Coat of Arms
Governer Greg Abbott
Texian (archaic) Tejano
»Federal presidential constitutional republic
»27,695,284 (2015 est)2nd
» Per capita -$54,596 (10th)
»$17.418 trillion (1st)
» Per capita -$54,596 (10th)
»United States dollar ($) (USD)
»Central: UTC −6/−5
Geographically located in the south-central part of the country, Texas shares an international border with the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas to the south and borders the U.S. states of New Mexico to the west, Oklahoma to the north, Arkansas to the northeast, and Louisiana to the east. Texas has an area of 268,820 square miles (696,200 km2) and a growing population of over 26.9 million residents (July 2014).
Houston is the largest city in Texas and the fourth-largest in the United States, while San Antonio is the second largest in the state and seventh largest in the United States. Dallas–Fort Worth and Greater Houston are the eighth and tenth largest United States metropolitan areas, respectively.
Other major cities include El Paso and Austin—the state capital. Texas is nicknamed the Lone Star State to signify Texas as a former independent republic and as a reminder of the state’s struggle for independence from Mexico.
The “Lone Star” can be found on the Texas state flag and on the Texas state seal today. The origin of the state name, Texas, is from the word, “Tejas”, which means ‘friends’ in the Caddo language.
Due to its size and geologic features such as the Balcones Fault, Texas contains diverse landscapes that resemble both the American South and Southwest.
Although Texas is popularly associated with the Southwestern deserts, less than 10 percent of the land area is desert. Most of the population centers are located in areas of former prairies, grasslands, forests, and the coastline.
Traveling from east to west, one can observe terrain that ranges from coastal swamps and piney woods, to rolling plains and rugged hills, and finally the desert and mountains of the Big Bend.
As of 2010, Texas had a gross state product (GSP) of $1.207 trillion, the second highest in the U.S. Its GSP is comparable to the GDP of India or Canada, which are the world’s 12th- and 11th-largest economies, respectively.
Texas’ economy is the fourth-largest of any country subdivision globally, behind England (as part of the UK), California, and Tokyo Prefecture. Its Per Capita personal income in 2009 was $36,484, ranking 29th in the nation.
Texas’s large population, 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.
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 Fortune 500 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.
The United States is ranked 12 with an Economic Complexity Index (ECI) of 1.55556
Top 5 Products exported by The United States
- Cars (4.4%),
- Refined Petroleum (4.2%),
- Planes, Helicopters, and/or Spacecraft(3.2%),
- Packaged Medicaments (3.1%),
- Gas Turbines (2.4%)
Top 5 Export destinations of The United States
Top 5 Products imported by The United States
- Cars (8.3%),
- Computers (5.4%),
- Crude Petroleum (5.3%),
- Packaged Medicaments (2.6%),
- Broadcasting Equipment (2.5%)
Top 5 Import origins ofThe United States
- China (22%),
- Mexico (14%),
- Canada (9.8%),
- Japan (7.8%),
Bright lights, big cities? Check, Texas has them. Dallas and Houston both boast rich arts and culture districts to explore by day, as well as active nightlife. If you really want to party,
Austin is the place – with endless live music concerts and an outdoorsy, alternative vibe. San Antonio may seem a bit more sedate, but once evening falls on the Riverwalk there’s a fiesta every night. City life is fun, but don’t stop there.
Texas also has countless small towns with brick building–lined courthouse squares, landmark cafes and eclectic antiques and boutiques to explore at a much slower pace.
Texas is big really BIG. More than 261,000 sq miles, in fact; that’s larger than Germany, England, Scotland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Belgium and the Netherlands combined. And it ain’t all just tumblin’ tumbleweeds.
Barrier islands with windswept dunes and public beaches stretch down 367 miles of coastline. In the west, three mountain ranges top more than 7000ft; Big Bend National Park is the state’s premier trekking and primary rafting destination. And to the northeast, soaring pine forests and sinuous, cypress-lined bayous are perfect for hiking and kayaking.
There’s just something about eating a big pile of brisket off a butcher paper ‘plate’. Don’t dare ask for a fork; real ‘Q is for fingers only.
And great barbecue is not the state’s only fun food. At festivals, rodeos and fairs much of your meal can be served on a stick, from corny dogs to fried PB&J sandwiches. In Austin and other cities the food truck phenomena
In Austin and other cities the food truck phenomena continued. And we haven’t even dug into the ubiquitous Mexican food, Dallas’ fine upscale dining or the foodie-fave restaurants around Houston.
Country is as much about a way of life as a place. Slowing down, taking the rural, farm-to-market back roads; stepping out in polished boots and starched blue jeans for a Saturday night dance under the stars; doin’ nothing more on a Sunday afternoon than floating down a lazy river… Life in the country lopes along.
- The Alamo in San Antonio, where the erstwhile Republic of Texas saw its most tragic hour. Here some 200 men under siege by a Mexican army of 1,500 or more bravely refused to surrender, and gained immortal fame.
- San Jacinto Battleground State Historical Park, Houston. This is the site of the decisive 1836 battle between Texians led by Sam
- Houston and the Mexican army under the dictator Gen. Santa Anna, in which Texas gained independence.
- The San Jacinto Monument, the park’s 570-foot-tall centerpiece, is fifteen feet taller than the Washington Monument and the world’s tallest monumental column (everything is bigger in Texas!). The battle is counted among those having the greatest impact on history.
- Within a dozen years of its defeat, Mexico had lost not only Texas, but the territory of the future states of California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and New Mexico.
- Don’t forget to make time to visit the Battleship Texas, permanently moored nearby.
- Galveston was a prosperous port city, when a hurricane hit in 1900, wiping most of the buildings, and 6,000 to 8,000 of its residents in America’s worst-ever natural disaster.
- The city rebuilt on sand pumped in from the sea behind a 17-foot high seawall, but never regained its former position. A few buildings that survived the storm, and others built after the disaster and then protected from replacement by the city’s decline, today form a handsome historic downtown district.
- After Texas was annexed, the U.S. and Mexico proceeded to quarrel over the border. General Zachary Taylor was ordered by President Polk to set up and to mobilize ground troops at Fort Texas/ Fort Brown. During the American Invasion of Mexico, 1846 to 1848, two historic battles took place in Brownsville the Battle of Resaca de la Palma and the Battle at Palo Alto
Fort Davis National Historic Site – Partially restored fort, home of the Buffalo soldiers (the first peacetime all-black regiments in the regular U.S. Army)– located in the town of Ft. Davis north of Big Bend Nat Park. In the surrounding Davis Mountains is MacDonald Observatory and Ft. Davis State Park. A scenic loop drive goes through the forested mountains and down on the desert prairie; you may see deer, pronghorn (also called antelope), javelinas (also called peccaries), roadrunners, eagles and some very beautiful scenery.
The Fort Worth Stockyards offer a look into the past, when cattle drives and cowboys were all the rage.
Lubbock Lake Landmark State Historical Park, Lubbock. Evidence of human occupation dating back several millennia is strewn across this South Plains park. Archaeologists even today frequently discover new artifacts.
Dealey Plaza, Dallas. One of the top tourist attractions in the state, this is where the assassination of John F. Kennedy occurred on 22 November 1963. Visit the Sixth Floor Museum in the infamous Texas School Book Depository building, and the equally patronized Conspiracy Museum nearby.
The state capitol in Austin is a pink granite look-alike to the nation’s capitol, with a gorgeous interior under the spectacular dome. In the nearby Bob Bullock Museum of Texas History, a Disney animatronic version of Sam Houston narrates the story of Texas.
The Rio Grande has cut a pass through the Southern extension of the Rocky Mountain chain, here called the Franklin Mountains, found in the center of El Paso. Three Spanish missions south of the city — Ysleta founded 1682, Soccorro Mission 1759, and San Elizario Chapel 1789 — are some of the oldest still functioning churches in the U.S. The campus of UTEP, the University of Texas at El Paso, features buildings, even parking garages, which improbably enough are constructed in the Bhutanese style of architecture, unlike any place in the country.