How Big is Texas? You Won’t Believe How Huge It Is!

Texas is Big. Nobody will dispute that. But how big is big? Texas is the second-largest state in the US with an area of 268,597 square miles or 171,902,080 acres. In comparison, Texas is about 1.65 times larger than California, at 163,696 square miles. Texas is not the largest state, however. Alaska, the largest state in the US is nearly 2.5 times larger than Texas at 663,300 square miles.  According to Statista, Texas has 29 million residents and the 13th highest GDP in the world at 1.78 trillion as of 2019.

Why is Texas so big?

New Union states were historically created by subdividing territories. Texas was already a large independent republic at the time it joined the Union and was not divided up. At one point in history, Texas was even larger covering some of New Mexico, Colorado, Oklahoma, and Kansas. You’ll need to dig deep into the rich Texas history to get the full story.


How Big is Texas Compared to the United States?

Texas is 268,597 square miles and the US is 3.797 million square miles so Texas is roughly 7% of the total land size of the US. In other words, the United States is 14 times larger than Texas. From an economic perspective, the 2 trillion dollar Texas economy is about 8% of the 25 million dollar US economy. In 2021 the population of Texas was about 29.53 million people which is roughly 8.8% of the total US population of 332 million people.

10 Little-Known Facts about the Size of Texas

  • The entire world population of 7.8 billion could fit into the state of Texas, assuming the population density of New York City of 27,000 per square mile.
  • If Texas were its own country, it would be the 40th largest out of 193 countries in the world, bigger than every country in Europe.
  • King Ranch is the largest ranch in Texas and the US, at 1,289 square miles.  It is bigger than the state of Rhode Island alone.
  • The fastest road in the United States is in Texas and runs for 40 miles from Austin to San Antonio with a speed limit of 85 miles per hour.
  • El Paso is closer to Denver at 637 miles than to Houston at 747 miles.
  • El Paso, Texas is closer to the Pacific Ocean at San Diego California than it is to Texarkana Texas.
  • The “Texas Triangle” includes Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio with over 21 million of the 29 million Texas residents.
  • The Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, at 27 square miles is larger than the island of Manhattan.
  • U. S. 83 is the longest highway in Texas at 783.5 miles long.  Starting from Perryton on the Oklahoma state line, it continues to the border of Mexico at Brownsville.
  • Texas has the U.S.’s largest domed state capitol building with 18 acres of floor space.

How many states can fit in Texas?

Fifteen of the smallest US states could fit within Texas simultaneously including Kentucky, Virginia, Indiana, Maine, South Carolina, West Virginia, Maryland, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Hawaii, Connecticut, Delaware, and Rhode Island.  Individually, every state except for Alaska can fit in Texas California, the third-largest state can fit into Texas about 1.6 times. Rhode Island, the smallest state at only 1,212 square miles, can fit into Texas about 221 times. 

Is Texas bigger than England?

Yes, England is less than one-fifth of the size of Texas in land area. England is just 50,346 square miles compared to Texas’ 268,597 square miles. At its widest, England is only 181 miles east to west and 346 miles north to south. England’s capital and most populous city, London, is just smaller than the land area of Houston. However, London has a population of almost 9 million while Houston’s population is just over 2.3 million. Overall, England’s population rests at 56.29 million with Texas at 29 million residents. Economically, England’s GDP is 1.3 times larger than that of Texas. England has a GDP of $2.5 trillion, while Texas has a GDP of $1.887 trillion. Per capita, however, Texas’ GDP was $61,682 in 2019, with England’s at $42,300 in 2019. 

What Country is the same size as Texas?

Great map demonstrating the size of Texas vs various European Countries

France is roughly the same size as Texas with Texas about 8% larger. France is 248,573 square miles compared to Texas at 268,597 square miles. Both Myanmar (Burma) with 261,227 square miles and Zambia with 290,587 square miles are also very close to the size of Texas at 268,597 square miles.

Is Texas Bigger than the UK?

Yes! At 268,597 square miles, Texas is 2.8 times larger than the UK at just 93,628 square miles. At 67.2 million people, the population of the UK is 2.3 larger than Texas at 29.2 million while the UK GPD at $2.7 trillion is 35% larger than Texas’ $2 trillion.

Is Texas Bigger than France?

Yes, Texas is about 8% larger than France. The Texas land mass is 268,597 square miles vs France at 248,573 square miles. Of course, the population of France at 67.4 million people is about 2.3 times larger than Texas at 29.3 million people. Economically, France is just 23% larger with a GDP of $2.9 trillion vs Texas’ $2 trillion GDP.

Is Texas Bigger than Germany?

Texas is almost twice as big as Germany. Specifically, Texas at 268,597 square miles is 94.5% larger than Germany at 138,065 square miles. Of course, the population of Germany at 83.2 million is 2.84 times larger than Texas at 2.9 million and the GPD of Germany at 3.8 trillion is also 90% larger than the Texas GDP at $2 trillion.

Is Texas bigger than Japan?

Texas is 84% larger, or almost twice the size of Japan. To be more specific, Texas is 268,597 square miles and Japan is 145,937 square miles. Interestingly, the population of Japan at 125.8 million is 4.3 times that of Texas at 29.2 million so you can imagine how the population density differs between the two areas. Similarly, the GPD of Japan at $5 trillion is roughly 1.5x larger than the $2 trillion GDP of Texas.

Which is Bigger – Texas or California?

Texas is about 68% bigger than California. The area of Texas is 268,597 square miles and California is 163,696 square miles. By population, California has about 35% more people than Texas at 29.2 million vs California at 39.5 million. The population density of Texas at 105 people per square mile is half that of California at 253 people per square mile. Economically, the California GDP of $3.4 trillion is about 70% larger than the Texas GDP at around $2 trillion.

How many acres is Texas?

Texas is 171.902 million acres or 171,902,080 acres.

How long does it take to drive across Texas?

It takes 11 hours to drive 773 miles from east to west across Texas. Of course, you’ll need to plan an additional hour or two of stops to be safe. Starting in El Paso, you would drive east on I-10 until you reach I-20 after about 160 miles. From there, you would take I-20 through Odessa, Abilene, the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex, and to Waskom, one of the farthest east cities just before the Texas-Louisiana border. Alternatively, you can fly four hours from El Paso to Shreveport Regional Airport just on the Louisiana side of the Texas-Louisiana border.

If you are interested in what it might look like to drive across Texas on I-10 from El Paso through Houston, check out this cool timelapse video.

How long does it take to drive across Texas, North to South?

It takes around 13 hours to drive the 805 miles from the northernmost point to southernmost in Texas. You would start in Texhoma, a small town that sits on the border of Texas and Oklahoma then drive south through Lubbock, San Antonio, and all the way down to Brownsville, the southernmost city on the tip of Texas.  Add few stops at Buc-ee’s and Whataburger and you’ll probably be closer to 15 hours.

About Cassidy

Hello! I’m Cassidy Lackey and I'm fascinated by the pride Texans have for their great state. While not a native Texan, I’ve been here for about 30 years, first arriving in 1991 to attend Baylor University. I spend my days on an entrepreneur journey primarily focused on my small businesses, Texas Marimbas, Drone Pilots Media, and TexasProud.com.

9 thoughts on “How Big is Texas? You Won’t Believe How Huge It Is!”

  1. Wow! People say you know you’ve reached the State of Texas and ALWAYS when you’ve left Texas by the condition of the highway, because, from one end to the next, TX’s are incomparably good — best in the world. With a 2 trillion-dollar budget, Texas takes care of those highways. Born and raised in the “Bluebonnet” state, I can attest that whatever you want, Texas has it. Great jobs, great water quality (History: Texas water at one time was shipped all over the world by the military because it’s springs were so pure. Quality is some-what down now because of the induction of fluoride, waste recycling and fracking in certain counties). But, along the highways and city streets of Texas, you’ll enjoy the BEST BBQ and Mexican food, giant steaks, peach cobbler, fresh fruit and vegetables, chicken fried steak, pecan pie, TX wines, olives, salsa, giant stuffed burgers and pizzas… and of course, Gulf seafood you’ve ever had! Gas, of course, is the cheapest in the nation. And, every kind of music you enjoy is in TX: Tejano, Conjunto, Zydeco, Rock ‘n Roll (did you know Buddy Holly, Willie Nelson, and Beyonce are from Texas?), Western swing, jazz, blues, punk and straight rock, country, hip-hop, electronic, grunge, R&B, and soul, … is in TX. We have every kind of festival from every nation of the world in Texas: Mexican Fiestas, German Wurstfests , St. Patrick’s Day festivals, Renaissance , Mardi Gras , Bluebonnet, all types of food festivals, and Soul/Jazz Festivals… festivals abound in TX. We even have our own Chinatown in Houston! For The Kids: Rodeos & Great diverse schools, homeschooling networks, museums, science centers, mini golf, libraries, Sea World, Fiesta Texas, Campgrounds, Aquariums, planetariums, space center ….. you name it, there’s lots to do for everyone. The Skyscrapers are huge, the living spaces are abundant, and many military bases (not to mention top-notch universities, tech schools, and medical centers) are in TX. We have diverse weather (4 seasons)in our landscapes (desert, mountains, hills, urban cities, suburbs, farm lands, sea coast, abundant lakes, national parks, and near park size playgrounds in every community.) The greatest home-buying prices eva! What you pay millions for in California and NY gets you a “Southfork” mansion in TX, in the city!, or with acres and acres of land (ask the movie stars who have “residency” in Texas). So you can live close to your neighbor in a roomy house or apartment in the city or buy enough space to walk a 1/2 mile down the road for a visit. Apartment rooms are HUGE! Whatever you want and can afford is usually more than you expect cause everything is “big in Texas.” Also — NO STATE TAXES… and any Governor who suggest there be one, ain’t governor for long — he’ll get the boot or there will be guns at the capital the next day! Jobs? TX attracts all sorts of diverse industry from aerospace to oil-drilling, video games and computer chip production. The plastics and car industry is big in Texas. And now, environmental innovation jobs are coming to Texas, fast. There’s so many people living in TX that the service industry is a boom field — plus, we tip big! The fresh food grown in TX is so abundant and fresh it gets shipped all over the world — sometimes to the detriment of the locals. (Texas makes the sweetest oranges in the world but…TX’s sweet Oranges are shipped to Europe while we buy Florida oranges! Come on farmers!) The best thing about Texas though is H.E.B. stores. These stores out-compete any store in the world and is known in the store industry all over the world. Heck, people send their agents from everywhere (China, Japan, Europe, Australia, Canada…) to learn H.E.B.’s techniques and why its shoppers are so happy. People have moved to TX because of visiting a great HEB grocery store which is usually in every other neighborhood. Heck, my Mom considers it her mall and spends up to 2 hours there among the friendliest workers you ever want to meet. (Aside: Texas is indeed one of the friendliest states. I had a friend from NY tell me he wasn’t used to how friendly Texas natives were, thinking he was being conned or something. No, I told him, it’s real! (However, with so many big city Northerners moving to Texas crime is up cause their “bad guys” are coming too.) In conclusion, the best kept secret of these United States WAS “Texas.”Now, everyone wants to say, “I live/lived in Texas. Conversely, the rest of the world, far and wide, associates TX with the greed oriented TV show Dallas”, modern day gunslingers, and repressive politics. I know, cause I asked. But really, the worst thing about Texas is….. you guessed it COCKROACHES! But don’t let those little guys stop you from visiting the best and biggest, fun-loving, and most diverse state in the union. See ya’ll around!

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    • I’ve lived in Texas for almost thirty years. I cried my eyes out when we moved away!
      People in Texas are so friendly – I felt “at home” right away!
      Yes – EVERYTHING is bigger in Texas – I was overwhelmed with the size of the state! I miss living in Texas – but I have cherished friends there and we keep in touch. I also miss the good and yummy Mexican food you’ll find everywhere! Hello from Maine to my beloved Texas!

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    • The roads are actually pretty awful around the metroplex. I attribute that to lack of funds due to the gasoline tax getting diverted to education when it’s meant for highway infrastructure. Florida has the best highways in the country that I’ve experienced and I’ve been in a lot of states. Texas having no state tax isn’t all that great considering property taxes are sky high (not comparing to NY or CA because those states are insanely high and it’s not a fair comparison). Gotta have that Homestead Exemption. Gas actually isn’t the cheapest in the nation either. It’s a a good 15 to 20 percent higher than MS. Oklahoma is cheaper too. That being said it’s still cheaper than the majority of the country and Buccees are everywhere (and spreading out throughout the country as they are top notch). Texas is a great state in that you can experience a bunch of different cultures, environments, cuisine all from the same state without having to swallow the politics and sky high taxes that come with it and make it not worth it (yea that’s you California). A ton of the tech industry is relocating to Texas because they have figured out incentivizing business instead of threatening it is the way to attract growth and brings in more tax revenue overall. How could you not mention high school football though?! It’s like a religion in Texas. The high school stadiums are the size of D2 college stadiums. All in all, Texas is a great state to raise a family. Hopefully the shifting political spectrum due to those fleeing states that are a total mess doesn’t result in Texas becoming one itself.

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  2. This is in response to a previous article regarding the things that Texas is famous for. I think Neiman Marcus should be added to the list because it made Texas the fashion capital of the south, (if not the entire U.S.), Neiman’s is also recognized around the world. Also, Texas Hold ‘Em poker. Robstown, Tx is known as the birthplace for this famous game which has the distinction of being played at the World Series of Poker tournament held annually in Las Vegas. What about our beautiful women? More Texas women have won the Miss America pageant than any other state.

    I could probably think of a dozen more, being a proud Texan myself. Could you get my comments added to the previous article? I couldn’t find a place to do so. Thanks!

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  3. Texas is the second largest state next to Alaska. If you cut Alaska in half Texas then becomes the third largest state. If you wait for the tide to go out in Alaska and then cut it into thirds, Texas then becomes the fourth largest state. How long does it take to drive across Alaska? 21 hours and 27 minutes, if the weather is good. What states fit in Alaska? Alaska is large enough to fit in as many as 19 other states, not the smallest ones, including New York, Florida, Oklahoma, Indiana and Pennsylvania.

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  4. Born in Tennessee raised in Kentucky..Spent Summer in Ohio..Spent the last 8 years in Texas…And til God tells me other wise this is where I’ll die…Why it’s where I have peace..Body of Christ, Texas our Home sweet Home…We found our Beach! The Sparkling City!

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  5. My Son lives in San Antonio. I’ve never heard him say a disparaging thing about Texas.He says he loves it. I live in Baltimore, Maryland and I’m jealous. If I were single I would be gone yesterday. So anyway, I heard a joke a long time ago in keeping with the subject of the article.
    A new transplantee moves to Houston. He’s heard many times the saying that “EVERYTHING’S bigger in Texas”. So the man walks into a bar, sits down and orders a bag of peanuts. The bartender throws a 20 lb bag of nuts on the bar. Astonished, the man asks, why is the bag SOOO big?Everything’s bigger in Texas comes the reply. Then the man orders a draught beer. The Bartender draws a 1 quart frosted mug complete with foamy beautiful head on the bar for him. Again the new Texan asks, why is the mug SOOO big. Everything’s bigger in Texas comes back as the answer. After 2 or three of these “bigger” mugs he must use the facilities. Asking the bartender where the bathroom is, he is directed down the hall and to turn right. The freshly buzzed patron mistakenly turns left. He falls in the swimming pool. Out in the bar He’s heard yelling. Don’ t flush it!!!!

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