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South Padre Island, Texas

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Census Data for South Padre Island ...

Population ...

The most recent Census Estimate<1> was for 2018 and it gave South Padre Island a population of 2,808 people.

The last Decennial Census<2> was in 2010, which gave South Padre Island a population of 2,816 people.

The town of South Padre Island is located in Cameron County. The 2010 Census gave Cameron County a population of 406,220 people. This means that South Padre Island had 0.69% of the county's total population, making it Cameron's 11th most populous community.

At the same time, Texas had a population of 25,145,561 people, meaning that South Padre Island had 0.01% of the total population of Texas - making it the state's 472nd most populous community.

Area ...

When the Census Bureau conducts a census for a town like South Padre Island, they draw a boundary around the area in which they are going to conduct their count - this defines the sampling area (usually shaped as a polygon). The shape of the sampling area can be quite complex and it's important to keep in mind that the boundaries of the sampling area may or may not match the recognized boundaries of the town.

Things like the population, area and housing for South Padre Island reflect the sampling area. Since the shape of the sampling area and the actual boundaries of South Padre Island might be different, it's best to check with the U.S. Census Bureau to resolve any difference between the two.

The 2010 Census shows that the sampling area for South Padre Island has a total area of 2.31 square miles [6 km²]. Of this total, 2.11 square miles [5.5 km²] is land, with the balance (8.45%) being water (0.2 square miles [0.5 km²]).

Cameron County has a land area of 890 square miles [2,307.5 km²]. At 2.11 square miles [5.5 km²], South Padre Island has 0.24% of the county's total land area.

Not only does the sampling area define boundaries, it also has a GPS location (latitude & longitude) that indicates a point within the sampling area (usually the center of the polygon, known as the centroid). At the time of the 2010 Census, the sampling area was located at:

Lat:   26° 7' 1"   (or 26.12°)             [Map]

Lon:   -97° 10' 5"   (or -97.17°)

More information on this topic and the changes between the 2000 Census and the 2010 Census can be found in the section for our Census-to-Census Observations ... (see below).

Population Density ...

Using the population (2,816 people) and land area (2.11 square miles [5.5 km²]) values from the 2010 Census, South Padre Island had a population density of 1,220 people per square mile [471.1 people/km²].

In comparison, the 2000 Census shows South Padre Island had a population of 2,422 people and a land area of 1.81 square miles [4.7 km²]. This gives a population density of 1,278 people per square mile [493.6 people/km²]

NOTE: Be aware that when comparing population density between the 2000 Census and the 2010 Census, there were changes in the sampling area for South Padre Island. You need to be careful when making such a comparison, the differences are likely to lead to a questionable comparison. More information about these differences can be found in the section Census-to-Census Observations ... (see below).

Housing Units ...

At the time of the 2010 Census, South Padre Island had 6,718 Housing Units<3> and with its population of 2,816 people, this averages 0.42 people per Housing Unit.

The 2010 Census shows South Padre Island had a land area of 2.11 square miles [5.5 km²]. This translates to 2,910 Housing Units per square mile [1,123 housing units/km²].

From the Census of 2000: South Padre Island had 4,685 Housing Units, a population of 2,422 people and a land area of 1.81 square miles [4.7 km²]. This gives a density of 0.52 people per Housing Unit and 2,472 Housing Units per square mile [954 housing units/km²].

NOTE: Repeating the caution above (under Population Density), be aware that when comparing Housing Units between the 2000 Census and the 2010 Census, there were changes in the sampling area for South Padre Island and you need to be careful when comparing numbers between the censuses. More information about the nature of these the changes can be found in the section called Census-to-Census Observations ... (see below).

Cameron County ...

The community of South Padre Island is located in Cameron County.

The county had a population of 406,220 people at the 2010 Census. With it's population of 2,816 people, South Padre Island represented 0.69% of the county's total.

In addition, where the town of South Padre Island has a population density of 1,220 people per square mile [471.1 people/km²], Cameron County averages 456 people per square mile [176 people/km²].

For more information, please visit our Census Page for Cameron County.

Population Rings for South Padre Island ...

To help identify the number of people who live in South Padre Island and the surrounding area, we have drawn concentric rings centered on South Padre Island. We counted the number of communities within each ring and summed their populations.<4>

  Radius   No of
  Since 2010    
5 mi   [8 km]27,863+0.52%
10 mi   [16 km]311,025+0.79%
15 mi   [24 km]411,422+0.88%
20 mi   [32 km]7203,527+5.71%
25 mi   [40 km]8206,002+5.66%
30 mi   [48 km]10233,144+5.22%

Census-to-Census Observations ...

Introduction ...

When the Census Bureau takes a census count (or enumeration) for South Padre Island, they start by specifying the boundaries of the area to be counted. This area (or sampling area) is a polygon and its shape can be quite complex - it may or may not match the geographical boundaries of South Padre Island. It's important to note that from one Census to the next, the shape and location of the polygon can change. If you need precision or details about the methodology of the Census, you should visit the U.S. Census Bureau for a definitive answer.

Area ...

The sampling area (or polygon) given for the 2010 Census is 21.82% larger than the 2000 Census.

The 2010 Census shows that the total area for South Padre Island was 2.31 square miles [6 km²]. Of this total, 2.11 square miles [5.5 km²] is land, with the balance (8.45%) being water (0.2 square miles [0.5 km²]).

The 2000 Census shows a total area of 1.89 square miles [4.9 km²]. Of this total, 1.81 square miles [4.7 km²] is land, with the balance (3.54%) being water (0.08 square miles [0.2 km²]).

Location ...

While generally coinciding with the GPS location (latitude/longitude) of South Padre Island, the latitude and longitude given by the Census Bureau actually indicates the GPS location of the polygon for South Padre Island.

For the 2010 Census, the location was given as:

Lat:   26.116993°   (or 26°7'1" N)             [Map]

Lon:   -97.168062°   (or -97°10'5" W)

For the 2000 Census, the location given was:

Lat:   26.111935°   (or 26°6'42" N)             [Map]

Lon:   -97.169587°   (or -97°10'10" W)

The difference indicates that the U.S. Census Bureau moved the location of the polygon for the 2010 Census 1,910 feet to the north<5> of the location that was used in the 2000 Census.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the U.S. Board on Geographic Names (BGN) have assigned a unique GNIS identifier (#2413309) to South Padre Island. This identifier also marks a GSP point on the map, and that point lies within the boundaries of South Padre Island. The GNIS point has been mapped to the latitude/longitude:

Lat:   26.110994°   (or 26°6'39" N)             [Map]

Lon:   -97.168054°   (or -97°10'4" W)

The GSP location given for the 2010 Census lies 2,187 feet to the north<6> of the point given by the GNIS for South Padre Island. For more information about this and the relationship of the various Federal Codes, please visit our Misc Page for South Padre Island.

Miscellaneous Information for South Padre Island ...

The Federal government has assigned various identifying codes to each community, county and state. At one time or another, the US Census Bureau has used one (or more) of the following identifiers when referring to either Cameron County or the town of South Padre Island:

The GNIS Codes ...

The current system of identification is called the Geographic Names Information System (GNIS). The following GNIS codes relate to South Padre Island:

GNIS ID for South Padre Island: 2413309

GNIS ID for Cameron County: 1383816

GNIS ID for Texas: 1779801

The FIPS Codes ...

An earlier (and largely obsolete) identification method was called the Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS):

State Code: 48 (Texas)

County Code: 061 (Cameron County)

Place Code: 69140 (South Padre Island)

State & County Code: 48/061 (Texas / Cameron County)

State & Place Code: 48/69140 (Texas / South Padre Island)

Misc. Census Codes ...

South Padre Island is located in Census Region #3 (the South Region) and Division #7 (the West South-Central Division).

The US Postal Service ZIP Code ...

While some people have used a ZIP code to identify a community, the purpose of the ZIP code was to make mail delivery more efficient by grouping addresses together. Although the ZIP Code doesn't specifically identify a town like South Padre Island, it does identify addresses that are in (or near) South Padre Island. It's important to remember that the boundaries of a ZIP Code can be changed, re-assigned or overlapped with other ZIP Codes.

The ZIP code for South Padre Island: 78597<7>

Census ZCTA Codes ...

The US Census Bureau created statistical entities that they call ZIP Code Tabulation Areas (ZCTAs) and these ZCTAs are frequently confused with the ZIP codes that come from the US Postal Service (USPS).

ZCTAs were first created for the 2000 Census and at that time, they were based upon the USPS ZIP codes. While largely covering the same areas, the boundaries of a ZCTA do not necessarily match the boundaries of a postal ZIP code with the same number. For example, while a postal ZIP code can cross a county or state line, a Census ZCTA can not. They should be treated as separate entities with no correlation between them.

For more information about the various Federal identification codes, please visit our Misc Page for South Padre Island.

Other Roadside Stops ...

Communities in Texas

About Cameron County

About Texas

Off-the-Road Links ...

The official website of the U.S. Census Bureau

The official website for South Padre Island:

The official website for Cameron County:

The official website for State of Texas:

The official website of the U.S. Board on Geographic Names (BGN)

The official website of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

Footnotes ...

<1>Every year, the US Census Bureau creates a population estimate for the preceeding year. Keep in mind that this value is an estimate and not an actual count. The most recent Census estimate is for the year 2018.

- Return to Citation

<2>Every 10 years (eg- 1990, 2000, 2010), the US Census Bureau conducts a Constitutionally-mandated count (or enumeration) of people living within the United States. This count is called a Decennial Census. The last Decennial Census was the 2010 Census, with the next one planned for 2020.

- Return to Citation

<3>A Housing Unit is a broad term for those places where people live (whether occupied or temporarily vacant), such as a house, an apartment, a mobile home, or an area that is considered as a separate living quarter. Separate living quarters (consisting of one or more rooms) are considered to be those places where people live, sleep and eat separately from others and that have access to the outside (either directly or by a shared hallway).

- Return to Citation

<4>The communities in our count are those provided by the 2010 Census, so keep in mind that our population rings will only include the people living in those communities. Smaller communities usually don't participate directly in the Census and therefore they won't be included. While our count is a close approximation, it shouldn't be considered as a complete or accurate count.

- Return to Citation

<5>The calculated bearing (or angle) to the 2010 Census location is 344 degrees and a distance of 1,910 feet.

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<6>The calculated bearing (or angle) to the GNIS point is 0 degrees and a distance of 2,187 feet.

- Return to Citation

<7>When looking for a ZIP Code, whether South Padre Island or elsewhere, it's always best to check the website of the United States Postal Service (USPS).

- Return to Citation






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This page was last modified: 15 Nov 2019