Texas is a state of seconds, namely being the second most populous state (after California) and the second largest state (after Alaska) in the United States. Originally formed from breakaway Mexican territory, Texas was briefly a republic before it was annexed by the United States and is called the “Lone Star State” as a memorial to this brief status. Texas has a cultural image hearkening to the Wild West due to its long history as a frontier region; despite its position as one of the leading developers in aerospace and technology.
Agriculture and energy, primarily oil, are the single largest economic assets in Texas and contribute to its status as a top producer of both in the United States. Technological development, in the space and defense industries among others, is also prevalent in Texas primarily among the states many academic institutions. Texas is home to several historic United States monuments and memorials as well as NASA’s Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center.
Texas’ large population is widely dispersed across the state. The largest concentrations are found in cities in the eastern half of the state; primarily Austin, Dallas, and Houston.