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Wharton County, Texas facts for kids

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Wharton County
The Wharton County Courthouse in Wharton
The Wharton County Courthouse in Wharton
Map of Texas highlighting Wharton County
Location within the U.S. state of Texas
Map of the United States highlighting Texas
Texas's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 610: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).
Country  United States
State  Texas
Founded 1846
Named for William H. Wharton and John Austin Wharton
Seat Wharton
Largest city El Campo
 • Total 1,094 sq mi (2,830 km2)
 • Land 1,086 sq mi (2,810 km2)
 • Water 8.2 sq mi (21 km2)  0.8%%
 • Total 41,280
 • Density 38/sq mi (15/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district 27th
Veterans Monument at Wharton Courthouse IMG 1028
Veterans Memorial with eternal flame (not visible in photo) at Wharton County Courthouse
Dickson monument at Wharton County, TX, Courthouse IMG 1030
Memorial to Sheriff Hamilton B. Dickson of Wharton County who served during the 1880s and was killed in an ambush in the line of duty.

Wharton County is a county located in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, its population was 41,280. Its county seat is Wharton. The county was named for brothers William Harris Wharton and John Austin Wharton.

Wharton County comprises the El Campo, TX Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the Houston-The Woodlands, TX Combined Statistical Area.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,094 square miles (2,830 km2), of which 1,086 square miles (2,810 km2) is land and 8.2 square miles (21 km2) (0.8%) is water.

The county is about 130 miles (210 km) southeast of Austin.

Adjacent counties


Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 1,752
1860 3,380 92.9%
1870 3,426 1.4%
1880 4,459 30.2%
1890 7,584 70.1%
1900 16,942 123.4%
1910 21,123 24.7%
1920 24,288 15.0%
1930 29,681 22.2%
1940 36,158 21.8%
1950 36,077 −0.2%
1960 38,152 5.8%
1970 36,729 −3.7%
1980 40,242 9.6%
1990 39,955 −0.7%
2000 41,188 3.1%
2010 41,280 0.2%
2019 (est.) 41,556 0.7%
U.S. Decennial Census
1850–2010 2010–2014

As of the census of 2000, there were 41,188 people, 14,799 households, and 10,744 families residing in the county. The population density was 38 people per square mile (15/km2). There were 16,606 housing units at an average density of 15 per square mile (6/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 69.01% White, 14.95% Black or African American, 0.37% Native American, 0.31% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 13.65% from other races, and 1.64% from two or more races. 31.29% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 12.8% were of Czech, 11.0% German and 7.0% American ancestry according to Census 2000. 73.8% spoke English, 24.0% Spanish and 2.0% Czech as their first language.

There were 14,799 households, out of which 35.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.50% were married couples living together, 12.50% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.40% were non-families. 24.40% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.73 and the average family size was 3.26.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 28.70% under the age of 18, 9.30% from 18 to 24, 26.50% from 25 to 44, 21.50% from 45 to 64, and 13.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 96.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.70 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $32,208, and the median income for a family was $39,919. Males had a median income of $30,480 versus $20,101 for females. The per capita income for the county was $15,388. About 13.30% of families and 16.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.50% of those under age 18 and 17.70% of those age 65 or over.

Legacy of slavery

A map commissioned by the United States government in the 1860s, and sold by the Union Army for the benefit of wounded troops, indicates that, based on data from the 1860 national census, 80.9% of the population of Wharton County was enslaved. The county then had a total of 3,380 people. This was the highest proportion of slaves in a single county in the state of Texas. Demand related to development of new areas for cultivation had caused the number of slaves overall in the state to triple between 1850 and 1860, from 58,000 to 182,566.



El Campo Metropolitan Airport, a general aviation airport, is located in unincorporated Wharton County southwest of El Campo.

Wharton Regional Airport, also a general aviation airport, is located in the extreme southwestern portion of Wharton.

Major highways

  • US 59.svg U.S. Highway 59
    • I-69.svg The future route of Interstate 69 is planned to follow the current route of U.S. 59 in most places.
  • Alternate plate.svg
    US 90.svg U.S. Highway 90 Alternate
  • Texas 60.svg State Highway 60
  • Texas 71.svg State Highway 71
  • Texas FM 102.svg Farm to Market Road 102
  • Texas FM 442.svg Farm to Market Road 442
  • Texas FM 1160.svg Farm to Market Road 1160
  • Texas FM 1300.svg Farm to Market Road 1300



Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities

Ghost towns

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