Howard County

Howard County, Texas

Howard County, Texas

View of the Big Spring State Park Pavillion, located in Howard County, Texas.
Photograph Credit: Robert Plocheck.

Howard County, on the High Plains of West Texas eighty miles west of Abilene, is bordered by Glasscock, Martin, Dawson, Borden, Scurry, and Sterling counties. It lies at the eastern tip of the Permian Basin and at the foot of the escarpment marking the beginning of the Edwards Plateau, which extends 200 miles to the south. To the north is the Caprock, the edge of the Llano Estacado. The center of the county is at 32°18' north latitude and101°25' west longitude. Big Spring is the county seat and largest community. Interstate Highway 20 bisects the county from east to west, and U.S. Highway 87 runs northwest to southeast. State highways 33, 176, and 350 are other important roads. The county comprises 901 square miles and is drained by the North Concho River and Morgan and Wild Horse creeks. The soils range from light to very dark loams, with some deep clayey subsoils. Some areas also have considerable accumulations of lime in the subsoils. In the south central part of the county are outcroppings of limestone bedrock. Elevations range from 2,200 to 2,550 feet. The average annual rainfall is 15.88 inches. Temperatures in January range from an average low of 29° F to an average high of 57° and in July from 71° to 95°. The growing season lasts 217 days, with the last freeze in early April and the first in early November. Dust storms and high winds are common in the early spring and summer. The vegetation is typical of the High Plains region, with buffalo grass and blue grama predominating. Between 41 and 50 percent of the land in the county is considered prime farmland. Most of the county's annual income is derived from agriculture, with approximately 90 percent of receipts from cotton, wheat, and sorghum culture. Leading natural resources include oil and gas, sand, gravel, and stone.

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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County Map of Texas

Howard County

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Currently Exists

Yes

Place type

Howard County is classified as a County

Altitude Range

2180 ft – 2800 ft

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Howard County by the Numbers

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Population Counts

Howard County
Pop. Year Source
36,664 2019 United States Census Bureau

Civilian Labor Counts

Howard County
People Year Source
13,968 2019 Texas Workforce Commission

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Per Capita Income (USD) Year Source
$40,255 2019 U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis

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Property Values

Howard County
USD ($) Year Source
5,010,061,371 2019 State Property Tax Board

Retail Sales

Howard County
USD ($) Year Source
600,280,989 2019 State Comptroller of Public Accounts

Wages

Howard County
USD ($) Year Source
189,251,209 2019 Texas Workforce Commission

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Unemployment Percentage Year Source
9.4 2019 Texas Workforce Commission

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Rainfall (inches) Year Source
19.5 2019 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

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Min. (January Average, °F) Max. (July Average, °F) Year Source
31.3 94.6 2019 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

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Land Area

Howard County
Area (square miles) Year Source
900.8 2019 United States Census Bureau

Total Area

Howard County
Area (square miles) Year Source
904.2 2019 United States Census Bureau