Bexar County, Texas

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Coordinates: 29°27′N 98°31′W / 29.45°N 98.52°W / 29.45; -98.52

Bexar County
Bexar County
The Bexar County Courthouse in San Antonio
The Bexar County Courthouse in San Antonio
Official logo of Bexar County
Map of Texas highlighting Bexar County
Location within the U.S. state of Texas
Map of the United States highlighting Texas
Texas's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 29°27′N 98°31′W / 29.45°N 98.52°W / 29.45; -98.52
Country United States
State Texas
FoundedDecember 20, 1836
Named forPresidio San Antonio de Béxar
SeatSan Antonio
Largest citySan Antonio
Area
 • Total1,256 sq mi (3,250 km2)
 • Land1,240 sq mi (3,200 km2)
 • Water16 sq mi (40 km2)  1.3%%
Population
 (2010)
 • Total1,714,773
 • Density1,383/sq mi (534/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional districts15th, 20th, 21st, 23rd, 28th
Websitewww.bexar.org

Bexar County (/bɛər/ BAIR, /ˈbər/ (About this soundlisten) BAY-ər; Spanish: ['bexaɾ])[1][2] is a county in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 1,714,773, and a 2019 estimate put the population at 2,003,554.[3] It is the 16th-most populous county in the nation and the fourth-most populated in Texas. Its county seat is San Antonio,[4] the second-most populous city in Texas and the seventh-largest city in the United States. Bexar County is included in the San Antonio–New Braunfels, TX metropolitan statistical area. Bexar County includes Government Canyon State Natural Area in the northwestern part of the county.

With a population that is 59.3% Hispanic as of 2020, it is Texas' most populous majority-Hispanic county and the third-largest nationwide.[5]

History[edit]

Bexar County was created on December 20, 1836, and encompassed almost the entire western portion of the Republic of Texas. This included the disputed areas of eastern New Mexico northward to Wyoming. After statehood, 128 counties were carved out of its area.

The county was named for San Antonio de Béxar, one of the 23 Mexican municipalities (administrative divisions) of Texas at the time of its independence. San Antonio de Béxar—originally Villa de San Fernando de Béxar—was the first civil government established by the Spanish in the province of Texas. Specifically, the municipality was created in 1731 when 55 Canary Islanders settled near the system of missions that had been established around the source of the San Antonio River. The new settlement was named after the Presidio San Antonio de Béjar, the Spanish military outpost that protected the missions. The presidio, located at the San Pedro Springs, was founded in 1718 and named for Viceroy Balthasar Manuel de Zúñiga y Guzmán Sotomayor y Sarmiento, second son of the Duke of Béjar (a town in Spain). The modern city of San Antonio in the U.S. state of Texas also derived its name from San Antonio de Béjar.

Geography[edit]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,256 square miles (3,250 km2), of which 1,240 sq mi (3,200 km2) is land and 16 sq mi (41 km2) (1.3%) is water.[6] Bexar County is in south-central Texas, about 190 miles (305 km) west of Houston and 140 mi (230 km) from both the US-Mexican border to the southwest and the Gulf of Mexico to the southeast.

The Balcones Escarpment bisects the county from west to northeast; to the north of the escarpment are the rocky hills, springs and canyons of the Texas Hill Country. South of the escarpment are Blackland Prairie and the South Texas plains. The San Antonio River rises from springs north of Downtown San Antonio, and flows southward and southeastward through the county.

Major highways[edit]

Highway 281 South, San Antonio, Bexar County

Bexar County has a comprehensive "wagon wheel" freeway system, with radial freeways and beltways that encircle Downtown San Antonio, allowing for simplified countywide freeway access, in a manner much like the freeways around Houston or Dallas. San Antonio is unique, however, in that unlike Houston or Dallas, none of these highways is currently tolled.

Adjacent counties[edit]

National protected area[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Bexar county population pyramid
Historical population
Census Pop.
18506,052
186014,454138.8%
187016,04311.0%
188030,47089.9%
189049,26661.7%
190069,42240.9%
1910119,67672.4%
1920202,09668.9%
1930292,53344.7%
1940338,17615.6%
1950500,46048.0%
1960687,15137.3%
1970830,46020.9%
1980988,80019.1%
19901,185,39419.9%
20001,392,93117.5%
20101,714,77323.1%
2019 (est.)2,003,554[7]16.8%
U.S. Decennial Census[8]
1850–2010[9] 2010–2019[3]

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 1,714,773 people living in the county. Of those, 72.9% were White, 7.5% Black or African American, 2.4% Asian, 0.8% Native American, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 12.7% of some other race and 3.5% of two or more races. 58.7% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race).

As of the census[10] of 2000, 1,392,931 people, 488,942 households, and 345,681 families were residing in the county. The population density was 1,117 inhabitants per square mile (431/km2). There were 521,359 housing units at an average density of 418 per square mile (161/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 68.86% White, 7.18% Black or African American, 0.80% Native American, 1.61% Asian, 0.10% Pacific Islander, 17.80% from other races, and 3.64% from two or more races. About 54.35% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

Of 488,942 households, 36.60% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.50% were married couples living together, 15.50% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.30% were not families. About 24.00% of all households were made up of individuals, and 7.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.78 and the average family size was 3.33.

A Williams Institute analysis of 2010 census data found there were about 6.2 same-sex couples per 1,000 households in the county.[11]

In the county, the population was distributed as 28.50% under the age of 18, 10.70% from 18 to 24, 30.60% from 25 to 44, 19.90% from 45 to 64, and 10.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.20 males.

The median income for a household was $38,328, and for a family was $43,724. Males had a median income of $30,756 versus $24,920 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,363. About 12.70% of families and 15.90% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.40% of those under age 18 and 12.20% of those age 65 or over.

Corrections[edit]

The Bexar County jail facilities are at 200 North Comal in downtown San Antonio, operated by the Bexar County Sheriff's Office (Javier Salazar, Sheriff).[12] In late 2012, press reports noted an increase in the number of suicides at the facility. The issue was a topic of debate in the election for sheriff that year. The jail holds an average of about 3,800 prisoners in 2012, with a total capacity of 4,596, making it the fourth-largest in the state.[13][14]

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice operates the Dominguez Unit, a state jail for men, in an unincorporated section of Bexar County.[15]

Education[edit]

School districts in the county include:

All of the county is in the service area of Alamo Community College.[16]

Libraries[edit]

On September 14, 2013, Bexar County opened BiblioTech – Bexar County's Digital Library, the nation's first bookless library.[17][18]

Property taxes[edit]

In 2016, for the third consecutive year, Bexar County increased the appraised value of businesses and residences. Most will hence find their property taxes will increase for the year, with higher payments for some beginning as early as November 1. The latest 7.5 percent increase in valuation follows an 11 percent rise in 2015, and a 7 percent jump in 2014. The 2016 total value for all property in the county is approximately $163 billion, or $13 billion more than in 2015. County residents express dismay to Mary Kieke, the deputy chief appraiser. "People are very upset. The tax system is absolutely broken," she said.[19]

Communities[edit]

Cities[edit]

Multiple counties[edit]

Enclave cities[edit]

Bexar County only[edit]

Towns[edit]

Census-designated places[edit]

Other unincorporated communities[edit]

Military installations[edit]

Notable people[edit]

Climate[edit]

Bexar County
Climate chart (explanation)
J
F
M
A
M
J
J
A
S
O
N
D
 
 
55
 
 
20
6
 
 
55
 
 
22
8
 
 
51
 
 
26
8
 
 
52
 
 
29
16
 
 
176
 
 
34
20
 
 
72
 
 
35
24
 
 
84
 
 
34
24
 
 
37
 
 
36
24
 
 
133
 
 
32
22
 
 
63
 
 
29
17
 
 
81
 
 
23
12
 
 
25
 
 
19
6
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
Source: [21]

Politics[edit]

Bexar County has generally voted for Democratic candidates in most presidential elections, though from 1932 to 2012 it was a nationwide bellwether, supporting the winner in every election except 1968. Democrats perform well within the Connally Loop, which contains heavily Hispanic neighborhoods on the south and west sides of San Antonio, and African Americans on the east side. In recent years, Democrats have made inroads on the Northwest Side toward the University of Texas at San Antonio, and the Northeast Side toward Kirby. Republicans' strength is concentrated around the military bases plus wealthier enclaves such as Alamo Heights, Terrell Hills, and the far northern section of the county.[22]

United States presidential election results for Bexar County, Texas[23]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 308,618 40.05% 448,452 58.20% 13,501 1.75%
2016 240,333 40.42% 319,550 53.74% 34,691 5.83%
2012 241,617 46.94% 264,856 51.46% 8,237 1.60%
2008 246,275 46.69% 275,527 52.23% 5,690 1.08%
2004 260,698 54.85% 210,976 44.39% 3,640 0.77%
2000 215,613 52.24% 185,158 44.86% 11,955 2.90%
1996 161,619 44.59% 180,308 49.74% 20,562 5.67%
1992 168,816 40.65% 172,513 41.54% 73,947 17.81%
1988 193,192 52.25% 174,036 47.07% 2,521 0.68%
1984 203,319 59.65% 136,947 40.18% 560 0.16%
1980 159,578 51.73% 137,729 44.65% 11,167 3.62%
1976 121,176 44.64% 146,581 54.00% 3,673 1.35%
1972 137,572 59.76% 91,662 39.82% 959 0.42%
1968 72,951 39.46% 95,325 51.56% 16,598 8.98%
1964 53,469 32.90% 108,658 66.86% 393 0.24%
1960 63,934 45.59% 75,373 53.74% 938 0.67%
1956 65,901 58.15% 46,790 41.29% 640 0.56%
1952 65,391 56.31% 50,260 43.28% 485 0.42%
1948 26,202 39.53% 35,970 54.27% 4,107 6.20%
1944 23,588 39.04% 35,024 57.96% 1,815 3.00%
1940 18,270 32.22% 38,214 67.40% 212 0.37%
1936 12,951 26.44% 35,781 73.05% 250 0.51%
1932 7,466 16.37% 37,765 82.83% 363 0.80%
1928 16,477 49.69% 16,626 50.14% 57 0.17%
1924 9,898 40.07% 10,838 43.88% 3,963 16.05%
1920 8,894 52.18% 6,926 40.63% 1,226 7.19%
1916 5,483 43.13% 7,008 55.12% 223 1.75%
1912 1,021 12.13% 4,864 57.77% 2,534 30.10%


See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Bexar County History | Bexar County, TX - Official Website". www.bexar.org. Retrieved July 19, 2018.
  2. ^ Borta, Karen (July 24, 2015). "Welcome To Texas: Unusual Pronunciation". CBS DFW. KTVT. Retrieved July 4, 2019.
  3. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
  4. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  5. ^ "P2: HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE". 2020 Census. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 10, 2021.
  6. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved April 19, 2015.
  7. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  8. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved April 19, 2015.
  9. ^ "Texas Almanac: Population History of Counties from 1850–2010" (PDF). Texas Almanac. Retrieved April 19, 2015.
  10. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14.
  11. ^ Leonhardt, David; Quealy, Kevin (June 26, 2015), "Where Same-Sex Couples Live", The New York Times, retrieved July 6, 2015
  12. ^ "BCSO Location and Driving Directions". Bexar County. Retrieved September 14, 2008.
  13. ^ Why have jail suicides soared under Sheriff Ortiz's watch?, by Michael Barajas, SA Current, 17 October 2012
  14. ^ "Texas Commission on Jail Standards - Abbreviated Population Report for 3/1/2018" (PDF).
  15. ^ "Dominguez (BX)". Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Archived from the original on August 21, 2008. Retrieved September 14, 2008.
  16. ^ Texas Education Code, Sec. 130.162. ALAMO COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT SERVICE AREA..
  17. ^ "About Us". bexarbibliotech.org.
  18. ^ "Nation's first bookless library opens in San Antonio". Dallas Morning News. January 3, 2014.
  19. ^ Bruce Selcraig, "Property valuations jump again: Most homeowners' taxes also could rise", San Antonio Express-News, April 29, 2016, pp. 1, A12
  20. ^ Ambrose, Stephen (1983). Eisenhower: (vol. 1) Soldier, General of the Army, President-Elect (1893–1952). New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 56.
  21. ^ "NASA Earth Observations Data Set Index". NASA. Retrieved January 30, 2016.
  22. ^ Tedesco, John (November 10, 2016). "Interactive: How Bexar County voted in the 2016 presidential election". San Antonio Express News.
  23. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved July 19, 2018.
  • Stephens, A. Ray, and William M. Holmes, Historical Atlas of Texas. University of Oklahoma Press, 1989. ISBN 0-8061-2307-9

External links[edit]