Texas is the second most populous (after
California) and the second-largest of the 50
states (after Alaska) in the
United States of America, and the largest state
in the 48 contiguous United States. Geographically located in the south central
part of the country, Texas shares an international border with the Mexican
states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas to the south and
borders the U.S. states of New Mexico to the west, Oklahoma to the north,
Arkansas to the northeast, and Louisiana to the east.
has an area of 268,820 square miles (696,200 km2) and a growing population of
over 26.4 million residents (July 2013).
Houston is the largest city in
Texas and the fourth-largest in the
United States, while San
Antonio is the second largest in the state and seventh
largest in the United States.
Dallas–Fort Worth and Greater Houston are the fourth and fifth largest
United States metropolitan areas, respectively.
Other major cities include El Paso
and Austin—the state capital.
Texas is nicknamed the
to signify Texas
as a former independent republic and as a reminder of the state's struggle for
independence from Mexico.
The "Lone Star" can be found on the Texas
state flag and on the Texas state
seal today. The origin of the state name, Texas,
is from the word, "Tejas", which means 'friends' in the Caddo language.
Due to its size and geologic features such as the
Balcones Fault, Texas
contains diverse landscapes that resemble both the American South and Southwest.
Although Texas is popularly associated with the Southwestern deserts, less than
10 percent of the land area is desert. Most of the population centers are
located in areas of former prairies, grasslands, forests, and the coastline.
Traveling from east to west, one can observe terrain that ranges from coastal
swamps and piney woods, to rolling plains and rugged hills, and finally the
desert and mountains of the Big Bend.
"six flags over Texas", as can be
seen in the Grand Prairie-based large national and international amusement park
operator Six Flags, came from the several nations that had ruled over the
was the first European country to claim the area of Texas.
France held a
short-lived colony in Texas.
controlled the territory until 1836 when Texas
won its independence, becoming an independent Republic. In 1845 it joined the
United States as the 28th state. The state's
annexation set off a chain of events that caused the Mexican–American War in
1846. A slave state, Texas
declared its secession from the United States
in early 1861, and officially joined the "Confederate States of
America" on March 2 of the same year. After the
consequent Civil War and the restoration of its representation in the federal
entered a long period of economic stagnation.
industry that thrived after the Civil War was cattle. Due to its long history as
a center of the industry,
is associated with the image of the cowboy. The state's economic fortunes
changed in the early 20th century, when oil discoveries initiated an economic
boom in the state. With strong investments in universities,
developed a diversified economy and high tech industry in the mid-20th century.
As of 2010 it shares the top of the list of the most Fortune 500 companies with
at 57. With a growing base of industry, the state leads in many industries,
including agriculture, petrochemicals, energy, computers and electronics,
aerospace, and biomedical sciences.
has led the nation in export revenue since 2002 and has the second-highest gross
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