Jefferson County, Texas facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Jefferson County, Texas
Seal of Jefferson County, Texas
Map

Location in the state of Texas
Map of the USA highlighting Texas
Texas's location in the U.S.
Statistics
Founded 1837
Seat Beaumont
Largest City Beaumont
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

1,113 sq mi (2,883 km²)
876 sq mi (2,269 km²)
236 sq mi (611 km²), 21%
PopulationEst.
 - (2015)
 - Density

254,308
288/sq mi (111/km²)
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5
Website: www.co.jefferson.tx.us

Jefferson County is a county located in the Coastal Plain or Gulf Prairie region of Southeast Texas in the United States. The Neches River forms its northeast boundary. As of the 2010 census, the population was 252,273. The 2015 United States Census estimate is 254,308. The county seat of Jefferson County is Beaumont.

The county was established in 1835 as a municipality of Mexico, which had gained independence from Spain. Because the area was lightly settled, the Mexican government allowed European Americans from the United States to settle here if they pledged loyalty to Mexico. This was organized as a county in 1837 after Texas achieved independence as a republic. It was named by European-American settlers for U.S. president Thomas Jefferson. Texas later became part of the US.

Jefferson County is part of the Beaumont–Port Arthur, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area and has the highest population of the four-county MSA. It has three state correctional facilities and a federal high-security prison in unincorporated areas of the county. Together they have a maximum capacity for nearly 9,000 prisoners.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,113 square miles (2,880 km2), of which 876 square miles (2,270 km2) is land and 236 square miles (610 km2) (21%) is water.

Jefferson County is located on the plains of the Texas Gulf Coast in the southeastern part of the state. The county is bounded on the north by Pine Island Bayou, on the northeast by the Neches River, and on the east by Sabine Lake and the mouth of the Sabine River, a natural outlet called Sabine Pass. The southern part of the county is largely marshland, much of which is contained within Sea Rim State Park, reaching to the storm-battered beach at the Gulf of Mexico.

Major highways

  • I-10.svg Interstate 10
  • US 69.svg US 96.svg US 287.svg U.S. Highway 69/U.S. Highway 96/U.S. Highway 287
  • US 90.svg U.S. Highway 90
  • Texas 73.svg State Highway 73
  • Texas 82.svg State Highway 82
  • Texas 87.svg State Highway 87
  • Texas 105.svg State Highway 105
  • Texas 124.svg State Highway 124
  • Texas 326.svg State Highway 326
  • Texas 347.svg State Highway 347

Adjacent counties and parishes

National protected areas

  • Big Thicket National Preserve (part)
  • McFaddin National Wildlife Refuge
  • Texas Point National Wildlife Refuge

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 1,836
1860 1,995 8.7%
1870 1,906 −4.5%
1880 3,489 83.1%
1890 5,857 67.9%
1900 14,239 143.1%
1910 38,182 168.2%
1920 73,120 91.5%
1930 133,391 82.4%
1940 145,329 8.9%
1950 195,083 34.2%
1960 245,659 25.9%
1970 244,773 −0.4%
1980 250,938 2.5%
1990 239,397 −4.6%
2000 252,051 5.3%
2010 252,273 0.1%
Est. 2015 254,308 0.8%
U.S. Decennial Census
1850–2010 2010–2014

As of the census of 2000, there were 252,051 people, 92,880 households, and 63,808 families residing in the county. The population density was 279 people per square mile (108/km²). There were 102,080 housing units at an average density of 113 per square mile (44/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 57.24% White, 33.74% Black or African American, 0.34% Native American, 2.89% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 4.26% from other races, and 1.50% from two or more races. 10.53% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 8.3% were of American, 7.2% French, 6.2% German, 5.8% English and 5.3% Irish ancestry according to Census 2000.

There were 92,880 households out of which 33.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.40% were married couples living together, 16.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.30% were non-families. 27.30% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.55 and the average family size was 3.12.

In the county, the population was spread out with 25.90% under the age of 18, 10.00% from 18 to 24, 29.30% from 25 to 44, 21.10% from 45 to 64, and 13.60% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 101.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 100.20 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $34,706, and the median income for a family was $42,290. Males had a median income of $36,719 versus $23,924 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,571. About 14.60% of families and 17.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.60% of those under age 18 and 11.80% of those age 65 or over.

The 2015 US Census estimates for demographic analysis of the population are the following: The racial makeup of the county was 59.3% White, 34.3% Black or African American, 1.0% Native American, 3.9% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 4.26% from other races, and 1.50% from two or more races. 18.9% of the population were ethnic Hispanic or Latino of any race.

Communities

Cities

Census-designated places

Unincorporated areas


Jefferson County, Texas Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.