Sterling County

Sterling County, Texas

Sterling County, Texas

Sterling County Courthouse in Sterling City, Texas, the county seat. Photograph by Billy Hathorn.

Sterling County is in western Texas, bordered on the east by Coke County, on the south by Tom Green County, on the west by Reagan and Glasscock counties, and on the north by Howard and Mitchell counties. The center of the county lies at 31°50' north latitude and 101°03' west longitude, thirty-seven miles southeast of Midland. The area was named for W. S. Sterling, a buffalo hunter, rancher, and Indian fighter who may have been the first permanent settler in the area. Sterling County covers 914 square miles of the central prairie, is surrounded by hills, and drains to the North Concho River and its tributaries-Sterling, Ross, and Crystal creeks. Soils vary from sandy to black. Elevations in the area range from 2,200 to 2,600 feet above sea level. Annual rainfall averages nineteen inches. Temperatures range from an average minimum of 33° F in January to an average maximum of 95° F in July; the growing season lasts 224 days. In the 1980s 96 percent of the county's area was in farms and ranches. In the early 1980s the agricultural sector of the county's economy earned an average annual income of $7.5 million, nearly all of which was derived from beef cattle, sheep, and goats; crops such as wheat, barley, hay, and pecans were also grown in Sterling County. There is no manufacturing in the area, but oil and gas production are important to the local economy. In 1982, 2.5 million barrels of oil were produced in the county, earning $75 million, and by January 1, 1991, 286,548,000 barrels of crude had been produced in Sterling since 1947, when oil was discovered there. U.S. Highway 87 (north-south) takes residents of the county to Big Spring, while State Highway 158 (east-west) provides easy access to Midland. State Highway 163 (north-south) also runs through the county.

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.

Adopt a Town

The Texas Almanac's Land Rush program lets you adopt the town, county, or lake of your choice and share your message with the world. 100% of the proceeds benefit education in Texas.

County Map of Texas

Sterling County

Highlighted:
  • Sterling County

Currently Exists

Yes

Place type

Sterling County is classified as a County

Altitude Range

2000 ft – 2760 ft

Proud to call TX home?

Put your name on the town or county of your choice.


Search Places »

Sterling County by the Numbers

This is some placeholder text that we should either remove or replace with a brief summary about this particular metric. For example, "We update population counts once per year..."

Population Counts

Sterling County
Pop. Year Source
1,291 2019 United States Census Bureau

Civilian Labor Counts

Sterling County
People Year Source
550 2019 Texas Workforce Commission

This is some placeholder text that we should either remove or replace with a brief summary about this particular metric. For example, "We update population counts once per year..."

Per Capita Income (USD) Year Source
$58,174 2019 U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis

This is some placeholder text that we should either remove or replace with a brief summary about this particular metric. For example, "We update population counts once per year..."

Property Values

Sterling County
USD ($) Year Source
1,060,423,820 2019 State Property Tax Board

Retail Sales

Sterling County
USD ($) Year Source
15,764,218 2019 State Comptroller of Public Accounts

Wages

Sterling County
USD ($) Year Source
6,625,134 2019 Texas Workforce Commission

This is some placeholder text that we should either remove or replace with a brief summary about this particular metric. For example, "We update population counts once per year..."

Unemployment Percentage Year Source
8.0 2019 Texas Workforce Commission

This is some placeholder text that we should either remove or replace with a brief summary about this particular metric. For example, "We update population counts once per year..."

Rainfall (inches) Year Source
20.5 2019 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

This is some placeholder text that we should either remove or replace with a brief summary about this particular metric. For example, "We update population counts once per year..."

Min. (January Average, °F) Max. (July Average, °F) Year Source
28.2 93.6 2019 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

This is some placeholder text that we should either remove or replace with a brief summary about this particular metric. For example, "We update population counts once per year..."

Land Area

Sterling County
Area (square miles) Year Source
923.5 2019 United States Census Bureau

Total Area

Sterling County
Area (square miles) Year Source
923.5 2019 United States Census Bureau