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Hidalgo County is a county in the U.S. state of Texas. The county seat is Edinburg and the largest city is McAllen. The county is named for Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, the priest who raised the call for Mexico's independence from Spain. It is located in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas and is one of the fastest-growing counties in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the population of Hidalgo County was 774,769, making it the eighth-most populous county in Texas. Hidalgo County is designated by the U.S. Census Bureau as the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission Metropolitan Statistical Area, which itself is part of the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission-Rio Grande City Combined Statistical Area with neighboring Starr County.

Geography
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,583 square miles (4,100 km2), of which 1,571 square miles (4,070 km2) are land and 12 square miles (31 km2) (0.8%) are covered by water. The northern part of the county has sandy and light loamy soils over deep reddish or mottled, clayey subsoils. In some areas, limestone lies within 40 in (1 m) of the surface. The southern part of the county has moderately deep to deep loamy surfaces over clayey subsoils. Along the Rio Grande, brown to red clays occur. Hidalgo County is in the South Texas Plains vegetation area, which features grasses, mesquite, live oaks, and chaparral. Native plants, reduced in recent years by extensive farming, include chapote, guayacan, ebony, huisache, brasil, and yucca.

In 1982, 91% of the land was in farms and ranches, with 52% of the farmland under cultivation and 85% irrigated; 51 to 60% of the county was considered prime farmland. The primary crops were sorghum, cotton, corn, and vegetables; Hidalgo County led Texas counties in the production of cabbage, onions, cantaloupes, carrots, and watermelons. The primary fruits and nuts grown in the county were grapefruit, oranges, and pecans. Cattle, milk cows, and hogs were the primary livestock products. Natural resources included caliche, sand, gravel, oil, and gas. Oil and gas production in 1982 totaled 98,487,211,000 cubic feet (2.7888472?109 m3) of gas-well gas, 139,995 barrels of crude oil, 1,101,666 barrels of condensate, and 15,784,000 cubic feet (447,000 m3) of casinghead gas. The climate is subtropical and subhumid. Temperatures range from an average low of 47 F (8 C) in January to an average high to 96 F (36 C) in July; the average annual temperature is 73 F (23 C). Rainfall averages 23 inches (580 mm) a year, and the growing season lasts for 320 days of the year.

Major highways
I-2 (TX).svg Interstate 2
I-69C (TX).svg Interstate 69C (Under Construction)
US 83.svg U.S. Highway 83
US 281.svg U.S. Highway 281
Texas 107.svg Texas State Highway 107
Texas 186.svg Texas State Highway 186
Texas 336.svg Texas State Highway 336
Texas 495.svg Texas State Highway 495
Texas FM 364.svg Farm to Market Road 364
Texas FM 490.svg Farm to Market Road 490
Texas FM 492.svg Farm to Market Road 492
Texas FM 493.svg Farm to Market Road 493
Texas FM 494.svg Farm to Market Road 494
Texas FM 676.svg Farm to Market Road 676
Texas FM 681.svg Farm to Market Road 681
Texas FM 907.svg Farm to Market Road 907
Texas FM 1016.svg Farm to Market Road 1016
Texas FM 1017.svg Farm to Market Road 1017
Texas FM 1423.svg Farm to Market Road 1423
Texas FM 1426.svg Farm to Market Road 1426
Texas FM 1924.svg Farm to Market Road 1924
Texas FM 1925.svg Farm to Market Road 1925
Texas FM 2061.svg Farm to Market Road 2061
Texas FM 2557.svg Farm to Market Road 2557
Texas FM 3072.svg Farm to Market Road 3072
Adjacent counties and municipalities
Brooks County (north)
Kenedy County (northeast)
Willacy County (east)
Cameron County (east)
Starr County (west)
Gustavo D?az Ordaz Municipality, Tamaulipas, Mexico (south)
Reynosa Municipality, Tamaulipas, Mexico (south)
R?o Bravo Municipality, Tamaulipas, Mexico (south)
Matamoros Municipality, Tamaulipas, Mexico (southeast)
National protected areas
Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge (part)
Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge
Demographics
Historical population
Census Pop. %
1860 1,182
1870 2,387 101.9%
1880 4,347 82.1%
1890 6,534 50.3%
1900 6,837 4.6%
1910 13,728 100.8%
1920 38,110 177.6%
1930 77,004 102.1%
1940 106,059 37.7%
1950 160,446 51.3%
1960 180,904 12.8%
1970 181,535 0.3%
1980 283,229 56.0%
1990 383,545 35.4%
2000 569,463 48.5%
2010 774,769 36.1%
Est. 2019 868,707 12.1%
U.S. Decennial Census
18502010 20102019
2015 Texas Population Estimate Program
As of the 2015 Texas Population Estimate Program, the population of the county was 841,667, non-Hispanic whites 62,232 (7.4%). Black Americans 2,973 (0.3%). Other non-Hispanic 11,106 (1.3%). Hispanics and Latinos (of any race) 765,356 (90.9%).

2010 Census
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 774,769 people living in the county. 88.0% were White, 1.0% Asian, 0.6% Black or African American, 0.3% Native American, 8.8% of some other race and 1.3% of two or more races. 90.6% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race).

There were 216,471 households, and 179,668 families living in the county. The population density was 363 people per square mile (140/km2). There were 248,287 housing units at an average density of 123 per square mile (47/km2). There were 216,471 households, out of which 54.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 65.00% were married couples living together, 18.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 17.0% were non-families. 14.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 5.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.55 and the average family size was 3.94.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 34.7% under the age of 18, 10.7% from 18 to 24, 27.1% from 25 to 44, 18.2% from 45 to 64, and 9.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 28.3 years. For every 100 females there were 94.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.90 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $30,134, and the median income for a family was $31,760. Males had a median income of $22,635 versus $17,526 for females. The per capita income for the county was $12,130. About 32.60% of families and 35.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 47.4% of those under age 18 and 29.8% of those age 65 or over. The county's per-capita income makes it one of the poorest counties in the United States. In 2009, it was tied with Bronx County, New York for "the greatest share of people receiving food stamps: 29 percent."

Las Milpas, previously unincorporated, was annexed by Pharr in 1987.

Metropolitan Statistical Area
The United States Office of Management and Budget has designated Hidalgo County as the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area. The United States Census Bureau ranked the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area as the 70th most populous metropolitan statistical area of the United States as of July 1, 2012.

The Office of Management and Budget has further designated the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area as a component of the more extensive McAllen-Edinburg, TX Combined Statistical Area, the 60th most populous combined statistical area and the 67th most populous primary statistical area of the United States as of July 1, 2012.

Government and politics
Hidalgo County tends to vote for the Democratic Party, although there is representation of the Republican Party in some of the offices that affect the county. Hidalgo County is represented by Vicente Gonz?lez of Texas's 15th congressional district, Henry Cuellar of Texas's 28th congressional district and Filemon Vela Jr. of Texas's 34th congressional district. In the 2012 presidential election, 70.4% of the voters voted for Barack Obama while 28.6% voted for Mitt Romney. The last time Hidalgo County voted Republican was in the 1972 presidential election when Richard Nixon won over 55% of the votes.

Presidential elections results
County services
The Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office operates jail facilities and is the primary provider of law enforcement services to the unincorporated areas of the county.

County government
Position Name Party
County Judge Richard Cortez Democratic
Commissioner, Precinct 1 David Fuentes Democratic
Commissioner, Precinct 2 Eduardo "Eddie" Cantu Democratic
Commissioner, Precinct 3 Joe M. Flores Democratic
Commissioner, Precinct 4 Ellie Torres Democratic
Criminal District Attorney Ricardo Rodriguez Democratic
District Clerk Laura Hinojosa Democratic
County Clerk Arturo Guajardo, Jr. Democratic
Sheriff J.E. "Eddie" Guerra Democratic
Tax Assessor-Collector Pablo "Paul" Villarreal Democratic
Treasurer Lita Leo Democratic
Constable, Precinct 1 Celestino Avila, Jr. Democratic
Constable, Precinct 2 Martin Cantu Democratic
Constable, Precinct 3 Lazaro Gallardo, Jr. Democratic
Constable, Precinct 4 Atanacio "J.R." Gaitan Democratic
Constable, Precinct 5 Danny Marichalar Democratic
Education
The following school districts serve Hidalgo County:

Donna Independent School District
Edcouch-Elsa Independent School District
Edinburg Consolidated Independent School District
Hidalgo Independent School District
La Joya Independent School District
La Villa Independent School District
Lyford Consolidated Independent School District (partial)
McAllen Independent School District
Mercedes Independent School District
Mission Consolidated Independent School District
Monte Alto Independent School District
Progreso Independent School District
Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District
Sharyland Independent School District
Valley View Independent School District
Weslaco Independent School District
In addition, the county is served by the multi-county South Texas Independent School District. The Catholic Diocese of Brownsville operates three PK-8th Grade schools, two lower-level elementary schools and two high schools.

The Edinburg campus of the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (formerly University of Texas-Pan American) is located in Hidalgo County. The Pecan, Mid-Valley, Technology, and Nursing & Allied Health campuses of South Texas College are also located in Hidalgo County.

Media
Newspapers
The Valley Town Crier
The Edinburg Review
The Monitor
The Mid Valley Town Crier
RGV Business Journal
The Progress Times
Texas Border Business
Mega Doctor News
Radio stations
KGBT 98.5 FM
KGBT 1530 AM
KBTQ 96.1 FM
KFRQ 94.5 FM
KKPS 99.5 FM
KNVO 101.1 FM
KVLY 107.9 FM
KURV 710 AM
KVMV 96.9 FM
KTEX 100.3 FM
KQXX 105.5 FM
Magazine
Contempo Magazine
Communities
Cities
Alamo
Alton
Donna
Edcouch
Edinburg
Elsa
Granjeno
Hidalgo
La Joya
La Villa
McAllen
Mercedes
Mission
Palmhurst
Palmview
Penitas
Pharr
Progreso
Progreso Lakes
San Juan
Sullivan City
Weslaco
Census-designated places
Abram
Alton North (former)
Cesar Chavez
Citrus City
Cuevitas
Doffing
Doolittle
Faysville
Hargill
Havana
Heidelberg
Indian Hills
La Blanca
La Homa
Laguna Seca
Linn
Llano Grande
Lopezville
Los Ebanos
Midway North
Midway South
Mila Doce
Monte Alto
Muniz
Murillo
North Alamo
Olivarez
Palmview South
Perezville
Relampago
San Carlos
Scissors
South Alamo
Villa Verde
West Sharyland
Other unincorporated places
McCook
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Plant Fertilizers
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Plant Nutrient Kits
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