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Denton County, Texas facts for kids

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Denton County
Denton County
The Denton County Courts Building, built 1998
The Denton County Courts Building, built 1998
Map of Texas highlighting Denton County
Location within the U.S. state of Texas
Map of the United States highlighting Texas
Texas's location within the U.S.
Country  United States
State  Texas
Founded April 11, 1846
Named for John B. Denton
Seat Denton
Largest city Denton
 • Total 953 sq mi (2,470 km2)
 • Land 878 sq mi (2,270 km2)
 • Water 75 sq mi (190 km2)  7.8%
 • Total 906,422
 • Density 951.1/sq mi (367.23/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional districts 24th, 26th

Denton County is located in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2020 census, its population was 906,422, making it the 7th-most populous county in Texas. The county seat is Denton. The county, which was named for John B. Denton, was established in 1846. Denton County constitutes part of the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex. In 2007, it was one of the fastest-growing counties in the United States.


Before the arrival of white settlers, various Native American peoples, including the Kichai and the Lenape, infrequently populated the area. The area was settled by Peters Colony landowners in the early 1840s. Until the annexation of Texas, the area was considered part of Fannin County. On April 11, 1846, the First Texas Legislature established Denton County. The county was named for John B. Denton, who was killed while raiding a Native American village in Tarrant County in 1841. Originally, the county seat was set at Pickneyville. This was later changed to Alton, where the Old Alton Bridge currently stands, and then moved finally to Denton.

By 1860, the population of the county had increased to 5,031. On March 4, 1861, residents of the county narrowly voted for secession from the Union, with 331 votes cast for and 264 against. The Missouri–Kansas–Texas Railroad reached Lewisville, located in the southern portion of the county, by the early 1880s. The Denton County Courthouse-on-the-Square was built in 1896, and today the building currently houses various government offices as well as a museum.


Weather chart for Denton, Texas
temperatures in °F
precipitation totals in inches


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 953 square miles (2,470 km2), of which 878 square miles (2,270 km2) is land and 75 square miles (190 km2) (7.8%) is water. Denton County is located in the northern part of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, approximately 35 miles south of the border between Texas and Oklahoma. It is drained by two forks of the Trinity River. The largest body of water in Denton County is Lewisville Lake, which was formed in 1954 when the Garza–Little Elm Reservoir was merged with Lake Dallas. The county is on the western edge of the Eastern Cross Timbers and also encompasses parts of the Grand Prairie portion of the Texas blackland prairies. Portions of Denton County sit atop the Barnett Shale, a geological formation believed to contain large quantities of natural shale gas. Between 1995 and 2007, the number of natural gas wells in the county increased from 156 to 1,820, which has led to some controversy over the pollution resulting from hydraulic fracturing.

Adjacent counties


Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 641
1860 5,031 684.9%
1870 7,251 44.1%
1880 18,143 150.2%
1890 21,289 17.3%
1900 28,318 33.0%
1910 31,258 10.4%
1920 35,355 13.1%
1930 32,822 −7.2%
1940 33,658 2.5%
1950 41,365 22.9%
1960 47,432 14.7%
1970 75,633 59.5%
1980 143,126 89.2%
1990 273,525 91.1%
2000 432,976 58.3%
2010 662,614 53.0%
2020 906,422 36.8%
U.S. Decennial Census
1850–2010 2010-2020

2020 census

Denton County, Texas - Demographic Profile
(NH = Non-Hispanic)
Race / Ethnicity Pop 2010 Pop 2020 % 2010 % 2020
White alone (NH) 426,887 485,646 64.42% 53.58%
Black or African American alone (NH) 54,034 95,386 8.15% 10.52%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH) 3,143 3,582 0.47% 0.40%
Asian alone (NH) 43,091 92,751 6.50% 10.23%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 411 650 0.06% 0.07%
Some Other Race alone (NH) 1,176 3,909 0.18% 0.43%
Mixed Race/Multi-Racial (NH) 13,036 41,720 1.97% 4.60%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 120,836 182,778 18.24% 20.16%
Total 662,614 906,422 100.00% 100.00%

Note: the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos can be of any race.

2010 Census

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 662,614 people, 224,840 households and 256,139 housing units in the county. The population density was 754.3 people per square mile. The racial makeup of the county was 75% White, 8.4% African American, 0.7% Native American, 6.6% Asian, and 3.0% from two or more races. About 18.2% of the population was Hispanic or Latino of any race. Denton County ranked 29th on the US Census Bureau's list of fastest-growing counties between 2000 and 2007, with a 41.4% increase in population.

A Williams Institute analysis of 2010 census data found about 5.2 same-sex couples per 1,000 households in the county.


The Denton County Transportation Authority (DCTA) operates fixed-route bus services, on-demand GoZone service, and ACCESS paratransit service in the county that includes Denton, Lewisville, and Highland Village. SPAN Transit covers areas outside of Denton and Lewisville.

DCTA also operates the A-train, a commuter rail service that runs from Denton to Carrollton, at which station passengers can switch to the Green Line train owned and operated by Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART). Passengers can transfer to other DART lines (denominated by different colors) at the downtown Dallas DART station.

The county is home to the Denton Municipal Airport and the Northwest Regional Airport in Roanoke. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport is located a few miles south of the county.

Major Highways


Cities (multiple counties)


Towns (multiple counties)


Census-designated places

Unincorporated community

Ghost Town


K-12 schools

These school districts lie entirely within Denton County:

  • Argyle Independent School District
  • Aubrey Independent School District
  • Denton Independent School District
  • Lake Dallas Independent School District
  • Lewisville Independent School District
  • Little Elm Independent School District
  • Ponder Independent School District
  • Sanger Independent School District

These school districts lie partly within Denton County:

  • Carrollton-Farmers Branch Independent School District
  • Celina Independent School District
  • Era Independent School District
  • Frisco Independent School District
  • Krum Independent School District
  • Northwest Independent School District
  • Pilot Point Independent School District
  • Prosper Independent School District
  • Slidell Independent School District

These private educational institutions serve Denton County:

  • Denton Calvary Academy
  • Coram Deo Academy
  • Lakeland Christian Academy
  • Liberty Christian School
  • Selwyn College Preparatory School

From around 1997 to 2015, the number of non-Hispanic white children in K-12 schools in the county increased by 20,000 as part of a trend of white flight and suburbanization by non-Hispanic white families.

Colleges and universities

These higher-education institutions serve Denton County:

Notable people

  • Dick Armey, former U.S. House Majority Leader and a chief architect of the Contract with America.
  • Joan Blondell, film and television actress, attended UNT (then North Texas State Teacher's College) in 1926–1927.
  • Pat Boone, American pop singer, briefly attended UNT.
  • Bowling for Soup, American rock band, based in Denton since 1996 and mentioned the county in their song Ohio (Come Back to Texas)
  • Terry Bradshaw, former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback
  • Mason Cox, professional Australian rules footballer, playing for Collingwood in the AFL
  • Phyllis George, 1971 Miss America, sportscaster and former First Lady of Kentucky
  • Joe Greene, defensive tackle for the Pittsburgh Steelers, 1969–1981; 1969 defensive rookie of the year; 1972 and 1974 defensive player of the year; NFL 1970s all-decade team; Hall of Fame
  • Jim Hightower, former Texas Agriculture Commissioner
  • Norah Jones, UNT jazz major
  • Meat Loaf, American singer and actor, attended UNT
  • Gordon McLendon, radio broadcaster and pioneer, B-movie producer, and conservative political financier
  • Laina Morris - the Overly Attached Girlfriend
  • Bill Moyers, White House press secretary in the Johnson Administration (1965–67), attended UNT
  • Anne Rice, author, attended TWU and UNT, married in Denton
  • Sly Stone, the musician and frontman of Sly and the Family Stone
  • Rex Tillerson, former CEO of ExxonMobil and 69th United States Secretary of State, resident of Bartonville
  • Von Erich family, multigenerational professional wrestling family, known for a series of premature deaths sometimes referred to as the Von Erich curse
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