Cameron County, Texas

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Cameron County
The current Cameron County Courthouse in Brownsville
The current Cameron County Courthouse in Brownsville
Official seal of Cameron County
Official logo of Cameron County
Map of Texas highlighting Cameron County
Location within the U.S. state of Texas
Map of the United States highlighting Texas
Texas's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 26°09′N 97°27′W / 26.15°N 97.45°W / 26.15; -97.45
Country United States
State Texas
Founded1848
Named forEwen Cameron
SeatBrownsville
Largest cityBrownsville
Area
 • Total1,276 sq mi (3,300 km2)
 • Land891 sq mi (2,310 km2)
 • Water386 sq mi (1,000 km2)  30%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total421,017
 • Density330/sq mi (130/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district34th
Websitewww.co.cameron.tx.us

Cameron County, officially the County of Cameron, is the southernmost county in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2020 census, its population was 421,017.[1][2] Its county seat is Brownsville.[3]

The county was founded in 1848 and is named for Captain Ewen Cameron,[4] a soldier during the Texas Revolution and in the ill-fated Mier Expedition. During the later 19th century and through World War II, Fort Brown was a US Army outpost here, stimulating the development of the city of Brownsville.

Cameron County comprises the Brownsville–Harlingen, TX metropolitan statistical area, as well as the Brownsville–Harlingen–Raymondville combined statistical area, which itself is part of the larger Rio Grande Valley region.

Geography[edit]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,276 square miles (3,300 km2), of which 891 square miles (2,310 km2) are land and 386 square miles (1,000 km2) (30%) are covered by water.[5] To the east, the county borders the Gulf of Mexico.

Major highways[edit]

Adjacent counties and municipalities[edit]

National protected areas[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
18508,541
18606,028−29.4%
187010,99982.5%
188014,95936.0%
189014,424−3.6%
190016,09511.6%
191027,15868.7%
192036,66235.0%
193077,540111.5%
194083,2027.3%
1950125,17050.4%
1960151,09820.7%
1970140,368−7.1%
1980209,68049.4%
1990260,12024.1%
2000335,22728.9%
2010406,22021.2%
2020421,0173.6%
U.S. Decennial Census[6]
1850–2010[7] 2010[8] 2020[9]
Cameron County, Texas - Demographic Profile
(NH = Non-Hispanic)
Race / Ethnicity Pop 2010[8] Pop 2020[9] % 2010 % 2020
White alone (NH) 43,427 37,107 10.69% 8.81%
Black or African American alone (NH) 1,192 1,405 0.29% 0.33%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH) 385 365 0.09% 0.09%
Asian alone (NH) 2,486 2,596 0.61% 0.62%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 76 80 0.02% 0.02%
Some Other Race alone (NH) 191 846 0.05% 0.20%
Mixed Race/Multi-Racial (NH) 716 1,938 0.18% 0.46%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 357,747 376,680 88.07% 89.47%
Total 406,220 421,017 100.00% 100.00%

Note: the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos can be of any race.

As of the census[10] of 2010, 406,220 people, 119,631 households, and 96,579 families were residing in the county. The population density was 370 people per square mile (143/km2). The 141,924 housing units averaged 132 per square mile (51/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 87.0% White, 0.5% African American, 0.4% Native American, 0.7% Asian, 9.8% from other races, and 1.5% from two or more races. About 88.1% of the population was Hispanic or Latino of any race.

Of the 119,631 households, 50.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.80% were married couples living together, 20.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 19.3% were not families. About 16.40% of all households were made up of individuals, and 7.30% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.36, and the average family size was 3.80.

In the county, the age distribution was 33.0% under the age of18, 9.7% from 18 to 24, 25.6% from 25 to 44, 20.6% from 45 to 64, and 11.10% who were 65 or older. The median age was 30.6 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.90 males. For every 100 females aged 18 and over, there were 86.30 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $31,264, and for a family was $33,770. Males had a median income of $21,410 versus $15,597 for females. The per capita income for the county was $13,695. About 30.0% of families and 34.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 46.8% of those under age 18 and 24.8% of those age 65 or over.

A 2000 Texas A&M study stated that of the residents of Cameron County, 43% do not have basic literacy skills.[11]

Within the 2010s decade, a noticeable trend in the county population showed that growth among the county's northern cities (defined as major towns whose city limits lie entirely north or east of U.S. Highway 83 in the county) on average has been greater than those cities on U.S. Highway 83 in the county, suggesting a possible desire among both locals and new residents from outside the Rio Grande Valley to move away from the population centers of the county. This trend has also been shared by nearby Hidalgo County. Los Fresnos, for example, grew by 42.2% from 2010 to 2018. Other major cities, such as Indian Lake, Primera, and Rio Hondo, all grew by more than 15% in the same period. In contrast, the cities of Harlingen, La Feria, and San Benito, all cities along U.S. Highway 83, have seen growths less than 1% in the same period. The city that grew the most among the Highway 83 cities in the county was Brownsville, which grew by 4.4% from 2010 to 2019.

Government and infrastructure[edit]

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement operates the Port Isabel Service Processing Center, located in an unincorporated area adjacent to the Port Isabel-Cameron County Airport,[12] which is itself owned and operated by the county.[13] The airport has four runways and offers fuel and other general aviation services.[14]

U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen stated in 2013 that the corruption in the county judiciary and legal system was so pervasive that most people would not believe it "unless they heard it themselves."[15]

Politics[edit]

Cameron County leans toward the Democratic Party in presidential elections. The last Republican to win the county was George W. Bush in 2004. Donald Trump's 2016 showing of 32.0% was the lowest received by a Republican candidate in the county since Alf Landon in 1936. However in 2020, Trump's performance of 43% was the best for a Republican in the county since 2004.

As of 2006, officeholders tend to be Democrats. As of 2006, about 20,000 to 30,000 people in Cameron County vote in primary elections, and presidential elections have higher turnouts.[citation needed] Politiqueras, women hired to help elderly people vote, are crucial in South Texas elections.

United States presidential election results for Cameron County, Texas[16]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 49,032 42.94% 64,063 56.11% 1,079 0.95%
2016 29,472 32.01% 59,402 64.51% 3,205 3.48%
2012 26,099 33.94% 49,975 64.99% 821 1.07%
2008 26,671 35.06% 48,480 63.72% 926 1.22%
2004 34,801 50.32% 33,998 49.16% 357 0.52%
2000 27,800 44.80% 33,214 53.52% 1,043 1.68%
1996 18,434 32.63% 34,891 61.76% 3,168 5.61%
1992 20,123 34.07% 29,435 49.84% 9,499 16.08%
1988 24,263 43.68% 30,972 55.75% 317 0.57%
1984 29,545 52.64% 26,394 47.03% 187 0.33%
1980 22,041 47.62% 23,200 50.12% 1,044 2.26%
1976 16,448 39.06% 25,310 60.10% 353 0.84%
1972 20,816 60.69% 13,340 38.89% 144 0.42%
1968 11,759 39.82% 15,726 53.26% 2,042 6.92%
1964 9,531 37.14% 16,056 62.57% 72 0.28%
1960 10,190 45.01% 12,416 54.84% 34 0.15%
1956 11,952 56.85% 8,829 42.00% 241 1.15%
1952 14,018 64.89% 7,559 34.99% 25 0.12%
1948 4,689 39.54% 6,778 57.15% 392 3.31%
1944 5,309 44.82% 5,998 50.63% 539 4.55%
1940 3,370 35.73% 6,035 63.98% 28 0.30%
1936 2,160 26.32% 5,887 71.74% 159 1.94%
1932 1,785 19.87% 7,146 79.53% 54 0.60%
1928 3,544 52.45% 3,202 47.39% 11 0.16%
1924 1,266 34.52% 2,225 60.68% 176 4.80%
1920 909 49.24% 920 49.84% 17 0.92%
1916 420 24.48% 1,260 73.43% 36 2.10%
1912 149 6.13% 2,146 88.35% 134 5.52%

Education[edit]

Cameron County is served by several school districts. They include:[17]

In addition, residents are eligible to apply to South Texas Independent School District's magnet schools.[18]

All of the county is in the service area of Texas Southmost College.[19]

Economy[edit]

SpaceX has been approved by the FAA to build a private spaceport east of Brownsville on the Gulf Coast.[20]

The SpaceX South Texas Launch Site is projected to employ 75–100 full-time workers in the early years with up to 150 full-time employees/contractors by 2019.[21] In 2014, SpaceX acquired additional land near Boca Chica, which they consolidated into a subdivision called "Mars Crossing", possibly named after the novel by science-fiction writer Geoffrey A. Landis.[22]

The Southern Cattle Tick (Rhipicephalus microplus) is invasive here.[23] Populations here have also become highly permethrin resistant.[23] In 2014 the problem had become so severe that spread to neighboring counties was feared, and a Temporary Preventative Quarantine Area was established to preserve efficacy in those counties.[23] All quarantine efforts have been somewhat unsuccessful, due at least in part to the ticks' infestation of wildlife including whitetail (Odocoileus virginianus).[23]

Media[edit]

Radio stations[edit]

Newspapers[edit]

  • The Brownsville Herald (A Freedom Communications, Inc. newspaper based in Brownsville, TX)[29]
  • Valley Morning Star (A Freedom Communications, Inc. newspaper based in Harlingen, TX)[30]
  • El Nuevo Heraldo (AIM Media Texas newspaper based in Brownsville, TX)[31]

Communities[edit]

Cities[edit]

Towns[edit]

A picture of the Cameron County Courthouse (1912), the Dancy Building, in Brownsville, Texas, which served as the County Courthouse before the construction of the current Courthouse: It was restored in 2006 and now houses County Court at Law No 1, as well as some county offices.

Village[edit]

Census-designated places[edit]

Other unincorporated communities[edit]

Ghost town[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Cameron County, Texas". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2022.
  2. ^ "Cameron County, Texas". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved February 23, 2021.
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  4. ^ "DeWitt Colony Militia Captains". Tamu.edu. Archived from the original on January 10, 2011. Retrieved May 14, 2012.
  5. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved April 20, 2015.
  6. ^ "Decennial Census of Population and Housing by Decade". US Census Bureau.
  7. ^ "Texas Almanac: Population History of Counties from 1850–2010" (PDF). Texas Almanac. Archived (PDF) from the original on October 9, 2022. Retrieved April 20, 2015.
  8. ^ a b "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2010: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Cameron County, Texas". United States Census Bureau.
  9. ^ a b "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2020: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Cameron County, Texas". United States Census Bureau.
  10. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  11. ^ Clark, Steve. "Borders liquidation to bring down local Waldenbooks." The Brownsville Herald. July 20, 2011. Retrieved on July 21, 2011.
  12. ^ "Port Isabel Service Processing Center Archived May 27, 2010, at the Wayback Machine." U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Retrieved on 21.July 2010.
  13. ^ "Texas Airport Directory - Port Isabel, Port Isabel-Cameron County (PIL)" (PDF). Texas Department of Transportation. Archived (PDF) from the original on October 9, 2022. Retrieved May 5, 2018.
  14. ^ FAA Airport Form 5010 for PIL PDF. Federal Aviation Administration, Effective 26 April 2018.
  15. ^ Perez-Treviño, Emma. "Judge: Hard to believe depths of Cameron County corruption Archived 2014-09-14 at the Wayback Machine." Valley Morning Star at The Monitor. Wednesday, January 1, 2014. Retrieved on January 5, 2014.
  16. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
  17. ^ "2020 CENSUS - SCHOOL DISTRICT REFERENCE MAP: Cameron County, TX" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Archived (PDF) from the original on October 9, 2022. Retrieved June 29, 2022. - list
  18. ^ "About". South Texas Independent School District. Retrieved June 29, 2022. The district stretches over three counties, Cameron, Hidalgo and Willacy,[...]
  19. ^ Texas Education Code, Sec. 130.204. TEXAS SOUTHMOST COLLEGE DISTRICT SERVICE AREA..
  20. ^ Martinez, Laura (April 10, 2012). "Brownsville area candidate for spaceport". The Monitor. Archived from the original on April 14, 2012. Retrieved May 12, 2012.
  21. ^ a b Nield, George C. (April 2014). Draft Environmental Impact Statement: SpaceX Texas Launch Site (PDF) (Report). Vol. 1. Federal Aviation Administration, Office of Commercial Space Transportation. Archived from the original on December 7, 2013.
  22. ^ Perez-Treviño, Emma (February 19, 2014). "SpaceX continues local land purchases". Valley Morning Star. Retrieved February 19, 2014.[permanent dead link]
  23. ^ a b c d
  24. ^ "Q945rocks.com".
  25. ^ "99.5 La Nueva FM KKPS musica regional Mexicana". Archived from the original on May 20, 2013. Retrieved July 12, 2020.
  26. ^ "Inicio - RADIO JOSE McAllen". July 19, 2012.
  27. ^ Staff, 107.9 Mix FM. "107.9 Mix FM - KVLY".
  28. ^ "Faith, Hope, and Love: KVMV 96.9FM". KVMV 96.9FM.
  29. ^ "Brownsville Herald".
  30. ^ "Valley Morning Star".
  31. ^ "El Nuevo Heraldo".
  32. ^ @nextspaceflight (March 2, 2021). "The Boca Chica Village area (part of..." (Tweet) – via Twitter.

External links[edit]

Media related to Cameron County, Texas at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 26°09′N 97°27′W / 26.15°N 97.45°W / 26.15; -97.45