Refugio, Texas

Coordinates: 28°18′21″N 97°16′29″W / 28.30583°N 97.27472°W / 28.30583; -97.27472
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Refugio, Texas
Refugio City Hall
Refugio City Hall
Location of Refugio, Texas
Location of Refugio, Texas
Coordinates: 28°18′21″N 97°16′29″W / 28.30583°N 97.27472°W / 28.30583; -97.27472
CountryUnited States
IncorporatedFebruary 1, 1842[1]
 • Total1.57 sq mi (4.07 km2)
 • Land1.57 sq mi (4.07 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
46 ft (14 m)
 • Total2,890
 • Estimate 
 • Density1,738.08/sq mi (671.00/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code361
FIPS code48-61436[4]
GNIS feature ID1345013[5]

Refugio (/rɪfˈjʊər.i./ rih-FYOOR-ee-oh)[6] is a town in Refugio County, of which it is the county seat, in the U.S. state of Texas. The population was 2,890 as of the 2010 Census.[7] Refugio is the birthplace of Baseball Hall of Fame member Nolan Ryan.


Refugio is located at 28°18′21″N 97°16′29″W / 28.30583°N 97.27472°W / 28.30583; -97.27472 (28.305812, −97.274594).[8] According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 1.6 square miles (4.0 km2), all land.


The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen climate classification, Refugio has a humid subtropical climate, Cfa on climate maps.[9]


Historical population
2019 (est.)2,734[3]−5.4%
U.S. Decennial Census[10]

2020 census[edit]

Refugio racial composition[11]
(NH = Non-Hispanic)[a]
Race Number Percentage
White (NH) 791 29.17%
Black or African American (NH) 298 10.99%
Native American or Alaska Native (NH) 9 0.33%
Asian (NH) 10 0.37%
Some Other Race (NH) 3 0.11%
Mixed/Multi-Racial (NH) 53 1.95%
Hispanic or Latino 1,548 57.08%
Total 2,712

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 2,712 people, 957 households, and 598 families residing in the town.

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[4] of 2000, 2,941 people, 1,128 households, and 788 families resided in the town. The population density was 1,880.7 inhabitants per square mile (726.1/km2). The 1,312 housing units averaged 839.0 per square mile (324.7/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 74.53% White, 13.40% African American, 0.51% Native American, 0.51% Asian, 9.48% from other races, and 1.56% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 44.30% of the population.

Of the 1,128 households, 30.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.5% were married couples living together, 18.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.1% were notfamilies; 27.3% of the households were made up of individuals, and 13.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.55, and the average family size was 3.08.

In the town, the population was distributed as 26.7% under the age of 18, 8.1% from 18 to 24, 25.1% from 25 to 44, 22.5% from 45 to 64, and 17.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 90.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.3 males. The median income for a household in the town was $26,719, and for a family was $32,237. Males had a median income of $33,021 versus $15,549 for females. The per capita income for the town was $13,523. About 16.8% of families and 21.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 26.7% of those under age 18 and 20.9% of those age 65 or over.

Notable people[edit]


The Town of Refugio is served by the Refugio Independent School District.


The 1938 Refugio Oilers played minor league baseball as members of the Class D level Texas Valley League. The Brownsville Charros, Corpus Christi Spudders, Harlingen Hubs, McAllen Packers and Taft Cardinals joined Refugio in the league, which began play on April 14, 1938.[14][15][16][17]

In 1947, future Baseball Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan was born in Refugio, though his family would move to Alvin, Texas, when Ryan was an infant.[18][19]

Hurricane Harvey[edit]

On August 23, 2017, Governor Greg Abbott published an emergency evacuation for the town of Refugio, following his state of emergency announcement on the state of Texas. On August 25, at peak intensity, Hurricane Harvey hit Refugio, causing significant damage to businesses and homes along US-77. Wind speeds were clocked up to 130 mph when the storm hit the town. Many professional storm trackers were storm chasing in Refugio during the peak of the storm, witnessing and documenting the experience. Several businesses in Refugio closed permanently in the aftermath of Harvey, and the town was without utilities for months.


  1. ^ "An Act to Incorporate the Town of Refugio". Session Laws. Texas. 1842. p. 86.
  2. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 7, 2020.
  3. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  4. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  5. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. October 25, 2007. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  6. ^ "A Comprehensive List of How Texans Mispronounce Places with Spanish Names". November 28, 2017.
  7. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  8. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  9. ^ Climate Summary for Refugio, Texas
  10. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  11. ^ "Explore Census Data". Retrieved May 21, 2022.
  12. ^[not specific enough to verify]
  13. ^ "About the Hispanic Population and its Origin". Retrieved May 18, 2022.
  14. ^ The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball. Lloyd Johnson & Miles Wolff, editors (Third ed.). Baseball America. 2007. ISBN 978-1932391176.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  15. ^ "1938 Texas Valley League (TVL) minor league baseball on".
  16. ^ "1938 Texas Valley League".
  17. ^ Presswood, Mark (2009). "The Minor League in Texas: Professional Baseball Had an Early Start in Small Towns" (PDF). Texas Almanac 2008–2009: 180–191.
  18. ^ "Ryan". Texas State History Museum Foundation.
  19. ^ Baseball, This Day in (January 31, 1947). "Nolan Ryan is born in Refugio, Texas".
  1. ^ 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.[12][13]