last land battle of the Civil War happened in Texas.

Texas later underwent a major economic shift in the first half of the 20th century. The discovery of oil in Texas created a massive boom in the oil and shipping industries. This made it an attractive location for the U.S. military to expand during World War II. Military investment led to a massive boom in Texascities and helped diversify the state economy. To maintain the state's agriculture even as its population moved to the cities and went to war, the U.S. government brought in over 100,000 Mexican agricultural workers as part of the Bracero Program.

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, theAlamoin San Antonio, the state capital inAustin, and theBig BendandGuadalupe Mountains National Park.

Texas Culture and Interesting Facts

The Lone Star State

Texas is famous for its sense of local identity and itsof independence. The Lone Star State puts a premium on its unique history and traditions. The amusement park Six Flags comes from Texas, named after the six flags that have flown over Texas?Spain,France,Mexico, theRepublic of Texas, theUnited States of America, and theConfederate States of America. The outline of Texas is popular on consumer goods like belt buckles and waffle irons. In the last several decades, the environmental slogan "Don't Mess with Texas" has become a slogan for Texan pride. And, more so than in any other state, there remains today a notable movement for Texas independence from the United States.

Live Music Capital of the World

Austin, Texas is well-known by its slogan "the Live Music Capital of the World." Austin has more live concerts per capita than any other city in the United States. Estimates say that on a given night in Austin there are 100 live music performances, spanning a wide range of genres. Austin's music history stretches back to the 1800s, but it really took off in the 1960s. The city opened several large venues, and cultivated an alternative country music scene from the more conventional musicians centered around Nashville. Today the city has major scenes for folk, country, jazz,tejano,zydeco,punk, andindiemusic.

Ranching in Texas

The cowboy is widely seen as iconic of Texas. While Old West cowboys aren't common in Texas today, it is still the ranching capital of the United States. Texas is the top wool producer in the country, and also has massive herds of cattle. King Ranch in Texas is larger than the state of Rhode Island, and houses over 35,000 cattle. The ranching culture extends into other areas of Texas life, influencing fashion and entertainment?rodeo, a sport that tests various ranching skills like roping cattle and riding bucking animals, is the official state sport of Texas.

Tex-Mex Cuisine

Perhaps Texas's biggest culturalexport to the rest of the country is its food. Tex-Mex food originates with the states large Mexican-American population (also known as Tejanos), especially along the southern border with Mexico. Tex-Mex cuisine, like northern Mexican cuisine, is a fusion of Spanish food with local native food traditions, often using ingredients related to the ranching industry. After the 1960s, Tex-Mex became more Americanized with ingredients like yellow cheese, and started becoming more popular throughout the country. Today, Mexican food (largely Americanized Tex-Mex) generates more than $40 billion per year in the U.S.

Famous Texas Natives and Residents

Alvin Aileychoreographer;
Wes Andersonfilmmaker;
Mary Kay Ashcosmetics entrepreneur;
Stephen Fuller Austinfounding father of Texas;
Gene Autrysinger and actor;
Carol Burnettcomedienne;
George W. Bushpresident;
Cyd Charisseactress and dancer;
Denton A. Cooleyheart surgeon;
Joan Crawfordactress;
Dwight David Eisenhowerpresident;
Tom Forddesigner, director;
A. J. Foytauto racer;
Ben Hogangolfer;
Sam Houstonstatesman;

Howard Hughesindustrialist and film producer;
Jack Johnsonboxer;
Lyndon B. Johnsonpresident;
George Jonessinger;
Tommy Lee Jonesactor;
Janis Joplinsinger;
Scott Joplincomposer;
Beyonce Knowlessinger/performer;
Trini Lopezsinger;
Mary Martinsinger and actress;
Matthew McConaugheyactor;
Spanky McFarlandactor;
Audie Murphyactor and war hero;
Chester Nimitzadmiral;
Sandra Day O'Connorjurist;

Buck Owenssinger;
Lou Diamond Phillipsactor;
Katherine Anne Porternovelist;
Wiley Postaviator;
Dan RatherTV newscaster;
Robert Rauschenbergpainter;
Tex Rittersinger;
Robert Rodriguezfimmaker;
Rip Tornactor and director;
Tommy Tunedancer and choreographer;
Stevie Ray Vaughanmusician;
Lupe Velezactress;
Dooley Wilsonactor and musician;
Babe Didrikson Zahariasathlete and golfer.

See also: