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Corpus Christi, Texas

City of Corpus Christi
Nickname: Sparkling City by the Sea Location in the state of Texas Coordinates: 27°44′34″N 97°24′7″W / 27.74278, -97.40194 Country United States State Texas Counties Nueces, San Patricio Government  - Mayor Henry Garrett Area  - City 460.2 sq mi (1,192.0 km²)  - Land 154.6 sq mi (400.5 km²)  - Water 305.6 sq mi (791.5 km²) Elevationft (2 m) Population (2006)  - City 285,175  - Density 1,794.2/sq mi (692.7/km²)  - Metro 431,741 Time zone CST (UTC-6)  - Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5) ZIP codes 78410, 78412, 78414, 78415,78411 Area code(s) 361 FIPS code 48-17000[1] GNIS feature ID 1333380[2] Website: Corpus Christi Official Website

Corpus Christi is a coastal city in the South East region of Texas and is host to the county seat of Nueces County[3]. In 2000, its population was 277,454; In 2006 the US Census Bureau estimated the city's population at 285,175[4], making it the eighth-largest city in the state. It is the principal city of the three-county Corpus Christi Metropolitan Statistical Area as well as the larger Corpus Christi-Kingsville Combined Statistical Area. The translation from Latin of the city's name is Body of Christ, given to the settlement by the Spanish, in honor of the Blessed Sacrament (Eucharist). The city has been nicknamed The Sparkling City by the Sea, particularly in literature promoting tourism.

The city is home to the Naval Air Station Corpus Christi and is served by the Corpus Christi International Airport.



Corpus Christi is located at 27°44′34″N, 97°24′7″W (27.742857, -97.401927).[5]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 460.2 square miles (1,192.0 km²), of which 154.6 square miles (400.5 km²) of it is land and 305.6 square miles (791.5 km²) of it (66.40%) is water. Drinking water for the city is supplied by two reservoirs, Lake Corpus Christi and the Choke Canyon Reservoir. Through an effective regional partnership with the Nueces River Authority and the Port of Corpus Christi Authority, a 101-mile pipeline was built which transports water from Lake Texana to the city's O.N. Steven's Water Treatment Plant. It was named the Mary Rhodes Pipeline, named after the late Mayor Mary Rhodes. All reservoirs are outside the city limits, but are managed directly by public utility of the City of Corpus Christi.


Corpus Christi has a climate, enjoying similar temperatures to those of other Gulf Coast regions, but lower precipitation as it is located in a semiarid region. Average high temperatures in the summer months exceed 90°F (32°C), while average nighttime winter lows in January, the coldest month, are a little less than 50°F (10°C). The city's largest recorded snowstorm was 4.4 inches (11 cm) in December 2004. The city's record high temperature is 109°F (43°C), on September 5, 2000, while its record low is 13°F (-12°C). Corpus Christi is also incredibly windy.

Monthly Normal and Record High and Low Temperatures Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Rec High °F 91 98 102 102 103 106 104 104 109 98 98 91 Norm High °F 66 69.7 75.8 80.7 85.6 90.2 93.2 93.4 89.9 83.6 74.9 68 Norm Low °F 46.2 49.3 56.2 62.3 69.5 73.5 74.4 74.5 71.6 64 55.4 48.1 Rec Low °F 14 18 24 33 47 58 64 64 50 28 28 13 Precip (in) 1.62 1.84 1.74 2.05 3.48 3.53 2 3.54 5.03 3.94 1.74 1.75 Source: [3]

Corpus Christi is a mainly warm, tropical town.


Historical populations Census Pop.  %± 1850689 — 1860175 -74.6% 18702,140 1122.9% 18803,257 52.2% 18904,387 34.7% 19004,703 7.2% 19108,222 74.8% 192010,522 28.0% 193027,789 164.1% 194057,301 106.2% 1950108,287 89.0% 1960167,690 54.9% 1970204,525 22.0% 1980231,999 13.4% 1990257,453 11.0% 2000277,454 7.8%

As of the census[1] of 2007 estimate, there were 301,454 people, 106,791 households, and 73,437 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,794.2 people per square mile (692.7/km²). There were 117,831 housing units at an average density of 697.3 per square mile (269.2/km²). Estimated population in July 2005: 283,474 (+2.2% change). In 2000, the racial makeup of the city was 38.5% White Non-Hispanic, 4.47% African American, 2.67% from other races, and Hispanic or Latino of any race were 54.33% of the population.

There were 106,791 households out of which 36.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.9% were married couples living together, 15.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.7% were non-families. 23.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.75 and the average family size was 3.27.

In the city the population was spread out with 28.1% under the age of 18, 10.6% from 18 to 24, 29.2% from 25 to 44, 21.0% from 45 to 64, and 11.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 95.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $36,414, and the median income for a family was $41,672. Males had a median income of $31,863 versus $22,616 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,419. About 14.1% of families and 17.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.9% of those under age 18 and 15.5% of those age 65 or over.


Various sections of Corpus Christi maintain distinct senses of identity and community from the city proper, especially the Calallen and Flour Bluff areas, and, less prominently, Clarkwood and Annaville. These areas are sometimes mistakenly believed to be separate municipalities.

The city has many demographic groups, ethnicities and sub-cultures, each giving it a distinct flavor: the defense bases and the people who work there; the large Hispanic community; the oil related professionals and workers; the cowboy culture; and the surfers.

Magazine Criticism

In the January-February 2005 issue of Men's Health rated the intelligence of people living in the 101 most populated cities in America. Corpus Christi came in second last, losing the title of "dumberer" to Fort Wayne, Ind. [6] But the magazine's continuing initiative to rate cities in a wide variety of categories proved ignorance is bliss because Corpus Christi was rated two months later as fourth happiest in the country.


One Shoreline Plaza in Downtown Corpus Christi

The city is home to a number of popular destinations for both tourists and residents. In the southeast part of the city, near the Pharaoh Valley subdivision, is the Hans and Pat Suter Wildlife Refuge, on the western shore of Oso Bay. The nearby Pharaohs golf course also serves as a haven for coastal and migratory birds. Some of the most visited attractions are on North Beach, where the Texas State Aquarium and the USS Lexington Museum on the Bay are located. The USS Lexington was also part of the set for the 2000 film Pearl Harbor. Nearby is Corpus Christi's museum district. Located there are the Museum of Asian Cultures, Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History, the South Texas Institute for the Arts, and the Harbor Playhouse theatre, one of the oldest continually operating community theatres in the State. Heritage Park is also in the museum district, where a number of older restored houses can be found. The downtown area, of which the museum district is a part, is home to skyscrapers such as One Shoreline Plaza, companies, various shops, a very popular center of marinas, and Mirador de la Flor. Downtown also is home of the Texas Surf Museum, which explores the history of surfing and focuses on surf culture along Texas' 367-mile coast, as well as K Space Contemporary,a non-profit art organization dedicated to promoting and presenting local, regional and national contemporary art. Also in the city is the Corpus Christi Botanical Gardens and Nature Center which hosts gardening programs from time to time.

Directly east of Corpus Christi are Padre Island and Mustang Island, home to various municipal, state, and national parks, most notably Padre Island National Seashore. The city is also near King Ranch, one of the world's largest ranches, upon which the movie Giant was based.

Yearly the city also celebrates the Buccaneer Days Carnival, which is typically held downtown. South Padre Island Drive (locally abbreviated as "S.P.I.D.", with the letters pronounced individually), is the city's main retail corridor, with two shopping malls, Sunrise Mall, Padre Staples Mall, and the soon to come Crosstown Commons, which will be the largest of them all and is expected to have many more major retailers and attendance. Also, a number of other large shopping centers, small strip centers, and restaurants can be found throughout the city.

The city is accessed by two major bridges, the Harbor Bridge and the John F. Kennedy Causeway. Both bridges are maintained by the Texas Department of Highways and Transportation.


The Corpus Christi economy is vibrant and diversified with good growth potential[7] With the majority of the population employed in the Services, Wholesale and Retail Trade, and Government sectors, Corpus Christi enjoys a low unemployment rate of 4.0% (May 2007)[8]. The Port of Corpus Christi, which is the sixth largest US port and deepest inshore port on the Gulf of Mexico, handles mostly oil and agricultural products. Much of the local economy is driven by tourism and the oil & petrochemicals industry.

Corpus Christi is home to two installations of the United States military, the Corpus Christi Army Depot and Naval Air Station Corpus Christi. Combined, these installations provide 6,200 civilian jobs to the local economy, making them the single largest employer in the city. Corpus Christi Army Depot, located on NAS Corpus Christi, is the largest helicopter repair facility in the world. [9]

Corpus Christi is the headquarters of Whataburger, a fast food restaurant operator and franchisor with 650 stores in ten states and Mexico. Other large employers include the Corpus Christi Independent School District with 5,355 local employees, Spohn Health System at 4,500, Stripes Convenience Stores at 2,500, and the H.E.B. Grocery Company at 2,200.[10]

Corpus Christi became the first major city to offer city wide free Wi-Fi, in order to allow remote meter reading after a meter reader was attacked by a dog. In 2007 the network was purchased by Earthlink for $5.5 million, and stopped being a free service on May 31, 2007.[11]


Corpus Christi International Airport welcome sign

Corpus Christi is served by Corpus Christi International Airport (connections through Houston & Dallas/Fort Worth) and Interstate 37. Through the nearby U.S. Highway 77 the city is connected to Brownsville and Victoria. The inner city public transportation is provided by Corpus Christi Transportation Authority with its 28 bus routes. Corpus Christi once had a streetcar system functioning from 1910 to 1931 and a railway station (passenger service ended in 1965). Despite the convenience of a large harbor, the city does not have a passenger port.


The city is home to the Corpus Christi Rayz of the Central Hockey League, Corpus Christi Hooks of the Texas League who are the defending champions of the Texas League, and the Double A affiliate of the Houston Astros. The Hooks hosted the 2007 Texas League All Star Game. Beginning in 2008, the area will be home to a second baseball team, the Corpus Christi Beach Dawgs, a team in the Continental Baseball League [12]. The city also supports the Corpus Christi Sharks of arenafootball2. The Corpus Christi metropolitan area is also home of the Corpus Christi Hammerheads of the Intense Football League. As one of Corpus' best held secrets, sailing races are held weekly off of downtown's T-heads every Wednesday, where spectators can watch beautiful vessels flying their spinnakers during sunset. The Corpus Christi Rugby Football Club is a member of the Texas Rugby Union, an affiliate of the Western Rugby Union, as well as the United States Rugby Football Union. They are active members of the Corpus Christi community and have several community outreach programs including events and donations. The CCRFC, in its first incarnation, came into being in 1973 as the Corpus Christi Islanders. That year, the first Texas Rugby Union Championships was held in the Sparkling City by the Bay and rugby was underway in the Coastal Bend. A few years later, the team came together and decided that a name change was in order. In proper respect for the game and all pomp and circumstance, the team met together in a park for an "official" team meeting, drank copious amounts of barley pop and decided on the name, The Corpus Christi Crabs. It is common knowledge that Sealice was narrowly defeated. Their warcry, in keeping with the spirit of the game, is 'On 'em like the Crabs!'. The CCRFC has always been a competitive, social rugby team who is willing to host any rugby side throughout the world, so long as there is a decent social afterward.

The Corpus Christi Rugby Football Club also hosts "7s By The Sea" every July. 7s By The Sea is a rugby 7s beach tournament that attracts players and clubs from throughout Texas and the world. It is played with regular rugby 7s laws, barefoot, and due to no goal posts on the beach, without kicking for points. It is tradition for the rugby to cost money, but the beer to be free at 7s By The Sea.


Colleges and universities

Corpus Christi is home to several institutions of higher learning: Del Mar College [4], Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi (formerly known by the following four names: Corpus Christi State University (CCSU), Texas A&I University at Corpus Christi, and University of Corpus Christi, but now a component of the Texas A&M University System), Our Lady of Corpus Christi, a private, Roman Catholic university, a branch of the Coastal Bend College education program, and numerous vocational schools including Southern Careers Institute, Career Centers of Texas- Corpus Christi, and Vogue Cosmetology School. Corpus Christi is also home to the South Texas School of Christian Studies located on Ward Island alongside Texas A&M Corpus Christi. The school serves as an extension campus on the undergraduate level for Howard Payne University and on the graduate level for Logsdon Seminary of Hardin-Simmons University.

Del Mar College is a local community college begun in the 1940s at a location behind Wynn Seale Jr. H. S. The main campus began with the administration building which was constructed after World War II on Del Mar. The college grew to encompass a good portion of a residential addition called Southmoreland built from the Bohemian farm lands in the late 1930s. Del Mar now includes a West campus located in area of Corpus Christi that once was Cliff Maus Airport.


Five school districts provide primary and secondary education for area residents: Corpus Christi Independent School District, Calallen ISD, Flour Bluff ISD, Tuloso-Midway ISD, and West Oso ISD. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Corpus Christi provides the primary and secondary education for Catholic schools.



With the city being next to Corpus Christi Bay, the Gulf of Mexico, and Laguna Madre, it has turned into a booming economy for fishing guides, bait merchants, fishing supply retailers, watercraft retailers, and even research of marine biology. Shark attacks are typically limited to the South Padre Island area.

Kayak Fishing

In the past few years kayak fishing has become popular alternative to fishing from motor boats.[citation needed]


Because of the abundance of fish, waterfowl hunting has become popular in the region. Duck, geese, coot, and teal are just some of the many birds hunted for on the water. There is also a huge interest in white-winged dove and mourning dove in these areas, but most of the birds are hunted on private leases.

Wind sports

The city has one of the highest average wind speeds of coastal cities in North America [13] Combined with the Bay Front area along Ocean Drive, this makes Corpus Christi one of the premiere destinations for wind sports such as kite boarding, wind surfing, and kite flying. The city is also well known for having one of the best bays in the country for sailing.


The Corpus Christi Skatepark is the highly anticipated attraction which opened on February 17, 2007. It is located in Cole Park on the shoreline of the Corpus Christi Bay near downtown. It is free and open to the public from dawn until 10PM. The 12,000 square foot concrete park includes a skating bowl, and a street course with stairs, railings and flat surfaces.

Famous people from Corpus Christi


Broadcast television

Internet Radio



See also

Texas Portal


  1. ^ a b American FactFinder. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved on 2008-01-31.
  2. ^ US Board on Geographic Names. United States Geological Survey (2007-10-25). Retrieved on 2008-01-31.
  3. ^ Find a County. National Association of Counties. Retrieved on 2008-01-31.
  4. ^ Census population Estimate 2006 Factfinder
  5. ^ US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990. United States Census Bureau (2005-05-03). Retrieved on 2008-01-31.
  6. ^ We're dumb and happy, magazine determines : Corpus Christi Local | Caller-Times |
  7. ^ [1].
  8. ^ Corpus Christi, TX Economy at a Glance
  9. ^ [2]
  10. ^ Wilson Plaza
  11. ^ EarthLink Dedicates Wi-Fi Network In Corpus Christi
  12. ^
  13. ^ Wind Average Data: University of Utah:

External links


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