You might associate Texas with images of cowboys and tumbleweed, but there’s a lot more to this huge state than just rodeos. To begin with, it’s one of the fastest growing states in the U.S. The economy is vast and booming, prices are cheap, and the cities are bustling with people. Texas is an incredibly complicated state with tons of history. In many ways it’s probably the exact opposite of what you would expect it to be. Get to know this awesome state like you’ve never known it before! These are 25 impressive facts about Texas you might find hard to believe.
Between 1836 (independence from Mexico) and 1845, Texas was an independent country
1 in every 12 Americans lives in Texas
If Texas was its own country, it would be the world’s 7th largest oil producer
Texas is the fastest growing large state in the US with three of the fastest growing cities (Dallas, Houston, Austin). Since 2000, there has been a net migration to Texas from other states of 1 million people
Although Texas is usually associated with heat, the climate is highly varied. A lot of people don’t realize that it snows in the mountainous western portion of the state
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Texas has its own pledge of allegiance ("Honor the Texas flag; I pledge allegiance to thee, Texas, one state under God, one and indivisible.")
Although it is only second in the United States (behind California), Texas still has the world’s 12th largest economy according to the Huffingtonpost (right between Spain and Australia). However, Gregg Abbott, claims Texas has the 10th largest economy.
The Texas economy has witnessed a boom in recent years thanks to the high-tech, aerospace, biomedical, and energy industries. In fact, between 2002 AND 2011 Texas added nearly ⅓ of the country’s high paying jobs and Austin is turning into one of the premier high tech hubs of the nation
Texas is a leader in wind power technology and wind farms are a common sight across the state
Texas is 10% larger than France and covers 10 climactic regions. In fact, just one of its ranches (King Ranch) is bigger than the entire state of Rhode Island.
The Texas Triangle, also known as the Texaplex, is a region enclosed by 3 highways (I-35, I-45, I-10) and contains most of Texas’s big cities. 70% of the state’s population lives in this region.
Due to its natural resources, Texas has more farms and ranches than any other state
The name Texas is based on the Caddo word “tejas” meaning “friends”
Texas is the second most populous state in the US. In fact, it has more people than Australia (about 10 million more). It is also one of the fastest growing states. This is largely because of how cheap it is and the fact that taxes are very low (there is no income tax). It’s much easier to afford big city life here than perhaps anywhere else.
Almost 20% of Texas’s population is foreign born (roughly 5 million people)
Texas has 3 of the 10 biggest cities in the US (Dallas, Houston, San Antonio). It is tied with California in this regard
The Texas Military Forces is the state’s three branch military. It consists of the Texas Army National Guard, the Texas Air National Guard, and the Texas State Guard.
There are 3 power grids in the continental United States - one for the eastern states, one for the western states, and one for Texas. That’s right, it has its own power grid.
Texas is known as the Lone Star State due to its former status as an independent country. This is also why people refer to it as the Republic of Texas.
On August 25, 2017, Category 4 hurricane Harvey hit Texas causing around $180 billion in damage. That's more than any other natural disaster in U.S. history for the exception of the largest estimates of Hurricane Katrina.
Hurricane Harvey flooded one-third of Houston forcing 39,000 people into shelters and damaging 203,000 homes.
Six flags over Texas is a slogan used to describe the fact that 6 different countries ruled over Texas - Spain, France, Mexico, Texas (yes, it considers itself a country), the Confederate State of America, and finally the United States of America.
Historically, the Texas economy has been focused on cattle and agriculture. This is why the state is often associated with cowboys. In the 20th century, however, the discovery of oil transformed Texas into one of the world’s fastest growing economies.
Texas has strong distaste for any “foreign” government (and yes, it does tend to see the federal government as an unwanted intruder). In fact, it has sued Washington DC 40 times in the past 13 years
Texas is a majority-minority state. This means that no race has a majority. In fact, 55% of the population was something other than white in 2011.
Although Texas is often equated with cars and freeways, public transport does exist and is rapidly expanding. Dallas, Houston, and Austin have all integrated light rail in their public transport systems and El Paso's is under construction. Also, Texas has been seriously toying with building a Japanese style bullet train between it's cities.
Image Credits: 1. Ed Schipul via FLickr CC BY-SA 2.0, 2. The U.S. Army via Flickr CC BY 2.0, 3. Matt Turner via Flickr CC BY 2.0, 4. Public Domain, 5. Ann W via commons.wikimedia.org CC BY 2.0, 6. Shutterstock, 7. Jaycarlcooper via commons.wikimedia.org CC BY-SA 3.0, 8-10. Public Domain, 11. Shutterstock, 12. prind1m via Flickr CC BY 2.0, 13. Famartin via commons.wikimedia.org CC BY-SA 4.0, 14. Public Domain, 15. Drumguy8800 at en.wikipedia via commons.wikimedia.org CC BY-SA 3.0, 16. Delwin Steven Campbell via Flickr CC BY 2.0, 17-21. Shutterstock, 22-24. Public Domain, 25. Ed Schipul via Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0