Rockdale, Texas

Coordinates: 30°39′17″N 97°0′27″W / 30.65472°N 97.00750°W / 30.65472; -97.00750
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Rockdale, Texas
Rockdale City Hall
Rockdale City Hall
"Great Things Happen Here"
Location of Rockdale, Texas
Location of Rockdale, Texas
Coordinates: 30°39′17″N 97°0′27″W / 30.65472°N 97.00750°W / 30.65472; -97.00750
CountryUnited States
 • Total4.01 sq mi (10.39 km2)
 • Land4.01 sq mi (10.39 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
Elevation466 ft (142 m)
 • Total5,323
 • Density1,371.29/sq mi (529.42/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code512
FIPS code48-62672[3]
GNIS feature ID1366723[2]
WebsiteCity of Rockdale, Texas
Rockdale welcome sign
Chamber of Commerce building
International-Great Northern Railroad Passenger Depot, now a museum
U.S. 79 is the main street of Rockdale.
Rockdale Police Department
Kay Theater
First Baptist Church of Rockdale

Rockdale is a city in Milam County, Texas, United States. Its population was 5,323 at the 2020 census. It is about 41 miles west of College Station.


Planta y perfil del reducto proyectado en las márgenes del río San Javier, en la provincia de Texas

As passing point of the "Camino Real" and the stablisment of 3 misions in the area, a wooden fort was stablised in the South bank of the San Xavier River, to protect those misions around 1751. The fort was called San Francisco Xavier de Gigedo Presidio.[1][2]

In 1873, the town developed as the International-Great Northern Railroad came through the area. Rockdale was named for a nearby rock that stood 12 feet high and had a circumference of 20 feet. Rockdale was incorporated in 1878.[4]


Rockdale is located at 30°39′17″N 97°0′27″W / 30.65472°N 97.00750°W / 30.65472; -97.00750 (30.654674, –97.007439).[5]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.1 square miles (8.0 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, Rockdale has a humid subtropical climate, Cfa on climate maps.[6]


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[7]
Rockdale racial composition as of 2020[8]
(NH = Non-Hispanic)[a]
Race Number Percentage
White (NH) 2,794 52.49%
Black or African American (NH) 605 11.37%
Native American or Alaska Native (NH) 16 0.3%
Asian (NH) 34 0.64%
Pacific Islander (NH) 3 0.06%
Some Other Race (NH) 29 0.54%
Mixed/Multi-Racial (NH) 156 2.93%
Hispanic or Latino 1,686 31.67%
Total 5,323

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 5,323 people, 2,026 households, and 1,154 families residing in the city.

As of the census[3] of 2017, 5,605 people, 2,088 households, and 1,395 families were residing in the city. The population density was 1,343.3 inhabitants per square mile (518.7/km2). The 2,379 housing units averaged 759.2 per square mile (293.5/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 70.69% White, 14.29% African American, 0.35% Native American, 0.42% Asian, 12.23% from other races, and 2.02% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 21.93% of the population.

Of the 2,077 households, 33.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.9% were married couples living together, 13.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.6% were not families. About 28.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 15.6% 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 3.14.

In the city, the age distribution was 28.5% under 18, 8.2% from 18 to 24, 24.7% from 25 to 44, 19.6% from 45 to 64, and 19.1% who were 65 or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 89.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $34,612, and for a family was $39,491. Males had a median income of $30,758 versus $20,692 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,618. About 13.2% of families and 18.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.7% of those under age 18 and 9.7% of those age 65 or over.


Rockdale was the site of a large Alcoa aluminium smelting facility, which could produce 1.67 million pounds of aluminum per day.[11] The Alcoa plant profoundly changed the city, as noted in a Saturday Evening Post article by Rockdale native George Sessions Perry. Within a few years of its arrival in 1952, Rockdale almost doubled in population, changing in character from a predominantly agricultural economy to one heavily driven by manufacturing jobs.[citation needed] Smelting operations were halted at the Alcoa plant in 2008.[12] The Alcoa plant closed in February 2014 when production at the atomizer ceased.[13]

Rockdale was also the site of the Sandow Power Plant,[14] which closed in 2018.[15][16]

Two cryptocurrency miners, Bitdeer, a division of Bitmain, and Riot Blockchain, formerly known as Bioptix, occupy former Alcoa facilities less than half a mile apart in Rockdale, using electricity transmission lines built to connect smelters to the power plant.[16][17]


The City of Rockdale is served by the Rockdale Independent School District.


  • The Rockdale Reporter
  • KRXT radio

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 7, 2020.
  2. ^ a b U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Rockdale, Texas
  3. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  4. ^ "Rockdale, Tx". Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved August 9, 2012.
  5. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  6. ^ "Rockdale, Texas Köppen Climate Classification". Weatherbase. Retrieved May 12, 2020.
  7. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  8. ^ "Explore Census Data". Retrieved May 24, 2022.
  9. ^[not specific enough to verify]
  10. ^ "About the Hispanic Population and its Origin". Retrieved May 18, 2022.
  11. ^ "Alcoa -- United States". Retrieved May 12, 2020.
  12. ^ "Alcoa stops aluminum production at Texas smelter". Reuters. September 30, 2008. Retrieved October 15, 2017.
  13. ^ "Rockdale Operations atomizer now closed". March 20, 2014. Retrieved October 15, 2017.
  14. ^ "Sandow Power Plant". Luminant. Archived from the original on October 15, 2017.
  15. ^ Mosier, Jeff (October 13, 2017). "Texas' largest power generator speeds up coal's decline with closure of two more plants". Dallas Morning News. Retrieved December 28, 2021.
  16. ^ a b Mershon, Matthew (May 12, 2021). "Rural Texas community tapping old power plant infrastructure to generate new jobs". Spectrum News 1.
  17. ^ Sigalos, MacKenzie (November 3, 2021) [October 31, 2021]. "Two of the biggest bitcoin mining companies in the world are battling it out in a Texas town of 5,600 people". CNBC. Retrieved December 28, 2021.
  18. ^ a b c Waits, Tim (May 3, 2009). "From humble roots to the NFL". Temple Daily Telegram. Retrieved December 29, 2021.
  19. ^ "Biographical Data: Kenneth D. Cockrell" (PDF). NASA. January 2018. Retrieved December 29, 2021.
  20. ^ "Dan Kubiak". Legislative Reference Library of Texas. Retrieved December 29, 2021.
  21. ^ "L.B. Kubiak". Legislative Reference Library of Texas. Retrieved December 29, 2021.
  22. ^ a b "Rockdale TX Sports Hall of Honor". 2007. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016.
  23. ^ "McQuitter calls it quits \date=April 9, 2015". Rockdale Reporter. Archived from the original on March 15, 2016.
  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.[9][10]

External links[edit]