Most rural counties in Texas

Written by:
May 2, 2022
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Most rural counties in Texas

A surprising number of U.S. counties have 100% rural land-702, in fact. Stacker compiled a list of the most rural counties in Texas using data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Counties are ranked by the percent of land area that is rural, as of the 2010 Census, with ties broken by residents per square mile, according to 2019 5-year population estimates.

According to the Census Bureau, rural land encompasses any land that isn't an urban area. To be considered an urban area, a place has to have a densely settled core of census tracts or blocks and count at least 2,500 people, at least 1,500 of whom must be residents of non-institutional buildings. Areas with 50,000 people or more are considered urbanized areas, while areas with between 2,500 and 50,000 people are considered urban clusters.

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#50. San Augustine County

- Rural area: 100.0% (531 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 531 square miles
--- #236 largest county in state, #1,974 nationwide

- Population density: 15.6 people / square mile (8,286 residents)
--- #107 lowest density county in state, #759 nationwide

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#49. Newton County

- Rural area: 100.0% (934 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 934 square miles
--- #94 largest county in state, #765 nationwide

- Population density: 14.9 people / square mile (13,914 residents)
--- #104 lowest density county in state, #731 nationwide

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#48. Live Oak County

- Rural area: 100.0% (1,040 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 1,040 square miles
--- #65 largest county in state, #631 nationwide

- Population density: 11.7 people / square mile (12,139 residents)
--- #92 lowest density county in state, #624 nationwide

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#47. Goliad County

- Rural area: 100.0% (852 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 852 square miles
--- #183 largest county in state, #975 nationwide

- Population density: 8.9 people / square mile (7,565 residents)
--- #77 lowest density county in state, #533 nationwide

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#46. Mills County

- Rural area: 100.0% (748 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 748 square miles
--- #208 largest county in state, #1,177 nationwide

- Population density: 6.5 people / square mile (4,889 residents)
--- #67 lowest density county in state, #435 nationwide

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#45. Crosby County

- Rural area: 100.0% (900 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 900 square miles
--- #146 largest county in state, #852 nationwide

- Population density: 6.5 people / square mile (5,836 residents)
--- #65 lowest density county in state, #432 nationwide

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#44. Martin County

- Rural area: 100.0% (915 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 915 square miles
--- #115 largest county in state, #805 nationwide

- Population density: 6.2 people / square mile (5,649 residents)
--- #62 lowest density county in state, #418 nationwide

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#43. Wheeler County

- Rural area: 100.0% (915 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 915 square miles
--- #116 largest county in state, #806 nationwide

- Population density: 5.8 people / square mile (5,338 residents)
--- #57 lowest density county in state, #402 nationwide

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#42. Hardeman County

- Rural area: 100.0% (695 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 695 square miles
--- #217 largest county in state, #1,341 nationwide

- Population density: 5.7 people / square mile (3,945 residents)
--- #56 lowest density county in state, #397 nationwide

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#41. Real County

- Rural area: 100.0% (699 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 699 square miles
--- #215 largest county in state, #1,325 nationwide

- Population density: 4.9 people / square mile (3,408 residents)
--- #53 lowest density county in state, #363 nationwide

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#40. Mason County

- Rural area: 100.0% (929 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 929 square miles
--- #98 largest county in state, #774 nationwide

- Population density: 4.5 people / square mile (4,186 residents)
--- #50 lowest density county in state, #346 nationwide

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#39. Knox County

- Rural area: 100.0% (851 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 851 square miles
--- #184 largest county in state, #977 nationwide

- Population density: 4.4 people / square mile (3,705 residents)
--- #48 lowest density county in state, #338 nationwide

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#38. Fisher County

- Rural area: 100.0% (899 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 899 square miles
--- #151 largest county in state, #860 nationwide

- Population density: 4.3 people / square mile (3,856 residents)
--- #47 lowest density county in state, #334 nationwide

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#37. Baylor County

- Rural area: 100.0% (867 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 867 square miles
--- #178 largest county in state, #946 nationwide

- Population density: 4.1 people / square mile (3,577 residents)
--- #46 lowest density county in state, #315 nationwide

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#36. Cochran County

- Rural area: 100.0% (775 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 775 square miles
--- #204 largest county in state, #1,119 nationwide

- Population density: 3.7 people / square mile (2,887 residents)
--- #44 lowest density county in state, #287 nationwide

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#35. Lipscomb County

- Rural area: 100.0% (932 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 932 square miles
--- #96 largest county in state, #768 nationwide

- Population density: 3.6 people / square mile (3,398 residents)
--- #43 lowest density county in state, #282 nationwide

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#34. Coke County

- Rural area: 100.0% (911 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 911 square miles
--- #122 largest county in state, #818 nationwide

- Population density: 3.6 people / square mile (3,303 residents)
--- #42 lowest density county in state, #280 nationwide

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#33. Donley County

- Rural area: 100.0% (927 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 927 square miles
--- #100 largest county in state, #778 nationwide

- Population density: 3.6 people / square mile (3,342 residents)
--- #41 lowest density county in state, #278 nationwide

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#32. Shackelford County

- Rural area: 100.0% (914 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 914 square miles
--- #118 largest county in state, #808 nationwide

- Population density: 3.6 people / square mile (3,296 residents)
--- #40 lowest density county in state, #277 nationwide

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#31. Hall County

- Rural area: 100.0% (883 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 883 square miles
--- #167 largest county in state, #903 nationwide

- Population density: 3.4 people / square mile (3,048 residents)
--- #38 lowest density county in state, #267 nationwide

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#30. Concho County

- Rural area: 100.0% (984 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 984 square miles
--- #78 largest county in state, #697 nationwide

- Population density: 3.3 people / square mile (3,266 residents)
--- #36 lowest density county in state, #258 nationwide

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#29. Sherman County

- Rural area: 100.0% (923 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 923 square miles
--- #107 largest county in state, #789 nationwide

- Population density: 3.3 people / square mile (3,059 residents)
--- #35 lowest density county in state, #257 nationwide

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#28. Collingsworth County

- Rural area: 100.0% (918 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 918 square miles
--- #111 largest county in state, #798 nationwide

- Population density: 3.2 people / square mile (2,969 residents)
--- #34 lowest density county in state, #251 nationwide

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Larry D. Moore // Wikimedia Commons

#27. Upton County

- Rural area: 100.0% (1,241 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 1,241 square miles
--- #36 largest county in state, #490 nationwide

- Population density: 2.9 people / square mile (3,659 residents)
--- #32 lowest density county in state, #230 nationwide

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#26. Dickens County

- Rural area: 100.0% (902 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 902 square miles
--- #140 largest county in state, #843 nationwide

- Population density: 2.4 people / square mile (2,203 residents)
--- #29 lowest density county in state, #189 nationwide

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#25. Menard County

- Rural area: 100.0% (902 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 902 square miles
--- #139 largest county in state, #841 nationwide

- Population density: 2.3 people / square mile (2,119 residents)
--- #28 lowest density county in state, #186 nationwide

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#24. Schleicher County

- Rural area: 100.0% (1,311 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 1,311 square miles
--- #31 largest county in state, #455 nationwide

- Population density: 2.3 people / square mile (2,983 residents)
--- #27 lowest density county in state, #178 nationwide

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#23. Armstrong County

- Rural area: 100.0% (909 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 909 square miles
--- #126 largest county in state, #823 nationwide

- Population density: 2.2 people / square mile (1,973 residents)
--- #26 lowest density county in state, #166 nationwide

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#22. Cottle County

- Rural area: 100.0% (901 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 901 square miles
--- #142 largest county in state, #848 nationwide

- Population density: 1.8 people / square mile (1,642 residents)
--- #25 lowest density county in state, #137 nationwide

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#21. Foard County

- Rural area: 100.0% (704 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 704 square miles
--- #214 largest county in state, #1,315 nationwide

- Population density: 1.8 people / square mile (1,275 residents)
--- #24 lowest density county in state, #136 nationwide

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#20. Glasscock County

- Rural area: 100.0% (900 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 900 square miles
--- #145 largest county in state, #851 nationwide

- Population density: 1.7 people / square mile (1,510 residents)
--- #22 lowest density county in state, #124 nationwide

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#19. Briscoe County

- Rural area: 100.0% (900 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 900 square miles
--- #147 largest county in state, #854 nationwide

- Population density: 1.6 people / square mile (1,457 residents)
--- #21 lowest density county in state, #120 nationwide

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#18. Stonewall County

- Rural area: 100.0% (916 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 916 square miles
--- #113 largest county in state, #801 nationwide

- Population density: 1.6 people / square mile (1,476 residents)
--- #20 lowest density county in state, #119 nationwide

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#17. Throckmorton County

- Rural area: 100.0% (913 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 913 square miles
--- #119 largest county in state, #813 nationwide

- Population density: 1.6 people / square mile (1,436 residents)
--- #19 lowest density county in state, #116 nationwide

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#16. Irion County

- Rural area: 100.0% (1,052 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 1,052 square miles
--- #61 largest county in state, #620 nationwide

- Population density: 1.5 people / square mile (1,620 residents)
--- #18 lowest density county in state, #113 nationwide

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Aualliso // Wikimedia Commons

#15. Oldham County

- Rural area: 100.0% (1,501 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 1,501 square miles
--- #21 largest county in state, #399 nationwide

- Population density: 1.4 people / square mile (2,094 residents)
--- #16 lowest density county in state, #98 nationwide

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Billy Hathorn // Wikimedia Commons

#14. Sterling County

- Rural area: 100.0% (923 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 923 square miles
--- #106 largest county in state, #788 nationwide

- Population density: 1.3 people / square mile (1,231 residents)
--- #15 lowest density county in state, #95 nationwide

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#13. Motley County

- Rural area: 100.0% (990 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 990 square miles
--- #77 largest county in state, #692 nationwide

- Population density: 1.3 people / square mile (1,252 residents)
--- #14 lowest density county in state, #92 nationwide

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#12. Jeff Davis County

- Rural area: 100.0% (2,265 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 2,265 square miles
--- #11 largest county in state, #245 nationwide

- Population density: 1.0 people / square mile (2,241 residents)
--- #12 lowest density county in state, #70 nationwide

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Larry D. Moore // Wikimedia Commons

#11. Hudspeth County

- Rural area: 100.0% (4,571 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 4,571 square miles
--- #3 largest county in state, #93 nationwide

- Population density: 1.0 people / square mile (4,415 residents)
--- #11 lowest density county in state, #64 nationwide

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#10. Edwards County

- Rural area: 100.0% (2,118 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 2,118 square miles
--- #12 largest county in state, #262 nationwide

- Population density: 0.9 people / square mile (1,918 residents)
--- #10 lowest density county in state, #57 nationwide

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Austin Lamar Allison // Wikimedia Commons

#9. Roberts County

- Rural area: 100.0% (924 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 924 square miles
--- #104 largest county in state, #785 nationwide

- Population density: 0.9 people / square mile (805 residents)
--- #9 lowest density county in state, #53 nationwide

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#8. Kent County

- Rural area: 100.0% (903 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 903 square miles
--- #138 largest county in state, #840 nationwide

- Population density: 0.7 people / square mile (647 residents)
--- #8 lowest density county in state, #41 nationwide

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#7. Borden County

- Rural area: 100.0% (897 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 897 square miles
--- #153 largest county in state, #867 nationwide

- Population density: 0.7 people / square mile (613 residents)
--- #7 lowest density county in state, #39 nationwide

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Larry D. Moore // Wikimedia Commons

#6. McMullen County

- Rural area: 100.0% (1,139 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 1,139 square miles
--- #43 largest county in state, #545 nationwide

- Population density: 0.7 people / square mile (774 residents)
--- #6 lowest density county in state, #38 nationwide

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Travis K. Witt // Wikimedia Commons

#5. Culberson County

- Rural area: 100.0% (3,813 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 3,813 square miles
--- #5 largest county in state, #129 nationwide

- Population density: 0.6 people / square mile (2,214 residents)
--- #5 lowest density county in state, #31 nationwide

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25or6to4 // Wikimedia Commons

#4. Kenedy County

- Rural area: 100.0% (1,458 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 1,458 square miles
--- #25 largest county in state, #409 nationwide

- Population density: 0.4 people / square mile (568 residents)
--- #4 lowest density county in state, #18 nationwide

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#3. Terrell County

- Rural area: 100.0% (2,358 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 2,358 square miles
--- #10 largest county in state, #235 nationwide

- Population density: 0.4 people / square mile (896 residents)
--- #3 lowest density county in state, #17 nationwide

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#2. King County

- Rural area: 100.0% (911 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 911 square miles
--- #124 largest county in state, #820 nationwide

- Population density: 0.3 people / square mile (237 residents)
--- #2 lowest density county in state, #10 nationwide

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#1. Loving County

- Rural area: 100.0% (669 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 669 square miles
--- #221 largest county in state, #1,406 nationwide

- Population density: 0.1 people / square mile (98 residents)
--- #1 lowest density county in state, #5 nationwide

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