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Texas, also known as the Lone Star State, is a state located in the South Central region of the United States. With a land area of 268,596 square miles (695,660 km²) and a population of more than 30 million residents in 2022, Texas is the second-largest U.S. state in terms of both area (after Alaska) and population (after California).
In this blog post, we will dive deeper into the geography, history, and notable facts about this fascinating state.
Geography and Regions
Texas shares borders with Louisiana to the east, Oklahoma to the north, New Mexico to the west, and the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas to the southwest. The state has a diverse geography, featuring a 560 km (350 mi) long coastline on the Gulf of Mexico in the southeast and a 3,169 km (1,969 mi) long border with Mexico, with the Rio Grande, Texas’ longest river, forming the border to the Mexican states.
The state is divided into various geographic regions, ranging from temperate plains to tropical areas.
Texas occupies the south-central segment of the country and extends nearly 1,000 miles (1,600 km) from north to south and about the same distance from east to west.
Water delineates many of its borders, with the wriggling course of the Rio Grande defining the boundary with Mexico and the Gulf of Mexico providing a natural border to the southeast.
Texas became the 28th state of the United States of America in 1845. The ancestors of the West Texas Native Americans lived in camps perhaps as long as 37,000 years ago, surviving primarily on wild game with only crude spears and flint-pointed darts.
In the more fertile areas of East Texas, some Native American tribes established permanent villages and well-managed farms, as well as developed political and religious systems.
Texas has a rich history, marked by its struggle for independence from Mexico, its period as an independent republic, and its eventual annexation by the United States. The state’s unique blend of cultures, including Spanish, Mexican, and American influences, has helped shape its identity and traditions.
Key Facts and Points of Interest
- Size: Texas covers an area of about 268,597 square miles, making it the second-largest state in the continental U.S.
- Official website: Texas.gov is the official website of the State of Texas, offering online services, resources, and information about the state.
- Tourism: The Office of the Governor, Economic Development & Tourism provides information and resources for travelers interested in visiting Texas.
- Natural disasters: Texas has experienced various natural disasters, such as hurricanes, floods, and droughts. One recent example is a large sinkhole in a small Texas town that began in 2008 and has been growing, causing concern for residents and officials.
- Missing persons cases: Texas has had its share of missing persons cases, with one recent example being a missing 6-year-old boy whose search has now turned into a death investigation.
- Law enforcement: The Texas Attorney General’s Office works to shut down illicit massage businesses and encourages citizens to report suspicious activity at massage establishments.
Economy and Industries
Texas has a robust economy, with diverse industries driving its growth. The state is a major producer of oil and natural gas, with the energy industry playing a significant role in its economy.
Agriculture is another important industry in Texas, with the state being one of the leading producers of cotton, cattle, and other agricultural products. Additionally, Texas is home to a thriving technology sector, with companies like Dell, Texas Instruments, and AT&T having a significant presence in the state.
The state also boasts a strong tourism industry, attracting millions of visitors each year to its various attractions, such as the Alamo, the Space Center Houston, and the picturesque Hill Country region. Texas’ rich cultural heritage, diverse landscape, and unique blend of Tex-Mex cuisine also draw visitors from around the world.
Education and Research
Texas is home to numerous prestigious universities and research institutions, including the University of Texas System, Texas A&M University System, and Rice University. These institutions not only provide quality education to residents and students from across the country but also contribute to the state’s research and innovation landscape.
Texas has a strong focus on research in areas such as energy, healthcare, and technology, helping to drive the state’s economic growth and global competitiveness.
Texas is a diverse and dynamic state with a rich history and unique blend of cultures. Its vast size, varied geography, and robust economy make it an important part of the United States.
From its bustling cities to its picturesque countryside, Texas offers something for everyone, making it a must-visit destination for travelers and an ideal place to call home for millions of residents.
Robert is a native Texan writer for TexasWalkabout, passionate about Texas culture and food, wearing cowboy boots daily. He interviews local pitmasters and chefs, tastes and reviews innovative dishes, and explores hidden gems and iconic landmarks. Graduating magna cum laude in Cyber Security from the University of Texas at San Antonio, Robert excels academically and professionally while also being knowledgeable in Texas history and culture. After living in Texas for over 28 years, he provides first-hand and trustworthy information for all your Texas needs!