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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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Per Capita Inc.
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sea level–49

map of Jefferson County
Click to enlarge. Map legend.

Physical Features: Gulf Coast grassy plain, with timber in northwest; beach sands, sandy loams, black clay soils; drains to Neches River, Gulf of Mexico.

Economy: Government/services, petrochemical and other chemical plants, shipbuilding, steel mill, port activity, oil-field supplies.

locator map for Jefferson County

History: Atakapas and Orcoquizas, whose numbers were reduced by epidemics or migration before Anglo-American settlers arrived in the 1820s. Cajuns arrived in the 1840s; Europeans in the 1850s. Antebellum slaveholding area. County created in 1836 from Mexican municipality; organized in 1837; named for U.S. President Thomas Jefferson.

Race/Ethnicity: (In percent) Anglo, 39.8; Black, 34.1; Hispanic, 21.5; Asian, 4.0; Other, 1.1; Two or more races, 1.7.

Vital Statistics, annual: Births, 3,782; deaths, 2,514; marriages, 1,699; divorces, 616.

Recreation: Beaches, fresh and saltwater fishing; duck, goose hunting; water activities; Dick Dowling Monument and Park; Spindletop site, energy, fire museums; saltwater lake; Sea Rim State Park, Walter Umphrey State Park, Sabine Pass Battleground State Historic Site, J.D. Murphree Wildlife Management Area, McFaddin National Wildlife Refuge, Texas Point National Wildlife Refuge; Lamar University events; historic sites; South Texas Fair in March-April.

Minerals: Large producer of oil, gas, sulfur, salt, sand and gravel.

Agriculture: Rice, hay, beef cattle, crawfish; considerable rice irrigation. Market value $32.3 million. Timber sales significant.

BEAUMONT (119,780) county seat; oil and gas production, government/services, engineering and industrial services, port; Lamar University, Institute of Technology; hospitals; entertainment district; Neches River Festival in April.

PORT ARTHUR (54,440) oil, chemical activities, shrimping and crawfishing, shipping, offshore marine, tourism; hospitals; museum; prison; Asian New Year Tet, Janis Joplin Birthday Bash in January. Sabine Pass and Port Acres are now within the city limits of Port Arthur.

Other towns include: Bevil Oaks (1,233); Central Gardens (4,223); China (1,215); Fannett (2,337); Groves (15,907) retail center, some manufacturing, government/services, tourism; hospital, pecan festival in September; Hamshire (759).

Also, Nederland (17,302) petrochemical refining, retail center, education; Windmill and French/Acadian museums; extended-care hospital; Tex Ritter memorial and park; heritage festival in March (city founded by Dutch immigrants in 1898).

Also, Nome (596); Port Neches (12,733) chemical and synthetic rubber industry, manufacturing, library, riverfront park with La Maison Beausoleil, RiverFest in May; Taylor Landing (211).

Coastal prairie south of Port Arthur

The coastal prairie south of Port Arthur. Photo by Robert Plocheck.