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Hidalgo County, Texas facts for kids

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Hidalgo County
County of Hidalgo
The Hidalgo County Courthouse at Edinburg in 2002
The Hidalgo County Courthouse at Edinburg in 2002
Flag of Hidalgo County
Flag
Official seal of Hidalgo County
Seal
Map of Texas highlighting Hidalgo 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 1852
Named for Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla
Seat Edinburg
Area
 • Total 1,583 sq mi (4,100 km2)
 • Land 1,571 sq mi (4,070 km2)
 • Water 12 sq mi (30 km2)  0.81%%
Population
 (2010)
 • Total 774,769
 • Density 493/sq mi (190/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional districts 15th, 28th, 34th

Hidalgo County is located in the U.S. state of Texas. The county seat is Edinburg and the largest city is McAllen. The county is named for Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, the priest who raised the call for Mexico's independence from Spain. It is located in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas and is one of the fastest-growing counties in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the population of Hidalgo County was 774,769, making it the eighth-most populous county in Texas. Hidalgo County is designated by the U.S. Census Bureau as the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission metropolitan statistical area, which itself is part of the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission-Rio Grande City, Texas combined statistical area with neighboring Starr County.

With a population that is 91.9% Hispanic as of 2020, it is Texas' second-most populous majority-Hispanic county and the seventh-largest nationwide. It is also the largest county which is over 90% Hispanic.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,583 square miles (4,100 km2), of which 1,571 square miles (4,070 km2) is land and 12 square miles (31 km2) (0.8%) is water. The northern part of the county has sandy and light loamy soils over deep reddish or mottled, clayey subsoils. In some areas limestone lies within forty inches of the surface. The southern part of the county has moderately deep to deep loamy surfaces over clayey subsoils. Along the Rio Grande brown to red clays occur. Hidalgo County is in the South Texas Plains vegetation area, which features grasses, mesquite, live oaks, and chaparral. Native plants, reduced in recent years by extensive farming, include chapote, guayacan, ebony, huisache, brasil, and yucca.

In 1982, 91 percent of the land was in farms and ranches, with 52 percent of the farmland under cultivation and 85 percent irrigated; 51 to 60 percent of the county was considered prime farmland. The primary crops were sorghum, cotton, corn, and vegetables; Hidalgo County led Texas counties in the production of cabbage, onions, cantaloupes, carrots, and watermelons. The primary fruits and nuts grown in the county were grapefruit, oranges, and pecans. Cattle, milk cows, and hogs were the primary livestock products. Natural resources included caliche, sand, gravel, oil, and gas. Oil and gas production in 1982 totaled 98,487,211,000 cubic feet (2.7888472×109 m3) of gas-well gas, 139,995 barrels of crude oil, 1,101,666 barrels of condensate, and 15,784,000 cubic feet (447,000 m3) of casinghead gas. The climate is subtropical and subhumid. Temperatures range from an average low of 47 °F (8 °C) in January to an average high to 96 °F (36 °C) in July; the average annual temperature is 73 °F (23 °C). Rainfall averages 23 inches (580 mm) a year, and the growing season lasts for 320 days of the year.

Major highways

  • I-2.svg Interstate 2
  • I-69C.svg Interstate 69C (under construction)
  • US 83.svg U.S. Highway 83
  • US 281.svg U.S. Highway 281
  • Texas 107.svg Texas State Highway 107
  • Texas 186.svg Texas State Highway 186
  • Texas 336.svg Texas State Highway 336
  • Texas 495.svg Texas State Highway 495
  • Texas FM 364.svg Farm to Market Road 364
  • Texas FM 490.svg Farm to Market Road 490
  • Texas FM 492.svg Farm to Market Road 492
  • Texas FM 493.svg Farm to Market Road 493
  • Texas FM 494.svg Farm to Market Road 494
  • Texas FM 676.svg Farm to Market Road 676
  • Texas FM 681.svg Farm to Market Road 681
  • Texas FM 907.svg Farm to Market Road 907
  • Texas FM 1016.svg Farm to Market Road 1016
  • Texas FM 1017.svg Farm to Market Road 1017
  • Texas FM 1423.svg Farm to Market Road 1423
  • Texas FM 1426.svg Farm to Market Road 1426
  • Texas FM 1924.svg Farm to Market Road 1924
  • Texas FM 1925.svg Farm to Market Road 1925
  • Texas FM 2061.svg Farm to Market Road 2061
  • Texas FM 2557.svg Farm to Market Road 2557
  • Texas FM 3072.svg Farm to Market Road 3072

Adjacent counties and municipalities

National protected areas

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 1,182
1870 2,387 101.9%
1880 4,347 82.1%
1890 6,534 50.3%
1900 6,837 4.6%
1910 13,728 100.8%
1920 38,110 177.6%
1930 77,004 102.1%
1940 106,059 37.7%
1950 160,446 51.3%
1960 180,904 12.8%
1970 181,535 0.3%
1980 283,229 56.0%
1990 383,545 35.4%
2000 569,463 48.5%
2010 774,769 36.1%
2019 (est.) 868,707 12.1%
U.S. Decennial Census
1850–2010 2010–2019

2015 Texas Population Estimate Program

As of the 2015 Texas Population Estimate Program, the population of the county was 841,667, non-Hispanic whites 62,232 (7.4%). Black Americans 2,973 (0.3%). Other non-Hispanic 11,106 (1.3%). Hispanics and Latinos (of any race) 765,356 (90.9%).

2010 Census

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 774,769 people living in the county. 88.0% were White, 1.0% Asian, 0.6% Black or African American, 0.3% Native American, 8.8% of some other race and 1.3% of two or more races. 90.6% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race).

There were 216,471 households, and 179,668 families living in the county. The population density was 363 people per square mile (140/km2). There were 248,287 housing units at an average density of 123 per square mile (47/km2). There were 216,471 households, out of which 54.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 65.00% were married couples living together, 18.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 17.0% were non-families. 14.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 5.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.55 and the average family size was 3.94.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 34.7% under the age of 18, 10.7% from 18 to 24, 27.1% from 25 to 44, 18.2% from 45 to 64, and 9.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 28.3 years. For every 100 females there were 94.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.90 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $30,134, and the median income for a family was $31,760. Males had a median income of $22,635 versus $17,526 for females. The per capita income for the county was $12,130. About 32.60% of families and 35.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 47.4% of those under age 18 and 29.8% of those age 65 or over. The county's per-capita income makes it one of the poorest counties in the United States. In 2009, it was tied with Bronx County, New York for "the greatest share of people receiving food stamps: 29 percent."

Las Milpas, previously unincorporated, was annexed by Pharr in 1987.

Metropolitan Statistical Area

The United States Office of Management and Budget has designated Hidalgo County as the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area. The United States Census Bureau ranked the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area as the 70th most populous metropolitan statistical area of the United States as of July 1, 2012.

The Office of Management and Budget has further designated the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area as a component of the more extensive McAllen-Edinburg, TX Combined Statistical Area, the 60th most populous combined statistical area and the 67th most populous primary statistical area of the United States as of July 1, 2012.

Metropolitan Statistical Area

The United States Office of Management and Budget has designated Hidalgo County as the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area. The United States Census Bureau ranked the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area as the 70th most populous metropolitan statistical area of the United States as of July 1, 2012.

The Office of Management and Budget has further designated the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area as a component of the more extensive McAllen-Edinburg, TX Combined Statistical Area, the 60th most populous combined statistical area and the 67th most populous primary statistical area of the United States as of July 1, 2012.

Communities

Cities

Town

Census-designated places

Other unincorporated places

Education

The following school districts serve Hidalgo County:

  • Donna Independent School District
  • Edcouch-Elsa Independent School District
  • Edinburg Consolidated Independent School District
  • Hidalgo Independent School District
  • La Joya Independent School District
  • La Villa Independent School District
  • Lyford Consolidated Independent School District (partial)
  • McAllen Independent School District
  • Mercedes Independent School District
  • Mission Consolidated Independent School District
  • Monte Alto Independent School District
  • Progreso Independent School District
  • Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District
  • Sharyland Independent School District
  • Valley View Independent School District
  • Weslaco Independent School District

In addition, the county is served by the multi-county South Texas Independent School District. The Catholic Diocese of Brownsville operates three PK-8th Grade schools, two lower-level elementary schools and two high schools.

The Edinburg campus of the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (formerly University of Texas-Pan American) is located in Hidalgo County.

All of the county is in the service area of South Texas College. The Pecan, Mid-Valley, Technology, and Nursing & Allied Health campuses of South Texas College are located in Hidalgo County.

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