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Moving to Texas


About Texas - Texas is a state located in the texasUnited States of America. The 28th U.S. state, Texas joined the United States in 1845. Its postal abbreviation is TX. With an area of 696,241 km2 and a population of 22.5 million, Texas is the second largest U.S. state in both area and population, and the largest state in the contiguous 48 states in area. (Alaska is the largest U.S. state in area and California is the most populous.)

Texas borders New Mexico on the west, Oklahoma on the north (across the Red River), and Louisiana (across the Sabine River) and Arkansas on the east. To the southwest, across the Rio Grande, Texas borders the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas. To the southeast of Texas lies the Gulf of Mexico. 

Living in Texas

Texas has five major topographic regions:

  1. The Coastal Plain, from the Gulf of Mexico inland to about San Antonio and just southeast of Austin
  2. The Hill Country and Edwards Plateau, a hilly rocky area in central Texas bordered on the east by the Balcones Fault zone and Blackland Prairie
  3. The Great Plains region extends into northern Texas, including the Llano Estacado and the Panhandle High Plains
  4. The North Central Plains
  5. The Trans-Pecos Desert, a subdivision of the Chihuahuan Desert, in extreme western Texas, west of the Pecos River

County Government
Texas has a total of 254 counties, by far the most counties of any state. Each county is run by a "commissioners court" consisting of four elected commissioners (one from each of four precincts drawn based on population) and a "county judge" elected from all the voters of the county. The county judge does not have authority to veto a decision of the commissioners court, s/he votes along with the commissioners. In smaller counties, the county judge actually does perform judicial duties, but in larger counties the judge's role is limited to serving on the commissioners court. Certain officials such as the sheriff and tax collector are elected separately by the voters and state law specifies their salaries, but the commissioners court determines their office budgets. Counties also have much less legal power than municipalities, for instance, counties in Texas do not have zoning power or eminent domain power (except in very rare circumstances).

Municipal Government
Texas does not have townships; areas within a county are either "incorporated" (i.e., part of a city, though the city may contract with the county for needed services) or "unincorporated" (i.e., not part of a city, in these areas the county has authority for law enforcement and road maintenance). Cities are classified as either "general law" or "home rule". A city may elect "home rule" status (i.e., draft an independent city charter) once it exceeds 5,000 population and the voters agree to home rule. Otherwise, it is classified as "general law" and has very limited powers. One example of the difference in the two structures regards annexation. General law cities cannot annex adjacent unincorporated areas without the property owner's consent; home rule cities may annex without consent, but must provide essential services within a specified period of time or the property owner may file suit to be deannexed.

School and Special Districts
In addition to cities and counties, Texas has numerous "special districts". The most common is the independent school district, which (with one exception) has a board of trustees that is independent of any other governing authority. School district boundaries are not coaligned with city or county boundaries; it is not uncommon for a school district to cover one or more counties or for a large city to be served by several school districts. Other special districts include water supply, public hospitals, and community colleges.

The people of Texas, historically often known as Texians, are now generally referred to as Texans. The state had a population of 22,490,022. The state has 3,450,500 foreign-born residents (15.6% of the state population), of which an estimated 1.2 million are illegal aliens (illegal aliens account for more than one-third of the foreign-born population in Texas and 5.4% of the total state population).

Ethnic origins
More than one-third of Texas residents are of Hispanic origin and may be of any racial groups. Some are recent arrivals from Mexico, Central America, or South America, while others, known as Tejanos, have ancestors who have lived in Texas since before Texan independence, or at least for several generations. Tejanos are the largest ancestral group in southern Duval County. Perhaps numerically Mexican-Texans dominate south, south-central, and west Texas and are a significant part of the work force of cities of Dallas and Houston.

Other population groups in Texas also exhibit great diversity. Frontier Texas saw settlements of Germans, particularly in Fredericksburg and New Braunfels. In fact, the largest family in Texas today is of German descent. After the European revolutions of 1848, German, Polish, Swedish, Norwegian, Czech and French immigration grew, and continued until World War I. The influence of the diverse immigrants from Europe survives in the names of towns, styles of architecture, genres of music, and varieties of cuisine. Texans of German descent dominate much of central and southeast-central Texas and one county in the area, Lavaca, is predominately Czech.

In recent years, the Asian population in Texas has grown, especially in Houston and in Dallas. People from mainland China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia India, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Pakistan and other countries have settled in Texas.

In August 2005, it was announced by the United States Census that Texas has become the fourth minority-majority state in the nation (after Hawaii, New Mexico, and California).[1] According to the Texas state Data Center, if current trends continue, Hispanics will become a majority in the state by 2030.

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