Hays County, Texas

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Hays County
Hays County Courthouse, built in 1908 using the eclectic style of architecture
Hays County Courthouse, built in 1908 using the eclectic style of architecture
Map of Texas highlighting Hays County
Location within the U.S. state of Texas
Map of the United States highlighting Texas
Texas's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 30°04′N 98°02′W / 30.06°N 98.03°W / 30.06; -98.03
Country United States
State Texas
Founded1848
Named forJohn Coffee Hays
SeatSan Marcos
Largest citySan Marcos
Area
 • Total680 sq mi (1,800 km2)
 • Land678 sq mi (1,760 km2)
 • Water1.9 sq mi (5 km2)  0.3%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total241,067
 • Density350/sq mi (140/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional districts21st, 25th, 35th
Websitehayscountytx.com
Hays County Annex Building across from the courthouse in San Marcos
Hays County Veterans Monument in San Marcos

Hays County is located on the Edwards Plateau in the U.S. state of Texas. Hays County is part of the Austin-Round Rock metropolitan area. As of the 2020 census, its official population had reached 241,067.[1] The county seat is San Marcos.[2] Hays, along with Comal and Kendall Counties, was listed in 2017 as one of the nation's fastest-growing large counties with a population of at least 10,000. From 2015 to 2016, Hays County, third on the national list, had nearly 10,000 new residents during the year.[3]

The county is named for John Coffee Hays, a Texas Ranger and Mexican–American War officer.

History[edit]

Hays County has been inhabited for thousands of years. Evidence of Paleo-Indians found in the region goes as far back as 6000 BC.[4] Archeological evidence of native agriculture goes back to 1200 AD.

The earliest Europeans to arrive in the area were explorers and missionaries from the Spanish Empire. Father Isidro Félix de Espinosa, Father Antonio de San Buenaventura y Olivares, and Pedro de Aguirre traveled through the area in 1709.[5] A few years later, French-Canadian Louis Juchereau de St. Denis was attacked by Comanches in 1714.[6]

More permanent European influence was established in 1755, when the Mission San Francisco Xavier de los Dolores was established among the Apache tribe.[7][self-published source?]

Geography[edit]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 680 sq mi (1,800 km2), of which 678 square miles (1,760 km2) are land and 1.9 sq mi (4.9 km2) (0.3%) are covered by water.[20]

Adjacent counties[edit]

Transportation[edit]

Major highways[edit]

Airport[edit]

Education[edit]

School districts in Hays County include:[21]

As of 2020, the county has six high schools, 10 middle schools, and 24 elementary schools.[citation needed]

Higher education in Hays County includes one four-year institution, Texas State University, in San Marcos.

Austin Community College is the designated community college for the whole county.[22] It operates three distance-learning centers that offer basic and early college start classes, along with testing centers for online classes.

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1850387
18602,126449.4%
18704,08892.3%
18807,55584.8%
189011,35250.3%
190014,14224.6%
191015,5189.7%
192015,9202.6%
193014,915−6.3%
194015,3492.9%
195017,84016.2%
196019,93411.7%
197027,64238.7%
198040,59446.9%
199065,61461.6%
200097,58948.7%
2010157,12761.0%
2020241,06753.4%
U.S. Decennial Census[23] 2010[24] 2020[25]
Hays County, Texas - Demographic Profile
(NH = Non-Hispanic)
Race / Ethnicity Pop 2010[24] Pop 2020[25] % 2010 % 2020
White alone (NH) 92,062 121,568 58.60% 50.43%
Black or African American alone (NH) 4,970 9,004 3.16% 3.74%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH) 502 599 0.32% 0.25%
Asian alone (NH) 1,699 4,822 1.08% 2.00%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 104 144 0.07% 0.06%
Some Other Race alone (NH) 226 1,009 0.14% 0.42%
Mixed Race/Multi-Racial (NH) 2,143 11,050 1.36% 4.58%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 55,401 92,871 35.26% 38.52%
Total 157,107 241,067 100.00% 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 2015 Texas population estimate program, the county's population was 193,963: non-Hispanic Whites, 106,919 (55.1%); non-Hispanic Blacks, 5,860 (3.0%); other non-Hispanics, 6,624 (3.4%); and Hispanics and Latinos (of any race), 74,560 (38.4%).[26]

As of the census[27] of 2000, 97,589 people, 51,265 households, and 22,150 families resided in the county. The population density was 144 people per square mile (56/km2). The 55,643 housing units averaged 53 per mi2 (20/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 78.92% White, 3.68% Black or African American, 0.69%Native American, 0.79% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 13.36% from other races, and 2.49% from two or more races. About 29.57% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

Of the 33,410 households, 34.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.10% were married couples living together, 9.00% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.70% were not families; 21.00% of all households were made up of individuals, and 4.90% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.69 and the average family size was 3.21.

A Williams Institute analysis of 2010 census data found about 7.4 same-sex couples per 1,000 households in the county.[28]

The county's population was distributed as 24.50% under the age of 18, 20.50% from 18 to 24, 28.20% from 25 to 44, 19.10% from 45 to 64, and 7.70% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 28 years. For every 100 females, there were 101.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.50 males.

The county's median household income was $45,006 and the median family income was $56,287. Males had a median income of $35,209 versus $27,334 for females. The county's per capita income was $19,931. About 6.40% of families and 14.30% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.30% of those under age 18 and 9.70% of those age 65 or over.

Politics[edit]

Hays County was once strongly Democratic leaning in federal elections. However, like some other suburban counties in the state, the county began trending towards the Republican Party in the 1970s. The county has voted Democratic for governor (in 2018), Senate (in both 2018 and 2020), and President (in 2020).[29] [30]

Until 2020 when Joe Biden did both with 54.4% of the vote, the last Democrat to carry Hays County in a presidential election was Bill Clinton with a plurality of 39.8% of the vote in 1992 and the last Democrat to win a majority of the vote in the county was Jimmy Carter, also with 54.4% in 1976. Both which Lloyd Bentsen had been the last Democratic Senate candidate to carry the county, winning 69.2% of the vote in 1988, until 2018, when Beto O'Rourke carried the county with 57.1% of the vote.[31]

United States presidential election results for Hays County, Texas[32]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 47,680 43.59% 59,524 54.41% 2,191 2.00%
2016 33,826 46.87% 33,224 46.04% 5,114 7.09%
2012 31,661 53.65% 25,537 43.27% 1,813 3.07%
2008 29,638 50.19% 28,431 48.15% 983 1.66%
2004 27,021 56.50% 20,110 42.05% 692 1.45%
2000 20,170 58.78% 11,387 33.18% 2,760 8.04%
1996 12,865 47.93% 11,580 43.14% 2,395 8.92%
1992 10,008 36.70% 10,842 39.76% 6,417 23.53%
1988 11,716 50.36% 11,187 48.09% 361 1.55%
1984 12,467 64.98% 6,663 34.73% 57 0.30%
1980 6,517 49.04% 6,013 45.25% 759 5.71%
1976 5,714 44.38% 7,005 54.41% 156 1.21%
1972 5,406 56.79% 4,068 42.74% 45 0.47%
1968 1,993 32.23% 3,546 57.35% 644 10.42%
1964 1,279 25.26% 3,780 74.64% 5 0.10%
1960 1,606 35.46% 2,916 64.39% 7 0.15%
1956 1,873 47.98% 2,017 51.66% 14 0.36%
1952 2,135 50.74% 2,070 49.19% 3 0.07%
1948 555 18.58% 2,239 74.96% 193 6.46%
1944 495 20.39% 1,690 69.60% 243 10.01%
1940 453 16.02% 2,371 83.84% 4 0.14%
1936 286 12.66% 1,964 86.94% 9 0.40%
1932 220 10.73% 1,822 88.88% 8 0.39%
1928 1,088 63.70% 620 36.30% 0 0.00%
1924 394 18.86% 1,616 77.36% 79 3.78%
1920 242 14.61% 1,075 64.92% 339 20.47%
1916 123 10.86% 995 87.82% 15 1.32%
1912 60 5.63% 939 88.17% 66 6.20%


Ann Richards was the last Democratic gubernatorial candidate to win the county with 56.6% of the vote in 1990, until Lupe Valdez won with a 49.6% plurality in 2018.[31]

Democratic voters mostly reside along the I-35 Corridor and communities East. Communities West of the I-35 Corridor lean Republican. San Marcos, home of Texas State University, and the city of Kyle generally vote Democratic. Buda, Dripping Springs, and Wimberley generally vote Republican.

Communities[edit]

Cities (multiple counties)[edit]

Cities[edit]

Village[edit]

Census-designated places[edit]

Ghost town[edit]

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Hays County, Texas". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 30, 2022.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ Zeke MacCormack, "Folks flocking to area counties: Kendall, Comal, and Hays are on the top 10 list", San Antonio Express-News, March 24, 2017, pp. 1, A11.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Cecil, Paul F; Greene, Daniel P. "Hays County, Texas". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved December 1, 2010.
  5. ^ Foster, William C (1995). Spanish Expeditions into Texas, 1689-1768. University of Texas Press. p. 117. ISBN 978-0-292-72489-1.
  6. ^ Weddle, Robert S (1991). The French Thorn: Rival Explorers in the Spanish Sea, 1682-1762. TAMU Press. p. 200. ISBN 978-0-89096-480-4.
  7. ^ Arias, David (2009). The First Catholics of the United States. lulu.com. pp. 180–181. ISBN 978-0-557-07527-0.[self-published source]
  8. ^ "Coahuila and Tejas". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved December 1, 2010.
  9. ^ "Juan Martín de Veramendi". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved December 1, 2010.
  10. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. pp. 153.
  11. ^ "San Marcos, Texas". Texas Escapes. Texas Escapes - Blueprints For Travel, LLC. Retrieved December 1, 2010.
  12. ^ Winfrey, Dorman. "Camp Ben Mcculloch". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved December 1, 2010.
  13. ^ "San Marcos Campus". Texas State University. Archived from the original on February 12, 2014. Retrieved December 1, 2010.
  14. ^ "Wonder World Park". Retrieved December 1, 2010.
  15. ^ "Hays County Courthouse". Texas Escapes. Texas Escapes - Blueprints For Travel, LLC. Retrieved December 1, 2010.
  16. ^ "Aquarena Springs". Texas State University. Retrieved December 1, 2010.[permanent dead link]
  17. ^ Pietrusza, David (2008). 1960--LBJ vs. JFK vs. Nixon: The Epic Campaign That Forged Three Presidencies. Union Square Press. p. 20. ISBN 978-1-4027-6114-0.
  18. ^ a b Ratisseau, Shirley. "Gary Air Force Base". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved December 1, 2010.
  19. ^ "Gary Job Corps Center". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved December 1, 2010.
  20. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved April 28, 2015.
  21. ^ "2020 CENSUS - SCHOOL DISTRICT REFERENCE MAP: Hays County, TX" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved June 29, 2022. - List
  22. ^ Texas Education Code, Sec. 130.166. AUSTIN COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT SERVICE AREA..
  23. ^ "Decennial Census of Population and Housing by Decade". US Census Bureau.
  24. ^ a b "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2010: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Hays County, Texas". United States Census Bureau.
  25. ^ a b "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2020: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Hays County, Texas". United States Census Bureau.
  26. ^ Estimates of the Population by Age, Sex, and Race/Ethnicity for July 1, 2015 for State of Texas (PDF), July 15, 2015, archived from the original (PDF) on May 4, 2017, retrieved June 8, 2017
  27. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  28. ^ Leonhardt, David; Quealy, Kevin (June 26, 2015), "Where Same-Sex Couples Live", The New York Times, retrieved July 6, 2015
  29. ^ hays county texas 2018 election results (PDF). Hays County Texas https://hayscountytx.com/download/departments/elections/results/2018/09.%2006%20Nov%202018%20General%20Election%20Cumulative%20(official).pdf. Retrieved January 28, 2021. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  30. ^ "Hays County Texas 2020 election results" (PDF). Retrieved January 28, 2021.
  31. ^ a b "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections".
  32. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved July 25, 2018.
  33. ^ "City of Austin Full Purpose Jurisdiction" (PDF). City of Austin. March 9, 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 16, 2010. Retrieved May 1, 2010.

Further reading[edit]

  • DeCook, K.J. (1963). Geology and ground-water resources of Hays County, Texas [U.S. Geological Survey Water-Supply Paper 1612]. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 30°04′N 98°02′W / 30.06°N 98.03°W / 30.06; -98.03