Corpus Christi

Corpus Christi, Texas

Corpus Christi, Texas

Corpus Christi, Texas Photo by Joshua J. Cotten on Unsplash

Corpus Christi, a seaport at the mouth of the Nueces River on the west end of Corpus Christi Bay, is the county seat of Nueces County and the largest city on the South Texas coast. It lies at the junction of Interstate 37 and U. S. highways 77 and 181, 210 miles southwest of Houston. The city's transportation needs are also served by the Texas Mexican, Southern Pacific, and Missouri Pacific railways and Corpus Christi International Airport. In prehistoric times the area was inhabited by various tribes of the Karankawa Indian group, which migrated up and down the Coastal Bend region. It is not known who the first Europeans were to visit the area, but it seems most likely that Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca and his band were the first Europeans who actually set foot on the site. The Spanish, however, largely ignored the region until the 1680s, when Frenchmen under René Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, established a colony in Texas. Spanish authorities dispatched an expedition to the area in 1689 under Alonso De León, but the Corpus Christi Bay area remained unknown and unexplored until 1747, when Joaquín de Orobio y Basterra led an expedition down the Nueces River, reaching the bay on February 26. After Orobio's return, José de Escandón, governor and captain general of Nuevo Santander, proposed founding a settlement at the mouth of the Nueces called Villa de Vedoya. In the summer of 1749, fifty families accompanied by a squadron of soldiers and two priests set out to colonize the area, but because of prolonged drought and a lack of adequate provisions they gave up before reaching their goal.

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

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Corpus Christi by the Numbers

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Population Counts

Corpus Christi
Pop. Year Source
317,863 2020 United States Census Bureau
326,162 2019 Texas Demographic Center
305,215 2010 United States Census Bureau
277,454 2000 United States Census Bureau
257,453 1990 United States Census Bureau
231,999 1980 United States Census Bureau
204,525 1970 United States Census Bureau
167,690 1960 United States Census Bureau
108,287 1950 United States Census Bureau
57,301 1940 United States Census Bureau
27,741 1930 United States Census Bureau
10,522 1920 United States Census Bureau
8,222 1910 United States Census Bureau
4,703 1900 United States Census Bureau
4,387 1890 United States Census Bureau
3,257 1880 United States Census Bureau
2,140 1870 United States Census Bureau
175 1860 United States Census Bureau