Orange County, Texas

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Orange County
The Orange County Courthouse in Orange
The Orange County Courthouse in Orange
Flag of Orange County
Official seal of Orange County
Map of Texas highlighting Orange 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°08′N 93°53′W / 30.13°N 93.89°W / 30.13; -93.89
Country United States
State Texas
FoundedJanuary 5, 1852
Named forOrange fruit
SeatOrange
Largest cityOrange
Area
 • Total380 sq mi (1,000 km2)
 • Land334 sq mi (870 km2)
 • Water46 sq mi (120 km2)  12%%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total84,808
 • Density220/sq mi (86/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district36th
Websitewww.co.orange.tx.us

Orange County is a county located in the very southeastern corner of the U.S. state of Texas, sharing a boundary with Louisiana, within the Golden Triangle of Texas. As of the 2020 census, its population was 84,808.[1] The county seat is the city of Orange,[2] and it falls within the Beaumont–Port Arthur metropolitan area.

History[edit]

Orange County was formed in 1852 from portions of Jefferson County.[3] It was named after the orange fruit, the common citrus fruit grown by the early settlers of this county near the mouth of the Sabine River.[4] Due to periodic spells of quite cold winter weather (frosts) in Orange County, it is no longer the home of orange trees and citrus orchards. The production of those fruits in Texas long ago was moved a long way southwest into the Rio Grande Valley, where the weather is almost always warm all winter long. Citrus trees produce their fruit in the wintertime, which makes them especially vulnerable to frost and icy weather.

A similar thing has happened in Florida, where orchards of citrus trees no longer exist in either Citrus County or Orange County because of bad winter freezes in some years. In both Florida and Texas, the citrus agriculture has been moved farther south in search of milder winters, and away from the periodic frosts.

During World War II, Orange County was the home of a large amount of shipbuilding for the navies the United States and allied countries. The major shipbuilder, Consolidated Steel Corporation, was located in the town of Orange, and among the warships that it built were the USS Aulick (DD-569) (1942), the first warship built there, the USS Pope (DE-134) (1943), and the USS Carpenter (DD-825) (1945–46), the last warship built there. During the war, the Consolidate Steel Corporation employed as many as 20,000 people at its shipyard in Orange.

Geography[edit]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 380 sq mi (980 km2), of which 334 sq mi (870 km2) are land and 46 sq mi (120 km2) (12%) are covered by water.[5]

Orange County is bordered on its east by the Sabine River, on its southeast by Sabine Lake, and on the northwest by the Neches River.

The geography of Orange County varies relatively little, with an elevation that reaches 33 ft (10 m) above sea level at very few points within the county. Orange County is very flat, and its soil is quite sandy, as could be expected in a county along the Gulf of Mexico. (Sandy soil is also common in southern Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, and in western and southern Florida.) Saltwater marshes occur in much of the southeastern part of Orange County that borders the Sabine River. The Piney Woods are in the northern part of the county.

Adjacent counties and parishes[edit]

National protected area[edit]

Communities[edit]

Cities[edit]

Census-designated place[edit]

Unincorporated communities[edit]

Ghost towns[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
18601,916
18701,255−34.5%
18802,938134.1%
18904,77062.4%
19005,90523.8%
19109,52861.4%
192015,37961.4%
193015,149−1.5%
194017,38214.7%
195040,567133.4%
196060,35748.8%
197071,17017.9%
198083,83817.8%
199080,509−4.0%
200084,9665.5%
201081,837−3.7%
202084,8083.6%
U.S. Decennial Census[6]
1850–2010[7] 2010–2020[8]
Orange County, Texas - Demographic Profile
(NH = Non-Hispanic)
Race / Ethnicity Pop 2010[9] Pop 2020[8] % 2010 % 2020
White alone (NH) 67,895 64,935 82.96% 76.57%
Black or African American alone (NH) 6,922 7,981 8.46% 9.41%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH) 340 343 0.42% 0.40%
Asian alone (NH) 797 1,108 0.97% 1.31%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 38 13 0.05% 0.02%
Some Other Race alone (NH) 73 196 0.09% 0.23%
Mixed Race/Multi-Racial (NH) 1,006 2,967 1.23% 3.50%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 4,766 7,265 5.82% 8.57%
Total 81,837 84,808 100.00% 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 2000, 84,966 people, 31,642 households, and 23,794 families resided in the county. The population density was 238 people per square mile (92/km2). The 34,781 housing units averaged 98 per mi2 (38/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 87.98% White, 8.38% African American, 0.56% Native American, 0.78% Asian, 1.15% from other races, and 1.15% from two or more races. About 3.62% of the population was Hispanic or Latino of any race.

Of the 31,642 households, 35.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.80% were married couples living together, 12.10% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.80% were not families. About 21.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.30% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.65 and the average family size was 3.08.

In the county, the population was distributed as 27.30% under the age of 18, 8.70% from 18 to 24, 28.10% from 25 to 44, 23.20% from 45 to 64, and 12.70% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 96.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.60 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $37,586, and for a family was $44,152. Males had a median income of $40,185 versus $21,859 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,554. About 11.40% of families and 13.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.50% of those under age 18 and 12.40% of those age 65 or over.

Government[edit]

The Orange County Courthouse serves as the court for the region. Republican County Judge John Gothia[11] presides over the five-member Orange County Commissioners' Court.

Orange County lies in Texas House District 21, represented beginning in 2015 by Republican Dade Phelan of Beaumont.

United States Congress[edit]

Senators Name Party First Elected Level
  Senate Class 1 John Cornyn Republican 2002 Senior Senator
  Senate Class 2 Ted Cruz Republican 2012 Junior Senator
Representatives Name Party First Elected Area(s) of Orange County Represented
  District 36 Brian Babin Republican New district created with 2010 census. First elected 2014. Entire county

Politics[edit]

United States presidential election results for Orange County, Texas[12]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 29,186 81.09% 6,357 17.66% 451 1.25%
2016 25,513 79.73% 5,735 17.92% 752 2.35%
2012 23,366 76.12% 6,800 22.15% 529 1.72%
2008 21,509 73.14% 7,646 26.00% 251 0.85%
2004 20,292 63.60% 11,476 35.97% 140 0.44%
2000 17,325 58.42% 11,887 40.09% 442 1.49%
1996 12,560 42.85% 13,741 46.88% 3,010 10.27%
1992 9,793 30.14% 15,305 47.11% 7,392 22.75%
1988 11,959 39.99% 17,834 59.63% 115 0.38%
1984 15,386 47.63% 16,816 52.06% 101 0.31%
1980 12,389 44.43% 14,928 53.53% 570 2.04%
1976 9,147 37.36% 15,177 61.99% 160 0.65%
1972 13,234 64.63% 7,172 35.02% 72 0.35%
1968 5,886 27.74% 6,485 30.57% 8,845 41.69%
1964 6,216 39.73% 9,390 60.02% 39 0.25%
1960 5,483 37.46% 9,078 62.02% 76 0.52%
1956 5,501 47.99% 5,910 51.56% 51 0.44%
1952 4,491 41.15% 6,403 58.67% 19 0.17%
1948 987 14.49% 4,957 72.76% 869 12.76%
1944 910 15.58% 4,500 77.05% 430 7.36%
1940 358 10.60% 3,011 89.19% 7 0.21%
1936 190 7.66% 2,281 92.01% 8 0.32%
1932 244 7.93% 2,830 91.94% 4 0.13%
1928 919 42.43% 1,247 57.57% 0 0.00%
1924 509 26.33% 1,385 71.65% 39 2.02%
1920 121 9.34% 1,055 81.47% 119 9.19%
1916 92 10.42% 758 85.84% 33 3.74%
1912 22 3.32% 549 82.81% 92 13.88%

Economy[edit]

Primary economic activities in Orange County are the petroleum refining industry, paper milling, rice farming, and shrimping.

Orange County was formerly a center for the building of warships, and a large U.S. Navy ghost fleet (reserve fleet) still exists in Jefferson County - from which currently, many old warships are being cleaned of water pollution sources and then scrapped for their metals, thus employment for residents of Orange County in shipbreaking.

Newspapers published in the county include the twice-weekly Orange Leader and weeklies including the Bridge City-based Penny Record, County Record, and Vidor Vidorian.

Transportation[edit]

Orange County's eastern county line borders the state of Louisiana, as seen from Interstate 10

Airports[edit]

Orange County Airport operates general-aviation flights.

Nearby Southeast Texas Regional Airport (Port Arthur) operates commercial flights.

Major highways[edit]

Education[edit]

The county is served by five school districts:[13] Bridge City ISD, Little Cypress-Mauriceville Consolidated ISD, Orangefield ISD, Vidor ISD, and West Orange-Cove Consolidated ISD.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Orange County, Texas". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 30, 2022.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 3, 2015. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ Handbook of Texas Online - ORANGE COUNTY
  4. ^ History of Orange, TX Archived 2008-01-18 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved May 5, 2015.
  6. ^ "Decennial Census of Population and Housing by Decades". US Census Bureau.
  7. ^ "Texas Almanac: Population History of Counties from 1850–2010" (PDF). Texas Almanac. Retrieved May 5, 2015.
  8. ^ a b "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2020: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Orange County, Texas". United States Census Bureau.
  9. ^ "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2010: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Orange County, Texas". United States Census Bureau.
  10. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  11. ^ "Welcome to the Official Website of Orange County, Texas - County Judge".
  12. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved July 28, 2018.
  13. ^ Agency, Texas Education (February 12, 2009). "School District Locator: Accessible Version". Archived from the original on December 10, 2006. Retrieved May 30, 2009.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 30°08′N 93°53′W / 30.13°N 93.89°W / 30.13; -93.89