The Texas Portion of the U.S. – México Border

The U.S. – México border is the area 100 kilometers or 62.5 miles, north and south of the international boundary. This area was defined by the La Paz Agreement La Paz Agreement ( in 1983. The Texas border makes up about half of the U.S. – Mexico border, stretching 1,254 miles from the Gulf of México to El Paso.

Four Mexican states share borders with the state of Texas. In order from the southeast coast to the northwest desert:

  1. Tamaulipas
  2. Nuevo León
  3. Coahuila
  4. Chihuahua

The Texan border includes two federally recognized tribal nations, creating tri-national regions:

  1. Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas near Eagle Pass
  2. Ysleta del Sur Pueblo in El Paso

Some binational sister-city communities along the Texas border are:

  • Brownsville and Matamoros
  • McAllen and Reynosa
  • Rio Grande City and cities Miguel Alemán and Camargo
  • Laredo and Nuevo Laredo
  • Eagle Pass and Piedras Negras
  • Del Rio and Ciudad Acuña
  • Presidio and Ojinaga
  • El Paso and Ciudad Juárez

"US Mexico Border Sister Communities and Tribal Lands"


The Texas border has a population of around 3 million residents. The population density is very different among the frontier, rural, and metropolitan areas.

For example, Kenedy County has 0.2 people per square mile while El Paso County has 874 people per square mile.


In Texas, compared to non-border region, the border region has lower infant mortality rates and less heart disease and stroke. Unfortunately, there are higher obesity, diabetes, cervical cancer, and caesarian section delivery rates. There's also more risk for certain contagious diseases such as tuberculosis and Zika. Many people lack access to primary, preventive, and specialty medical care.

The table below compares important factors in border and non-border areas of Texas.

Demographics of Border and Non-Border Areas of Texas

Factor Texas Border Texas Non-border
Population size 2.8 million 27.7 million
Population under 18 years of age 29% 25%
Hispanic ethnicity 88% 35%
Below poverty level 24% 16%
Uninsured* 27% 17%
Do not speak English very well 30% 12%
At least a high school diploma 73% 86%
Foreign-Born 24% 16%

Data sources: Population size from Texas Population Projections Program, October 2022 projections for 2024 with high migration scenario. Most recent projections available as of April 3, 2024.

Remaining data from U.S. Census Bureau, 2018-2022 American Community Survey 5-year Estimates. Percentages computed from files DP05 Demographics and Housing Estimates, S1701 Poverty Status in the Past 12 Months, S2701 Selected Characteristics of Health Insurance Coverage in the United States, S1501 Educational Attainment, B05012 Nativity in the United States, and S0501 Selected Characteristics of the Native and Foreign-Born Populations. Most recent 5-year estimates available as of April 3, 2024.

*Health insurance status calculated for civilian noninstitutionalized population

For more border health data visit the Border Health Data webpage.