Is Hays County Rural or Urban? An Expert's Perspective

Hays County is located on the Edwards Plateau in the United States. Learn more about Hays County's population distribution and political leanings from an expert's perspective.

Is Hays County Rural or Urban? An Expert's Perspective

Hays County is located on the Edwards Plateau in the United States. For thousands of years, Hays County has been inhabited by Paleo-Indians, with archaeological evidence of native agriculture dating back to 1200 AD. The county's population is diverse, with 24.50% under 18, 20.50% from 18 to 24, 28.20% from 25 to 44, 19.10% from 45 to 64, and 7.70% aged 65 or older. The median age is 28 years, and for every 100 females there are 101.30 males; for every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 99.50 males. When it comes to politics, Democratic voters primarily reside along the I-35 Corridor and the eastern communities, while communities west of the I-35 corridor lean toward Republicans.

San Marcos, home of Texas State University, and the city of Kyle generally vote for Democrats; Buda, Dripping Springs and Wimberley generally vote for Republicans. The natural grasses in Hays County are the large blue stalk and indigenous grass; trees commonly associated with Central Texas, including live oak, cedar, walnut and mesquite, are native to the area. In terms of population-based statutes and regulations, the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts compiles local property tax data reports every year; the Texas Association of Counties has been obtaining copies of that data for quite some time. The last row shows a significant decline relative to the larger counties, even though many of these smaller counties experienced significant growth. The Texas Department of Agriculture considers a rural hospital to be located in a county with a population density of less than 225 people per square mile of land and in a municipality of 15,000 people or less. The Texas Workforce Commission classifies any county with a population of 10,000 or less as “rural”; one of the definitions of a rural county used by the Texas Department of Agriculture is any county with a population of 150,000 or less.

The Texas Medical Board only accepts counties with a population of 5,000 or less as rural areas according to the most recent 10-year census. It is clear that some parts of Texas are becoming more urban as more and more counties grow beyond their rural roots; however, it is important to consider all indicators when determining how much the state has changed in recent years.

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