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The Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center near Houston, Texas operates the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's manned space flight program. Scientists and aerospace engineers at the center's mission control supervised the first astronaut landing on the moon in 1969. Since then, they have controlled dozens of space missions from the 656-hectare (1620-acre) complex. Few states possess as wide a variety of resources as Texas, and few support economic activities of comparable variety. The economy of Texas has closely reflected key technological developments that have occurred during the state's history. The widespread use of barbed wire in the 1880s enabled improvements in cattle breeding and ranching. By the 1920s the ravages of the boll weevil elsewhere in the southern United States, combined with advances in irrigation techniques, led to greatly increased cotton production in the state, sustaining a major industry that has endured to the present. Commercial production of oil began in 1894. However, the first large-scale production resulted from the discovery of petroleum at Spindletop, near Beaumont, in the
southeastern part of the state, in 1901. During the 20th century Texas became the leading oil-producing and oil-refining state in the United States. At the same time, the state's economy shifted gradually from dependence on agriculture and lumbering to large-scale manufacturing, spurred by industries associated with petroleum, such as the production of petrochemicals and the manufacture of equipment for the oil and gas industry. Oil, cotton, and cattle have now been joined by hundreds of other business and industrial activities. Some of these reflect further technological developments, such as those of the aerospace and computer industries. A further stimulus to diversification was the decline of oil prices in the mid-1980s, which hurt the state's energy-producing industries. The Texas economy benefited from the many federal military installations located in the state and from other U.S. facilities such as the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, near Houston. A number of major corporations have headquarters in Texas, especially in Houston and the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Texas had a work force of 11,237,000 in 1997. The service industries, which include such activities as dry cleaning and computer programming, contributes the largest share of the state's gross product and employs the most workers (29 percent). Another 22 percent work in wholesale or retail trade; 15 percent in federal, state, or local government, including those in the military; 10 percent in manufacturing; 8 percent in finance, insurance, or real estate; 6 percent in construction; 5 percent in transportation or public utilities; 4 percent in farming (including agricultural services), forestry, or fishing; and 2 percent in mining.

In 1997, only 6 percent of the workers in Texas were unionized. The state has a right-to-work law, which prohibits union membership as a condition of employment.

In 1997 there were 225,000 ranches and farms in Texas. Some 35 percent had annual sales of more than $10,000. Many of the others were sidelines for operators who held other jobs. Farmland occupied 53.2 million hectares (131.5 million acres). Most of the land on farms was rangeland, and only 29 percent was cropland.

Texas ranked second among the states in income from sales of all farm products, fifth in income from crop sales, and first in income from sales of livestock and animal products in 1997. The crops grown range from those typical of temperate climates, such as the wheat and sorghum grain grown in the High Plains, to those that thrive along the subtropical Gulf Coast, such as rice and citrus fruits. Texas leads the nation in the production of cattle and of sheep and lambs. It is also an important producer of cotton, sorghum grain, wheat, dairy products, rice, corn, vegetables, poultry and eggs, greenhouse and nursery products, hogs, peanuts, hay, and oranges. Cattle, cotton lint, poultry and eggs, and dairy products are the leading sources of farm income. Proceeds from livestock sales accounted for 59 percent of total farm income in 1996.

The ranches of Texas raise Hereford, Shorthorn, Angus, and Brahman cattle. The Santa Gertrudis, the only recognized breed to be started in the United States, was developed on the King Ranch in south Texas. Cattle production has shifted from the drier areas of western Texas to the more humid eastern sections. Cattle ranching is heavily concentrated along the Gulf Coast and in the southern Río Grande plain south of the Edwards Plateau. The drier areas in western Texas, notably the Edwards Plateau, have remained important for the production of sheep and goats. Texas Cattle
Texas is especially famous for its Angora goats, which yield most of the mohair produced in the United States.

One of the most important developments in Texas's agriculture has been the westward movement of cotton production. This shift has been stimulated by the increased use of irrigation, employed on 13 percent of the state's cropland. Cotton, long the chief crop in the Black Prairies of eastern Texas, has become a major crop in the irrigated areas of the High Plains. Grain sorghum is the other major crop on these irrigated lands. Irrigation agriculture is also important in portions of the lower Río Grande Valley, where vegetables, citrus fruits, sugarcane, and cotton are grown. Farther north, in the area known as the Winter Garden, centered on Crystal City, vegetables and melons are the leading crops. They are also grown under irrigation. Around El Paso and Pecos, lands are irrigated mainly for cotton production. Rice culture, also under irrigation, dominates the Texas Gulf Coast from the Louisiana-Texas border to Lavaca Bay.

Most of the corn and wheat grown in Texas is dryfarmed, or grown without irrigation. Corn is grown in central and eastern Texas, and wheat, also irrigated in places, comes mainly from the plains of the Panhandle.

With its long Gulf coastline, which includes numerous bays and estuaries, commercial fishing in Texas is almost exclusively a saltwater business. Shellfish are the most valuable catch, with shrimp accounting for nearly nine-tenths of the income from fishing in 1997. Smaller quantities of crabs and oysters are taken. The most important commercial finfish include snapper, black drum, and tuna. Leading centers of commercial fishing are Brownsville-Port Isabel, Aransas Pass-Rockport, and Freeport. Menhaden, an inedible fish used for animal feeds, industrial oils, and fertilizer, is also caught.

Peak production in lumber was reached in the early years of the 20th century, and thereafter it declined as a result of the severe depletion of forest resources. The cut has increased, however, since the 1930s because of the emphasis placed on the scientific cutting of trees and on reforestation practices. The yellow pine is the most valuable tree crop. Harvested from the forests of eastern Texas, in the area of Lufkin and Camden, the timber is used chiefly in the manufacture of pulp and paper. Some hardwood is also cut and utilized for furniture and construction lumber.

Sulfur Mining
Texas is one of the leading states in the production of sulfur. Subterranean deposits of this nonmetallic element exist in large quantities primarily in the state's Gulf Coastal Plain. In order to extract the sulfur, it must be melted and then forced up in a liquid form. Once it reaches the air, the sulfur is allowed to harden. Texas has for many years led all other states in the value of mineral production. Petroleum, natural gas, and natural gas liquids accounted for 93 percent of the mineral value in 1997. However, the reserves of oil and gas that were recoverable under existing economic and technological conditions were increasingly being depleted in the late 1990s.

The most valuable non-fuel minerals extracted in 1997 were portland cement, crushed stone, sand and gravel used
for construction, salt, lime, and magnesium metal. Texas is the country's leading supplier of magnesium. Texas is the second largest producer among the states of portland cement, crushed stone, salt, sulfur, gypsum, crude helium, ball clay, and talc.

Because a vast amount of equipment and relatively few workers are required in petroleum operations, only 2 percent of Texas wage earners are employed in mining activities. Mineral resources are widely distributed throughout the state, with some form of mineral wealth found in almost all of the 254 counties of Texas. Petroleum, the leading mineral, is produced in approximately 200 counties. However, there are three major petroleum-producing areas in the state: the East Texas Oil Field, centering on the city of Kilgore; the Texas Gulf Coast region; and the Permian Basin in western Texas. Of the seven leading petroleum-producing counties, all but one are in the
Offshore Oil
Texas usually produces more oil than any other state in the country. Although oil was discovered in the state as early as 1866 near Nacogdoches, the oil industry truly began in 1901 when Spindletop oil field spewed over 800,000 barrels of oil into the air. Today, the state produces about one-fourth of the country's oil, both inland and at offshore sites such as the one shown here.
west. In the interests of conservation, Texas closely regulates its petroleum production. Natural gas production in Texas is also widespread, but it is more highly concentrated than petroleum production. The leading gas producing counties are in the Gulf Coast and Permian Basin areas.

Manufacturing has expanded rapidly in Texas. In 1996 income generated by manufacturing in the state was $117 billion dollars; about 1,055,000 people earned wages in manufacturing companies. In terms of the numbers of workers employed, the leading industries in Texas are the manufacturers of industrial machinery, electrical equipment, fabricated metals, processed foods, and chemicals. In terms of total industrial income generated in the state, however, the chemical industry leads. It is followed by petroleum refineries, makers of machinery, food processors, electronic goods manufacturers, and firms making fabricated metals and transportation equipment.

A well-defined belt of manufacturing activity extends along the Gulf Coast, encompassing the Beaumont-Port Arthur-Orange area, Houston, the Galveston-Texas City area, Freeport, Port Lavaca, and Corpus Christi. The development of these areas has been spurred by the presence of raw materials, the availability of natural gas for the generation of electric power, and the fact that the coastal cities have access to the sea and can reach world markets. Chemical products, especially petrochemicals, or those made from petroleum, are major products of the Gulf Coast. One of the major end products is synthetic rubber, of which Texas accounts for much of the nation's production. Although oil refining is found in almost every part of the state, one of the world's densest concentrations of refineries is in the Houston-Beaumont area. Houston is also a noted manufacturer of oil-field equipment and other products for the oil industry, such as storage containers. Tugs and barges used in offshore drilling operations are produced in Beaumont, Port Arthur, and Galveston.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration in Houston Texas
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) operates the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston. The center has attracted many aerospace industries that require highly trained specialists, and research plays an important part in its operations.

A second belt of manufacturing cities extends from south to north, all the way to the Oklahoma border, and includes such cities as Sherman, Denison, Dallas, Fort Worth, Waco, Temple, Austin, and San Antonio. Dallas has factories that manufacture oil-field equipment, automobiles, and cotton-gin equipment, and the city is a leading center for the electronics and aerospace industries. Other industries in Dallas include cement manufacturing, chemical production, and food processing. Fort Worth is one of the major producing centers for airplanes and helicopters in the United States, and it also has a share in Texas's aerospace industry. The primary center in Texas for meat packing is Fort Worth. Another leading city in this north-south industrial belt is San Antonio. The diversified manufactures of this city include petroleum products, food products, and portland cement. However, San Antonio is most noted as the home of a number of large Army and Air Force bases that employ thousands of civilian and military personnel.

Away from the major manufacturing belts are several other important industrial centers. These include Odessa and Midland, in the western Texas petroleum district, which specialize in oil refining, oil-field equipment, and the manufacture of chemicals. Lubbock is the center for cotton trade and marketing for the High Plains area and is among the world's largest centers for cottonseed-oil production. Amarillo, in the Panhandle, is a leading food-processing center and the commercial center of the region.

Because of its ample electric power supply, Texas has become an important processor of ores brought in from other states and from foreign countries. One of the world's largest copper refineries is in El Paso, and the only tin smelter in the United States is located in Texas City. Copper is also refined at Amarillo, where there is a plentiful local supply of natural gas. Corpus Christi has zinc-smelting operations and plants that process bauxite into finished aluminum.

Texas's large supply of natural gas, together with its ample lignite reserves, has enabled the state to meet rapidly increasing demands from its growing population and industries for electric power. Texas ranks first among the states in electricity production. In 1997, 86 percent of the electricity generated in the state came from conventional steam power plants fueled by natural gas or by coal. The state's 4 nuclear power plants produce 13 percent of the electricity generated. Two nuclear plants are at Glen Rose, near Fort Worth, and two at Bay City, in southeastern Texas. Only 0.6 percent of Texas's electrical generation comes from hydroelectric facilities. Large hydropower plants are at Buchanan Dam on the Colorado River and at Possum Kingdom Dam and Whitney Dam on the Brazos River.

Texas has a good highway system that reaches all parts of the state but is especially dense in the more populous eastern sections. In 1998 the state had 477,414 km (296,651 mi) of highway, more than any other state. The total included 5,203 km (3,233 mi) of the federal interstate highway system, which connects the largest cities with adjacent states and Mexico.

Texas also has more railroad track than any other state, some 17,280 km (10,737 mi) in 1996. Of the goods shipped by rail and originating in the state, 33 percent are chemicals and 21 percent are nonmetallic minerals. Air transportation has been especially important to Texans because of the great distances they must often travel from one city to another. There are 1,280 airports in Texas, including private airports. Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport was the nation's third busiest airport in 1996, handling 26.6 million passengers. Two airports in Houston also rank among the nation's busiest.

One of the most interesting aspects of freight transportation in Texas is the intensive use made of pipelines to transport oil and natural gas. From the time that natural gas began to be utilized as a fuel, instead of being wasted during petroleum-extracting operations, pipelines were constructed to transport the natural gas. It is estimated that gas from Texas reaches three-quarters of the United States by pipeline. Pipelines also move crude oil from fields in Texas to refineries along the Gulf Coast and to various points outside Texas. Refined petroleum products also move by pipeline into the interior of the United States. One of the most ambitious pipeline projects undertaken to date, about 2,480 km (about 1,540 mi) long, was built in the early 1960s. It brings refinery products from Houston to points in the eastern United States, including Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and New York City, which is the pipeline's terminus.

Water transportation plays an important part in Texas commerce. The state has 13 deepwater ports along the Gulf Coast, which have access to the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. They are also served by the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, a section of the Intracoastal Waterway system. This sheltered water route stretches the length of the Gulf and Atlantic coasts, enabling barges to shuttle among Gulf Coast ports and easily reach ports on the Mississippi River and on the East Coast.

Houston is Texas's busiest port and ranks among the top three ports of the United States. Corpus Christi, Texas City, Port Arthur, and Beaumont are next in importance after Houston. The other deepwater ports are Freeport; Galveston; Harbor Island; Port Lavaca; Brownsville and Port Isabel, in the extreme south of the state; and Orange and Sabine Pass, near the Louisiana border. Ships reach the ports of Houston and Beaumont by means of ship canals, because these ports lie inland from the Gulf of Mexico. Victoria, on the Guadalupe River, is an important port for inland waterborne commerce.

The greater part of the tonnage handled by Texas ports is destined for other parts of the United States. Petroleum and petroleum products make up a large part of these shipments. Texas ports also handle a large volume of ores, such as aluminum, imported from foreign countries. They export large quantities of wheat, sorghum, sulfur, and cotton.

The total population of Texas has increased greatly over the years. In 1900 there were only 3,048,710 persons in the entire state. In 1990 the population was 16,986,510, an increase of 19.4 percent over ten years earlier. The population estimate for 1998 was 19,759,614. The state ranks third among the states in population. The average population density is 29 persons per sq km (75 per sq mi).

Corpus Christi Texas The first Texans were Native Americans, but there remains only one small reservation in the state, in Polk County, where members of the Alabama and Coushatta peoples still live. The French and Spanish were the first Europeans to reach Texas, but few of them settled in this land; most were explorers, missionaries, soldiers, or traders. Indeed, most of the people who live in Texas are descendants of people who came from other parts of the United States or from Mexico. The largest number of Mexicans and Mexican
Americans live in southern Texas, especially along the Río Grande and in such cities as San Antonio and Corpus Christi. Many of them still speak Spanish in their homes and read the Spanish-language newspapers published in several southern Texas cities. Many families emigrated from Germany and other parts of central Europe to central Texas in the middle of the l9th century. The names of some of the towns in central Texas, such as New Braunfels, Fredericksburg, and Schulenburg, reflect their German origin.

In 1990 whites constituted 75.3 percent of the population, blacks 11.9 percent, Asians and Pacific Islanders 1.9 percent, Native Americans 0.4 percent, and those of mixed heritage or not reporting ethnicity 10.6 percent. Hispanics, who may be of any race, were 25.3 percent of the people.

The first towns in Texas grew up along rivers and near springs, where there was plentiful water. There was little early settlement on the dry plains of western Texas. Later, with the coming of the railroads, new towns sprang up along the railroad routes. Still later a new generation of towns was built or expanded in the parts of Texas where large oil fields were discovered.

In 1910 more than three-quarters of the population lived on farms or in rural communities of less than 2,500 people. By 1970 only one-fifth of the people lived on farms or in small towns, a proportion that has remained fairly stable. In 1990 urban areas were home to 80 percent of the state's population. This shift to larger cities was due to two factors. Farming was mechanized during the 60-year period; and industries in the cities grew very rapidly, thus providing employment for rural dwellers leaving the farms.

The Gulf Coast section of the Coastal Plain is dominated by a belt of seaport cities, almost all of which are large oil and natural-gas centers.

Houston, with a population of 1,744,058 in 1996, is the dominant city on the coast. It is a shipping point for goods produced throughout the Southwest and has the central administrative offices of many oil, gas, and pipeline companies. Beaumont, with 111,224 people, and Port Arthur, with 57,701, are twin seaport cities in southeastern Texas. Galveston, with 60,048 people, and Texas City, with 42,368, are seaports on Galveston Bay south of Houston. Galveston is located on an island, and its long beaches on the Gulf side of the island make it a popular summer
Houston, Texas
Houston, Texas
Houston is the largest city in Texas and one of the largest in the United States. The city has grown into an important financial and petrochemical-manufacturing center. The central business district, seen here, serves as a hub for the national petroleum industry.
resort. Texas City leans more toward manufacturing. Corpus Christi, with 280,260 people, is the major city in the southern part of the Gulf Coast section.

Dallas Texas
Dallas Texas

The Black Prairies, stretching down the northwestern edge of the Coastal Plain, originally constituted Texas's richest cotton-farming country. The farm population has declined there, but the cities have grown. Dallas, with 1,053,292 people in 1996, for example, is at the center of one of the fastest growing regions of the country.

San Antonio, with 1,067,816 people in 1996, was first settled by Spaniards. It became the capital of their Texas territory during the late 18th and l9th centuries. Later its growth was spurred by the development of the surrounding rich Black Prairies farming area. Austin has a population of 541,278 and is the capital city of Texas. Waco, with 108,412 people, is a transportation and distribution center.

San Antonio, Texas San Antonio Texas

Fort Worth, Texas
Fort Worth Texas

Fort Worth, with 479,716 people in 1996, is the major metropolitan center of the Central Lowland. Although Fort Worth and Dallas are only 50 km (30 mi) apart, Dallas tends to face east in its business interests and Fort Worth is more concerned with the farmlands, ranchlands, and oil fields to the west. Wichita Falls, with 100,138 people, is the second largest city of the Central Lowland. Its rapid growth has been spurred by the discovery of large petroleum deposits nearby.

The Basin and Range province is largely unpopulated. Great expanses of land are too mountainous and dry to support human habitation. Some scenic parts of this country are held in state and national parks, yet there are also important ranchlands there. El Paso, with 599,865 people in 1996, is the major city in the Basin and Range province.

El Paso, Texas
Downtown El Paso Texas

The eastern Texas section of the Coastal Plain, or that portion of the Coastal Plain lying inland from the Gulf Coast and east of the Black Prairies, was one of the first parts of the state to be settled by farmers from states to the east. It was a cotton-growing region, and after the abolition of slavery many of the cotton lands were farmed by black and white tenant farmers, operating largely as sharecroppers. In 1930, in some of the counties of eastern Texas, as many as 60 percent of the farmers were tenants. It is in this part of Texas that the farm population has declined the most. Farm tenancy has also dropped sharply. Some counties have lost as much as half their population since the 1930s.

The southern Texas section of the Coastal Plain is much more thinly populated than the Gulf Coast section. There are no seaports, except at the mouth of the Río Grande, and not many large towns. Generally this land is ranching country. There are only two sizable concentrations of population, the city of Laredo and a cluster of cities near the mouth of the Río Grande. Laredo, with a 1996 population of 164,899, is located on the Mexican border. Through the city is funneled a great deal of traffic and trade between Mexico and the United States. Brownsville, with 132,091 people, is the largest of a belt of cities that dominates the Río Grande Valley from the Gulf Coast to a point 100 km (60 mi) inland.

The High Plains section of the Great Plains extends over most of the Texas Panhandle. The population has increased considerably as ranching has given way to crop farming. More important, several towns and cites have grown very rapidly as agricultural or petroleum and natural gas centers. Amarillo, with 169,588 people in 1996, has been replaced by Lubbock, with 193,565 people, as the largest city of the High Plains. Lubbock has grown rapidly with the development of irrigated cotton farming in the surrounding area.

The Edwards Plateau, the rough southern part of the Texas Great Plains, is thinly populated. Some people in the rugged Hill Country support themselves through tourism. San Angelo, with 88,098 people, is the only city of substantial size on the plateau.

About one-third of those participating in religion in Texas are Baptists, while about one-quarter are Roman Catholics. The Methodists, Pentecostals, and Lutherans also have membership of significant size.

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