Matagorda County, Texas
Matagorda County is a county located in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 36,702. Its county seat is Bay City, 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").
The Matagorda County Courthouse and Confederate Soldier Statue in Bay City
Location within the U.S. state of Texas
Texas's location within the U.S.
|Coordinates: 28°47′N 96°00′W|
|Largest city||Bay City|
|• Total||1,613 sq mi (4,180 km2)|
|• Land||1,100 sq mi (3,000 km2)|
|• Water||512 sq mi (1,330 km2) 32%%|
|• Density||33/sq mi (13/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−6 (Central)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−5 (CDT)|
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) is land and 512 square miles (1,330 km2) (32%) is water. The water area includes Matagorda Bay. It borders the Gulf of Mexico.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2000, there were 37,957 people, 13,901 households, and 9,925 families residing in the county. The population density was 34 people per square mile (13/km²). There were 18,611 housing units at an average density of 17 per square mile (6/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 67.83% White, 12.72% Black or African American, 0.67% Native American, 2.38% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 13.98% from other races, and 2.38% from two or more races. 31.35% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 10.3% were of German, 8.2% American, 5.4% English and 5.2% Irish ancestry according to Census 2000. 73.9% spoke English, 24.0% Spanish and 1.6% Vietnamese as their first language.
There were 13,901 households out of which 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 non-families. 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 population was spread out with 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 the median income 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.
Rice is grown extensively in Matagorda County, as well as St. Augustine and other turf grass. 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 & offshore), hunting and scuba diving are large parts of the recreation industry due to the Colorado river, the forests and Matagorda bay. As well as having the Rio Colorado Golf Course and a birdwatching park on the Colorado River near the State Highway 35 bridge, there are a significant number of wildlife preserves 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.
School districts serving Matagorda County include:
- "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on August 13, 2011. Retrieved December 21, 2013.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
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- "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 4, 2015.
- "Texas Almanac: Population History of Counties from 1850–2010" (PDF). Texas Almanac. Retrieved May 4, 2015.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14.
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