What Are Some Facts About Texas?

texas Credit: David Baron/CC-BY-SA 2.0

With a population of almost 27 million, Texas is the second-most populous state, after California. At over 268,000 square miles, it is also the second-largest state, after Alaska. After decades as a Spanish colony and 10 years as an independent republic, Texas became the 28th state in 1845.

The capital of Texas is Austin. Other large- and medium-size cities in the state include Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Lubbock and El Paso. The Rio Grande forms the southern boundary between Texas and Mexico, while the Red River and Sabine River delineate most of the state's borders with Oklahoma to the north and Louisiana to the east, respectively. Texas is bordered on the west by New Mexico.

Known as The Lone Star State for the distinctive single star on the state flag, Texas is culturally and geographically diverse: The eastern part of the state is humid and lush, associated with agriculture and the South, while west Texas is drier and flatter, historic home to cowboys and cattle ranching. In addition to cowboys, Texas is known for its oil production, music - especially country and blues, and outsize places and personalities. This gives rise to the saying that "Everything's bigger in Texas". The state is home to former governor and U.S. President George W. Bush.