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Rockdale, Texas
Rockdale City Hall
Rockdale City Hall
"Great Things Happen Here"
Location of Rockdale, Texas
Location of Rockdale, Texas
Milam County Rockdale.svg
Country United States
State Texas
County Milam
 • Total 4.01 sq mi (10.39 km2)
 • Land 4.01 sq mi (10.39 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
466 ft (142 m)
 • Total 5,595
 • Estimate 
 • Density 1,371.29/sq mi (529.42/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 512
FIPS code 48-62672
GNIS feature ID 1366723
Website City of Rockdale, Texas
Rockdale, TX welcome sign IMG 2242
Rockdale welcome sign
Rockdale, TX, Chamber of Commerce office IMG 2243
Chamber of Commerce building
International & Great Northern Railroad Passenger Depot -- Rockdale, Texas
International-Great Northern Railroad Passenger Depot, now a museum
U.S. Highway 79 in Rockdale, TX IMG 2250
U.S. 79 is the main street of Rockdale.
Rockdale, TX, police department IMG 2245
Rockdale Police Department
Kay Theater -- Rockdale,Texas
Kay Theater
First Baptist Church, Rockdale, TX IMG 2256
First Baptist Church of Rockdale

Rockdale is a city in Milam County, Texas, United States. Its population was 5,851 at the 2010 census. It is about 41 miles west of College Station.


In 1873, the town developed as the International-Great Northern Railroad came through the area. Rockdale was named for a nearby rock that stood 12 feet high and had a circumference of 20 feet. Rockdale was incorporated in 1878.


Rockdale is located at 30°39′17″N 97°0′27″W / 30.65472°N 97.00750°W / 30.65472; -97.00750 (30.654674, -97.007439).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.1 square miles (8.0 km2), all land.


The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen climate classification system, Rockdale has a humid subtropical climate, "Cfa" on climate maps.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 1,185
1890 1,505 27.0%
1900 2,515 67.1%
1910 2,073 −17.6%
1920 2,323 12.1%
1930 2,204 −5.1%
1940 2,136 −3.1%
1950 2,321 8.7%
1960 4,481 93.1%
1970 4,655 3.9%
1980 5,611 20.5%
1990 5,235 −6.7%
2000 5,439 3.9%
2010 5,595 2.9%
2019 (est.) 5,503 −1.6%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2017, 5,605 people, 2,088 households, and 1,395 families were residing in the city. The population density was 1,343.3 people per square mile (670.9/km2). The 2,379 housing units averaged 759.2 per square mile (293.5/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 70.69% White, 14.29% African American, 0.35% Native American, 0.42% Asian, 12.23% from other races, and 2.02% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 21.93% of the population.

Of the 2,077 households, 33.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.9% were married couples living together, 13.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.6% were not families. About 28.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 15.6% 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 3.14.

In the city, the age distribution was 28.5% under 18, 8.2% from 18 to 24, 24.7% from 25 to 44, 19.6% from 45 to 64, and 19.1% who were 65 or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 89.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $34,612, and for a family was $39,491. Males had a median income of $30,758 versus $20,692 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,618. About 13.2% of families and 18.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.7% of those under age 18 and 9.7% of those age 65 or over.


Rockdale was the site of a large Alcoa aluminium smelting facility, which could produce 1.67 million pounds of aluminum per day. The Alcoa plant profoundly changed the city, as noted in a Saturday Evening Post article by Rockdale native George Sessions Perry. Within a few years of its arrival in 1952, Rockdale almost doubled in population, changing in character from a predominantly agricultural economy to one heavily driven by manufacturing jobs. Smelting operations were halted at the Alcoa plant in 2008. The Alcoa plant closed in February 2014 when production at the atomizer ceased.

Rockdale was also the site of the Sandow Power Plant, which closed in 2018.

Two cryptocurrency miners, Bitdeer, a division of Bitmain, and Riot Blockchain, formerly known as Bioptix, occupy former Alcoa facilities less than half a mile apart in Rockdale, using electricity transmission lines built to connect smelters to the power plant.


The City of Rockdale is served by the Rockdale Independent School District.

Notable people

  • Stan Blinka, former NFL linebacker for the New York Jets, played for Rockdale High School
  • Lee Roy Caffey, NFL linebacker; retired to Rockdale
  • Le'Raven Clark, NFL footballer with the Philadelphia Eagles, is from Rockdale
  • Kenneth Cockrell, NASA astronaut; graduated from Rockdale High School in 1968
  • Pee Wee Crayton, Blues guitarist; was born in Rockdale
  • Mary Sue Whipp Hubbard, the third wife of L. Ron Hubbard, was a Rockdale native
  • Dan Kubiak, served several terms in the Texas House of Representatives while living in Rockdale His younger brother, L. B. Kubiak, also a Rockdale resident, held the same House seat from 1983 to 1991.
  • Billy Ray Locklin, former AFL and Canadian Football League defensive back, played for Aycock High School in Rockdale
  • Gordon McKee, Former track and field athlete; competed for Rockdale High School
  • Liz Galloway McQuitter, born in Rockdale, played professional basketball in the Women's Professional Basketball League, coached women's college basketball, and retired as head coach of the Rockdale High School Lady Tigers
  • Larry Jackson, former Texas A&M football player, now head strength and conditioning coach for the Cleveland Browns, is from Rockdale
  • George Sessions Perry, Author; was born in Rockdale and lived much of his life there
  • Sam Williams, Former NFL defensive back; played for Rockdale High School
  • Leroy Wright, former American Basketball Association player and coach, played basketball and football at Aycock High School in Rockdale
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