When you hear the word Texas, you may automatically think about barbeque and cowboys. As the second-largest state in the US, Texas offers a picture-perfect example of Southern life. However, it still has a few tricks up its sleeve. For one, Texas also introduced many firsts in the world, such as the first frozen margarita machine. Aside from its cooking and Southern accents, there’s still a lot more to learn about this rural state. Find out more about the Lone Star State with these Texas facts.
- Texas is the 28th state of the United States.
- It became a state on December 29, 1845.
- Texas is the United States’ 2nd biggest state after Alaska.
- Texas’ land area measures about 676,587 sq km.
- The average life expectancy in this state is 78.5 years.
- Texas’ nickname is “The Lone Star State.”
- The nickname ‘Lone Star State’ represents its former status as an independent republic.
- Its nickname also has a sentimental value in its history where Texas struggled for independence from Mexico.
- Texas’ biggest city is Houston.
- As of the year 2020, its population is close to 30 million.
- Texas is the 2nd most populated state in the United States after California.
- People from Texas are called ‘Texans’ or ‘Texians.’
- Texas has over 1,200 cities with 254 counties.
- Texas has over 2,300 special districts and 1,000 independent school districts.
- www.texas.gov is the official website of Texas.
- Currently, Texas has no official language.
- The most spoken language in Texas is English and Spanish.
- ‘Chili’ or ‘Chili Con Carne’ became the official state dish of Texas since 1977.
- The first frozen margarita machine in the world was made in Texas.
- Rodeo became the state sport of Texas in 1997.
The German and Czech settlers first brought BBQ to Texas.
More than anything else, Texas has a worldwide reputation for its barbeque. In terms of cooking, Texan BBQ is one of the highlights of Texan cuisine. Introduced by German and Czech settlers, the meat smoking tradition spread throughout Texas during the 1860s.
The first frozen margarita machine was developed in Texas.
Getting the idea from 7-Eleven’s Slurpee, restaurant owner Mariano Martinez invented the first frozen margarita machine in 1971. After tweaking a soft serve machine, Martinez named it “The World’s First Frozen Margarita Machine.” Today, the machine features as part of an exhibit for the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.
Around 70% of Texans speak English at home.
The Lone Star State has around 7 million residents fluent in Spanish, followed by 200,000 Vietnamese speakers and 140,000 fluent in Chinese. A smaller minority of around 80,000 to 50,000 speak German, French, Hindi, and Urdu, among other languages. However, approximately 70% of Texas’ residents speak English at home, while only 30% speaks other languages.
Protestantism and Catholicism are Texas' most dominant religions.
With half of its population practicing Protestantism, Texas is one of the most religious states in the United States. This is followed by 23% practicing Catholicism, while 9% are divided into Mormons, Jews, Buddhists, Hindu, and Muslim. Meanwhile, the remaining 18% have no religious affiliation.
Its state bird is the northern mockingbird.
Declared as the Texas state bird in 1927, the northern mockingbird can be found all over the state, save for the high mountains and deep forests. Additionally, the northern mockingbird is the only mockingbird that is common to North America.
Texas has 4 major physical regions.
As the second-biggest state in the US, Texas has many distinct regions. However, the Lone Star State has 4 major physical areas: the Basin and Range Province, Great Plains, Gulf Coastal Plains, and Interior Lowlands.
Texas has 3 teams in the NBA.
With three official teams, Texas only follows California as the state with the most NBA teams. Currently, Texas houses the Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets, and the San Antonio Spurs. How’s that for sport Texas facts?
The Spurs have won 5 NBA titles.
Founded in 1976, San Antonio Spurs has won 5 NBA championships from 1999 to 2019. With that feat, st is now one of the most successful teams in the history of the NBA. Some of the most notable players from the Spurs are Tim Duncan, Manu Ginóbili, Tony Parker, and Kawhi Leonard.
A Houston Rockets member became a back-to-back NBA Champion in 1994 and 1995.
Since its establishment in 1971, the Houston Rockets has won 2 NBA championships. Similarly, center player Hakeem “The Dream” Olajuwon became the finals MVP in 1994 and 1995.
All of the 3 NBA teams from Texas has won the NBA Finals.
Arguably an underdog team throughout its run, the Dallas Mavericks got their first win when they defeated the Miami Heat for the NBA title in 2011. With this victory, the Mavericks also made history for Texas as a whole, securing an NBA title for all of its official teams.
The Texas Rangers baseball team first played in Texas in 1972.
Since 1972, the Texas Rangers became the state’s official professional baseball team for Major League Baseball (MLB). Based in Arlington, Texas, the team has made over 5 appearances in the MLB postseason and division championships from 1996 to 2016. In 2012, the Rangers also appeared as a wild card team.
The Texas Ranger baseball shares the same name with Texas Ranger Division.
Interestingly, the Texas Rangers baseball team shares the same name with the Texas Ranger Division. Based in Austin, Texas, this enforcement agency upholds the law and investigates various cases, from political corruption and murder to petty crimes.
The Texas Ranger Division helped prevent a President's assassination.
In 1909, 27th President William Howard Taft became the first president to cross the border to Mexico, in an attempt to settle a territory dispute. During his summit, he faced many assassination threats at El Paso. To prevent this, the Secret Service called in the Texas Rangers, 4,000 U.S. and Mexican troops, and other government entities for security.
Two Texas Rangers spotted William Howard Taft's would-be gunman just one meter away.
During Taft’s summit on October 16th, 1909, two Texas Rangers noticed a man holding a palm pistol waiting at the El Paso Chamber of Commerce building. Fortunately, the Rangers disarmed the assassin who was just standing a mere meter away from President Taft.
The Texas Ranger Division was established in the year 1823.
Established in the year 1823, Stephen F. Austin formed the first Texas Ranger Division after the Mexican War of Independence. In order to protect more than 500 newly-settled families, he formed a team of 10 men to serve as the first Rangers.
Stephen F. Austin was an American empresario.
Known as the “Father of Texas,” Stephen F. Austin was born on November 3rd, 1793, in Virginia. After being spending most of his childhood in Missouri, Austin’s father got an empresario grant from Spain to settle in Texas.
When his father died in 1821, Stephen Austin inherited the empresario grant from the newly-independent state of Mexico.
The Father of Texas died at the age of 43.
During Stephen F. Austin’s lifetime, he led more than 280 families from the United States to a region that completed in the year 1825. When the Texas settlers became resentful of the Mexican government, Austin pushed conciliation that later became the Texas Revolution. After a life of leadership, Stephen F. Austin died of pneumonia in December 1836.
The Texas Revolution lasted for 6 months.
The Texas Revolution stretched from October 2nd, 1835 until April 21st, 1836. The rebellion was led by colonists from the United States and the Tejanos versus the government of Mexico. The war ended when the revolutionists defeated Santa Anna’s army in the Battle of San Jacinto on April 21st, 1836.
The earliest record of Texas dates back to 1519.
When the Spanish conquerors first arrived in America, they settled in the land now known as Texas. At the time, the conquerors found numerous indigenous American tribes dwelling in the place.
Native Americans lived in Texas since prehistoric times.
Prior to the arrival of the Spanish, Native Americans have already settled in Texas. According to fossils discovered in January 1983, they have lived in the place for more than 10,000 years. Found in the Wilson-Leonard Brushy Creek Site in Cedar Park, this excavation also revealed the famous Leanderthal Lady.
Texas has been claimed by 3 foreign countries.
From 1519 to 1848, three countries have claimed Texas as their own territory. Whether it’s Texas in its entirety or simply a portion of it, these countries include Mexico, France, and Spain.
Dr. Pepper started in Waco, Texas.
In 1885, Charles Alderton invented Dr. Pepper in Waco, Texas. First marketed in the early 1900s, this beloved beverage is now sold in numerous countries. Furthermore, Dr. Pepper’s top-secret recipe has 23 different ingredients kept in two halves in safety deposit boxes. Now, there’s one for refreshing Texas facts.
Bugs Bunny’s punchline came from Texas.
Looney Tunes animator Tex Avery decided on Bugs Bunny’s iconic catchphrase as a reflection of his childhood. Born in Taylor, Texas, Avery chose Bugs Bunny’s “What’s Up, Doc?” after hearing it a lot as a kid. Soon after, it became one of the most popular catchphrases around the world.
Around 2.6% of Texas' population works in the financial industry.
The financial services industry in Texas hires more than 800,000 individuals, representing about 2.6% of its population. This industry mostly relies on banks, credit-card companies, accountancy companies, insurance firms and the like.
Texas is also known for its technology sector.
The information and technology sector is another heavy industry in Texas that helps drive the state’s economy. Nearly 200,000 Texans work in this field, fortified by giant Texas-based tech companiessuch as Dell, Inc., Rackspace Hosting, Inc., and AT&T.
Texas' GDP is $1.8 trillion.
Much like its land area, The Lone Star State’s economy is the 2nd largest in the U.S. To date, it has a gross domestic product (GDP) of over $1.8 trillion, surpassing New York‘s $1.5 trillion, Florida’s $950 billion, and Illinois’ $857 billion. That said, Texas only follows California, which has a GDP of $2.56 trillion.
Its hospitality industry employs 1.1 million people.
Texas’ hospitality industry is one of the most massive employers of the state. At 1.1 million people, it employs nearly 4% of the state’s population. That said, Texas is among the top leaders in the U.S. in terms of tourism revenue.
The Lone Star Flag has 3 colors.
As the state’s nickname suggests, the state flag bears a singular star with the American color scheme of white, blue, and red. White represents purity, blue for loyalty, while red represents bravery. Finally, the white star on its left side represents all of Texas and its unity.
The Lone Star Flag is now more than 180 years old.
The Texas Congress officially adopted the Lone Star Flag on January 25, 1839. Since then, it became the national flag of the Republic of Texas.
Texas has its own power grid.
Texas has its own power grid, separate from the rest of the United States. Its history goes all the way back to WWII. During this time, Texas was a major producer of war supplies, requiring a very stable source of power. Currently, the United States has 3 power grids, the Western Grid, the Eastern Grid, and Texas (ERCOT) Grid. Although interconnected, these grids normally work individually.
The Galveston Hurricane took 10,000 lives in Texas.
In the history of Texas, The Great Galveston Hurricane was the worst natural disaster it experienced by far. In 1900, it struck Texas and claimed 10,000 lives in the aftermath. At its peak, the storm surge went as high as 15 feet or 4.5 meters.
The word Texas actually means friends.
Here’s one of the sweetest Texas facts: the word ‘Texas’ came from the Caddo Indian word that means “allies” or “friends.”
January is Texas' coldest month.
Usually, Texas experiences the coldest weather during January. Around this time, Texas averages between -5ºC or 23°F at night and about 13ºC or 55°F during the day.
Summer in Texas starts in June and ends in September.
The warmest months in Texas occur in July and August. During this season, Texans may expect scorching temperatures between 34ºC (93°F) up to 38ºC (101°F).
Texas' barbeque tradition has 4 types.
Texas’ barbeque tradition has 4 types: West Texas, East Texas, Central Texas, and South Texas. For instance, East Texans marinate the BBQ meat using a sweet tomato-based sauce and cook it over hickory wood until the meat is ready to fall off its bone. Central Texas and East Texas BBQ varieties are amongst the popular outside Texas.
South Texan BBQ uses molasses-like sauce.
The South Texan BBQ uses “molasses-like” sauce to keep moist of the BBQ meat, while the West Texans cook their meat over direct mesquite wood heat. Meanwhile, the Central Texans use spices, salt, and pepper and rub it into the meat and cook it in pecan or oak wood. Furthermore, another variety of BBQ known as barbacoa (a style of cooking meat that originated in the Arawak-speaking Caribbean with the Taíno people) is common in Deep South Texas.
Most Czech Americans live in Texas.
The huge volume of Czech immigration to Texas started in the early 1850s. Most of them migrated to Central Texas, delicately preserving their culture through the traditional Czech events and bakeries specializing in Czech pastries. Today, Texas remains one of the top states with the most Czech-Americans in the US.
Austin, Texas is the world's music capital.
The city of Austin also has a global reputation for its countless venues that offer free live music. Considered as the ‘Music Capital Of The World,’ this city has more live-music venues per capita compared to any other state in the United States and the world. Definitely one of the Texas facts you’d want to experience for yourself.
Austin's music venues stay open 7 days a week.
If you ever visit Texas, you find almost any genre of live music that you desire in Austin. From pop to heavy metal – you name it, and Austin has it. Above all, most of them are free and open any day of the week in normal circumstances. Most of the live music venues are located in South Lamar, South Congress, Downtown, the Red River District, and South Austin.
Texas has 60 billionaires.
With its thriving economy, it’s no surprise Texas is the 3rd state in the United States with the most billionaires. As of the year 2020, California has 160 billionaires, New York has 114, while Texas has 60 billionaires. In total, the United States as a whole has around 642 billionaires.
Mark Cuban is one most famous billionaires in Texas.
Some of the most famous billionaires in Texas is Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, with a net worth of $4.2 billion. Others are Dallas Cowboys owner, Jerry Jones ($8.6 billion), Dallas banker and real estate investor, Andy Beal ($7.6 billion), Dallas oil and gas heir, Ray Lee Hunt ($4.6 billion), and Fort Worth oil and gas heir, Robert Bass with $4.8 billion.
Texas created the Blue Alert in 2008.
In 2008, Texas established the Blue Alert to serve as a warning to its residents when a fugitive that has harmed any state or government official is on the run. The Blue Alert came to effect when former governor Rick Perry signed the Executive Order RP-68 in 2008.
Texas has a minimum wage of around $7.25 per hour.
The minimum wage in the United States increased in over 20 states since January 1, 2020, but Texas was not part of it. The Lone Star State has a minimum wage of around $7.25 per hour, which is one of the lowest of all US States. Meanwhile, Washington D.C. ranks as the top payer with $15.00 along with California, State of Washington, Arizona, and Connecticut with around $13.50 to $11.00.
The governor of Texas is the 3rd U.S. governor to permanently use a wheelchair.
Since 2015, Gregory Wayne Abbott has served as the governor of Texas. Throughout history, Abbott is the 3rd governor in the United States to permanently use a wheelchair. At age 26, an oak tree fell on him while he was jogging, which paralyzed him for life. To recover, Abbott had steel rod implants for his spine and underwent rigorous rehabilitation. Ever since, he has used a wheelchair.
George W. Bush served as the 46th governor of Texas.
Before becoming the 43rd President of the US, George W. Bush served as the 46th governor of Texas. As a governor of Texas, George Bush strongly supported legislation for tort reform, pushed higher standards for schools, increased education funding, and revamped the criminal justice system.
Texas has rules and regulations for selling alcoholic beverages.
The state of Texas upholds selling hours for beer and wine. These beverages can only be sold on Monday through Friday from 7:00 AM – 12:00 MN. On Saturdays, liquor is available from 7:00 AM – 01:00 AM, while it starts from noontime until 12 midnight on Sundays.
They celebrate the State Fair of Texas every last Friday of September.
This annual event commemorates the state’s establishment. With more than 2 million attendees each year, The State Fair of Texas celebration usually takes place at the historic Fair Park in Dallas. This special event usually lasts for 24 days. First held in 1886, Texas has consistently celebrated this event, save for major incidents such as World War 1 and 2.
The highest posted speed limit in the U.S. is in Texas.
Clocking in at 85 mph or 137 km/h, the state of Texas also holds the record for the fastest speed limit in the US. Enforced along Texas State Highway 130 or the Pickle Parkway, it beats the highest speed limit of any other state.