The Orange County Courthouse in Orange
Location within the U.S. state of Texas
Texas's location within the U.S.
|Founded||January 5, 1852|
|Named for||Orange fruit|
|o Total||380 sq mi (1,000 km2)|
|o Land||334 sq mi (870 km2)|
|o Water||46 sq mi (120 km2) 12%%|
|o Density||245/sq mi (95/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-6 (Central)|
|o Summer (DST)||UTC-5 (CDT)|
Orange County is a county located in the very southeastern corner of the U.S. state of Texas, with a boundary with Louisiana, within the Golden Triangle of Texas. As of the 2010 census, its population was 81,837. The county seat is the city of Orange, and it falls within the Beaumont-Port Arthur metropolitan area.
Orange County was formed in 1852 from portions of Jefferson County. It was named after the orange fruit, the common citrus fruit grown by the early settlers of this county near the mouth of the Sabine River. Due to periodic spells of quite cold winter weather (frosts) in Orange County, it is no longer the home of orange trees and citrus orchards. The production of those fruits in Texas long ago was moved a long way southwest into the Rio Grande Valley, where the weather is almost always warm all winter long. Citrus trees produce their fruit in the wintertime, which makes them especially vulnerable to frost and icy weather.
A similar thing has happened in Florida, where orchards of citrus trees no longer exist in either Citrus County or Orange County because of bad winter freezes in some years. In both Florida and Texas, the citrus agriculture has been moved farther south in search of milder winters, and away from the periodic frosts.
During World War II, Orange County was the home of a large amount of shipbuilding for the navies the United States and allied countries. The major shipbuilder, Consolidated Steel Corporation, was located in the town of Orange, and among the warships that it built were the USS Aulick (1942), the first warship built there, the USS Pope (1943), and the USS Carpenter (1945-46), the last warship built there. During the war, the Consolidate Steel Corporation employed as many as 20,000 people at its shipyard in Orange.
Orange County is bordered on its east by the Sabine River, on its southeast by Sabine Lake, and on the northwest by the Neches River.
The geography of Orange County varies relatively little, with an elevation that reaches 33 ft (10 m) above sea level at very few points within the county. Orange County is very flat, and its soil is quite sandy, as could be expected in a county along the Gulf of Mexico. (Sandy soil is also common in southern Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, and in western and southern Florida.) Saltwater marshes occur in much of the southeastern part of Orange County that borders the Sabine River. The Piney Woods are in the northern part of the county.
As of the census of 2000, 84,966 people, 31,642 households, and 23,794 families resided in the county. The population density was 238 people per square mile (92/km2). The 34,781 housing units averaged 98 per mi2 (38/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 87.98% White, 8.38% African American, 0.56% Native American, 0.78% Asian, 1.15% from other races, and 1.15% from two or more races. About 3.62% of the population was Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Of the 31,642 households, 35.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.80% were married couples living together, 12.10% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.80% were not families. About 21.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.30% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.65 and the average family size was 3.08.
In the county, the population was distributed as 27.30% under the age of 18, 8.70% from 18 to 24, 28.10% from 25 to 44, 23.20% from 45 to 64, and 12.70% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 96.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.60 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $37,586, and for a family was $44,152. Males had a median income of $40,185 versus $21,859 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,554. About 11.40% of families and 13.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.50% of those under age 18 and 12.40% of those age 65 or over.
|Senate Class 1||John Cornyn||Republican||1993||Senior Senator|
|Senate Class 2||Ted Cruz||Republican||2012||Junior Senator|
|Representatives||Name||Party||First Elected||Area(s) of Orange County Represented|
|District 36||Brian Babin||Republican||New district created with 2010 census. First elected 2014.||Entire county|
Orange County was formerly a center for the building of warships, and a large U.S. Navy ghost fleet (reserve fleet) still exists in Jefferson County - from which currently, many old warships are being cleaned of water pollution sources and then scrapped for their metals, thus employment for residents of Orange County in shipbreaking.