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Change fm 2010
Area (sq.mi.)
Land area(sq.mi.)
Altitude (ft.)
Rainfall (in.)
Jan. avg. min.
July avg. max.
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map of Hidalgo County
Click to enlarge. Map legend.

Physical Features: Rich alluvial soils along Rio Grande; sandy, loam soils in north; semitropical vegetation; Anzalduas Channel Dam, Delta Lake, Valley Acres Reservoir.

Economy: Food processing and shipping, other agribusinesses, tourism, mineral operations; Texas' fifth-largest metro area.

locator map for Hidalgo CountyHistory: Coahuiltecan and Karankawa area. Comanches forced Apaches southward into the area in the 1700s; Comanches arrived in the 1800s. Spanish settlement occurred from 1750-1800. County created in 1852 from Cameron and Starr counties, organized the same year; named for leader of Mexico’s independence movement of 1810, Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costillo.

Race/Ethnicity: (In percent) Anglo, 5.9; Black, 0.9; Hispanic, 92.5; Asian, 1.0; Other, 0.5; Two or more races, 0.5.

Vital Statistics, annual: Births, 16,325; deaths, 4,179; marriages, 4,783; divorces, 0.

Recreation: Winter resort, retirement area; fishing, hunting; gateway to Mexico; historical sites; Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park, Estero Llano Grande State Park, Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge; museums; All-Valley Winter Vegetable Show at Pharr.

Minerals: Oil, gas, stone, sand and gravel.

Agriculture: Ninety percent of farm cash receipts from crops (ranked first in state), principally from sugar cane (first in acreage), grain sorghum, vegetables (first in sales), citrus (first in sales), cotton, corn; livestock includes cattle; 162,000 acres irrigated. Market value $311 million.

EDINBURG (98,160) county seat; vegetable processing and packing, petroleum operations, tourism, clothing; planetarium; the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley; hospitals; behavioral, health center; museum; Texas Cook’em High Steaks July 4 weekend, Fiesta Edinburg in February.

McALLEN (144,379) retail center, medical care/hospitals, government/services; community college; birding center, Mxlan arts/music celebration of Mexican culture in late July.

Mission (86,309) citrus groves, agricultural processing and distribution; hospital; community college; international butterfly park; Citrus Fiesta in January.

Pharr (81,399) agriculture, trading center; trucking; tourism; old clock, juke box museums; folklife festival in February.

Other towns include: Abram (2,449); Alamo (20,081) live steam museum; Alton (16,822); Doffing (5,793); Donna (17,300) citrus center, varied manufacturing; Edcouch (3,352); Elsa (7,161); Granjeno (316); Hargill (924); Hidalgo (14,049) trade zone, shipping, winter resort, agribusiness, historical sites, library, Borderfest in March; La Blanca (2,633); La Homa (12,207); La Joya (4,407); La Villa (2,543); Los Ebanos (318).

Also, Mercedes (17,086) “boot capital,” citrus, and vegetable center, food processing, tourism, recreation vehicle show in January, Hispanic Fest July 4; Mila Doce (6,745); Monte Alto (1,975); North Alamo (3,901); Nurillo (9,070); Palmhurst (2,766); Palmview (7,310); Palmview South (6,132); Peñitas (4,810); Perezville (6,003); Progreso (6,103); Progreso Lakes (240); San Carlos (3,564); San Juan (38,110) retirement area, trucking, Shrine of Our Lady of San Juan, Spring Fiesta in February; San Manuel-Linn (765); South Alamo (3,269); Sullivan City (4,282); Weslaco (41,287) agriculture, nature tourism, South Texas College, hospital, Dragonfly Days in May.

Hidalgo pronunciation


approach to Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley Sate Park near Mission

The approach to Bentsen–Rio Grande Valley State Park near Mission. Photo by Robert Plocheck.