Matagorda County, Texas

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Matagorda County
The Matagorda County Courthouse and Confederate Soldier Statue in Bay City
The Matagorda County Courthouse and Confederate Soldier Statue in Bay City
Map of Texas highlighting Matagorda County
Location within the U.S. state of Texas
Map of the United States highlighting Texas
Texas's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 28°47′N 96°00′W / 28.78°N 96°W / 28.78; -96
Country United States
State Texas
Founded1836
SeatBay City
Largest cityBay City
Area
 • Total1,613 sq mi (4,180 km2)
 • Land1,100 sq mi (3,000 km2)
 • Water512 sq mi (1,330 km2)  32%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total36,255
 • Density22/sq mi (8.7/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district27th
Websitewww.co.matagorda.tx.us
Matagorda County Office Building

Matagorda County is a county located in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2020 census, the population was 36,255.[1] Its county seat is Bay City,[2] 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.

Geography[edit]

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) are land and 512 square miles (1,330 km2) (32%) are covered by water.[3] The water area includes Matagorda Bay. It borders the Gulf of Mexico.

Major highways[edit]

Adjacent counties[edit]

National protected areas[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
18502,124
18603,45462.6%
18703,377−2.2%
18803,94016.7%
18903,9851.1%
19006,09753.0%
191013,597123.0%
192016,58922.0%
193017,6786.6%
194020,06613.5%
195021,5597.4%
196025,74419.4%
197027,9138.4%
198037,82835.5%
199036,928−2.4%
200037,9572.8%
201036,702−3.3%
202036,255−1.2%
U.S. Decennial Census[4]
1850–2010[5] 2010[6] 2020[7]
Matagorda County, Texas - Demographic Profile
(NH = Non-Hispanic)
Race / Ethnicity Pop 2010[6] Pop 2020[7] % 2010 % 2020
White alone (NH) 17,400 15,355 47.41% 42.35%
Black or African American alone (NH) 4,060 3,734 11.06% 10.30%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH) 104 99 0.28% 0.27%
Asian alone (NH) 693 700 1.89% 1.93%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 7 7 0.02% 0.02%
Some Other Race alone (NH) 33 103 0.09% 0.28%
Mixed Race/Multi-Racial (NH) 331 802 0.90% 2.21%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 14,074 15,455 38.35% 42.63%
Total 36,702 36,255 100.00% 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[8] of 2000, 37,957 people, 13,901 households, and 9,925 families were residing in the county. The population density was 34 people per square mile (13/km2). The 18,611 housing units averaged 17 per mi2 (6/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 67.83% White, 12.72% African American, 0.67% Native American, 2.38% Asian, 14.02% from other races, and 2.38% from two or more races. About 31.35% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. By ancestry, 10.3% were of German, 8.2% American, 5.4% English, and 5.2% Irish according to Census 2000, and 73.9% spoke English, 24.0% Spanish, and 1.6% Vietnamese as their first language.

Of the 13,901 households, 36.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.80% were married couples living together, 12.70% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.60% were not families. About 25.10% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.70, and the average family size was 3.25.

In the county, the age distribution was 30.00% under the age of 18, 8.90% from 18 to 24, 26.90% from 25 to 44, 21.80% from 45 to 64, and 12.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 98.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.50 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $32,174, and for a family was $40,586. Males had a median income of $37,733 versus $21,871 for females. The per capita income for the county was $15,709. About 14.90% of families and 18.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 23.00% of those under age 18 and 13.60% of those age 65 or over.

Economy[edit]

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

Rice is grown extensively in Matagorda County, as are St. Augustine and other turf grasses. 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- and offshore), hunting, and scuba diving are large parts of the recreation industry due to the Colorado River, the forests and Matagorda Bay. The Rio Colorado Golf Course and a birdwatching park are on the Colorado River near the State Highway 35 bridge, and a significant number of wildlife preserves are located 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.

Education[edit]

School districts serving Matagorda County include:

Communities[edit]

Cities[edit]

Census-designated places[edit]

Unincorporated communities[edit]

Ghost towns[edit]

Notable people[edit]

Gallery[edit]

Politics[edit]

United States presidential election results for Matagorda County, Texas[12]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 9,845 71.72% 3,733 27.19% 149 1.09%
2016 8,366 68.60% 3,500 28.70% 330 2.71%
2012 8,040 66.27% 3,980 32.80% 113 0.93%
2008 7,835 63.32% 4,440 35.88% 98 0.79%
2004 8,119 64.84% 4,355 34.78% 47 0.38%
2000 7,584 60.87% 4,696 37.69% 179 1.44%
1996 5,876 47.03% 5,374 43.01% 1,244 9.96%
1992 5,328 40.47% 4,759 36.15% 3,078 23.38%
1988 6,787 54.01% 5,675 45.16% 104 0.83%
1984 8,452 61.72% 5,201 37.98% 41 0.30%
1980 5,545 53.41% 4,585 44.16% 252 2.43%
1976 3,679 42.14% 4,971 56.94% 81 0.93%
1972 5,003 66.75% 2,473 33.00% 19 0.25%
1968 3,094 36.55% 3,595 42.46% 1,777 20.99%
1964 2,407 36.72% 4,143 63.20% 5 0.08%
1960 2,975 49.60% 2,971 49.53% 52 0.87%
1956 3,927 66.46% 1,904 32.22% 78 1.32%
1952 4,122 66.23% 2,101 33.76% 1 0.02%
1948 1,016 30.80% 1,628 49.35% 655 19.85%
1944 412 13.43% 1,854 60.45% 801 26.12%
1940 651 23.14% 2,156 76.64% 6 0.21%
1936 459 21.21% 1,700 78.56% 5 0.23%
1932 408 16.58% 2,039 82.85% 14 0.57%
1928 1,194 58.85% 829 40.86% 6 0.30%
1924 893 37.62% 1,353 56.99% 128 5.39%
1920 918 43.90% 992 47.44% 181 8.66%
1916 252 23.10% 748 68.56% 91 8.34%
1912 107 9.64% 710 63.96% 293 26.40%

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Matagorda County, Texas". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved February 23, 2021.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved May 4, 2015.
  4. ^ "Decennial Census of Population and Housing by Decades". US Census Bureau.
  5. ^ "Texas Almanac: Population History of Counties from 1850–2010" (PDF). Texas Almanac. Archived (PDF) from the original on October 9, 2022. Retrieved May 4, 2015.
  6. ^ a b "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2010: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Matagorda County, Texas". United States Census Bureau.
  7. ^ a b "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2020: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Matagorda County, Texas". United States Census Bureau.
  8. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  9. ^ JENKINS, RACHEL (June 15, 2010). "HAWLEY, TX". tshaonline.org. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  10. ^ Lewis, Frank Hawkins (February 1979). "Evolution of an Early Texas Ranch". Rangelands. 1 (1): 6–8. JSTOR 3900331.
  11. ^ https://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/commentary/2019/02/23/was-craig-watkins-the-first-black-da-in-texas-historians-find-evidence-of-another/
  12. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org.

External links[edit]

Media related to Matagorda County, Texas at Wikimedia Commons

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