Everything is BIGGER in Texas, but how big is Texas really?! We share these fun facts on the real size of the famous state.
Is Texas REALLY as big as they say?
There are a few universal truths we hold dear in this world, and one of those is the fact that “everything is bigger in Texas.” Of course, if you’re one of those unlucky enough to have never visited the venerated Lone Star State you might be wondering what that even means.
Aside from Alaska, Texas is the biggest U.S. state by land mass and the second largest in population, right behind California. But, is that what “bigger in Texas” really means? Does it have to do with the size of our hats, or our guns, or our belt buckles? Or does it go deeper than that?
If you’re looking to learn a little more about the Lone Star State, we have the answers you need to understand just what it is that makes Texas such a BIG deal, in more ways than one.
As the largest state in the continental United States, Texas has the opportunity to create a lot of buildings, businesses, and developed areas — which it does. However, there is also a lot of open space, making this the ideal location for anyone who wants to own a ranch with plenty of property, or just enjoy the great outdoors in a vast undeveloped expanse
Covering an area of more than 268,581 square miles, Texas’ geography is diverse as it is massive. It includes everything from coarse sands, tight clays, and shales in the North Central Plains to the wooded slopes and grasslands of the Trans-Pecos Region to the rivers and marshes that follow Texas’ 367 miles of Gulf coastline.
Texas is also home to five state forests and 120 state parks, altogether totalling over 605,000 acres of beautiful wilderness. Some of the most gorgeous parks to visit in the area include Garner State Park and Colorado Bend, both which have amazing views, beautiful hiking trails, and crystal-blue bodies of water that will leave you breathless.
Population in Texas
While Texas is already the second largest state by population, it’s somehow getting even bigger, with the 2020 U.S. census confirming a 16% growth since 2010. Why are so many people flocking to the Lone Star State? It might have something to do with the abundance of job opportunities, with numerous tech companies like Oracle and Hewlett Packard moving to Texas in what some people are calling the second coming of Silicon Valley.
Great housing prices surely play a factor as well. Whether someone is looking for apartments in Houston or homes in San Antonio, it’s not hard to find prices quite a bit more affordable than in other U.S. big cities. For instance, the average cost of housing in California is 60% higher than the average in Texas.
What really makes the population of Texas such a big deal isn’t just how many people live here, but how diverse those people are. That 16% population growth mentioned earlier? People of color account for roughly 95% of that, according to the Texas Tribune. The result is a more eclectic and multicultural Texas than ever before, with thriving arts and culinary scenes facilitated by the power of cultural exchange.
History of Texas
If there’s one thing Texans have in abundance it’s state pride (also big hair, but we won’t be covering that today). While American history in general is important, schools in Texas make it a point to emphasize local history to an equal degree, and I’m not just talking about stuff like the Battle of the Alamo.
From the state’s outlaw cowboy past to the legacy of the native indeginous population, there’s a lot of ground to cover, and true Texans honor every piece of it. Figures such as Jim Bowie, Sam Houston, and Davy Crockett loom large in the consciousness of Texas residents, even today.
This dedication to learning about the history of the state is likely one of the reasons Texans have such a strong bond and pride for their home and their community. Got a problem with that? We have one piece of advice for you – DON’T mess with Texas.
The Texas Personality
As you might have caught on from that last statement, there are few things Texans take more to heart than the state of Texas herself. Local pride is one thing. Texas pride is something entirely different. Likewise, Texans themselves are pretty “different,” if you know what I mean.
You’re probably familiar with the stereotype of Texas locals that paints us all as loud, gregarious, confident, and charismatic. Well, you should know that this stereotype is 100% true. You have to be that way in Texas, because everyone else is and, if you’re not, it’s hard not to get drowned out. Yes, that means we tend to be a colorful, eccentric, independent lot. But it also means you’ll never be left wanting for a good time when hanging out with your Texan friends.
More importantly, Texas pride is a form of unity. People who live in Texas aren’t just neighbors; we’re family members. That’s why the phrase “don’t mess with Texas” is so potent. It’s not a threat, but a promise. If you mess with one of us, you mess with all of us.
As historian T.R. Fehrenbach once said, “Texas is not a society, but a people.” Wherever your ancestors came from, whatever you look like, all Texans have one thing in common: Texas. And that is a very, very BIG thing indeed.