Zapata County

Zapata County, Texas

Zapata County, Texas

The Zapata County Courthouse is located in the city of Zapata, the county seat. Photograph by Billy Hathorn.
Physical Features: South Texas county of rolling, brushy topography; broken by tributaries of Rio Grande; Falcon Res- ervoir. Economy: Natural gas, oil, ranching, Falcon Reservoir activities, government/services. History: Coahuiltecan Indians in area when the ranch settlement of Nuestra Señora de los Dolores was established in 1750. Anglo-American migration increased after 1980. County named for Col. Antonio Zapata, pioneer rancher; created and organized in 1858 from Starr, Webb counties. Race/Ethnicity: (In percent) Anglo, 5.8; Black, 0.5; His- panic, 93.5; Asian, 0.2; Other, 0.6. Vital Statistics, annual: Births, 283; deaths, 71; marriages, 88; divorces, 1. Recreation: Lake, state park, Dolores Hacienda site, rock hunting, hang gliding encampment June/July. Minerals: Natural gas, oil, caliche. Agriculture: Cattle; onions, cantaloupes, melons, goats. Market value $11.8 million. Hunting/wildlife leases. ZAPATA (5,091) county seat; tourism, agribusiness, oil, retirement center; clinic; fajita cook-off in November. Other towns include: Falcon (185); Lopeño (180); Medina (4,150), and San Ygnacio (659) historic buildings, museum.

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County Map of Texas

Zapata County

Highlighted:
  • Zapata County

Currently Exists

Yes

Place type

Zapata County is classified as a County

Pronunciations

  • zuh PAH tuh

Altitude Range

301 ft – 860 ft

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Zapata County by the Numbers

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Population Counts

Zapata County
Pop. Year Source
14,179 2019 United States Census Bureau

Civilian Labor Counts

Zapata County
People Year Source
4,784 2019 Texas Workforce Commission

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Per Capita Income (USD) Year Source
$28,294 2019 U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis

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Property Values

Zapata County
USD ($) Year Source
1,766,194,878 2019 State Property Tax Board

Retail Sales

Zapata County
USD ($) Year Source
70,362,411 2019 State Comptroller of Public Accounts

Wages

Zapata County
USD ($) Year Source
47,161,582 2019 Texas Workforce Commission

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Unemployment Percentage Year Source
13.5 2019 Texas Workforce Commission

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Rainfall (inches) Year Source
19.8 2019 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

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Min. (January Average, °F) Max. (July Average, °F) Year Source
46.3 97.8 2019 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

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Land Area

Zapata County
Area (square miles) Year Source
998.4 2019 United States Census Bureau

Total Area

Zapata County
Area (square miles) Year Source
1,058.0 2019 United States Census Bureau
Handbook of Texas

Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas , a digital state encyclopedia developed by the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records

Zapata County is on U.S. Highway 83 south of Laredo in the Rio Grande Plain region of South Texas. The county, named for local rancher Antonio Zapata, is bordered on the north by Webb County, on the east by Jim Hogg and Starr counties, and on the west by Mexico. The center of the county is at 26°58' north latitude and 99°10' west longitude. The county's largest town and county seat is Zapata, which is on the Rio Grande at the junction of U.S. Highway 83 and State Highway 16. Other communities include San Ygnacio, Ramireño, Escobas, Falcon, and Lopeño. Zapata County covers 999 square miles, with elevations from 200 to 700 feet above sea level. The county generally has light-colored loamy soils over reddish or mottled clayey subsoils; limestone lies in places within forty inches of the surface. The flora includes thorny shrubs, grasses, mesquite, and cacti. Less than 1 percent of the county is considered prime farmland. Natural resources include caliche, clay, lignite coal, sand, gravel, oil, and gas. Zapata County's climate is subtropical-subhumid. Temperatures range from an average of 44° F to 69° in January and 75° F to 100° in July. The average annual temperature is 74°. Rainfall averages nineteen inches a year, and the growing season lasts 295 days.

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Alicia A. Garza, Christopher Long | © Texas State Historical Association