Matagorda County is a county located in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 36,702. Its county seat is Bay City, not to be confused with the larger Baytown in Harris and Chambers Counties. Matagorda County is named for the canebrakes that once grew along the coast (matagorda is a Spanish word meaning "thick bush").
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,613 square miles (4,180 km²), of which 1,100 square miles (2,800 km²) is land and 512 square miles (1,330 km²) (32%) is water. The water area includes Matagorda Bay. It borders the Gulf of Mexico.
As of the census of 2000, there were 37,957 people, 13,901 households, and 9,925 families residing in the county. The population density was 34 people per square mile (13/km²). There were 18,611 housing units at an average density of 17 per square mile (6/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 67.83% White, 12.72% Black or African American, 0.67% Native American, 2.38% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 13.98% from other races, and 2.38% from two or more races. 31.35% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 10.3% were of German, 8.2% American, 5.4% English and 5.2% Irish ancestry according to Census 2000. 73.9% spoke English, 24.0% Spanish and 1.6% Vietnamese as their first language.
There were 13,901 households out of which 36.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.80% were married couples living together, 12.70% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.60% were non-families. 25.10% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.70 and the average family size was 3.25.
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