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Overview

Introduction to Harlingen, Texas

Harlingen is located in the Rio Grande Valley of the southern portion of Texas in Cameron County. It's close to the popular South Padre Island Beach as well as world class bird watching locations. Crossing over the border to nearby Mexico provides a variety of shopping opportunities.

History

In 1904 Lon C. Hill purchased a large acreage of fertile delta land and established irrigation canals in order to attract farmers form the Midwest. He named the town in tribute to Harlingen of the Netherlands which had a similar canal system. In the beginning, agriculture including vegetables and cotton were the primary factors for the economy.

The town became a prominent commerce and transportation center. During World War II, military facilities were established which produced a significant increase in the population. During the late 1980's citrus fruit, tourism, grain and cotton production were important parts of the economy.

Attractions

  • Valley Race Park offers greyhound dog racing
  • South Padre Island Beaches
  • National Shrine of Our Lady of San Juan del Valley
  • Jackson Street Historic District provides unique shops, outdoor movie nights and a variety of community events
  • La Placita Diaz/Guiterrez Park includes plazas from the Hispanic custom
  • Harlingen Municipal Auditorium provides concerts and theatrical performances

Museums and Structures

  • Rio Grande Valley Museum
  • Port Isable Historical Museum
  • The Joyner Home is an attractive Italian-style villa
  • The Pink House is a southern Colonial style home
  • Tichenor Home has Georgian-style architecture
  • The Berly Home is an attractive three story home made from bricks
  • South Ward/Bowie Elementary School features an attractive facade featuring artwork resembling Toltec feather headdresses, Aztec heads and a fabled Mexican serpent
  • The Harlingen High School/Vernon Middle School was constructed in a Spanish revival style

Activities

The city is well known for tropical bird watching due to being situated at the convergence of two primary flyways. Several of the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail locations are in Harlingen including the Harlingen Thicket Bird Sanctuary. The Laguna Atascosa NWR is located next to the beautiful Laguna Madre and the Santa Ana NWR is a notable location which provides tram tours during the winter.

The nearby Los Ebanos Preserve includes nature trails, gardens, a variety of birds and a vast amount of butterflies. World Birding Center offers a large trail area. The Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival is the largest nature festival in the region. The Arroyo Queen is a notable tour. The noteworthy Extravaganza Folklorica included ethnic costumes, music and dancing.

Transportation

The city is served by the Valley International Airport. The busy Free Trade Bridge is located near Harlingen and includes a prominent U.S. Customs inspection center.

Higher Education

A campus of the Texas State Technical College is situated in Harlingen. South Texas College, University of Texas Pan American and University of Texas at Brownsville are nearby.

People

Total Population 65,801
Male Share of the Population 49.5%
Female Share of the Population 50.5%
Senior Citizens 13%
Employed Population 16+ 22,340
Age of the Population 31

Families

% of people married 46.2%
Average household size 3

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 18.5%
Median Earnings25+ $27,643
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $14,667
Median Earnings With High School Degree $24,897

Wealth

Median Family Income $39,576
% Above Poverty Level 67.5%
% Below Poverty Level 32.5%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 17 minutes
% Working from Home 1.6%
% Walking and Biking to Work 1.7%
% Using Public Transportation 0.4%

Housing

People Living Alone 22.1%
Median Gross Rent $705
Median House Value $80,600

Ancestry

Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 78.9%
US/American 0%
English 2.4%
Irish 2.4%

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Harlingen Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Large City 112 miles S of Corpus Christi, Texas
County Cameron
Metro Area Brownsville - Harlingen - San Benito
Standard Zip Codes 78550, 78552
P.O. Box Zip Codes 78551, 78553
Phone Area Codes 956
Time Zone Central (-6 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 26.19
Longitude -97.695

Harlingen Climate

Nearest Weather Stations

Notes:

  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

Station HARLINGEN
Distance 1.9 miles
Jan Temp 48 to 69 F
Apr Temp 64 to 84 F
Jul Temp 74 to 95 F
Oct Temp 64 to 85 F
Annual Precip 28.1 inches
Station BROWNSVILLE AP
Distance 25.9 miles
Jan Temp 51 to 69 F
Apr Temp 65 to 82 F
Jul Temp 75 to 92 F
Oct Temp 66 to 84 F
Annual Precip 27.5 inches
Station PORT ISABEL
Distance 31 miles
Jan Temp 52 to 67 F
Apr Temp 67 to 79 F
Jul Temp 78 to 89 F
Oct Temp 70 to 83 F
Annual Precip 28.5 inches

Neighborhood and Nearby Area Names

According to the US Postal Service, Harlingen, its neighborhoods, and/or surrounding areas are also referred to as:

Adams Gardens (78550)

Arroyo (78550)

Avondale (78550)

Kayare (78550)

Stuart Place (78550)

Note that not all alternate names are acceptable for use in US Post Office addresses.

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
Combes 3,019 $43,839

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Harlingen Public Libraries

Library
Harlingen Public Library
410 76 DR
Harlingen, Texas
(956) 430-6650

library logo

More Information for Librarians

Harlingen Hospitals

HARLINGEN MEDICAL CENTER
(Proprietary)
5501 SOUTH EXPRESSWAY 77
(956) 365-1000
Emergency Service: Yes

VALLEY BAPTIST MEDICAL CENTER
(Voluntary non-profit - Church)
2101 PEASE ST
(956) 389-1100
Emergency Service: Yes

These schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles). Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.
 
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Harlingen High Schools

(Sorted by Number of Students)

HARLINGEN H S
1201 E MARSHALL AVE
956-427-3600
A Title I School.
Serves 2,502 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 16.3

HARLINGEN H S - SOUTH
1701 DIXIELAND RD
956-427-3800
A Title I School.
Serves 1,911 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 14.6

KEYS ACAD
2809 N 7TH ST
956-427-3220
A Non-traditional School
A Title I School.
Serves 138 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 9.2

SECONDARY ALTER CTR
1310 SAM HOUSTON
956-427-3210
A Non-traditional School
Serves 70 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 10.8

CAMERON CO J J A E P
1409 E HARRISON ST
956-361-8271
A Non-traditional School
Serves 6 students.

VALLEY HOUSE SCH
1438 N 7TH
956-425-6567

Additional Details
Harlingen Colleges
Harlingen colleges and trade schools.
Study Online in Harlingen

Career and College Resources

Real-World Career Reports
Career References and Original Articles
College Directories and Lists
Additional Resources
Info for Harlingen Government Officials


Are you an official in the Harlingen government or quasi-government agency such as the chamber of commerce, visitors bureau or economic development council? If so, visit our information page for government officials to see how CityTownInfo can support you.

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