Jim Wells County, Texas

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Jim Wells County
The Jim Wells County Courthouse in Alice
The Jim Wells County Courthouse in Alice
Map of Texas highlighting Jim Wells County
Location within the U.S. state of Texas
Map of the United States highlighting Texas
Texas's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 27°44′N 98°05′W / 27.73°N 98.09°W / 27.73; -98.09
Country United States
State Texas
Founded1911
Named forJames Babbage Wells Jr.
SeatAlice
Largest cityAlice
Area
 • Total868 sq mi (2,250 km2)
 • Land865 sq mi (2,240 km2)
 • Water3.4 sq mi (9 km2)  0.4%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total38,891
 • Density45/sq mi (17/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district34th
Websitewww.co.jim-wells.tx.us

Jim Wells County is a county in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2020 census, its population was 38,891. The county was founded in 1911[1] and is named for James B. Wells, Jr. (1850-1923), for three decades a judge and Democratic Party political boss in South Texas.

Jim Wells County comprises the Alice, Texas micropolitan statistical area, which is included in the Corpus Christi-Kingsville-Alice combined statistical area.

Geography[edit]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 868 sq mi (2,250 km2), of which 3.4 sq mi (8.8 km2) (0.4%) are covered by water.[2]

Major highways[edit]

Adjacent counties[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
19206,587
193013,456104.3%
194020,23950.4%
195027,99138.3%
196034,54823.4%
197033,032−4.4%
198036,49810.5%
199037,6793.2%
200039,3264.4%
201040,8383.8%
202038,891−4.8%
U.S. Decennial Census[3]
1850–2010[4] 2010[5] 2020[6]

2020 census[edit]

Jim Wells County, Texas - Demographic Profile
(NH = Non-Hispanic)
Race / Ethnicity Pop 2010[7] Pop 2020[6] % 2010 % 2020
White alone (NH) 8,062 6,963 19.74% 17.90%
Black or African American alone (NH) 156 180 0.38% 0.46%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH) 97 58 0.24% 0.15%
Asian alone (NH) 134 140 0.33% 0.36%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 4 15 0.01% 0.04%
Some Other Race alone (NH) 28 95 0.07% 0.24%
Mixed Race/Multi-Racial (NH) 103 605 0.25% 1.56%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 32,254 30,835 78.98% 79.29%
Total 40,838 38,891 100.00% 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.

2000 Census[edit]

At the 2000 census,[8] 39,326 people, 12,961 households and 10,096 families were residing in the county. The population density was 46 people/sq mi (18/km2). The 14,819 housing units had an average density of 17/sq mi (7/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 77.90% White, 0.60% African American, 0.62% Native American, 0.43% Asian, 118.83% from other races, and 2.43% from two or more races. About 75.71% of the population were Hispanics or Latinos of any race.

Of the 12,961 households, 40.2% had children under 18 living with them, 58.0% were married couples living together, 15.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.1% were not families. About 19.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.50% had someone living alone who was 65 or older. The average household size was 2.99, and the average family size was 3.45.

Age distribution was 31.4% under 18, 9.0% from 18 to 24, 26.5% from 25 to 44, 20.6% from 45 to 64, and 12.4% who were 65 or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.20 males. For every 100 females aged 18 and over, there were 91.40 males.

The median household income was $28,843, and the median family income was $32,616. Males had a median income of $30,266 versus $17,190 for females. The per capita income for the county was $12,252. About 20.1% of families and 24.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 31.8% of those under age 18 and 21.3% of those aged 65 or over.

Government and politics[edit]

Located in South Texas, Jim Wells County is part of the oldest Democratic stronghold in the entire United States, a region that has consistently voted for Democrats since the days of Woodrow Wilson. The Jim Wells County Democratic Party has maintained control of the county despite massive demographic changes due to Civil Rights, the collapse of Jim Crow and poll taxes, and mass immigration from Mexico.[9] The only Republicans to win the county since its creation are Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956, Richard Nixon in his 1972 landslide and Donald Trump in 2020. Since 2004, Jim Wells County has become slightly less Democratic than it was during the late twentieth century. Despite this shift, the Democratic candidate won at least 53.77 percent of the county's vote in every election from 1976 to 2020. In 2020 the county ended its streak of Democratic victories when it was won by Donald Trump with a 10% margin.[10]

In the 2018 gubernatorial election, Republican Greg Abbott won 52.04% of the vote in Jim Wells County, becoming the first member of his party to win the county in a statewide race.[11] During the same election, Democrat Beto O'Rourke won the county in the Senate contest with 53.85% of the vote.[12]

United States presidential election results for Jim Wells County, Texas[13]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 7,453 54.52% 6,119 44.77% 97 0.71%
2016 5,420 43.78% 6,694 54.08% 265 2.14%
2012 4,598 41.18% 6,492 58.14% 76 0.68%
2008 4,841 41.69% 6,706 57.75% 65 0.56%
2004 5,817 45.84% 6,824 53.77% 50 0.39%
2000 4,498 37.41% 7,418 61.70% 107 0.89%
1996 2,989 28.27% 7,116 67.31% 467 4.42%
1992 3,311 26.36% 7,812 62.19% 1,438 11.45%
1988 4,335 33.64% 8,495 65.92% 56 0.43%
1984 5,896 42.99% 7,795 56.84% 24 0.17%
1980 4,606 38.34% 7,267 60.49% 140 1.17%
1976 3,547 30.71% 7,961 68.93% 42 0.36%
1972 5,283 54.48% 4,404 45.41% 11 0.11%
1968 2,827 28.13% 6,304 62.73% 919 9.14%
1964 1,988 22.50% 6,849 77.50% 0 0.00%
1960 2,773 34.18% 5,330 65.71% 9 0.11%
1956 3,348 54.69% 2,752 44.95% 22 0.36%
1952 3,592 48.94% 3,745 51.03% 2 0.03%
1948 1,402 26.46% 3,781 71.35% 116 2.19%
1944 1,113 34.88% 1,908 59.79% 170 5.33%
1940 914 30.20% 2,105 69.56% 7 0.23%
1936 338 16.58% 1,691 82.97% 9 0.44%
1932 162 9.99% 1,449 89.39% 10 0.62%
1928 423 36.06% 747 63.68% 3 0.26%
1924 213 21.47% 654 65.93% 125 12.60%
1920 169 32.25% 304 58.02% 51 9.73%
1916 100 21.10% 335 70.68% 39 8.23%
1912 24 6.82% 241 68.47% 87 24.72%


1948 U.S. Senate election[edit]

Jim Wells County is known as the home of "Box 13", the infamous ballot box that gave Lyndon Baines Johnson an 86-vote edge over popular former governor Coke Stevenson in the Democratic primary election. It was later demonstrated that 200 votes, for Johnson, were "stuffed" into the ballot box after the polls closed.[14] Johnson went on to win the election.

Communities[edit]

Cities[edit]

Village[edit]

Census-designated places[edit]

Unincorporated communities[edit]

Education[edit]

School districts in the county include:

Coastal Bend College (formerly Bee County College) is the designated community college for the county.[15]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Texas: Individual County Chronologies". Texas Atlas of Historical County Boundaries. The Newberry Library. 2008. Retrieved May 24, 2015.
  2. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved May 2, 2015.
  3. ^ "Decennial Census of Population and Housing by Decades". US Census Bureau.
  4. ^ "Texas Almanac: Population History of Counties from 1850–2010" (PDF). Texas Almanac. Retrieved May 2, 2015.
  5. ^ "Jim Wells County, Texas". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved February 23, 2021.
  6. ^ a b "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2020: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Jim Wells County, Texas". United States Census Bureau.
  7. ^ "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2010: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Jim Wells County, Texas". United States Census Bureau.
  8. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  9. ^ Sullivan, Robert David; ‘How the Red and Blue Map Evolved Over the Past Century’; America Magazine in The National Catholic Review; June 29, 2016
  10. ^ Leip, David. "2020 Presidential General Election Results – Texas: Jim Wells County". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved January 17, 2020.
  11. ^ Leip, David. "2018 Gubernatorial General Election Results - Jim Wells County, TX". Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections.
  12. ^ Leip, David. "2018 Senatorial General Election Results - Jim Wells County, TX". Deve Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections.
  13. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved February 21, 2021.
  14. ^ Caro, Robert (1991). The Years of Lyndon Johnson: Means of Ascent. ISBN 067973371X.
  15. ^ Texas Education Code Sec. 130.167. BEE COUNTY COLLEGE DISTRICT SERVICE AREA. The legislation calls it "Bee County College".

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 27°44′N 98°05′W / 27.73°N 98.09°W / 27.73; -98.09