Odessa, Texas
Odessa skyline, looking east from TX-302
Odessa skyline, looking east from TX-302
Flag of Odessa, Texas
Official seal of Odessa, Texas
Location in Texas
Location in Texas
Odessa is located in Texas
Location in Texas
Odessa is located in the United States
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 31°51′48″N 102°21′56″W / 31.86333°N 102.36556°W / 31.86333; -102.36556
CountryUnited States
CountiesEctor, Midland
Named forOdesa (historically also called "Odessa"), Ukraine
 • TypeCouncil-Manager
 • City CouncilMayor Javier Joven
Mark Matta
Steven P. Thompson
Detra White
Tom Sprawls
Mari Willis
 • City ManagerMichael Marrero
 • At-LargeDenise Swanner
 • Total51.36 sq mi (133.02 km2)
 • Land51.08 sq mi (132.29 km2)
 • Water0.28 sq mi (0.72 km2)
2,900 ft (884 m)
 • Total114,428
 • Density2,414.62/sq mi (932.29/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
ZIP Codes
Area code432
FIPS code48-53388[2]
GNIS feature ID1343067[3]

Odessa (/ˌˈdɛsə/) is a city in the U.S. state of Texas and the seat of Ector County with portions extending into Midland County.[4]

Odessa's population was 114,428 at the 2020 census, making it the 28th-most populous city in Texas; it is the principal city of the Odessa metropolitan statistical area, which includes all of Ector County. The metropolitan area is also a component of the larger Midland–Odessa combined statistical area, which had a 2020 census population of 359,001.[5]

The city is famous for being featured in the book Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream, and the movie adaption, Friday Night Lights.

In 1948, Odessa was also the home of First Lady Barbara Bush, and the onetime home of former Presidents George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush. Former President George H. W. Bush has been quoted as saying "At Odessa we became Texans and proud of it."[6]


This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources in this section. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.Find sources: "Odessa, Texas" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (April 2024) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

Odessa was founded in 1881 as a water stop and cattle-shipping point on the Texas and Pacific Railway. The first post office opened in 1885. Odessa became the county seat of Ector County in 1891 when the county was first organized. It was incorporated as a city in 1927, after oil was discovered in Ector County on the Connell Ranch southwest of Odessa.[7]

Odessa is said to have been named after Odesa, a coastal city in Southern Ukraine, (historically spelled Odessa)[8] because of the local shortgrass prairie's resemblance to Ukraine's steppe landscape.[9]

With the opening of the Penn Field in 1929, and the Cowden Field in 1930, oil became a major draw for new residents. In 1925, the population was just 750; by 1929, it had risen to 5,000. For the rest of the 20th century, the city's population and economy grew rapidly during each of a succession of oil booms (roughly in the 1930s–1950s, 1970s, and 2010s), often with accompanying contractions during the succeeding busts (particularly in the 1960s and 1980s).[7]


Odessa is located along the southwestern edge of the Llano Estacado in West Texas. It is situated above the Permian Basin, a large sedimentary deposit that contains significant reserves of oil and natural gas.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 44.0 square miles (114 km2); 43.9 square miles (114 km2) are land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) (0.05%) is covered by water.


Odessa has a desert climate typical of West Texas. Summers are hot and sunny, while winters are mild and dry. Most rainfall occurs in late spring and summer; snowfall is rare. The area exhibits a large diurnal temperature range and frequent high winds.[10]

Climate data for Odessa, Texas
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 91
Mean daily maximum °F (°C) 57.5
Mean daily minimum °F (°C) 34.7
Record low °F (°C) 2
Average precipitation inches (mm) 0.50
Average snowfall inches (cm) 0.4
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 3.3 3.4 3.5 2.6 4.0 3.9 4.2 4.8 4.8 4.8 2.7 3.1 45.0
Average snowy days (≥ 0.1 in) 0.1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.1
Percent possible sunshine 66 69 73 78 78 81 81 77 77 72 74 65 74
Source: NOAA (normals 1981−2010, percent sunshine through 2009)[11][12]


Historical population
U.S. Census Bureau[13] Texas Almanac[14]
Map of racial distribution in Odessa, 2020 U.S. census. Each dot is one person:  White  Black  Asian  Hispanic  Multiracial  Native American/Other
Odessa racial composition as of 2020[15]
(NH = Non-Hispanic)[a]
Race Number Percentage
White (NH) 37,390 32.68%
Black or African American (NH) 7,007 6.12%
Native American or Alaska Native (NH) 424 0.37%
Asian (NH) 2,452 2.14%
Pacific Islander (NH) 258 0.23%
Some Other Race (NH) 357 0.31%
Mixed/Multi-Racial (NH) 2,296 2.01%
Hispanic or Latino 64,244 56.14%
Total 114,428

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 114,428 people, 41,942 households, and 28,218 families residing in the city. As of the 2010 census,[2] 99,940 people, 35,216 households, and 27,412 families resided in the city. The population density was 2,276.5 inhabitants per square mile (879.0/km2). There were 43,687 housing units at an average density of 995.1 per square mile (384.2/km2).

In 2010, the racial makeup of the city was 75.4% White, 5.7% Black, 1.1% Asian, 1.0% Native American, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 14.2% from other races, and 2.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino residents of any race was 50.6%.[13] By 2020, the racial and ethnic makeup was 32.68% non-Hispanic white, 6.12% African American, 0.37% Native American, 2.14% Asian, 0.23% Pacific Islander, 0.31% some other race, 2.01% multiracial, and 56.14% Hispanic or Latino of any race, reflecting state and nationwide trends of greater diversification.[15][18][19]

Of the 35,216 households in 2010, 37.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.6% were married couples living together, 14.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.6% were not families. About 25.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.65, and the average family size was 3.21. The population was distributed as 29.8% under the age of 18, 10.6% from 18 to 24, 27.8% from 25 to 44, 20.0% from 45 to 64, and 11.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.6 males.

At the 2000 census, the median income for a household in the city was $31,209, and the median income for a family was $36,869. Males had a median income of $31,115 versus $21,743 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,096. About 16.0% of families and 18.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 23.9% of those under age 18 and 14.1% of those age 65 or over. The 2020 American community Survey estimated the median household income increased to $63,829 with a mean income of $82,699.[20]


Prosperity Bank Building is the tallest building in Odessa.
Oil Pumpjacks seen in an oil field in Penwell, west of Odessa in 2006. The oil industry has been a huge part of Odessa's economy since the 1920s.
MCM Grande Hotel in Odessa includes the West Texas Events Center.

Historically, the Odessa economy has been primarily driven by the area's oil industry, booming and busting in response to rises and falls in the crude oil price. Many of the city's largest employers are oilfield supply companies and petrochemical processing companies. In recent decades, city leaders have begun trying to decrease the city's reliance on the energy industry to moderate the boom-bust cycle and develop greater economic sustainability.[7]

Odessa has also taken steps to diversify the energy it produces. In 2009, a wind farm has been constructed in northern Ector County.[21] Around the same time, a coal pollution mitigation plant had been announced for a site previously entered in the Futuregen bidding. The plant will be run by Summit Power and will be located near Penwell.[22] This plant was supposed to lead to the creation of 8,000 jobs in the area.[23] Plans were also in place for a small nuclear reactor called the High-Temperature Teaching and Test Reactor to be run as a test and teaching facility in conjunction with the nuclear engineering department at University of Texas of the Permian Basin.[24][25]

Odessa's main enclosed shopping mall, Music City Mall, used to include an indoor skating rink.

Largest employers

As in many municipalities, some of the largest employers are in the education, government, and healthcare industries. Outside of those areas, the city's major employers are concentrated in the oil industry. According to the city's 2021 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[26] the top employers in the city were:

# Employer Number of
1 Ector County Independent School District 4,163
2 Medical Center Hospital 1,977
3 Halliburton 1,400
4 NexTier (formerly Keane Group) 1,142
5 City of Odessa 900
6 Saulsbury Companies 874
7 Odessa Regional Medical Center 800
8 Ector County 735
9 H-E-B 721
10 University of Texas Permian Basin 619

Arts and culture

Odessa welcome sign along Interstate 20
Ector Theater in Odessa, Texas as shown on May 30, 2020. The 700-seat Ector Theatre at 500 N. Texas Ave. in Odessa opened in 1951. Now closed for regular films, it still hosts occasional community events, performing arts, and musical expositions. The theater is undergoing a major renovation and is now attached to the Marriott Hotel and Conference Center.
The abandoned Rio Theater on North Grant Street in Odessa opened in 1947 as the Scott Theater. In 2010, a community group attempted to acquire the building.

Performing arts

The Midland–Odessa Symphony and Chorale (MOSC) was founded in 1962,[27] and is the region's largest orchestral organization, presenting both pops and masterworks concerts. The MOSC has three resident chamber ensembles: the Lone Star Brass, Permian Basin String Quartet, and West Texas Winds.

The Globe of the Great Southwest, located on the campus of Odessa College, features a replica of William Shakespeare's Globe Theatre. It hosts plays, and features an annual Shakespeare festival. Other theaters include the Ector Theater, built in 1951, and the Permian Playhouse.[citation needed]


The White-Pool House, built in 1887, is the oldest structure still standing in Odessa. Open to visitors at 112 East Murphy Street near South Grant Avenue, the building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Stonehenge replica on campus of the University of Texas of the Permian Basin in Odessa
Parker Ranch House Museum at 1118 Maple Ave.: The restored structure was once the headquarters of a ranch that includes 175 sections of land in Andrews and Ector Counties. Owned from the 1930s to the 1950s by Jim and Bessie Parker, the museum features exhibits of the ranching family.

Odessa's Presidential Museum and Leadership Library, on the campus of the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, is dedicated to the office of the Presidency. It also has displays about the presidents of the Republic of Texas.

Texon Santa Fe Depot honors the old west and its railroads.[citation needed]

The Parker House Museum features the lifestyle of a prominent ranching family in from the early 1900s.[citation needed]

Odessa Meteor Crater, an impact crater 550 feet (170 m) in diameter, is located southwest of the city.

Odessa has 31 jackrabbits statues, as part of an art project launched in 2004.[28]


Ector County Library in downtown Odessa


The Odessa Jackalopes, a Tier ll junior ice hockey team plays its home games at Ector County Coliseum, which was also home to the Indoor Football League’s Odessa/West Texas Roughnecks, and the West Texas Wildcatters of the Lone Star Football League and currently home to the West Texas Desert Hawks indoor football team and member of the National Arena League. High-school football is held at Ratliff Stadium, which was featured in the movie Friday Night Lights. It is home to the Odessa Bronchos and the Permian Panthers. It is one of the largest high-school stadiums in the state, listed as seventh in capacity within Texas.[29]


Local government

Odessa has a council–manager government, with a city council of five councillors (elected from geographic districts) and a mayor (elected at-large). The council appoints and directs other city officials, including the city manager, and sets the city's budget, taxes, and other policies.[30]

In the 2014 fiscal year, the Odessa government had $179.1 million in revenues, $146.3 million in expenditures, $454 million in total assets, and $203 million in total liabilities. The city's major sources of public revenues were fees for services (such as public utilities), sales taxes, and property taxes, and its major expenses were for public safety and for water and sewer service.[31]

On December 14, 2022, the Odessa City Council voted to make Odessa a "sanctuary city for the unborn." In a 6-1 vote, Mayor Javier Joven and council members Denise Swanner, Mark Matta, Gilbert Vasquez, Chris Hanie, and Greg Connell established Odessa as the 62nd city to "outlaw" abortion.[32] The new city ordinance makes a person civilly liable if any person aids, abets, or assists anybody in an abortion operation.[33]

State representation

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice operates the Odessa District Parole Office in Odessa.[34]

Federal representation

The United States Postal Service operates three post offices in Odessa: Odessa,[35] Northeast Odessa,[36] and West Odessa.[37]


Universities and colleges

University of Texas Permian Basin

The University of Texas Permian Basin (UTPB) began in 1973. UTPB was an upper level and graduate university until the Texas Legislature passed a bill in spring 1991 to allow the university to accept freshmen and sophomores. As of 2006, the university was holding discussions with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission about the construction of a new High-Temperature Teaching and Test Reactor, which if successful, would finish licensing and construction around 2012. It would be the first university-based research reactor to be built in the US in roughly a decade, and be one of the few HTGR-type reactors in the world. In January 2006, UTPB's School of Business was awarded accreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International, which is generally regarded as the premier accreditation agency for the world's business schools. According to the university, only 30% of business schools in the United States, and 15% of world business schools, have received AACSB accreditation.

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Permian Basin Campus opened as a school of medicine in 1979, beginning in the basement of Medical Center Hospital. Since 1994, TTUHSC Permian Basin has included a school of allied health, offering a master's degree in physical therapy. Also, on the campus of Midland College, it offers a physician-assistant program. Additionally, TTUHSC Permian Basin includes a school of nursing focusing on primary care and rural health. In June 1999, the Texas Tech Health Center opened as a clinic, providing increased access to primary and specialized health care for the Permian Basin. Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Permian Basin also operates 21 WIC clinics located in nearby small communities.

Community colleges

Entrance sign at Odessa College

Odessa College is a public, two-year college based in Odessa, serving the people of Ector County and the Permian Basin. It opened in 1952 and currently enrolls about 6,000 annually in its university-parallel and occupational/technical courses, and 11,000 students annually in its basic education, continuing education, and community recreation courses.[38]

Odessa College serves most of Midland, as in the parts in Ector County. Parts in Midland County are assigned to Midland College.[39]

Primary and secondary schools

The Ector County Independent School District serves portions of Odessa in Ector County (the vast majority of the city).[40] ECISD was established in 1921, in a consolidation of seven area schools. The district now contains 38 campuses. It administers these high schools: Permian High School, Odessa High School, George H. W. Bush New Tech Odessa, OC Techs at Odessa College and Odessa Collegiate Academy, also at Odessa College.

The portion of Odessa in Midland County is zoned to the Midland Independent School District.[41]

Odessa's private schools include Montessori Mastery School of Odessa, Latter Rain Christian School, Odessa Christian School, Permian Basin Christian School, Faith Community Christian Academy, St. John's Episcopal School, St. Mary's Central Catholic School (of the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Angelo, Rainey School of Montessori, Sherwood Christian Academy, and Zion Christian Academy. Odessa is also home to five charter schools: Compass Academy Charter School, UTPB STEM Academy, Harmony Science Academy-Odessa, Embassy Academy, and Richard Milburn Academy-Odessa.


See also: List of newspapers in Texas, List of radio stations in Texas, and List of television stations in Texas

The city's main daily newspaper is the Odessa American.



Air and space

Midland International Airport is served by:

Midland Spaceport is not currently served by any commercial space companies.


Notable people

In popular culture

See also


  1. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 7, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  3. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. October 25, 2007. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  4. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  5. ^ "2020 Population and Housing State Data". United States Census Bureau, Population Division. January 3, 2024. Archived from the original on June 29, 2022. Retrieved January 4, 2024.
  6. ^ "Odessa home to former presidents, first lady". Retrieved April 17, 2018.
  7. ^ a b c Klepper, Bobbie Jean (June 15, 2010). "ODESSA, TX". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved May 26, 2015.
  8. ^ Stewart, Ashleigh. "Globalnews.ca". Global News. Corus Entertainment Inc. Retrieved June 9, 2023.
  9. ^ "Ector County, Texas History". Historic Texas. Archived from the original on September 24, 2015. Retrieved May 26, 2015.
  10. ^ "Midland Texas Climate Narrative". National Weather Service. Retrieved May 26, 2015.
  11. ^ "NOWData - NOAA Online Weather Data". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved November 22, 2012.
  12. ^ "Average Percent Sunshine: Data Through 2009". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Archived from the original on August 25, 2004. Retrieved May 16, 2013.
  13. ^ a b "Odessa city, Texas - QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on June 7, 2013. Retrieved June 27, 2015.
  14. ^ "Odessa". Texas Almanac. Texas State Historical Association. November 22, 2010. Retrieved May 26, 2015.
  15. ^ a b "Explore Census Data". data.census.gov. Retrieved May 19, 2022.
  16. ^ "Census.gov". Census.gov.
  17. ^ "About the Hispanic Population and its Origin". www.census.gov. Retrieved May 18, 2022.
  18. ^ Tavernise, Sabrina; Gebeloff, Robert (August 12, 2021). "Census Shows Sharply Growing Numbers of Hispanic, Asian and Multiracial Americans". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved June 4, 2022.
  19. ^ Ura, Alexa; Kao, Jason; Astudillo, Carla; Essig, Chris (August 12, 2021). "People of color make up 95% of Texas' population growth, and cities and suburbs are booming, 2020 census shows". The Texas Tribune. Retrieved June 4, 2022.
  20. ^ "Explore Census Data". data.census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2022.
  21. ^ Folsom, Jeff (October 20, 2009). "Extension agents look forward". Odessa American. Retrieved May 26, 2015.
  22. ^ "Clean coal project could be game-changer for Texas". Texas Clean Energy Project. Archived from the original on January 26, 2010. Retrieved July 13, 2010.
  23. ^ Folsom, Jeff (December 24, 2009). "Summit impact". Odessa American. Retrieved May 26, 2015.
  24. ^ Lobsenz, George (February 23, 2006). "Advanced reactor plan gets off the ground in Texas" (PDF). The Energy Daily. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 17, 2011.
  25. ^ "HT3R :: The University of Texas of the Permian Basin". January 6, 2009. Archived from the original on January 6, 2009.
  26. ^ "City of Odessa 2021 CAFR". Retrieved February 18, 2023.
  27. ^ "MOSC History". Midland–Odessa Symphony Orchestra. Archived from the original on May 26, 2015. Retrieved May 26, 2015.
  28. ^ "Odessa's Jackrabbit Jamboree". February 7, 2016.
  29. ^ "Stadiums with Capacity Greater Than 16,500". Texas Football Stadium Database. Retrieved May 26, 2015.
  30. ^ "CITY COUNCIL". City of Odessa. Retrieved May 26, 2015.
  31. ^ "Popular Annual Financial Report For Fiscal Year Ended September 30, 2014". City of Odessa. Retrieved May 26, 2015.
  32. ^ "Incorporated Cities". Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn. Retrieved December 18, 2022.
  33. ^ Smith, Kin. "Council votes to raise first responder pay". Odessa American. Retrieved December 18, 2022. ((cite news)): External link in |ref= (help)
  34. ^ "DIRECTORY - REGIONAL AND DISTRICT PAROLE OFFICES REGION V Archived September 26, 2011, at the Wayback Machine." Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Retrieved on July 28, 2010.
  35. ^ "Post Office Location - ODESSA Archived 2010-06-21 at the Wayback Machine." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on July 28, 2010.
  36. ^ "Post Office Location - NORTHEAST ODESSA Archived 2010-06-19 at the Wayback Machine." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on July 28, 2010.
  37. ^ "Post Office Location - WEST ODESSA Archived 2010-11-17 at the Wayback Machine." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on July 28, 2010.
  38. ^ College, Odessa. "Odessa College - Community Home". www.odessa.edu.
  39. ^ "EDUCATION CODE CHAPTER 130. JUNIOR COLLEGE DISTRICTS". statutes.capitol.texas.gov.
  40. ^ "2020 CENSUS - SCHOOL DISTRICT REFERENCE MAP: Ector County, TX" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved April 25, 2022.
  41. ^ "2020 CENSUS - SCHOOL DISTRICT REFERENCE MAP: Midland County, TX" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved April 25, 2022.
  42. ^ "Odessa Airport-Schlemeyer Field". AirNav. Retrieved May 26, 2015.
  43. ^ Patoski, Joe Nick (September 1997). "Law, Lucius D. Bunton III". Texas Monthly.
  44. ^ "Lonesome Onry and Mean: Roy Orbison and Odessa". Houston Press.com. October 23, 2008. Retrieved October 23, 2008.
  45. ^ "Roy E. Williams". Pro-Football-Reference.Com. Retrieved December 10, 2012.
  46. ^ "Marvin R. Young". thevirtualwall.org. Archived from the original on March 9, 2018. Retrieved June 18, 2017.
  47. ^ Merron, Jeff. "The Reel Life". Page 3. ESPN.com. Archived from the original on December 23, 2007. Retrieved July 2, 2010.
  48. ^ ""Making News: Texas Style" (2007)". Internet Movie Database. June 11, 2007. Retrieved July 2, 2010.
  49. ^ "The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (2005) - Filming locations". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved July 2, 2010.
  50. ^ "Black Gold: Going Deeper: Facts and Stats". trutv.com. Archived from the original on April 14, 2011. Retrieved July 2, 2010.
  1. ^ Note: the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos can be of any race.[16][17]