Texas is a state that’s absolutely packed full of counties! It actually has so many counties in it that you’ll never guess – and it would certainly take you a long time to count them all! Luckily, the work has been done for you!
Read on to find out how many counties Texas actually has – and some info about the biggest and smallest!
How Many Counties Are There In Texas?
Texas actually has 254 counties in total! That means that Texas has more counties than any other U.S. state does.
Over a fifth of these counties lie within the so-called “Texas Triangle” – the area around Houston, Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, and San Antonio, the biggest cities in Texas. Around 18 million people live in this area – around two thirds of the entire population of Texas!
Some of these counties are huge, holding millions of people. Others are much smaller – with the smallest having fewer people living in the entire county than would be in the average city street. And some of the largest counties by area actually have very few people living in them!
Biggest Counties By Population
Texas has some counties with a huge amount of people living in them. Let’s take a look at the counties in Texas with the most people!
By far the single largest county in Texas by headcount, Harris County has a population of 4.7 million people. That puts it over 2 million people ahead of Dallas County, the next most populous county.
It’s one of the original 23 counties, and was founded in 1836. It was named for John Richardson Harris, one of the state’s founders, and was known as Harrisburg County until 1839.
Dallas County is the next most populous county, having 2.6 million inhabitants. This is 2 million less than Harris County, but still an absolutely massive amount of people in such a small area – only 880 square miles!
Dallas County is home to Dallas, of course – the second largest city in the state, after Houston (which lies within Harris County). Dallas County was named after George Miffin Dallas, who was the 11th vice president of the United States.
Tarrant County, named after Edward H. Tarrant, is the next largest county by head or population in Texas. Over 2.1 million people live in Tarrant County, making it the third most populated county in the entire state of Texas.
It’s home to the city of Fort Worth, and at 864 square miles has an area only slightly smaller than that of Dallas County, which has an area of 880 square miles. Both are dwarfed by Harris County, of course – which has a gargantuan area of 1729 square miles!
Smallest Counties By Population
Of course, there are some counties in Texas that don’t have anywhere near as many people living in them as the most populous counties. Here’s some of the least populated counties in Texas!
Loving County is by far and away the least populated county in all of Texas. In fact, it’s actually the least populous county in the entire contiguous United States! Loving County has an area of 673 square miles, which might lead you to believe that there could be a lot of people living there.
For example, Dallas County has roughly 1/3 as much area again, and holds millions of people. Yet, in Loving County, you could probably walk across the entire county and never meet another human being, as there are only 64 people living in the entire county!
King County is the next least populated county in Texas. Named after William Phillip King, who died at the Battle of the Alamo, this county is actually larger than Dallas County, with a total area of 912 square miles.
That’s a lot of space for not many people, as there are only 265 people who live in the entire county! This makes it the second least populated county in the entire state of Texas, and the third least populated in the entire United States.
Kenedy County, the third least populated county in Texas, absolutely dwarfs so many counties in total area – the county covers 1457 square miles in total! However, for such a huge area of land, there are so few people here.
In the entire county (which, by the way, is really spelled Kenedy – named after Mifflin kenedy, a rancher and speculator), you’ll only find 350 people!
Biggest Counties By Area
Texas is a massive state, of course – so it’s no surprise that Texas has some giant counties too! Here’s some of the absolute biggest counties in the entire state by land area.
With an area of 6193 square miles, Brewster County is by far and away the single largest county in the entire state. It has an area nearly 1500 square miles greater than the next largest county in Texas!
Brewster county is so big that it’s actually three times larger than the entire state of Delaware, and 500 square miles larger than Connecticut! For such a large county, there are few people actually in Brewster County – there are fewer than 10000 people living in the entire county!
Pecos County, the next largest county in Texas by land area, is smaller than Brewster County of course – but at 4764 square miles in area, it’s still an absolutely giant county that absolutely dwarfs many others!
Of course, as you may already have guessed, this county might be full of land, but it’s not full of people. You’ll only find around 15000 people living in the entire county.
With 4,571 square miles of land, Hudspeth County is the third largest county in the state of Texas. Established in 1917, it was named after Claude Benton Hudspeth, a U.S. Congressman.
This is a much less populated county than even Pecos County – with only 200 square miles less area, and only 1 third of the population of Pecos County, it’s fair to say that your chances of meeting other people in Hudspeth County are on the low side.
There are only 3200 people living here!
Smallest Counties By Area
Being large doesn’t mean Texas doesn’t have its small parts! Here are some of the smallest counties in the entire state.
Rockwall County might be the single smallest county in the entire state of Texas by land area, but that doesn’t mean that it’s an empty seat. Far from it – Rockwall might only have an area of 149 square miles in total, but there are over 100,000 people living in those 149 square miles!
At 187 square miles of area, Somervell County takes second place in the list of smallest counties in the state of Texas. It has an area of 187 square miles, and a population of over 9000! It was named after Alexander Somervell, leader of the famed Somervell Expedition.
Camp County is the third smallest county in Texas by area. It was named after John Lafayette Camp, a famous Texan state senator. Camp County has a total area of 198 square miles, and holds only 12,000 people.
254 counties – more than any other state, and some of them are even bigger than entire states! Texas doesn’t do things by halves!