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Matagorda County, Texas

Matagorda County, TexasDescription : Matagorda County (/ˈmætəˈɡɔərdə/) 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").Matagorda County comprises the Bay City, TX Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the Houston-The Woodlands, TX Co... Page:m

Matagorda County, Texas
Matagorda County Texas Courthouse 2016.jpg
The Matagorda County Courthouse in Bay City
Map of Texas highlighting Matagorda County
Location in the U.S. state of Texas
Map of the United States highlighting Texas
Texas's location in the U.S.
Founded1836
SeatBay City
Largest cityBay City
Area
 • Total1,613 sq mi (4,178 km)
 • Land1,100 sq mi (2,849 km)
 • Water512 sq mi (1,326 km), 32%
Population
 • (2010)36,702
 • Density33/sq mi (13/km²)
Congressional district27th
Time zoneCentral: UTC-6/-5
Websitewww.co.matagorda.tx.us
Matagorda County Office Building

Matagorda County (Listen/ˈmætəˈɡɔərdə/) 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").

Matagorda County comprises the Bay City, TX Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the Houston-The Woodlands, TX Combined Statistical Area.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,613 square miles (4,180 km), of which 1,100 square miles (2,800 km) is land and 512 square miles (1,330 km) (32%) is water. The water area includes Matagorda Bay. It borders the Gulf of Mexico.

Major highways

  • Texas 35.svg State Highway 35
  • Texas 60.svg State Highway 60
  • Texas 71.svg State Highway 71
  • Texas 111.svg State Highway 111

Adjacent counties

  • Brazoria County (northeast)
  • Calhoun County (southwest)
  • Jackson County (west)
  • Wharton County (northwest)

National protected areas

  • Big Boggy National Wildlife Refuge
  • San Bernard National Wildlife Refuge (part)

Demographics

Historical population
CensusPop.
18502,124
18603,45462.6%
18703,377−2.2%
18803,94016.7%
18903,9851.1%
19006,09753.0%
191013,597123.0%
192016,58922.0%
193017,6786.6%
194020,06613.5%
195021,5597.4%
196025,74419.4%
197027,9138.4%
198037,82835.5%
199036,928−2.4%
200037,9572.8%
201036,702−3.3%
Est. 201536,7700.2%
U.S. Decennial Census
1850–2010 2010–2014

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.

Economy

The Matagorda County Museum in Bay City is located across from the Court House.

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.

Education

School districts serving Matagorda County include:

  • Bay City Independent School District
  • Boling Independent School District (partial)
  • Matagorda Independent School District
  • Palacios Independent School District (partial)
  • Tidehaven Independent School District
  • Van Vleck Independent School District

Communities

Cities

  • Bay City (county seat)
  • Palacios

Census-designated places

  • Blessing
  • Markham
  • Matagorda
  • Van Vleck

Unincorporated communities

  • Allenhurst
  • Buckeye
  • Caney
  • Cedar Lake
  • Cedar Lane
  • Collegeport
  • El Maton
  • Hawkinsville
  • Midfield
  • Pledger
  • Sargent
  • Wadsworth

Notable people

  • Hortense Sparks Ward

Gallery

  • Monument erected by the Daughters of the Confederacy on the Matagorda County Courthouse square in Bay City in 1913.

  • Episcopal Church, Palacios

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