Starr County, Texas
The Starr County Courthouse in Rio Grande City
Location within the U.S. state of Texas
Texas's location within the U.S.
|Named for||James Harper Starr|
|Seat||Rio Grande City|
|Largest city||Rio Grande City|
|• Sheriff||Rene "Orta" Fuentes|
|• Total||1,229 sq mi (3,180 km2)|
|• Land||1,223 sq mi (3,170 km2)|
|• Water||88.5 sq mi (229 km2) 0.5%%|
|• Density||50/sq mi (20/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−6 (Central)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−5 (CDT)|
Starr County is located in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, its population was 60,968. Its county seat is Rio Grande City. The county was created in 1848. It is named for James Harper Starr, who served as Secretary of the Treasury of the Republic of Texas.
Starr County comprises the Rio Grande City, TX Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included other small cities as well, which itself is part of the larger Rio Grande Valley region. It is northeast from the Mexican border.
From 2000 to 2010 the population of Starr County increased from 53,597 to 60,968.
Adjacent counties and municipalities
- Jim Hogg County (north)
- Brooks County (northeast)
- Hidalgo County (east)
- Zapata County (west)
- Camargo Municipality, Tamaulipas, Mexico (south)
- Guerrero, Tamaulipas, Mexico (southwest)
- Gustavo Díaz Ordaz, Tamaulipas, Tamaulipas, Mexico (south)
- Mier Municipality, Tamaulipas, Mexico (southwest)
- Miguel Alemán Municipality, Tamaulipas, Mexico (southwest)
National protected area
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 60,968 people living in the county. 0.4% were Non-Hispanic White, 0.2% Asian, 0.1% Native American, 0.1% Black or African American, 3.0% of some other race and 0.5% of two or more races. 95.7% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race). According to the Census Bureau, Starr County had the highest percentage of Hispanic residents of any county in the United States, and the lowest percentage of non-Hispanic white residents.
As of the census of 2000, there were 53,597 people, 14,410 households, and 12,666 families living in the county. The population density was 44 people per square mile (17/km2). There were 17,589 housing units at an average density of 14 per square mile (6/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 87.92% White, 0.15% Black or African American, 0.25% Native American, 0.28% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 9.91% from other races, and 1.46% from two or more races.
There were 14,410 households, out of which 54.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 66.50% were married couples living together, 17.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 12.10% were non-families. 11.30% of all households were made up of individuals, and 5.90% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.69 and the average family size was 4.01.
In the county, the population was spread out, with 37.40% under the age of 18, 11.00% from 18 to 24, 27.10% from 25 to 44, 16.30% from 45 to 64, and 8.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 26 years. For every 100 females there were 94.20 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.10 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $16,504, and the median income for a family was $17,556. Males had a median income of $17,398 versus $13,533 for females. The per capita income for the county was $7,069, which is the third-lowest in the United States. About 47.40% of families and 50.90% of the population were below the poverty line, including 59.40% of those under age 18 and 43.30% of those age 65 or over.
As of 2009 the median household income was $22,418.
In the 1970s and into the 1980s, federal law enforcement officials concentrated their anti-drug smuggling efforts on Starr County.
In April 2016, Starr County Justice of the Peace Salvador Zarate Jr., faced up to twenty years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine on two counts of bribery for accepting a $500 bribe in exchange for reducing bond on two persons arrested on narcotics charges in an incident on Christmas Eve 2014. He was found not guilty of possession of a controlled substance. Zarate is expected to appeal any sentence rendered.
Starr County has long been a strongly Democratic county but suffers from low voter turnout with only approximately twenty percent of its 53,000 residents voting. No Republican has won the county for president since incumbent Benjamin Harrison in 1892 – as of 2020 Starr has the longest streak of voting for Democrats in the entire country. Its streak is currently almost triple the length of Minnesota's Democratic streak, which began in 1976, as of 2016. In 1988 the county gave Michael Dukakis his highest percentage in the nation. Starr County is one of only 17 counties in Texas that gave the majority of their votes to Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, who received 7,199 votes (74 percent) while George W. Bush received 2,552 votes (26 percent). In 2008, Illinois Senator Barack H. Obama won Starr County with 8,233 votes (84 percent). Arizona Republican Senator John McCain received 1,488 votes (15 percent). In 2020, Donald Trump came within five points of winning the county, receiving 8,224 votes (47 percent) to Joe Biden's 9,099 (52 percent). This was a major shift from Hillary Clinton's 60-point margin of victory four years earlier. This happened even as Biden received roughly the same number of votes as Hillary Clinton, who won the county in a landslide.
Residents of eastern Starr County are zoned to schools in the Rio Grande City Consolidated Independent School District. Immaculate Conception School, located in Rio Grande City and founded in 1884, is the only Catholic school in Starr County and provides a faith-based pre-K through eighth-grade education to approximately 250 students each year.
Residents of western Starr County are zoned to schools in the Roma Independent School District.
Residents of northeastern Starr County are zoned to schools in the San Isidro Independent School District.
South Texas College Founded in 1993, South Texas College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award baccalaureate and associate degrees. More than 29,000 students attend STC and a faculty and staff of more than 1,600 serve STC's five campuses, including a full-service campus located in Rio Grande City in Starr County. The county holds one seat on the college's seven member Board of Directors. The seat is currently filled by Rose Benavidez.
The college offers more than 100 degree and certificate program options, including associate degrees in a variety of art, science, technology, allied health and advanced manufacturing fields of study. The college also offers eight online associate degrees options.
STC offers a Bachelor of Applied Technology (BAT) degree in Technology Management, as well as a Bachelor of Applied Technology in Computer and Information Technologies. The college is one of only three Texas community colleges accredited to offer a BAT degree and the only community college in Texas accredited to offer two bachelor's degrees.
STC has instituted a variety of dual enrollment programs, including early college high schools, drop-out recovery programs and other unique initiatives with high schools throughout Hidalgo and Starr counties. The programs allow eligible students to take college courses while attending high school. Combined, more than 8,000 students are currently enrolled in these programs.
The college has also developed two intensive academic programs for students interested in pursuing degrees in the medical and engineering fields. The Dual Enrollment Medical Science Academy and the Dual Enrollment Engineering Academy consist of concentrated two-year programs of study and internship opportunities for qualified students to pursue an Associate of Science degree during their junior and senior years in high school.
The program provides opportunities for lifelong learners who want to upgrade their skills, change careers, renew licenses and certifications, or seek personal enrichment.
Between the 2000 and 2010 census Starr County went through many changes. Four CDPs were deleted, one gained area, twelve lost area and ninety-two new CDPs were created. Only eleven remained unchanged.
- Airport Heights
- Alto Bonito Heights
- Amada Acres
- B and E
- Benjamin Perez
- Buena Vista
- Campo Verde
- Casa Blanca
- East Alto Bonito
- East Lopez
- El Brazil
- El Castillo
- El Cenizo
- El Chaparral
- El Mesquite
- El Quiote
- El Rancho Vela
- El Refugio
- El Socio
- Elias-Fela Solis
- Escobar I (former)
- Eugenio Saenz
- Falcon Heights
- Falcon Village
- Fernando Salinas
- Flor del Rio
- Fronton Ranchettes
- Garza-Salinas II
- H. Cuellar Estates
- Jardin de San Julian
- JF Villarreal
- La Carla
- La Casita
- La Chuparosa
- La Escondida
- La Esperanza
- La Loma de Falcon
- La Minita
- La Paloma Ranchettes
- La Puerta
- La Rosita
- La Victoria
- Lago Vista
- Las Lomas
- Loma Linda East
- Loma Linda West
- Loma Vista
- Los Alvarez
- Los Arrieros
- Los Barreras
- Los Ebanos
- Manuel Garcia
- Manuel Garcia II
- Mi Ranchito Estate
- Miguel Barrera
- Narciso Pena
- North Escobares
- Old Escobares (former)
- Olivia Lopez de Gutierrez
- Olmito and Olmito
- Pablo Pena
- Palo Blanco
- Rafael Pena
- Ranchitos del Norte
- Rancho Viejo
- Regino Ramirez
- Rivera (former)
- Roma Creek
- Salineño North
- Sammy Martinez
- San Fernando
- San Isidro
- San Juan
- Santa Anna
- Santa Cruz
- Santa Rosa
- Tierra Dorada
- Valle Hermoso
- Valle Vista
- Victoria Vera
- West Alto Bonito
Other unincorporated communities
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Starr County, Texas
- Recorded Texas Historic Landmarks in Starr County
- "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on October 18, 2011. Retrieved December 24, 2013.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on 2011-05-31. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- "Texas: Individual County Chronologies". Texas Atlas of Historical County Boundaries. The Newberry Library. 2008. Archived from the original on May 13, 2015. Retrieved May 26, 2015.
- Grinberg, Emmanuella. "Impoverished border town grows from shacks into community Archived 2012-11-10 at the Wayback Machine." CNN. July 8, 2011. Retrieved on July 9, 2011.
- "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Archived from the original on April 19, 2015. Retrieved May 10, 2015.
- "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
- "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 10, 2015.
- "Texas Almanac: Population History of Counties from 1850–2010" (PDF). Texas Almanac. Archived (PDF) from the original on February 26, 2015. Retrieved May 10, 2015.
- Villarreal, Alexandra (2020-07-10). "Texas border county had 'model' Covid-19 response – then the governor stepped in". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2020-07-10.
- Census Bureau data, cited in "Minorities now in the majority in nearly 10% of U.S. counties", Associated Press August 8, 2007, Lexington Herald-Leader p A8
- "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14.
- Miller, Tom. On the Border: Portraits of America’s Southwestern Frontier, pp. 27-34.
- "通博娱乐 官网". www.poligazette.com. Archived from the original on 2009-05-26.
- Aaron Nelsen, "Star County JP faces jail for bribery", San Antonio Express-News, April 16, 2016, p. A7
- "Presidential election of 1892 - Map by counties". geoelections.free.fr. Archived from the original on 2006-03-07.
- "David Leip's Presidential Atlas (1988 election statistics)". uselectionatlas.org. Archived from the original on 2008-11-26.
- "Texas Election Night Results". Texas Election Results. Texas Secretary of State. Retrieved 7 November 2020.
- "President Donald J. Trump nearly wins Starr County". KRGV.com. Mobile Video Tapes, Inc. Retrieved 7 November 2020.
- Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Archived from the original on 2018-03-23.
- "Population and Housing Unit Counts, 2010 Census of Population and Housing" (PDF). Texas: 2010. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2017-02-13.
- Starr County Government
- Starr County in Handbook of Texas Online at the University of Texas
- Starr County Profile from the Texas Association of Counties