Population Growth from Early Texas Settlers

To provide a better understanding of the frontier environment experienced by early Texans, it is useful to compare the number of settlers then to the population today. As shown in Chart A, the number of people in Texas in 1850 does not even appear on the chart when plotted on a scale to show today’s population.

When viewed on a scale that is expanded 500 times, we begin to get a perspective of the nature of the thinly populated wilderness experienced by the settlers in the Republic. As shown in Chart B, the total population on the eve of the Texas Revolution in 1835 was about 35,000 people. By 1840–midway through the period of the Republic–this number had doubled, but still totaled only 70,000 settlers. Said another way, the total population of the entire region of Texas in 1840 was less than the attendance today at the annual UT vs A&M football faceoff.

The above population statistics were compiled by Lone Star Junction based on a variety of early sources. Spanish, Mexican, and Republic of Texas statistics are derived from estimates made by Barcroft, xxxxx, and xxxxx. For the years 1850 and beyond, the population numbers are taken directly from U. S. census records.

About Lyman

Lyman Hardeman has held a deep interest in Texas history. He spent his youth in College Station, Texas and received a degree in Electrical Engineering at Texas A&M in 1966. In 1995, Lyman created Lone Star Junction, a popular Texas history website that later merged with TexasProud.com. Lyman is a life member of the Texas State Historical Association and the author of Texas A&M The First 25 Years.