Matagorda County, Texas

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Matagorda County, Texas
Matagorda County Texas Courthouse 2016.jpg
The Matagorda County Courthouse in Bay City
Map of Texas highlighting Matagorda County
Location in the U.S. state of Texas
Map of the United States highlighting Texas
Texas's location in the U.S.
Founded 1836
Seat Bay City
Largest city Bay City
 • Total 1,613 sq mi (4,178 km2)
 • Land 1,100 sq mi (2,849 km2)
 • Water 512 sq mi (1,326 km2), 32%
 • Total 36,807
 • Density 33/sq mi (13/km²)
Congressional district 27th
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5
Matagorda County Office Building

Matagorda County (Listeni/ˌmætəˈɡɔːrdə/[1]) is a county located in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 36,702.[2] According to data from Applied Geographic Solutions,[3] the 2016 population was 36,807. Its county seat is Bay City,[4] 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").

Matagorda County comprises the Bay City, 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 1,613 square miles (4,180 km2), of which 1,100 square miles (2,800 km2) is land and 512 square miles (1,330 km2) (32%) is water.[5] The water area includes Matagorda Bay. It borders the Gulf of Mexico.

Major highways[edit]

Adjacent counties[edit]

National protected areas[edit]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 2,124
1860 3,454 62.6%
1870 3,377 −2.2%
1880 3,940 16.7%
1890 3,985 1.1%
1900 6,097 53.0%
1910 13,597 123.0%
1920 16,589 22.0%
1930 17,678 6.6%
1940 20,066 13.5%
1950 21,559 7.4%
1960 25,744 19.4%
1970 27,913 8.4%
1980 37,828 35.5%
1990 36,928 −2.4%
2000 37,957 2.8%
2010 36,702 −3.3%
Est. 2015 36,770 [6] 0.2%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]
1850–2010[8] 2010–2014[2]

As of 2016 data from Applied Geographic Solutions,[3] there were 36,807 people, 14,425 households, and 9,824 families residing in the county. There were 19,267 housing units in the county with 14,425 occupied. The racial makeup of the county was 69.93% White, 11.56% Black or African American, 0.68% Native American, 2.24% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 13.02% from other races, and 2.53% from two or more races. 40.42% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

In the county, the population was spread out with 27.85% under the age of 20, 12.95% from 20 to 29, 11.47% from 30 to 49, 20.56% from 50 to 64, and 16.42% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36.97 years. The median income for a household in the county was $43,046.


The Matagorda County Museum in Bay City is located across from the Court House.

Rice is grown extensively in Matagorda County, as well as St. Augustine and other turf grass. 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.


School districts serving Matagorda County include:



Census-designated places[edit]

Unincorporated communities[edit]

Notable people[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Matagorda Bay". Random House, Inc. Retrieved 9 November 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 21, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "Estimates and Projections". Applied Geographic Solutions. 2015-10-08. Retrieved 2017-01-19. 
  4. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  5. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved May 4, 2015. 
  6. ^ "County Totals Dataset: Population, Population Change and Estimated Components of Population Change: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016. 
  7. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 4, 2015. 
  8. ^ "Texas Almanac: Population History of Counties from 1850–2010" (PDF). Texas Almanac. Retrieved May 4, 2015. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 28°47′N 96°00′W / 28.78°N 96.00°W / 28.78; -96.00