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Bexar County, Texas

Bexar County, Texas
The Bexar County Courthouse in San Antonio
Map of Texas highlighting Bexar County
Location in the state of Texas
Map of the United States highlighting Texas
Texas's location in the U.S.
Founded December 20, 1836
Named for Presidio San Antonio de Bexar
Seat San Antonio
Largest city San Antonio
Area
 • Total 1,256 sq mi (3,253 km2)
 • Land 1,240 sq mi (3,212 km2)
 • Water 16 sq mi (41 km2), 1.3%
Population
 • (2010) 1,714,773
 • Density 1,383/sq mi (534/km²)
Congressional districts 15th, 20th, 21st, 23rd, 28th
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5
Website .org.bexarwww

Bexar County ( "bear"[1][2][3]) is a county in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 1,714,773, and a 2013 estimate put the population at 1,817,610.[4] It is the 17th-most populous county in the nation and the fourth-most populated in Texas. Its county seat is San Antonio,[5] the second-most populous city in Texas and the seventh-largest city in the United States.

Bexar County is included in the San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Contents

  • History 1
  • Geography 2
    • Major highways 2.1
    • Adjacent counties 2.2
    • National protected area 2.3
  • Demographics 3
  • Corrections 4
  • Libraries 5
  • Communities 6
  • Military installations 7
  • Notable people 8
  • See also 9
  • References 10
  • External links 11

History

Bexar County was created on December 20, 1836, and encompassed almost the entire western portion of the Republic of Texas. This included the disputed areas of western New Mexico northward to Wyoming. After statehood, 128 counties were carved out of its area.

The county was named for San Antonio de Béxar, one of the 23 Mexican municipalities (administrative divisions) of Texas at the time of its independence. San Antonio de Béxar—originally Villa de San Fernando de Béxar—was the first civil government established by the Spanish in the province of Texas. Specifically, the municipality was created in 1731 when 55 Canary Islanders settled near the system of missions that had been established around the source of the San Antonio River. The new settlement was named after the Presidio San Antonio de Béjar, the Spanish military outpost that protected the missions. The presidio, located at the San Pedro Springs, was founded in 1718 and named for Viceroy Balthasar Manuel de Zúñiga y Guzmán Sotomayor y Sarmiento, second son of the Duke of Béjar (a town in Spain). The modern City of San Antonio in the U.S. State of Texas also derived its name from San Antonio de Béjar.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,256 square miles (3,250 km2), of which 1,240 square miles (3,200 km2) is land and 16 square miles (41 km2) (1.3%) is water.[6] Bexar County is in south-central Texas, about 190 miles (305 km) west of Houston and 140 miles (225 km) from both the US-Mexican border to the southwest and the Gulf of Mexico to the southeast.

The Balcones Escarpment bisects the county from west to northeast; to the north of the escarpment are the rocky hills, springs and canyons of the Texas Hill Country. South of the escarpment are Blackland Prairie and the South Texas plains. The San Antonio River rises from springs north of Downtown San Antonio, and flows southward and southeastward through the county.

Major highways

Bexar County has a comprehensive "wagon wheel" freeway system, with radial freeways and beltways that encircle Downtown San Antonio, allowing for simplified countywide freeway access, in a manner much like the freeways around Houston or Dallas. San Antonio is unique, however, in that unlike Houston or Dallas, none of these highways are currently tolled.

Adjacent counties

National protected area

Demographics

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 1,714,773 people residing in the county. 72.9% were White, 7.5% Black or African American, 2.4% Asian, 0.8% Native American, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 12.7% of some other race and 3.5% of two or more races. 58.7% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race).

As of the census[10] of 2000, 1,392,931 people, 488,942 households, and 345,681 families were residing in the county. The population density was 1,117 inhabitants per square mile (431/km2). There were 521,359 housing units at an average density of 418 per square mile (161/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 68.86% White, 7.18% Black or African American, 0.80% Native American, 1.61% Asian, 0.10% Pacific Islander, 17.80% from other races, and 3.64% from two or more races. About 54.35% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

Of 488,942 households, 36.60% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.50% were married couples living together, 15.50% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.30% were not families. About 24.00% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.78 and the average family size was 3.33.

A Williams Institute analysis of 2010 census data found there were about 6.2 same-sex couples per 1,000 households in the county.[11]

In the county, the population was distributed as 28.50% under the age of 18, 10.70% from 18 to 24, 30.60% from 25 to 44, 19.90% from 45 to 64, and 10.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.20 males.

The median income for a household was $38,328, and for a family was $43,724. Males had a median income of $30,756 versus $24,920 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,363. About 12.70% of families and 15.90% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.40% of those under age 18 and 12.20% of those age 65 or over.

Corrections

The Bexar County jail facilities are at 200 North Comal in downtown San Antonio.[12] In late 2012, press reports noted an increase in the number of suicides at the facility. The issue was a topic of debate in the election for sheriff that year. The jail held an average of about 3,800 prisoners in 2012, making it the third-largest in the state.[13] Total Jail’s Capacity: 4,563 detainees.[14] Sheriff Susan Pamerleau, a Republican whose job duties include management of the jail, is the first woman elected to that position.[15]

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice operates the Dominguez Unit, a state jail for men, in an unincorporated section of Bexar County.[16]

Libraries

In the fall of 2013, Bexar County opened BiblioTech - Bexar County's Digital Library, the nation's first bookless library.[17]

Communities

Military installations

Notable people

See also

References

  1. ^ http://texasalmanac.coms/default/files/images/PronunWeb.pdf
  2. ^ http://dfw.cbslocal.com/2015/07/24/welcome-to-texas-unusual-pronunciation/
  3. ^ http://www.bexar.org/1320/Bexar-County-History
  4. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 8, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  6. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved April 19, 2015. 
  7. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  8. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved April 19, 2015. 
  9. ^ "Texas Almanac: Population History of Counties from 1850–2010" (PDF). Texas Almanac. Retrieved April 19, 2015. 
  10. ^ "American FactFinder".  
  11. ^ Where Same-Sex Couples Live, June 26, 2015, retrieved July 6, 2015 
  12. ^ "BCSO Location and Driving Directions". Bexar County. Retrieved September 14, 2008. 
  13. ^ Why have jail suicides soared under Sheriff Ortiz's watch?, by Michael Barajas, SA Current, 17 October 2012
  14. ^ "Bexar County Jail". 
  15. ^ "A Lifetime of Dedicated Service: Sheriff Susan Lewellyn Pamerleau, Major General (Ret.)".  
  16. ^ "Dominguez (BX)".  
  17. ^ "Nation's first bookless library opens in San Antonio". Dallas Morning News. January 3, 2014. 
  18. ^ Ambrose, Stephen (1983). Eisenhower: (vol. 1) Soldier, General of the Army, President-Elect (1893–1952). New York:  
  19. ^ "Judge Rickhoff's Bio". tomrickhoff.blogspot.com. March 2, 2015. 
  • Stephens, A. Ray, and William M. Holmes, Historical Atlas of Texas. University of Oklahoma Press, 1989. ISBN 0-8061-2307-9

External links

  • Bexar County government
  • Bexar County from the Handbook of Texas Online
  • Bexar County from the Texas Almanac
  • Bexar County from the TXGenWeb Project
  • Bexar County Jail Information
  • Historic Bexar County materials, hosted by the Portal to Texas History.

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