Rio Grande Valley
The Rio Grande Valley is an area located in the southernmost tip of South Texas. It lies along the northern bank of the Rio Grande; the four-county region consists of Hidalgo, Cameron and Starr counties. It is one of the fastest growing regions in the United States, with its population having jumped from about 325,000 people in 1969 to more than 1,300,000 people by 2014; some of the biggest cities in the region are: Brownsville, Weslaco, Pharr, McAllen, Mission, San Juan, Rio Grande City. The Rio Grande Valley is not a true valley, but a floodplain, containing many oxbow lakes or resacas formed from pinched-off meanders in earlier courses of the Rio Grande. Early 20th-century land developers, attempting to capitalize on unclaimed land, utilized the name "Magic Valley" to attract settlers and appeal to investors; the Rio Grande Valley is called El Valle, the Spanish translation of "the valley", by those who live there. The residents of the Rio Grande Valley no longer refer to the area as "El Mágico Valle del Río Grande", but as "The Valley”.
The main region is within four Texan counties: Starr County, Hidalgo County, Willacy County, Cameron County. As of January 1, 2012, the U. S. Census Bureau estimated the population of the Rio Grande Valley at 1,305,782. According to the U. S. Census Bureau in 2008, 86 percent of Cameron County, 90 percent of Hidalgo County, 97 percent of Starr County, 86 percent of Willacy County are Hispanic; the largest city is Brownsville, followed by McAllen. Other major cities include Harlingen, Mission, Rio Grande City, Weslaco and Pharr; the Rio Grande Valley experiences a warm and fair climate that brings visitors from many surrounding areas. The east side of the region experiences a humid subtropical climate, becomes more arid as one heads west; the Valley is one of the southernmost areas of the continental United States, with only a small stretch of southern Florida laying at a lower latitude than the city of Brownsville. The region shares a similar climate to that of peninsular Florida. Due to its southerly location, the lower Rio Grande Valley tends to be warm in comparison to northern areas.
While having average temperatures that land the region a semi-tropical climate, the lower Valley only misses tropical climate status by a few degrees. Furthermore, the area lays in a transitional climate zone. Due to this, the lower part of the region has been known to sustain tropical plants such as flame trees, Cuban Royal palms, coconut palms. Temperature extremes range from triple digits during the summer months to freezing during the winter. Taking into consideration the region’s warm weather, periods of triple-digit weather occur much more than those with freezing temperatures. While the Valley has seen severe cold events before, such as the 2004 Christmas snow storm, the region only experiences temperatures at or below freezing; these happen less near the coast, where in some cases, never see temperatures below 35-40 degrees. Arctic cold fronts bring colder weather to the region but tend to dissipate with daytime heating; the Rio Grande Valley’s proximity to the Gulf of Mexico makes it a target for hurricanes.
Though not impacted as as other areas of the Gulf Coast of the United States, the Valley has experienced major hurricanes in the past. Hurricanes that have made landfall in or near the area include: Hurricane Beulah, Hurricane Allen, Hurricane Gilbert, Hurricane Bret, Hurricane Dolly, Hurricane Alex. Having an flat terrain, the Valley experiences the catastrophic effects of tropical cyclones in the form of flooding. Due to threats of storm surge, the impending impact of tropical cyclones results in the closing of the Queen Isabella Causeway and voluntary -or sometimes mandatory- evacuations of the city of South Padre Island and coastal Cameron and Willacy counties. Severe weather in the Rio Grande Valley occurs during the spring months. While the area doesn’t see intense severe thunderstorm and tornado events like in the northern part of the state of Texas, the South Texas region is not immune to hail and supercell events that result in brief tornado touchdowns; the Lower Rio Grande Valley encompasses landmarks that attract tourists, popular destinations include: Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge, Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge, Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park.
The Valley is a popular waypoint for tourists visiting northeast Mexico. Popular destinations across the border and Rio Grande include: Matamoros, Nuevo Progreso, Río Bravo, Reynosa, all located in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas; the Valley attracts tourists from the Mexican states of Tamaulipas, Nuevo León, Mexico, D. F.. First Lift Station Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge Hugh Ramsey Nature Park Los Ebanos Ferry, last hand-operated ferry on the Rio Grande La Lomita Historic District Fort Brown Palo Alto Battlefield National Historic Site Resaca de la Palma Rancho de Carricitos USMC War Memorial original plaster working model, located on the campus of the Marine Military Academy in Harlingen Museum of South Texas History the County Court House and Jail, built in the late 19th century Battle of Palmito Ranch, location of the last battle of the Civil War Brownsville Raid Battle of Resaca de la Palma The V
Francisco "Pancho" Villa was a Mexican revolutionary general and one of the most prominent figures of the Mexican Revolution. As commander of the División del Norte," in the Constitutionalist Army, he was a military-landowner of the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua. Given the area's size and mineral wealth, it provided him with extensive resources. Villa was provisional Governor of Chihuahua in 1913 and 1914. Villa can be credited with decisive military victories leading to the ousting of Victoriano Huerta from the presidency in July 1914. Villa fought his erstwhile leader in the coalition against Huerta, "First Chief" of the Constitutionalists Venustiano Carranza. Villa was in alliance with southern revolutionary Emiliano Zapata, who remained fighting in his own region of Morelos; the two revolutionary generals came together to take Mexico City after Carranza's forces retreated from it. Villa's heretofore undefeated División del Norte engaged the military forces of Carranza under Carrancista general Álvaro Obregón and was defeated in the 1915 Battle of Celaya.
Villa was again defeated by Carranza, 1 November 1915, at the Second Battle of Agua Prieta, after which Villa's army collapsed as a significant military force. Villa subsequently led a raid against a small U. S.–Mexican border town resulting in the Battle of Columbus on 9 March 1916, retreated to escape U. S. retaliation. The U. S. government sent U. S. Army General John J. Pershing on an expedition to capture Villa, but Villa continued to evade his attackers with guerrilla tactics during the unsuccessful, nine-month incursion into Mexican sovereign territory; the mission ended when the United States entered World War I and Pershing was recalled to other duties. In 1920, Villa made an agreement with the Mexican government to retire from hostilities, following the ouster and death of Carranza, was given a hacienda near Parral, which he turned into a "military colony" for his former soldiers. In 1923, as presidential elections approached, he re-involved himself in Mexican politics. Shortly thereafter he was assassinated, most on the orders of Obregón.
In life, Villa helped fashion his own image as an internationally known revolutionary hero, starring as himself in Hollywood films and giving interviews to foreign journalists, most notably John Reed. After his death, he was excluded from the pantheon of revolutionary heroes until the Sonoran generals Obregón and Calles, whom he battled during the Revolution, were gone from the political stage. Villa's exclusion from the official narrative of the Revolution might have contributed to his continued posthumous popular acclaim, he was celebrated during the Revolution and long afterward by corridos, films about his life, novels by prominent writers. In 1976, his remains were reburied in the Monument to the Revolution in Mexico City in a huge public ceremony not attended by his widow Luz Corral. Villa told a number of conflicting stories about his early life, his "early life remains shrouded in mystery." According to most sources, he was born on 5 June 1878, named José Doroteo Arango Arámbula at birth.
His father was a sharecropper named Agustín Arango, his mother was Micaela Arámbula. He grew up at one of the largest haciendas in the state of Durango; the family's residence now houses the Casa de Pancho Villa historic museum in San Juan del Rio. Doroteo claimed to be the son of the bandit Agustín Villa, but according to at least one scholar, "the identity of his real father is still unknown." He was the oldest of five children. As a child, he received some education from a local church-run school, but was not proficient in more than basic literacy, he quit school to help his mother. He became a bandit at some point early on, but worked as a sharecropper, butcher and foreman for a U. S. railway company. According to his dictated remembrances, published as Memorias de Pancho Villa, at the age of 16 he moved to Chihuahua, but soon returned to Durango to track down and kill a hacienda owner named Agustín López Negrete who had raped his sister, afterward stealing a horse and fleeing to the Sierra Madre Occidental region of Durango, where he roamed the hills as a thief.
He became a member of a bandit band headed by Ignacio Parra, one of the most famous bandits in Durango at the time. As a bandit, he went by the name "Arango". In 1902, the rurales, the crack rural police force of President Porfirio Díaz, arrested Pancho for stealing mules and for assault; because of his connections with the powerful Pablo Valenzuela, a recipient of goods stolen by Villa/Arango, he was spared the death sentence sometimes imposed on captured bandits. Pancho Villa was forcibly inducted into the Federal Army, a practice adopted under the Diaz regime to deal with troublemakers. Several months he deserted and fled to the neighboring state of Chihuahua. In 1903, after killing an army officer and stealing his horse, he was no longer known as Arango but Francisco "Pancho" Villa after his paternal grandfather, Jesús Villa. However, others claim, he was known to his friends as La Cucaracha or. Until 1910, Villa is said to have alternated episodes of thievery with more legitimate pursuits.
Villa's outlook on banditry changed after he met Abraham González, the local representative for presidential candidate Francisco Madero, a rich hacendado turned politician from the northern state of Coahuila, who opposed the continued rule of Díaz and convinced Villa that through his banditry he could fight for the people and h
United States Census Bureau
The United States Census Bureau is a principal agency of the U. S. Federal Statistical System, responsible for producing data about the American people and economy; the Census Bureau is part of the U. S. Department of Commerce and its director is appointed by the President of the United States; the Census Bureau's primary mission is conducting the U. S. Census every ten years, which allocates the seats of the U. S. House of Representatives to the states based on their population; the Bureau's various censuses and surveys help allocate over $400 billion in federal funds every year and it helps states, local communities, businesses make informed decisions. The information provided by the census informs decisions on where to build and maintain schools, transportation infrastructure, police and fire departments. In addition to the decennial census, the Census Bureau continually conducts dozens of other censuses and surveys, including the American Community Survey, the U. S. Economic Census, the Current Population Survey.
Furthermore and foreign trade indicators released by the federal government contain data produced by the Census Bureau. Article One of the United States Constitution directs the population be enumerated at least once every ten years and the resulting counts used to set the number of members from each state in the House of Representatives and, by extension, in the Electoral College; the Census Bureau now conducts a full population count every 10 years in years ending with a zero and uses the term "decennial" to describe the operation. Between censuses, the Census Bureau makes population projections. In addition, Census data directly affects how more than $400 billion per year in federal and state funding is allocated to communities for neighborhood improvements, public health, education and more; the Census Bureau is mandated with fulfilling these obligations: the collecting of statistics about the nation, its people, economy. The Census Bureau's legal authority is codified in Title 13 of the United States Code.
The Census Bureau conducts surveys on behalf of various federal government and local government agencies on topics such as employment, health, consumer expenditures, housing. Within the bureau, these are known as "demographic surveys" and are conducted perpetually between and during decennial population counts; the Census Bureau conducts economic surveys of manufacturing, retail and other establishments and of domestic governments. Between 1790 and 1840, the census was taken by marshals of the judicial districts; the Census Act of 1840 established a central office. Several acts followed that revised and authorized new censuses at the 10-year intervals. In 1902, the temporary Census Office was moved under the Department of Interior, in 1903 it was renamed the Census Bureau under the new Department of Commerce and Labor; the department was intended to consolidate overlapping statistical agencies, but Census Bureau officials were hindered by their subordinate role in the department. An act in 1920 changed the date and authorized manufacturing censuses every two years and agriculture censuses every 10 years.
In 1929, a bill was passed mandating the House of Representatives be reapportioned based on the results of the 1930 Census. In 1954, various acts were codified into Title 13 of the US Code. By law, the Census Bureau must count everyone and submit state population totals to the U. S. President by December 31 of any year ending in a zero. States within the Union receive the results in the spring of the following year; the United States Census Bureau defines four statistical regions, with nine divisions. The Census Bureau regions are "widely used...for data collection and analysis". The Census Bureau definition is pervasive. Regional divisions used by the United States Census Bureau: Region 1: Northeast Division 1: New England Division 2: Mid-Atlantic Region 2: Midwest Division 3: East North Central Division 4: West North Central Region 3: South Division 5: South Atlantic Division 6: East South Central Division 7: West South Central Region 4: West Division 8: Mountain Division 9: Pacific Many federal, state and tribal governments use census data to: Decide the location of new housing and public facilities, Examine the demographic characteristics of communities and the US, Plan transportation systems and roadways, Determine quotas and creation of police and fire precincts, Create localized areas for elections, utilities, etc.
Gathers population information every 10 years The United States Census Bureau is committed to confidentiality, guarantees non-disclosure of any addresses or personal information related to individuals or establishments. Title 13 of the U. S. Code establishes penalties for the disclosure of this information. All Census employees must sign an affidavit of non-disclosure prior to employment; the Bureau cannot share responses, addresses or personal information with anyone including United States or foreign government
McAllen is the largest city in Hidalgo County, United States, the 22nd-most populous city in Texas. It is located at the southern tip of the state in the Rio Grande Valley; the city limits extend south to the Rio Grande, across from the Mexican city of Reynosa, McAllen is about 70 mi west of the Gulf of Mexico. As of 2017, McAllen’s population was estimated to be 142,696, it is the fifth-most populous metropolitan area in the state of Texas, the binational Reynosa–McAllen metropolitan area counts a population of nearly 1.52 million. From its settlement in 1904, the area around McAllen was rural and agricultural in character, but the latter half of the 20th century had steady growth, which the metropolitan area still experiences today; the introduction of the maquiladora economy and the North American Free Trade Association led to an increase in cross-border trading with Mexico. In 1904, the Hidalgo and San Miguel Extension of the St. Louis and Mexico Railway reached the Santa Anita Ranch. John McAllen and his son James donated land to the railroad to guarantee.
On December 5, 1904, the McAllen Townsite Company was formed by Uriah Lott, Leonidas C. Hill Sr. John McAllen, James Ballí McAllen, John J. Young; the new community, named for John McAllen, had the depot nearest the county seat, Hidalgo, 8 mi to the south. By 1911, 5,000 acres were under cultivation in East McAllen, with produce consisting of cotton, broom corn, citrus fruits and figs. East McAllen had an estimated population of 1,000 that year, West McAllen had ceased to exist. In 1911, the town was issued a charter of incorporation under the name McAllen. In 1916, 20,000 New York state troops were stationed at McAllen to help quell border disturbances; the resulting economic boom increased the population from 1,200 in 1916 to 6,000 in 1920. McAllen adopted a home rule charter in 1927. Canning factories, a winery, tortilla plants, wood-working plants, some oil exploration increased the population to 9,074 by 1930. In 1936, Hiram Garner opened the Valley Distillery, which produced wines from citrus juices.
The town was a petroleum and farm chemurgic center with a population of 11,877 in 1940, by which time it had adopted the nickname "The City of Palms". In 1941, a suspension bridge replaced the old bridge from Hidalgo to Reynosa in Tamaulipas, its construction resulted in increased tourist trade, making McAllen a winter resort and port of entry to Mexico. The discovery of oil in the Reynosa area in 1947 resulted in a large migration of people from the Mexican interior, constituting a new tourist market and cheap labor supply for McAllen; the sister cities were linked as a result of the increased traffic between them. The population of McAllen was 20,005 in 1950 and 32,728 in 1960; the McAllen–Hidalgo–Reynosa International Bridge was the number-two port of entry into Mexico in 1954. McAllen was an agricultural and tourist center in 1970, when the population reached 37,636. By the start of the 1970s, McAllen had a 200-bed hospital and a new air-conditioned high school, the first school in the nation featuring on-site power generated by natural gas-powered turbines.
The tourism industry continued to expand as people traveled to the area from both Mexico and the northern United States. The population continued to grow through the 1970s, reached 66,281 by 1980. During the late 1980s, the McAllen Foreign Trade Zone was an important general-purpose foreign trade zone. At the time, McAllen's main industries were retail and farming, each was in trouble; the devaluation of the Mexican peso in the 1980s put a damper on cross-border shopping. In 1983, a freeze took out much of the valley's citrus crop. In the mid-1980s, fueled by trade and the growth of the maquiladora, the economy began to improve in Hidalgo County. McAllen sits across the border from a large manufacturing center. After the peso devalued, coaxing companies to put their plants in Mexico with support operations in Texas became easier. President Trump held a briefing with the border agents at the patrol station here in January 2019 during the United States federal government shutdown of 2018–2019 over the Mexico–United States barrier.
The city has become a focal point for concerns about the border as border crossing is a daily event for many and is a key component in the local economy. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen visited the Border Patrol station here in March 2019, she mentioned. The Marine Corps Commandant General Robert Neller had expressed concerns about the impact of border support on combat readiness for the troops. In order to deal with over crowded facilities in 2019 for asylum seekers, immigration authorities were releasing a few hundred people daily to private groups that assist them with basic needs and travel arrangements. After the U. S military troops placed razor wire coils at the border, the mayor emphasized how safe and secure the city is. Portions were removed by the city. U. S. military troops are prohibited from carrying out law enforcement duties. During border support activities, they are not allowed to seize drugs, they have assisted the Border Patrol by using military helicopters to carrying border patrol agents to and from locations along the Mexico–United States border and maintaining vehicles.
McAllen is located in southern Hidalgo County at 26°12′59″N 98
2010 United States Census
The 2010 United States Census is the twenty-third and most recent United States national census. National Census Day, the reference day used for the census, was April 1, 2010; the census was taken via mail-in citizen self-reporting, with enumerators serving to spot-check randomly selected neighborhoods and communities. As part of a drive to increase the count's accuracy, 635,000 temporary enumerators were hired; the population of the United States was counted as 308,745,538, a 9.7% increase from the 2000 Census. This was the first census in which all states recorded a population of over half a million, as well as the first in which all 100 largest cities recorded populations of over 200,000; as required by the United States Constitution, the U. S. census has been conducted every 10 years since 1790. The 2000 U. S. Census was the previous census completed. Participation in the U. S. Census is required by law in Title 13 of the United States Code. On January 25, 2010, Census Bureau Director Robert Groves inaugurated the 2010 Census enumeration by counting World War II veteran Clifton Jackson, a resident of Noorvik, Alaska.
More than 120 million census forms were delivered by the U. S. Post Office beginning March 15, 2010; the number of forms mailed out or hand-delivered by the Census Bureau was 134 million on April 1, 2010. Although the questionnaire used April 1, 2010 as the reference date as to where a person was living, an insert dated March 15, 2010 included the following printed in bold type: "Please complete and mail back the enclosed census form today." The 2010 Census national mail participation rate was 74%. From April through July 2010, census takers visited households that did not return a form, an operation called "non-response follow-up". In December 2010, the U. S. Census Bureau delivered population information to the U. S. President for apportionment, in March 2011, complete redistricting data was delivered to states. Identifiable information will be available in 2082; the Census Bureau did not use a long form for the 2010 Census. In several previous censuses, one in six households received this long form, which asked for detailed social and economic information.
The 2010 Census used only a short form asking ten basic questions: How many people were living or staying in this house, apartment, or mobile home on April 1, 2010? Were there any additional people staying here on April 1, 2010 that you did not include in Question 1? Mark all that apply: Is this house, apartment, or mobile home – What is your telephone number? What is Person 1's name? What is Person 1's sex? What is Person 1's age and Person 1's date of birth? Is Person 1 of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin? What is Person 1's race? Does Person 1 sometimes live or stay somewhere else? The form included space to repeat all of these questions for up to twelve residents total. In contrast to the 2000 census, an Internet response option was not offered, nor was the form available for download. Detailed socioeconomic information collected during past censuses will continue to be collected through the American Community Survey; the survey provides data about communities in the United States on a 1-year or 3-year cycle, depending on the size of the community, rather than once every 10 years.
A small percentage of the population on a rotating basis will receive the survey each year, no household will receive it more than once every five years. In June 2009, the U. S. Census Bureau announced. However, the final form did not contain a separate "same-sex married couple" option; when noting the relationship between household members, same-sex couples who are married could mark their spouses as being "Husband or wife", the same response given by opposite-sex married couples. An "unmarried partner" option was available for couples; the 2010 census cost $13 billion $42 per capita. Operational costs were $5.4 billion under the $7 billion budget. In December 2010 the Government Accountability Office noted that the cost of conducting the census has doubled each decade since 1970. In a detailed 2004 report to Congress, the GAO called on the Census Bureau to address cost and design issues, at that time, had estimated the 2010 Census cost to be $11 billion. In August 2010, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced that the census operational costs came in under budget.
Locke credited the management practices of Census Bureau director Robert Groves, citing in particular the decision to buy additional advertising in locations where responses lagged, which improved the overall response rate. The agency has begun to rely more on questioning neighbors or other reliable third parties when a person could not be reached at home, which reduced the cost of follow-up visits. Census data for about 22% of U. S. househol
Harlingen is a city in Cameron County in the central region of the Rio Grande Valley of the southern part of the U. S. state of Texas, about 30 miles from the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. The city covers more than 40 square miles and is the second-largest city in Cameron County, as well as the fourth-largest in the Rio Grande Valley; as of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 64,849, for a growth rate of 12.5% since the 2000 census. It is the city with the lowest cost of living in the United States. Harlingen is a principal city of the Brownsville–Harlingen metropolitan area, part of the larger Brownsville-Harlingen-Raymondville combined statistical area, included in the Matamoros–Brownsville metropolitan area. Harlingen's strategic location at the intersection of U. S. Route 77 and U. S. Route 83, co-designated as Interstate 69 East and Interstate 2 in northwestern Cameron County, fostered its development as a distribution and industrial center. In 1904, Lon C. Hill envisioned the Arroyo Colorado as a commercial waterway.
He named the town he founded on the north bank after the Frisian city of Harlingen, in the Netherlands. The town's post office was established that year; the first school opened with 15 pupils in 1905 near the Hill home, the first residence built in Harlingen. Harlingen incorporated on April 15, 1910, when the population totaled 1,126. In 1920, the census listed 1,748; the local economy at first was entirely agricultural. Major crops were vegetables and cotton. World War II military installations in Harlingen caused a jump in population from 23,000 in 1950 to 41,000 by 1960. Harlingen Army Air Field preceded Harlingen Air Force Base, which closed in 1962; the city's population fell to 33,603 by 1972 climbed to 40,824 by 1980. Local enterprise, focused on the purchase and use of the abandoned base and related housing, laid the groundwork for continuing progress through a diversified economy; the estimated population in July 1985 was 49,000. In the late 1980s, income from tourism ranked second only to citrus fruit production, with grain and cotton next in order.
The addition of wholesale and retail trade and medium manufacturing, an array of service industries has broadened the economic base. Large-scale construction for multifaceted retirement communities is a new phase of industrial development; the City of Harlingen operates a busy industrial airpark. At Valley International Airport, the Confederate Air Force occupied hangar and apron space until 1991; the first hospital in Harlingen opened in 1923, consisted of little more than two barracks as wings. The Valley Baptist Hospital was built nearby a few years and the older hospital closed; the Valley Baptist Hospital has grown into the Valley Baptist Medical Center. The city's outstanding network of health-care specialists and facilities parallels the growth of the still-expanding center. Serving regional health needs are the South Texas State Chest Hospital, the State Hospital for Children, the Rio Grande State Mental Health and Mental Retardation Center. Besides public and church-affiliated schools, Harlingen students attend the University Preparatory School, the Marine Military Academy, Texas State Technical College, or Rio Grande Vocational and Rehabilitation classes.
Civic and cultural development in Harlingen has kept pace with the growth of the community. Fraternal orders and civic organizations operating in the community include Rotary, Lions, Optimist, 20-30, VFW, American Legion, the Lower Valley Cotillion Club. Development and appreciation of the fine arts are encouraged by organizations such as the Rio Grande Valley Art League, the Art Forum, the Rio Grande Valley Civic Association, which stages its winter concert series at the 2,300-seat Harlingen Municipal Auditorium; each March, Harlingen is the site of the Rio Grande Valley International Music Festival. The city has two newspapers—the Harlingen Press, a weekly paper established in 1951, the Valley Morning Star, a daily established in 1911. In 1990, the population was 48,735. In 1992, the city was named an All-America City, cited for its volunteer spirit and self-help programs. In 2000, the community had 2,549 businesses; the famous Tejano music singer Selena performed here with her band Selena and the Dinos.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 40.3 square miles, of which 39.8 square miles is land and 0.5 square miles, or 1.22%, is covered by water. Soils in Harlingen range in texture from fine sandy loam to clay, they are neutral to moderately alkaline with pH of 7.2 to 8.5, are moderately well drained or well drained in most cases, with small areas of poorly drained, saline clays. As of the census of 2000, 57,564 people, 19,021 households, 14,360 families resided in the city; the population density was 1,689.6 people per square mile. The 23,008 housing units averaged 675.3/mi2. The racial makeup of the city was 78.68% White, 0.92% Black, 0.52% Native American, 0.88% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 16.39% from other races, 2.58% from two or more races. About 72.76 % of the population was Latino of any race. As in other cities in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, a significant part of Harlingen's transient population and a significant contributor to its economy consists of "Winter Texans" retirees from the no
Opuntia called prickly pear, is a genus in the cactus family, Cactaceae. Prickly pears are known as tuna, nopal from the Nahuatl word nōpalli for the pads, or nostle, from the Nahuatl word nōchtli for the fruit; the genus is named for the Ancient Greek city of Opus, according to Theophrastus, an edible plant grew and could be propagated by rooting its leaves. The most common culinary species is the Indian fig opuntia. O. ficus-indica is a large trunk-forming segmented cactus which may grow to 5–7 metres with a crown of 3 metres in diameter and a trunk diameter of 1 metre. Cladodes may be spineless. Prickly pears grow with flat, rounded cladodes containing large, fixed spines and small, hairlike prickles called glochids that adhere to skin or hair detach from the plant; the flowers are large, solitary and epiperigynous, with a perianth consisting of distinct, spirally arranged tepals and a hypanthium. The stamens are numerous and in spiral or whorled clusters, the gynoecium has numerous inferior ovaries per carpel.
Placentation is parietal, the fruit is a berry with arillate seeds. Prickly pear species can vary in habit. O. ficus-indica thrives in regions with mild winters having a prolonged dry spell followed by hot summers with occasional rain and low humidity. A mean annual rainfall of 350–500 millimetres provides good growth rates. O. ficus-indica proliferates in various soils ranging from sub-acid to sub-alkaline, with clay content not exceeding 15-20% and the soil well-drained. The shallow root system enables the plant to grow in shallow, loose soils, such as on mountain slopes. Opuntia spreads into large clonal colonies, which contribute to its being considered a noxious weed in some places. Animals that eat Opuntia include Cyclura rock iguanas; the fruit are relished by many arid land animals, chiefly birds, which thus help distribute the seeds. Opuntia pathogens include the sac fungus Sammons' Opuntia virus; the ant Crematogaster opuntiae and the spider Theridion opuntia are named because of their association with prickly pear cacti.
Like most true cactus species, prickly pears are native only to the Americas. Through human actions, they have since been introduced to many other areas of the world. Prickly pear species are found in abundance in Mexico in the central and western regions, in the Caribbean islands. In the United States, prickly pears are native to many areas of the arid, semi-arid, drought-prone Western and South Central United States, including the lower elevations of the Rocky Mountains and southern Great Plains, where species such as Opuntia phaeacantha and Opuntia polyacantha become dominant, to the desert Southwest, where several types are endemic. Prickly pear cactus is native to sandy coastal beach scrub environments of the East Coast from Florida to southern Connecticut. Opuntia species are the most cold-tolerant of the lowland cacti, extending into western and southern Canada. Prickly pears produce a fruit eaten in Mexico and in the Mediterranean region, known as tuna; the fruit can be wine-red, green, or yellow-orange.
In the Galápagos Islands, six different species are found: O. echios, O. galapageia, O. helleri, O. insularis, O. saxicola, O. megasperma. These species are divided into 14 different varieties. For this reason, they have been described as "an excellent example of adaptive radiation". On the whole, islands with tall, trunked varieties have giant tortoises, islands lacking tortoises have low or prostrate forms of Opuntia. Prickly pears are a prime source of food for the common giant tortoises in the Galápagos islands so they are important in the food web. Charles Darwin was the first to note that these cacti have thigmotactic anthers: when the anthers are touched, they curl over, depositing their pollen; this movement can be seen by poking the anthers of an open Opuntia flower. The same trait has evolved convergently in other cacti; the first introduction of prickly pears into Australia is ascribed to Governor Philip and the earliest colonists in 1788. Brought from Brazil to Sydney, prickly pear grew in Sydney, New South Wales, where they were rediscovered in a farmer's garden in 1839.
They appear to have spread from New South Wales and caused great ecological damage in the eastern states. They are found in the Mediterranean region of Northern Africa in Tunisia, where they grow all over the countryside, in parts of southern Europe Spain, where they grow in the east, south-east and south of the country, in Malta, where they grow all over the islands, they can be found in enormous numbers in parts of South Africa, where they were introduced from South America. Prickly pears are considered an invasive species in Australia, South Africa, Hawaii, among other locations. Prickly pears were imported into Europe during the 1500s and Australia in the 18th century for gardens, were used as a natural agricultural fencing and in an attempt to establish a cochineal dye industry. They