Texas is the largest state
in the coterminous United States. It is located in the South
Central part of the country and is bounded by Oklahoma, across
the Red R. except in the Texas panhandle (N); Arkansas (NE);
Louisiana, across the Sabine R. (E); the Gulf of Mexico (SE);
Mexico, across the Rio Grande R. (SW); and New Mexico (W).
Area, 267,338 sq
mi (692,405 sq km).
20,851,820, a 22.8% increase since the 1990 census.
Largest city, Houston.
State bird, mockingbird.
State tree, pecan.
Texas is roughly
spade shaped. The vast expanse of the state contains great
regional differences (the distance from Beaumont to El Paso is
greater than that from New York to Chicago).
compete with industry for primary economic importance in Texas.
The state is the leading U.S. producer of oil, natural gas, and
natural-gas liquids, despite recent production declines. It is
also a major producer of helium, salt, sulfur, sodium sulfate,
clays, gypsum, cement, and talc.
manufactures an enormous variety of products, including
chemicals and chemical products, petroleum, food and food
products, transportation equipment, machinery, and primary and
fabricated metals. The development and manufacture of electronic
equipment, such as computers, has in recent decades become one
of the state's leading industries; the area around Dallas-Fort
Worth has become known as “Silicon Prairie,” a name now also
extended to Austin and its suburbs. Agriculturally, Texas is one
of the most important states in the country. It easily leads the
nation in producing cattle, cotton, and cottonseed. Texas also
has more farms, farmland, sheep, and lambs than any other state.
The Lyndon B. Johnson
Space Center is in the Houston area. Other places of interest in
the state include Big Bend National Park, Guadalupe Mountains
National Park, Amistad and Lake Meredith national recreation
areas, Padre Island National Seashore, San Antonio Missions
National Historical Park, and Arkansas National Wildlife Refuge,
winter home of the whooping crane. Austin is the capital;
Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio are the largest cities.
Among the many
institutions of higher learning in Texas are the University of
Texas, mainly at Austin, but with large branches at Arlington,
El Paso, and the Dallas suburb of Richardson.