|County of Hidalgo|
The Hidalgo County Courthouse at Edinburg in 2002
Location within the U.S. state of Texas
Texas's location within the U.S.
|Named for||Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla|
|• Total||1,583 sq mi (4,100 km2)|
|• Land||1,571 sq mi (4,070 km2)|
|• Water||12 sq mi (30 km2) 0.81%%|
|• Density||493/sq mi (190/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−6 (Central)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−5 (CDT)|
|Congressional districts||15th, 28th, 34th|
Hidalgo County (//; Spanish pronunciation: [iˈðalɣo]) is located in the U.S. state of Texas. The county seat is Edinburg and the largest city is McAllen. The county is named for Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, the priest who raised the call for Mexico's independence from Spain. It is located in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas and is one of the fastest-growing counties in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the population of Hidalgo County was 774,769, making it the eighth-most populous county in Texas. Hidalgo County is designated by the U.S. Census Bureau as the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission metropolitan statistical area, which itself is part of the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission-Rio Grande City, Texas combined statistical area with neighboring Starr County.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,583 sq mi (4,100 km2), of which 12 sq mi (31 km2) (0.8%) are covered by water. The northern part of the county has sandy and light loamy soils over deep reddish or mottled, clayey subsoils. In some areas, limestone lies within 40 in (1 m) of the surface. The southern part of the county has moderately deep to deep loamy surfaces over clayey subsoils. Along the Rio Grande, brown to red clays occur. Hidalgo County is in the South Texas Plains vegetation area, which features grasses, mesquite, live oaks, and chaparral. Native plants, reduced in recent years by extensive farming, include chapote, guayacán, ebony, huisache, brasil, and yucca.
In 1982, 91% of the land was in farms and ranches, with 52% of the farmland under cultivation and 85% irrigated; 51 to 60% of the county was considered prime farmland. The primary crops were sorghum, cotton, corn, and vegetables; Hidalgo County led Texas counties in the production of cabbage, onions, cantaloupes, carrots, and watermelons. The primary fruits and nuts grown in the county were grapefruit, oranges, and pecans. Cattle, milk cows, and hogs were the primary livestock products. Natural resources included caliche, sand, gravel, oil, and gas. Oil and gas production in 1982 totaled 98,487,211,000 cubic feet (2.7888472×109 m3) of gas-well gas, 139,995 barrels of crude oil, 1,101,666 barrels of condensate, and 15,784,000 cubic feet (447,000 m3) of casinghead gas. The climate is subtropical and subhumid. Temperatures range from an average low of 47 °F (8 °C) in January to an average high to 96 °F (36 °C) in July; the average annual temperature is 73 °F (23 °C). Rainfall averages 23 inches (580 mm) a year, and the growing season lasts for 320 days of the year.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the 2015 Texas Population Estimate Program, the population of the county was 841,667, non-Hispanic whites 62,232 (7.4%). Black Americans 2,973 (0.3%). Other non-Hispanic 11,106 (1.3%). Hispanics and Latinos (of any race) 765,356 (90.9%).
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 774,769 people living in the county. 88.0% were White, 1.0% Asian, 0.6% Black or African American, 0.3% Native American, 8.8% of some other race and 1.3% of two or more races. 90.6% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race).
There were 216,471 households, and 179,668 families living in the county. The population density was 363 people per square mile (140/km2). There were 248,287 housing units at an average density of 123 per square mile (47/km2). There were 216,471 households, out of which 54.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 65.00% were married couples living together, 18.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 17.0% were non-families. 14.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 5.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.55 and the average family size was 3.94.
In the county, the population was spread out, with 34.7% under the age of 18, 10.7% from 18 to 24, 27.1% from 25 to 44, 18.2% from 45 to 64, and 9.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 28.3 years. For every 100 females there were 94.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.90 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $30,134, and the median income for a family was $31,760. Males had a median income of $22,635 versus $17,526 for females. The per capita income for the county was $12,130. About 32.60% of families and 35.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 47.4% of those under age 18 and 29.8% of those age 65 or over. The county's per-capita income makes it one of the poorest counties in the United States. In 2009, it was tied with Bronx County, New York for "the greatest share of people receiving food stamps: 29 percent."
Las Milpas, previously unincorporated, was annexed by Pharr in 1987.
The United States Office of Management and Budget has designated Hidalgo County as the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area. The United States Census Bureau ranked the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area as the 70th most populous metropolitan statistical area of the United States as of July 1, 2012.
The Office of Management and Budget has further designated the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area as a component of the more extensive McAllen-Edinburg, TX Combined Statistical Area, the 60th most populous combined statistical area and the 67th most populous primary statistical area of the United States as of July 1, 2012.
Hidalgo County tends to vote for the Democratic Party, although there is representation of the Republican Party in some of the offices that affect the county. Hidalgo County is represented by Vicente González of Texas's 15th congressional district, Henry Cuellar of Texas's 28th congressional district and Filemon Vela Jr. of Texas's 34th congressional district. In the 2012 presidential election, 70.4% of the voters voted for Barack Obama while 28.6% voted for Mitt Romney. The last time Hidalgo County voted Republican was in the 1972 presidential election when Richard Nixon won over 55% of the votes. In the 2020 Presidential election, Hidalgo County saw a significant shift to the Republican Party with Donald Trump increasing the Republican vote from 27.9% in 2016 to 40.9%. However, as an urban county, the shift was not as large as nearby less densely populated counties.
The Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office operates jail facilities and is the primary provider of law enforcement services to the unincorporated areas of the county.
|County Judge||Richard Cortez||Democratic|
|Commissioner, Precinct 1||David Fuentes||Democratic|
|Commissioner, Precinct 2||Eduardo "Eddie" Cantu||Democratic|
|Commissioner, Precinct 3||Joe M. Flores||Democratic|
|Commissioner, Precinct 4||Ellie Torres||Democratic|
|Criminal District Attorney||Ricardo Rodriguez||Democratic|
|District Clerk||Laura Hinojosa||Democratic|
|County Clerk||Arturo Guajardo, Jr.||Democratic|
|Sheriff||J.E. "Eddie" Guerra||Democratic|
|Tax Assessor-Collector||Pablo "Paul" Villarreal||Democratic|
|Constable, Precinct 1||Celestino Avila, Jr.||Democratic|
|Constable, Precinct 2||Martin Cantu||Democratic|
|Constable, Precinct 3||Lazaro Gallardo, Jr.||Democratic|
|Constable, Precinct 4||Atanacio "J.R." Gaitan||Democratic|
|Constable, Precinct 5||Danny Marichalar||Democratic|
The following school districts serve Hidalgo County:
In addition, the county is served by the multi-county South Texas Independent School District. The Catholic Diocese of Brownsville operates three PK-8th Grade schools, two lower-level elementary schools and two high schools.
The Edinburg campus of the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (formerly University of Texas-Pan American) is located in Hidalgo County.
All of the county is in the service area of South Texas College. The Pecan, Mid-Valley, Technology, and Nursing & Allied Health campuses of South Texas College are located in Hidalgo County.