Hamilton Pool Preserve - one of the many lush areas in Central Texas
Central Texas counties in red; counties sometimes included in Central Texas in pink
Central Texas is a region in the U.S. state of Texas surrounding Austin and roughly bordered by San Saba to Bryan and San Marcos to Hillsboro. Central Texas overlaps with and includes part of the Texas Hill Country and corresponds to a physiographic section designation within the Edwards Plateau, in a geographic context.
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.
Texas is the second largest state in the United States by 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.
Austin is the capital city of the U.S. state of Texas and the seat of Travis County, with portions extending into Hays and Williamson counties. It is the 11th-most populous city in the United States, the fourth-most-populous city in Texas, and the second-most-populous state capital city. It is also the fastest growing large city in the United States and the southernmost state capital in the contiguous United States. As of the U.S. Census Bureau's July 1, 2018 estimate, Austin had a population of 964,254 up from 790,491 at the 2010 census. The city is the cultural and economic center of the Austin–Round Rock metropolitan statistical area, which had an estimated population of 2,168,316 as of July 1, 2018. Located in Central Texas within the greater Texas Hill Country, it is home to numerous lakes, rivers, and waterways, including Lady Bird Lake and Lake Travis on the Colorado River, Barton Springs, McKinney Falls, and Lake Walter E. Long.
Central Texas includes the Austin–Round Rock, Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood, Bryan–College Station, and Waco metropolitan areas. The Austin–Round Rock and Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood areas are among the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the state. Some of the largest cities in the region are Austin, College Station, Killeen, Round Rock, and Waco. The largest U.S. Army installation in the country, Fort Hood, is located near Killeen.
Austin–Round Rock is a five-county metropolitan area in the U.S. state of Texas, as defined by the Office of Management and Budget. Commonly referred to as Greater Austin, the metropolitan area is situated in Central Texas on the eastern edge of the American Southwest, and borders San Antonio–New Braunfels to the south.
The Waco Metropolitan Statistical Area, as defined by the United States Census Bureau, is an area consisting of McLennan and Falls counties in Central Texas, anchored by the city of Waco. As of the 1 April 2010 census, the MSA had a population of 234,906. The 2018 population estimate is 271,942 which includes Falls County.
College Station is a city in Brazos County, Texas, situated in East-Central Texas in the heart of the Brazos Valley, in the center of the region known as Texas Triangle. It is 90 miles northwest of Houston and 87 miles (140 km) northeast of Austin. As of the 2010 census, College Station had a population of 93,857, which had increased to an estimated population of 122,162 as of February 2019. College Station and Bryan together make up the Bryan-College Station metropolitan area, the 13th-largest metropolitan area in Texas with 273,101 people as of 2019.
The counties (in red) that are almost always included in the Central Texas region are:
Bastrop County is a county in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 74,171. Its county seat is Bastrop. The county was created in 1834 as a municipality of Mexico and organized as a county in 1837. It is named for Felipe Enrique Neri, Baron de Bastrop, an early Dutch settler who helped Stephen F. Austin obtain land grants in Texas.
Bell County is a county located in the central part of the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, its population was 310,235. Its county seat is Belton. The county was founded in 1850 and is named for Peter Hansborough Bell, the third governor of Texas.
Blanco County is a county located on the Edwards Plateau in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 10,497. Its county seat is Johnson City. The county is named for the Blanco River which traverses the county. The State of Texas formed Blanco County in 1858 from portions of Burnet, Comal, Gillespie and Hays counties. The city of Blanco served as the county seat from 1858 to 1890, when it was moved to Johnson City.
Gillespie County is a county located on the Edwards Plateau in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, its population was 24,837. The county seat is Fredericksburg. It is located in the heart of the Texas Hill Country. Gillespie is named for Robert Addison Gillespie, a soldier in the Mexican–American War.
Hays County is a county on the Edwards Plateau in the U.S. state of Texas. Hays County is part of the Austin-Round Rock, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of the 2010 census, its official population had reached 157,107. The county seat is San Marcos. Hays, along with Comal and Kendall counties, was listed in 2017 as one of the nation's ten fastest-growing large counties with a population of at least ten thousand. From 2015 to 2016, Hays County, third on the national list, had nearly ten thousand new residents during the year. Comal County, sixth on the list, grew by 5,675 newcomers, or 4.4 percent. Kendall County, the second-fastest-growing county in the nation, grew by 5.16 percent. As a result of this growth, the counties have experienced new home construction, traffic congestion, and greater demand for public services. Bexar County, which includes San Antonio, grew by 1.75 percent during the year, but its sheer number of new residents exceeded 33,000.
Lampasas County is a county located on the Edwards Plateau in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, its population was 19,677. Its county seat is Lampasas. The county is named for the Lampasas River.
Falls County is a county located in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, its population was 17,866. The county seat is Marlin. It is named for the original 10-foot-tall waterfall on the Brazos River, which existed until the river changed course during a storm in 1866. The present falls can be found two miles northeast of the original falls, at the Falls on the Brazos Park, a camping site located only a few miles out of Marlin on Farm to Market Road 712.
McLennan County is a county located on the Edwards Plateau in Central Texas. As of the 2010 census, its population was 234,906. Its county seat is Waco. The U.S. census 2018 county population estimate is 254,607. The county is named for Neil McLennan, an early settler.
Milam County is a county located in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, its population was 24,757. The county seat is Cameron. The county was created in 1834 as a municipality in Mexico and organized as a county in 1837. Milam County is named for Benjamin Rush Milam, an early settler and a soldier in the Texas Revolution.
Counties (in pink) that are sometimes included in the Central Texas region are:
Travis County is a county in south central Texas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 1,024,266; the estimated population in 2018 was 1,248,743. It is the fifth-most populous county in Texas. Its county seat is Austin, the capital of Texas. The county was established in 1840 and is named in honor of William Barret Travis, the commander of the Republic of Texas forces at the Battle of the Alamo.
Hamilton County is a county located on the Edwards Plateau in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, its population was 8,517. The county seat is Hamilton. The county was created in 1858. It is named for James Hamilton Jr., a former governor of South Carolina who gave financial aid to the Republic of Texas.
Bosque County is a county located on the Edwards Plateau in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 18,212. Its county seat is Meridian, while Clifton is the largest city and the cultural/financial center of the county. The county is named for the Bosque River, which runs through the center of the county north to south. The Brazos River makes up the eastern border along with the Lake Whitney reservoir it feeds.
Killeen is a city in Bell County, Texas, United States. According to the 2010 census, its population was 127,921, making it the 21st-most populous city in Texas. It is the principal city of the Killeen–Temple–Fort Hood Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Temple is a city in Bell County, Texas, United States. As of 2018, the city has a population of 76,600 according to a US census estimate.
The Edwards Plateau is a geographic region at the crossroads of Central, South and West Texas. It is bounded by the Balcones Fault to the south and east, the Llano Uplift and the Llano Estacado to the north, and the Pecos River and Chihuahuan Desert to the west. San Angelo, Austin, San Antonio and Del Rio roughly outline the area. The southeast portion of the plateau is known as the Texas Hill Country.
KBTX-TV, virtual channel 3, is a CBS-affiliated television station licensed to Bryan, Texas, United States and serving the Brazos Valley. The station is owned by Gray Television. KBTX-TV's studios are located on East 29th Street in Bryan, and its transmitter is located northwest of Anderson, Texas.
KXXV, virtual channel 25,, is an ABC-affiliated television station licensed to Waco, Texas, United States and serving Central Texas, including Waco, Temple and Killeen. The station is owned by the E. W. Scripps Company. KXXV's studios are located on South New Road in Waco, and its transmitter is located near Moody, Texas. On cable, KXXV is available on Charter Spectrum and Grande Communications channel 5.
The term Cross Timbers, also known as Ecoregion 29, Central Oklahoma/Texas Plains, is used to describe a strip of land in the United States that runs from southeastern Kansas across Central Oklahoma to Central Texas. Made up of a mix of prairie, savanna, and woodland, it forms part of the boundary between the more heavily forested eastern country and the almost treeless Great Plains, and also marks the western habitat limit of many mammals and insects.
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Austin includes 123 parishes and missions and six university Catholic student centers in 25 counties in Central Texas. The diocese stretches from West, Texas, in the north to San Marcos in the south to the Bryan - College Station area in the east to Mason in the west. Its largest metropolitan areas are Austin, Bryan – College Station, the Killeen – Temple – Fort Hood area and Waco. The diocese estimates over 598,000 Catholics live in the diocese. As of 2018, it has 221 priests, 230 permanent deacons, approximately 37 brothers and 78 sisters serving in the diocese.
North American area code 979 is a state of Texas telephone area code for numbers in an area that generally follows the Brazos River found between the Austin and Houston metro areas and its surrounding communities, stretching from just south of Waco to the Gulf Coast. It was created February 13, 2000, in a split from area code 409.
KCEN-TV, virtual channel 6, is an NBC-affiliated television station licensed to Temple, Texas, United States and serving Central Texas, including Waco, Temple and Killeen. The station is owned by Tegna Inc. KCEN-TV's studios are located on North 3rd Street in downtown Temple, with a news bureau and sales office in Killeen; its transmitter is located along I-35 south of Eddy.
Central Texas College (CTC) is a community college in Killeen, Texas. Founded in 1965, it has branch campuses in Europe.
KAMU-TV is a full-service Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) member public television station in College Station, Texas. Owned by Texas A&M University, it broadcasts on digital channel 12 from its transmitter near the university campus, with studios at the Moore Communications Center on campus. It serves as the sole PBS member station for the Waco/Temple/Bryan/College Station/Killeen market.
The Texas Triangle is one of 11 megaregions in the United States. These are urban areas that are much greater in scale than a metropolitan statistical area (MSA), defined by the US Census Bureau. These regions also are known as megapolitan areas. The Texas Triangle is formed by the four main cities, Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth, San Antonio, and Austin, connected by Interstate 45, Interstate 10, and Interstate 35.
Burleson County is the best kept secret in Central Texas!