Definitions of County Designations

In accordance with the Texas Health and Safety Code (§ 104.44 and §105.003), HPRC compiles, analyzes, and disseminates much of its data by Urban and Rural Counties or Border and Non-Border Counties. Below are explanations of those designations:

*We are currently revising methodology for rural/urban designations. Check back later for more information.

Urban and Rural Counties

Counties are designated as Metropolitan or Non-Metropolitan by the U.S. Office of Budget and Management (OMB). HPRC currently uses the designations that took effect in 2013. In Texas, 82 counties are designated as Metropolitan and 172 are designated as Non-Metropolitan. HPRC uses the terms "Non-metropolitan and Metropolitan" interchangeably with "Rural and Urban."

More information can be found at


Border and Non-Border Counties

Counties are designated as Border or Non-Border according to Article 4 of the La Paz Agreement of 1983, which defines a county as a Border county if that county is within 100 Kilometers of the U.S./Mexico border. There are 32 counties in Texas designated as Border counties by this definition.

The La Paz Agreement may be viewed at