Bexar County, Texas

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Bexar County, Texas
County
Bexar County
Bexar county courthouse.jpg
The Bexar County Courthouse in San Antonio
Coat of arms of Bexar County, Texas.svg
Logo
Map of Texas highlighting Bexar County.svg
Location within the U.S. state of Texas
Map of USA TX.svg
Texas's location within the U.S.
FoundedDecember 20, 1836
Named for Presidio San Antonio de Béxar
Seat San Antonio
Largest citySan Antonio
Area
  Total1,256 sq mi (3,253 km2)
  Land1,240 sq mi (3,212 km2)
  Water16 sq mi (41 km2), 1.3%
Population
  (2010)1,714,773
  Density1,383/sq mi (534/km2)
Congressional districts 15th, 20th, 21st, 23rd, 28th
Time zone Central: UTC−6/−5
Website www.bexar.org

Bexar County is a county of the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 1,714,773, and a 2017 estimate put the population at 1,958,578. [1] It is the 16th-most populous county in the nation and the fourth-most populated in Texas. Its county seat is San Antonio, [2] the second-most populous city in Texas and the seventh-largest city in the United States.

County (United States) Subdivision used by most states in the United States of America

In the United States, an administrative or political subdivision of a state is a county, which is a region having specific boundaries and usually some level of governmental authority. The term "county" is used in 48 U.S. states, while Louisiana and Alaska have functionally equivalent subdivisions called parishes and boroughs respectively.

U.S. state constituent political entity of the United States

In the United States, a state is a constituent political entity, of which there are currently 50. Bound together in a political union, each state holds governmental jurisdiction over a separate and defined geographic territory and shares its sovereignty with the federal government. Due to this shared sovereignty, Americans are citizens both of the federal republic and of the state in which they reside. State citizenship and residency are flexible, and no government approval is required to move between states, except for persons restricted by certain types of court orders. Four states use the term commonwealth rather than state in their full official names.

Texas State of the United States of America

Texas is the second largest state in the United States by both area and population. Geographically located in the South Central region of the country, Texas shares borders with the U.S. states of Louisiana to the east, Arkansas to the northeast, Oklahoma to the north, New Mexico to the west, and the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas to the southwest, and has a coastline with the Gulf of Mexico to the southeast.

Contents

Bexar County is included in the San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX metropolitan statistical area. Bexar County includes Government Canyon State Natural Area in the northwestern part of the county.

New Braunfels, Texas City in Texas, United States

New Braunfels is a city in Comal and Guadalupe counties in the U.S. state of Texas, located in the northeastern part of Greater San Antonio. It is the seat of Comal County and 32 miles (51 km) from Downtown San Antonio. The city covers 44.9 square miles (116 km2) and has a 2017 estimated population of 79,152.

Greater San Antonio Metropolitan area in Texas, United States

San Antonio–New Braunfels is an eight-county metropolitan area in the U.S. state of Texas defined by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Colloquially referred to as Greater San Antonio, the metropolitan area straddles South Texas and Central Texas and is on the southwestern corner of the Texas Triangle. The official 2018 U.S. Census estimate showed the metropolitan area's population at 2,518,036—up from a reported 1,711,103 in 2000—making it the 24th largest metropolitan area in the United States. Austin–Round Rock lies about 80 miles northeast of Greater San Antonio.

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.

Republic of Texas independent sovereign nation in North America that existed from March 2, 1836, to February 19, 1846

The Republic of Texas was a sovereign state in North America that existed from March 2, 1836, to February 19, 1846. It was bordered by Mexico to the west and southwest, the Gulf of Mexico to the southeast, the two U.S. states of Louisiana and Arkansas to the east and northeast, and United States territories encompassing parts of the current U.S. states of Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, and New Mexico to the north and west. The citizens of the republic were known as Texians.

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.

Spanish Texas

Spanish Texas was one of the interior provinces of the Spanish colonial Viceroyalty of New Spain from 1690 until 1821.

Canary Islands Archipelago in the Atlantic and autonomous community of Spain

The Canary Islands are a Spanish archipelago and the southernmost autonomous community of Spain located in the Atlantic Ocean, 100 kilometres west of Morocco at the closest point. The Canary Islands, which are also known informally as the Canaries, are among the outermost regions (OMR) of the European Union proper. It is also one of the eight regions with special consideration of historical nationality recognized as such by the Spanish Government. The Canary Islands belong to the African Plate like the Spanish cities of Ceuta and Melilla, the two on the African mainland.

San Antonio River river in the United States of America

The San Antonio River is a major waterway that originates in central Texas in a cluster of springs in midtown San Antonio, about 4 miles north of downtown, and follows a roughly southeastern path through the state. It eventually feeds into the Guadalupe River about 10 miles from San Antonio Bay on the Gulf of Mexico. The river is 240 miles long and crosses five counties: Bexar, Goliad, Karnes, Refugio, and Wilson.

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 sq mi (3,200 km2) is land and 16 sq mi (41 km2) (1.3%) is water. [3] Bexar County is in south-central Texas, about 190 miles (305 km) west of Houston and 140 mi (230 km) from both the US-Mexican border to the southwest and the Gulf of Mexico to the southeast.

Houston City in Texas, United States

Houston is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Texas, fourth most populous city in the United States, as well as the sixth most populous in North America, with an estimated 2018 population of 2,325,502. Located in Southeast Texas near Galveston Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, it is the seat of Harris County and the principal city of the Greater Houston metropolitan area, which is the fifth most populous metropolitan statistical area in the United States and the second most populous in Texas after the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, with a population of 6,997,384 in 2018.

Gulf of Mexico An Atlantic Ocean basin extending into southern North America

The Gulf of Mexico is an ocean basin and a marginal sea of the Atlantic Ocean, largely surrounded by the North American continent. It is bounded on the northeast, north and northwest by the Gulf Coast of the United States, on the southwest and south by Mexico, and on the southeast by Cuba. The U.S. states of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida border the Gulf on the north, which are often referred to as the "Third Coast", in comparison with the U.S. Atlantic and Pacific coasts.

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.

Balcones Fault

The Balcones Fault or Balcones Fault Zone is a tensional structural system in the U.S. state of Texas that runs approximately from the southwest part of the state near Del Rio to the north central region near Dallas along Interstate 35. The Balcones Fault zone is made up of many smaller features, including normal faults, grabens, and horsts. One of the obvious features is the Mount Bonnell Fault.

Texas Hill Country region of Texas

The Texas Hill Country is a geographic region located in the Edwards Plateau at the crossroads of West Texas, Central Texas, and South Texas. Given its location, climate, terrain, and vegetation, the Hill Country can be considered the border between the American Southwest and Southeast.

Texas blackland prairies

The Texas Blackland Prairies are a temperate grassland ecoregion located in Texas that runs roughly 300 miles (480 km) from the Red River in North Texas to San Antonio in the south. The prairie was named after its rich, dark soil.

Major highways

Highway 281 South, San Antonio, Bexar County Highway281South.jpg
Highway 281 South, San Antonio, Bexar County

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 is currently tolled.

Adjacent counties

National protected area

Demographics

Bexar county population pyramid USA Bexar County, Texas age pyramid.svg
Bexar county population pyramid
Historical population
CensusPop.
1850 6,052
1860 14,454138.8%
1870 16,04311.0%
1880 30,47089.9%
1890 49,26661.7%
1900 69,42240.9%
1910 119,67672.4%
1920 202,09668.9%
1930 292,53344.7%
1940 338,17615.6%
1950 500,46048.0%
1960 687,15137.3%
1970 830,46020.9%
1980 988,80019.1%
1990 1,185,39419.9%
2000 1,392,93117.5%
2010 1,714,77323.1%
Est. 20171,958,578 [4] 14.2%
U.S. Decennial Census [5]
1850–2010 [6] 2010–2014 [1]

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 1,714,773 people residing in the county. Of those, 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 [7] 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. [8]

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, operated by the Bexar County Sheriff's Office (Javier Salazar, Sheriff). [9] 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 holds an average of about 3,800 prisoners in 2012, with a total capacity of 4,596, making it the fourth-largest in the state. [10] [11]

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice operates the Dominguez Unit, a state jail for men, in an unincorporated section of Bexar County. [12]

Libraries

On September 14, 2013, Bexar County opened BiblioTech - Bexar County's Digital Library, the nation's first bookless library. [13] [14]

Property taxes

In 2016, for the third consecutive year, Bexar County increased the appraised value of businesses and residences. Most will hence find their property taxes will increase for the year, with higher payments for some beginning as early as November 1. The latest 7.5 percent increase in valuation follows an 11 percent rise in 2015, and a 7 percent jump in 2014. The 2016 total value for all property in the county is approximately $163 billion, or $13 billion more than in 2015. County residents express dismay to Mary Kieke, the deputy chief appraiser. "People are very upset. The tax system is absolutely broken," she said. [15]

Communities

Cities (multiple counties)

Enclave cities within San Antonio

Cities

Towns

Census-designated places

Other unincorporated communities

Military installations

Notable people

Politics

Presidential Elections Results [18]
Year Republican Democratic Third Parties
2016 40.4% 240,33353.7%319,5505.8% 34,691
2012 46.9% 241,61751.5%264,8561.6% 8,237
2008 46.7% 246,27552.2%275,5271.1% 5,690
2004 54.9%260,69844.4% 210,9760.8% 3,640
2000 52.2%215,61344.9% 185,1582.9% 11,955
1996 44.6% 161,61949.7%180,3085.7% 20,562
1992 40.7% 168,81641.5%172,51317.8% 73,947
1988 52.3%193,19247.1% 174,0360.7% 2,521
1984 59.7%203,31940.2% 136,9470.2% 560
1980 51.7%159,57844.7% 137,7293.6% 11,167
1976 44.6% 121,17654.0%146,5811.4% 3,673
1972 59.8%137,57239.8% 91,6620.4% 959
1968 39.5% 72,95151.6%95,3259.0% 16,598
1964 32.9% 53,46966.9%108,6580.2% 393
1960 45.6% 63,93453.7%75,3730.7% 938
1956 58.2%65,90141.3% 46,7900.6% 640
1952 56.3%65,39143.3% 50,2600.4% 485
1948 39.5% 26,20254.3%35,9706.2% 4,107
1944 39.0% 23,58858.0%35,0243.0% 1,815
1940 32.2% 18,27067.4%38,2140.4% 212
1936 26.4% 12,95173.1%35,7810.5% 250
1932 16.4% 7,46682.8%37,7650.8% 363
1928 49.7% 16,47750.1%16,6260.2% 57
1924 40.1% 9,89843.9%10,83816.1% 3,963
1920 52.2%8,89440.6% 6,9267.2% 1,226
1916 43.1% 5,48355.1%7,0081.8% 223
1912 12.1% 1,02157.8%4,86430.1% 2,534

See also

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David Adolph Berchelmann, Jr., is a retired judge from his native San Antonio, Texas. A Republican, he served briefly on the statewide nine-member Texas Court of Criminal Appeals but for twenty-eight years in two district courts in Bexar County.

Homer David Peeples, known as David Peeples, is the Republican presiding judge of the 4th Administrative Judicial Region, a twenty-two county area in and about San Antonio, Texas. Peeples has served on the court since 1996. Earlier, he practiced law and was a judge of two state district courts and the Texas Court of Appeals for the 4th District.

References

  1. 1 2 "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 23, 2018.
  2. "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  3. "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved April 19, 2015.
  4. "American FactFinder" . Retrieved March 23, 2018.
  5. "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on May 12, 2015. Retrieved April 19, 2015.
  6. "Texas Almanac: Population History of Counties from 1850–2010" (PDF). Texas Almanac. Retrieved April 19, 2015.
  7. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on September 11, 2013. Retrieved 2011-05-14.
  8. Leonhardt, David; Quealy, Kevin (June 26, 2015), "Where Same-Sex Couples Live", The New York Times, retrieved July 6, 2015
  9. "BCSO Location and Driving Directions". Bexar County. Retrieved September 14, 2008.
  10. Why have jail suicides soared under Sheriff Ortiz's watch?, by Michael Barajas, SA Current, 17 October 2012
  11. "Texas Commission on Jail Standards - Abbreviated Population Report for 3/1/2018" (PDF).
  12. "Dominguez (BX)". Texas Department of Criminal Justice . Archived from the original on August 21, 2008. Retrieved September 14, 2008.
  13. "About Us". bexarbibliotech.org.
  14. "Nation's first bookless library opens in San Antonio". Dallas Morning News. January 3, 2014.
  15. Bruce Selcraig, "Property valuations jump again: Most homeowners' taxes also could rise", San Antonio Express-News , April 29, 2016, pp. 1, A12
  16. Ambrose, Stephen (1983). Eisenhower: (vol. 1) Soldier, General of the Army, President-Elect (1893–1952). New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 56.
  17. "Judge Rickhoff's Bio". tomrickhoff.blogspot.com. August 5, 2009. Retrieved March 2, 2015.
  18. Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved July 19, 2018.

Coordinates: 29°27′N98°31′W / 29.45°N 98.52°W / 29.45; -98.52