Texas, officially known as the State of Texas, holds the distinction of being the second-most populous as well as the second-largest state among the 50 states that comprise the United States of America. Furthermore, it is the largest state in the contiguous United States, which excludes Alaska and Hawaii. Geographically positioned in the South Central region of the U.S., Texas is unique in sharing international borders and having interstate frontiers. Specifically, it shares international borders with four Mexican states: Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas to the south. Additionally, Texas is bordered by four U.S. states: New Mexico to the west, Oklahoma to the north, Arkansas to the northeast, and Louisiana to the east.
The geographical coordinates of Texas are approximately between 25.84 N and 36.5 N latitude and 93.5 W and 106.65 W longitude. Its location in the South Central part of the U.S. places it at a crossroads between the southern and the central regions, allowing for a diverse range of climatic and environmental conditions.
Borders and Adjacent States
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As of the 2020 Census, the population of Texas stood at approximately 29.14 million, making it the second-most populous state in the U.S. after California.
The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Texas is significant, making it one of the largest economies within the United States and comparable to the economies of entire countries. As of 2021, the GDP was estimated to be around $1.9 trillion.
Official Language and Currency
The official language of Texas is English, and the currency used is the United States Dollar (USD).
Texas is predominantly Christian, with Protestantism being the largest denomination. However, the state is home to a diverse array of religious beliefs including Catholicism, Judaism, Islam, and other faiths.
Texas is characterized by a wide variety of landscapes, from deserts and scrublands to swamps, pine forests, and the coastal plains. These landscapes not only contribute to the state’s natural beauty but also have implications for its agricultural and environmental policies.
Texas experiences a range of climates, being such a large state. It has a continental, mountain, and coastal climate. The climate is primarily semiarid to arid in the west, with more humid conditions in the east. Annual temperatures can range from 0°C in the winter to highs of 37°C in the summer, depending on the region.
Texas is rich in natural resources like oil and natural gas. The discovery of oil at Spindletop in 1901 revolutionized the state’s economy and positioned Texas as a key player in the global energy sector.
The state is known for its cultural diversity, with significant Hispanic, African American, and Asian populations. It’s a melting pot of various cultures, reflected in its food, festivals, and daily life.
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Governance and Political Landscape
The governance of Texas is defined by the Constitution of Texas and consists of a governor who serves as the executive head and a bicameral legislature. Texas has its own Senate and House of Representatives. The state has a significant influence on national politics, and its electoral votes are often keenly watched during presidential elections.
Texas is home to multiple prestigious universities and educational institutions. The University of Texas and Texas A&M University are two of the most well-known educational institutions in the state. Public education is governed by the Texas Education Agency.
The healthcare sector in Texas is robust but also faces challenges related to healthcare disparities. Major cities like Houston and Dallas are known for their medical research and healthcare facilities.
Industries and Employment
Apart from oil and natural gas, Texas has diversified its economy to include technology, healthcare, aerospace, and renewable energy. Major corporations like Dell, AT&T, and American Airlines have their headquarters in Texas.
Texas has a rich history that includes being a part of Mexico before becoming a republic and then joining the United States. This history has left a lasting impact on the state’s culture, including its food (like Texas BBQ and Tex-Mex cuisine), music (country, Tejano), and festivals (such as Fiesta San Antonio).
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Texas has an extensive transportation network that includes major airports like Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and George Bush Intercontinental Airport, numerous highways, and ports that serve as important centers for international trade.
In summary, Texas is a state of immense geographical, demographic, and economic significance within the United States. Its location in the South Central region offers a strategic advantage both for interstate and international interactions. Its diverse population and strong economy further underscore its importance within the federation of United States.