How Big is Texas? You Won’t Believe How Huge It Really 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 60% larger than California, the 3rd largest state 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.

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, 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. 

Is Texas bigger than France?

Great map demonstrating the size of Texas vs various European Countries

France is roughly the same size as texas but Texas is slightly larger. France has a land area of 248,573 square miles compared to Texas at 268,597 square miles. Paris, the capital of France, has a land area of 40.7 miles, which is about the same size as Galveston, Texas. When comparing GDPs, however, France comes in at $2.78 trillion in 2018 and $41,463 per capita, compared to the GDP of Texas of $1.7 trillion in 2018 and $59,827 per capita. 

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.

How long does it take to drive across Texas?

Texas is 805 miles north to south and would take around 13 hours to drive. 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. 

From east to west, the Texas drive is about 773 miles and takes around 11 hours and 15 minutes to drive. 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.

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