Rio Grande City, Texas

Rio Grande City, Texas

According to DIRECTORYAAH, Rio Grande City is located in the northern part of Starr County, Texas, on the U.S.-Mexico border. It is situated along the Rio Grande River and has a population of nearly 13,000 people. Geographically, it is flat with some rolling hills and desert-like terrain. The climate is generally mild with hot summers and mild winters.

The history of Rio Grande City dates back to the mid-1800s when Spanish settlers established a settlement called La Jaboneria in 1846. This settlement was later renamed Rio Grande City after the river that runs through it. In 1848, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo divided the Rio Grande Valley between Mexico and the United States which resulted in Rio Grande City becoming an important border town for trade and immigration between these two countries.

Politically, Rio Grande City operates under a mayor-council system with five members elected to serve as city council representatives for two year terms. The mayor is elected for four year terms. The economy of Rio Grande City is primarily based on agriculture and tourism; however, there are also several other industries including manufacturing and retail that contribute to its economic growth.

Education in Rio Grande City is provided by six public school districts which serve students from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade as well as three higher education institutions including South Texas College and University of Texas Pan American – Starr County Campus offering undergraduate degrees to local students.

Rio Grande City’s most notable landmark is its historic downtown area which includes many shops, restaurants, museums and other attractions that reflect its rich cultural heritage from Spanish colonial times to modern day life on the borderlands between Mexico and United States. Other popular landmarks include Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge located just north of town which offers visitors a chance to observe wildlife in their natural habitat as well as Fort Ringgold Historic Site where visitors can learn about one of the oldest military posts in southern Texas built in 1848 during Mexican-American War era.

Population: 11,923. Estimated population in July 2020: 13,651 (+14.5% change)
Males: 5,758 (48.3%), Females: 6,165 (51.7%)

Starr County

Zip code: 78582

Median resident age: 28.8 years
Median household income: $19,853
Median house value: $43,500

Races in Rio Grande City:

  • Hispanic (95.9%)
  • Other race (12.5%)
  • Two or more races (2.7%)
  • White Non-Hispanic (2.7%)
  • Filipino (0.8%)
  • American Indian (0.6%)

(Total can be greater than 100% because Hispanics could be counted in other races)

Ancestries: United States (1.9%).

Elevation: 200 feet

Land area: 7.6 square miles

Rio Grande City, Texas


Rio Grande City is a small city located in south Texas, near the border with Mexico. According to the most recent census, it has a population of 11,813 people. The majority of the population is Hispanic; approximately 80% of the population identifies as such. The median age of residents is 23 years old, with a median household income of $30,000. The poverty rate in Rio Grande City is close to 40%, which is higher than the national average. Education levels are also lower than average for cities in Texas; about 17% of adults have no high school diploma or GED certificate.

Rio Grande City has a strong sense of community and culture that can be seen throughout the city and surrounding areas. Many festivals and celebrations are held throughout the year that bring people from all over to celebrate their heritage and culture. This includes events like Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) and Las Posadas (Christmas processions). Additionally, many local businesses offer unique items for sale that represent their cultural roots such as handmade crafts and traditional Mexican dishes. There are also several cultural organizations that help promote education in regards to language, history, art, music, dance and other aspects related to Mexican culture.

For population 25 years and over in Rio Grande City

  • High school or higher: 46.1%
  • Bachelor’s degree or higher: 10.8%
  • Graduate or professional degree: 5.4%
  • Unemployed: 17.8%
  • Mean travel time to work: 17.9 minutes

For population 15 years and over in Rio Grande City city

  • Never married: 27.4%
  • Now married: 56.8%
  • Separated: 2.5%
  • Widowed: 7.9%
  • Divorced: 5.5%

29.5% Foreign born (28.5% Latin America).

Population change in the 1990s: +1,253 (+11.7%).


Hospital/medical center in Rio Grande City:


Other hospitals/medical centers near Rio Grande City:

  • MISSION HOSPITAL INC (about 35 miles; MISSION, TX)
  • MC ALLEN HEART HOSP (about 42 miles; MC ALLEN, TX)


Airports certified for carrier operations nearest to Rio Grande City:

  • MC ALLEN MILLER INTL (about 44 miles; MC ALLEN, TX; Abbreviation: MFE)
  • VALLEY INTL (about 82 miles; HARLINGEN, TX; Abbreviation: HRL)
  • LAREDO INTL (about 91 miles; LAREDO, TX; Abbreviation: LRD)

Other public-use airports nearest to Rio Grande City:

  • RIO GRANDE CITY MUNI (about 3 miles; RIO GRANDE CITY, TX; Abbreviation: 67R)
  • EDINBURG INTL (about 49 miles; EDINBURG, TX; Abbreviation: 25R)
  • ZAPATA COUNTY (about 50 miles; ZAPATA, TX; Abbreviation: T86)

Colleges and Universities

Colleges/universities with over 2000 students nearest to Rio Grande City:

  • SOUTH TEXAS COMMUNITY COLLEGE (about 42 miles; MCALLEN, TX; Full-time enrollment: 7,142)
  • THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS-PAN AMERICAN (about 45 miles; EDINBURG, TX; Full-time enrollment: 9,651)
  • TEXAS STATE TECHNICAL COLLEGE-HARLINGEN (about 80 miles; HARLINGEN, TX; Full-time enrollment: 2,167)
  • LAREDO COMMUNITY COLLEGE (about 92 miles; LAREDO, TX; Full-time enrollment: 4,449)
  • TEXAS A & M INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY (about 93 miles; LAREDO, TX; Full-time enrollment: 2,107)
  • THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT BROWNSVILLE (about 96 miles; BROWNSVILLE, TX; Full-time enrollment: 6,044)
  • TEXAS SOUTHMOST COLLEGE (about 96 miles; BROWNSVILLE, TX; Full-time enrollment: 4,556)


Public high school in Rio Grande City:

  • RIO GRANDE CITY H S (Students: 2,281; Location: FORT RINGGOLD; Grades: 09 – 12)

Public primary/middle schools in Rio Grande City:

  • RINGGOLD MIDDLE (Students: 1,458; Location: FORT RINGGOLD; Grades: 06 – 08)
  • ROQUE GUERRA JR EL (Students: 781; Location: FORT RINGGOLD; Grades: PK – 05)
  • ALTO B0NITO ELEMENTARY (Students: 730; Location: FORT RINGGOLD; Grades: PK – 05)
  • JOHN & OLIVE HINOJOSA EL (Students: 710; Location: FORT RINGGOLD; Grades: PK – 05)
  • GRULLA MIDDLE (Students: 699; Location: FORT RINGGOLD; Grades: 06 – 08)
  • LA UNION EL (Students: 626; Location: FORT RINGGOLD; Grades: PK – 05)
  • GENERAL RICARDO SANCHEZ ELEMENTARY (Students: 619; Location: FORT RINGGOLD; Grades: PK – 05)
  • GRULLA EL (Students: 613; Location: FORT RINGGOLD; Grades: PK – 05)
  • RINGGOLD EL (Students: 510; Location: FORT RINGGOLD; Grades: PK – 05)
  • NORTH GRAMMAR EL (Students: 499; Location: FORT RINGGOLD; Grades: PK – 05)