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Nolan County, Texas facts for kids

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Nolan County
Nolan County Courthouse
Nolan County Courthouse
Map of Texas highlighting Nolan 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 1881
Named for Philip Nolan
Seat Sweetwater
Largest city Sweetwater
 • Total 914 sq mi (2,370 km2)
 • Land 912 sq mi (2,360 km2)
 • Water 2.0 sq mi (5 km2)  0.2%%
 • Total 15,216
 • Density 17/sq mi (7/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district 19th

Nolan County is a county located in the west central region of the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, its population was 15,216. Its county seat is Sweetwater. The county was created in 1876 and organized in 1881. It is named for Philip Nolan, one of the first American traders to visit Texas.

Nolan County comprises the Sweetwater, TX Micropolitan Statistical Area.

Susan King has been since 2007 the Republican state representative from Nolan as well as Jones and Taylor counties.

From 1921 to 1925, the Democrat Richard M. Chitwood of Sweetwater, represented Nolan County in the state House. As chairman of the House Education Committee, he worked in 1923 to establish what became Texas Tech University in Lubbock. He had first tried to obtain the institution for Sweetwater as the central location of West Texas. After the institution was established, he resigned from the House to move to Lubbock to become the first Texas Tech business manager. He served in that capacity for just fifteen months; he died in Dallas in November 1926.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 914 square miles (2,370 km2), of which 912 square miles (2,360 km2) is land and 2.0 square miles (5.2 km2) (0.2%) is water.

Major highways

  • I-20.svg Interstate 20
  • US 84.svg U.S. Highway 84
  • Texas 70.svg State Highway 70
  • Texas 153.svg State Highway 153

Adjacent counties


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 640
1890 1,573 145.8%
1900 2,611 66.0%
1910 11,999 359.6%
1920 10,868 −9.4%
1930 19,323 77.8%
1940 17,309 −10.4%
1950 19,808 14.4%
1960 18,963 −4.3%
1970 16,220 −14.5%
1980 17,359 7.0%
1990 16,594 −4.4%
2000 15,802 −4.8%
2010 15,216 −3.7%
Est. 2015 15,107 −0.7%
U.S. Decennial Census
1850–2010 2010–2014

As of the census of 2000, there were 15,802 people, 6,170 households, and 4,288 families residing in the county. The population density was 17 people per square mile (7/km²). There were 7,112 housing units at an average density of 8 per square mile (3/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 78.45% White, 4.68% Black or African American, 0.49% Native American, 0.24% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 14.02% from other races, and 2.07% from two or more races. 28.04% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 6,170 households out of which 32.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.00% were married couples living together, 12.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.50% were non-families. 27.10% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 3.01.

In the county, the population was spread out with 27.10% under the age of 18, 8.50% from 18 to 24, 25.40% from 25 to 44, 22.60% from 45 to 64, and 16.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 94.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.70 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $26,209, and the median income for a family was $32,004. Males had a median income of $28,674 versus $19,335 for females. The per capita income for the county was $14,077. About 18.30% of families and 21.70% of the population were below the poverty line, including 29.50% of those under age 18 and 18.50% of those age 65 or over.

Wind power

Nolan County has established itself as a center for wind power generation. As of July 2008, Nolan County generates more wind energy than the entire state of California, and would rank 6th in wind power generation among all nations if it were counted as its own nation.


Wastella Texas grain elevator 2011
Abandoned grain elevator in Wastella.


Unincorporated communities

Ghost towns

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