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10 Fast Facts About Texas:

1/ Texas had three of the top ten fastest growing cities in the United States between 2000 and 2010 when new census data was released. These were:

Frisco
2000 Population - 33,714
2010 Population - 116,989 (247% increase)

McKinney
2000 Population - 54,369
2010 Population - 131,117 (141.2% increase)

Round Rock
2000 Population - 61,136
2010 Population - 99,887 (63.38% increase)

2/ The highest elevation point in Texas is at Guadalupe Peak at a height of 8,751 feet ( 2667 meters).

The average elevation in Texas as a whole is 1,700 feet (520 meters).

3/ The official state flag of Texas (see above) was adopted in 1839. It features horizontal bars of red and white as well as a vertical bar of blue. At the left on the blue bar is a single five pointed star that also gave rise to the states nickname, 'The Lone Star State', and the idea of the states independent spirit.

This 'lone star' is actually an older idea which pre-dates the state flag and was originally used to represent Texans solidarity when declaring independence from Mexico.

The different colored bars relates back to the short-lived Fredonian Rebellion when early Texas settlers attempted to secede from Mexico. They had a flag with a red and white stripe, the red representing the Native American Tribes and the white the Anglo settlers and was used as a symbol of their joint unity to be free from Mexico.

The colors are also meant to represent different characteristics of Texas according to the 'Texas Flag Code' - white represents purity, blue represents loyalty and red represents bravery.

4/ The Ten Largest Cities in Texas are: (Population statistics are from the 2010 Census)

Houston - 2,099,451
San Antonio - 1,327,407
Dallas - 1,197,816
Austin - 790,390
Fort Worth - 741,206
El Paso - 649,121
Arlington - 365,438
Corpus Christi - 305,215
Plano - 259,841
Laredo - 236,091

5/ Over a quarter of the population of Texas speak Spanish as their first language (27%).

6/ In 2010 in Texas, of all the births 49% were Hispanics. Of the remainder, 35% were whites (non-hispanic); 11.5% were african american, and there were a further 4.3% who were Pacific Islanders/Asians. Based on Census Bureau data released at Medio February 2011, for the first time in recent history, Texas' white population is below 50 percent (45 percent) and Hispanics grew to 38 percent. Between 2000 and 2010, the total population growth by 20.6 percent, but Hispanics grew by 65 percent, whereas non-Hispanic whites only grew by 4.2 percent.

7/ There have so far (up to April 2012) been 23 astronauts who were born in Texas. four of these were from Dallas, two each from Amarillo, Austin and San Antonio, and one each from Beaumont, El Paso, Goose Creek, Hereford, Houston, Kileen, Mineral Wells, Orange, Quanah, Randolph Air Force Base, Temple, Wheeler and Wichita Falls.

Two of them died on active NASA missions. Richard Douglas Husband (born in Amarillo) died on the Columbia Space Shuttle Disaster on Feb 1, 2003. While Edward Higgins White (born in San Antonio) died in the Apollo 1 Disaster on Jan 27, 1967 when the cabin caught fire in a launch pad test.

8/ Texas has only had Two U.S Presidents who were born in the state:

Dwight D Eisenhower - Jan 20, 1953 - Jan 20, 1961
Lyndon B. Johnson - Nov 22, 1963 - Jan 20, 1969

9/ The King Ranch in Texas occupies an area of 825,000 acres (1,289 square miles). That makes it:

Larger than the land area of the State of Rhode Island (1,044.93 square miles)
More than Half the size of the State of Delaware (1,953.56 square miles)
Over a Quarter the size of the State of Connecticut (4,844.8 square miles)
And more than an Eighth the size of the State of New Jersey (7,417.34 square miles)

10/ The Lamar Peninsula in the Goose Island State Park is home to the "Big Tree", which is probably the oldest cand certainly the largest living oak tree in Texas. It possesses a circumference of over 35 feet, is more than 45 feet tall and has a crown spread of 90 feet.

Estimates on its age put it between 1000 and 2000 years old.

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