Matagorda County, Texas
|Matagorda County, Texas|
The Matagorda County Courthouse in Bay City.
Location in the state of Texas
Texas's location in the U.S.
1,612 sq mi (4,175 km²)
1,114 sq mi (2,885 km²)
498 sq mi (1,290 km²), 30.87%
33/sq mi (12.7/km²)
Matagorda County is a county located in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 36,702. Its county seat is Bay City, not to be confused with the larger Baytown in Harris and Chambers counties. Matagorda County is named for the canebrakes that once grew along the coast (matagorda is a Spanish word meaning "thick bush").
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,612 square miles (4,180 km2), of which 1,114 square miles (2,890 km2) is land and 498 square miles (1,290 km2) (30.87%) is water, which includes Matagorda Bay.
Major highways 
Adjacent counties 
- Brazoria County (northeast)
- Gulf of Mexico (southeast)
- Calhoun County (southwest)
- Jackson County (west)
- Wharton County (northwest)
National protected areas 
Texas Almanac: 1850-2010
As of the census of 2000, there were 37,957 people, 13,901 households, and 9,925 families residing in the county. The population density was 34 people per square mile (13/km²). There were 18,611 housing units at an average density of 17 per square mile (6/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 67.83% White, 12.72% Black or African American, 0.67% Native American, 2.38% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 13.98% from other races, and 2.38% from two or more races. 31.35% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 10.3% were of German, 8.2% American, 5.4% English and 5.2% Irish ancestry according to Census 2000. 73.9% spoke English, 24.0% Spanish and 1.6% Vietnamese as their first language.
There were 13,901 households out of which 36.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.80% were married couples living together, 12.70% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.60% were non-families. 25.10% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.70 and the average family size was 3.25.
In the county, the population was spread out with 30.00% under the age of 18, 8.90% from 18 to 24, 26.90% from 25 to 44, 21.80% from 45 to 64, and 12.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 98.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.50 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $32,174, and the median income for a family was $40,586. Males had a median income of $37,733 versus $21,871 for females. The per capita income for the county was $15,709. About 14.90% of families and 18.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 23.00% of those under age 18 and 13.60% of those age 65 or over.
Rice is grown extensively in Matagorda County. In addition to a wealth of offshore oil rigs and natural gas extraction facilities all over the county, two petrochemical processing plants (Celanese and Equistar) and the South Texas Project nuclear power plant operate within the county. Matagorda County has secluded, extensive forests, wetlands, prairie and coastal regions. The gulf coast floodplain has several conditions conducive to a variety of ecosystems and recreational activities evident by the highest count of migrating birds in the United States. Fishing (on & offshore), hunting and scuba diving are large parts of the recreation industry due to the Colorado river, the forests and Matagorda bay. As well as having the Rio Colorado Golf Course and a birdwatching park on the Colorado River near the State Highway 35 bridge, there are a significant number of wildlife preserves around the county, a portion of which is land bought for that purpose by the two major petrochemical refineries and nuclear plant in the county.
Cities and towns 
Census-designated places 
Other communities 
- Buckeye, Texas
- Cedar Lake
- Cedar Lane
School districts serving Matagorda County include:
- Bay City Independent School District
- Boling Independent School District (partial)
- Matagorda Independent School District
- Palacios Independent School District (partial)
- Tidehaven Independent School District
- Van Vleck Independent School District
See also 
- List of museums in the Texas Gulf Coast
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Matagorda County, Texas
Episcopal Church, Palacios
- United States Census Bureau. "2010 Census Data". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 15 January 2012.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- "U.S. Decennial Census". Census.gov. 2013-01-24. Retrieved 2013-02-11.
- "Texas Almanac: County Population History 1850-2010" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-02-11.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
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||Wharton County||Brazoria County|
|Calhoun County||Gulf of Mexico|