San Antonio, Texas

San Antonio is a city in the US state of Texas. It is the second largest city in Texas and is the sixth largest city in the United States with a population of 1,452,000. The metro area is the third largest in Texas with 2,602,000 residents (2021).


San Antonio is located in the transition area from Central Texas to South Texas. Southern Texas consists of flat prairies, Central Texas is slightly hilly and has some forest areas. The northern and northwestern suburbs therefore have more height differences than the rest of the agglomeration. San Antonio is located 200 kilometers from the border with Mexico. The city of Houston is located 300 kilometers to the east and the state capital Austin is 120 kilometers to the northeast. The western city of El Paso is 800 kilometers to the west as the crow flies. The corridor between San Antonio and Austin is urbanized, with regional towns such as New Braunfels and San Marcos. East of San Antonio is the town of Seguin.


According to collegesanduniversitiesinusa, San Antonio is mostly flat, with a monotonous prairie landscape to the south with hardly any elevation changes. To the northwest and north are low hills with some forest. The agglomeration of San Antonio has more forest than the original landscape, which has been planted. North and southeast of San Antonio are some reservoirs. Small rivers cross the conurbation, the most important of which is the San Antonio River. The center of San Antonio is 200 meters above sea level, the northern suburbs are 300 to 400 meters above sea level.

San Antonio has a humid subtropical climate, but with less precipitation than Houston to the east. The annual precipitation is approximately 800 mm, comparable to the Netherlands. Precipitation falls fairly evenly throughout the year, but in the spring mainly in the form of thunderstorms. Average maximum temperatures range from 17°C in January to 35°C in July and August. Summer is hot and long, it is more than 30°C half of the year. Snowfall is rare, but occurs occasionally. Tornadoes also occur occasionally, but are less common than further north and east.


San Antonio has a diverse economy consisting of military installations, the medical sector, financial services, government, tourism, and oil and gas exploration. Two major oil companies are headquartered in San Antonio. There is relatively little heavy industry, but there is some manufacturing industry. Defense is a major employer in San Antonio, with Lackland Air Force Base, Randolph Air Force Base, Brooke Army Medical Center, and Fort Sam Houston. However, some major employers have also left San Antonio for other Texas cities, especially in 2008 when AT&T moved its headquarters to Dallas. San Antonio attracts many domestic tourists, about 20 million a year, especially to the historic center, consisting of The Alamo and River Walk. There is also a large convention center.


San Antonio got its name as early as 1691 when Spanish explorers celebrated the feast of Anthony of Padua, calling it San Antonio. However, it was not until 1709 that there was permanent settlement by Europeans. However, San Antonio is one of the oldest cities in Texas. In the 19th century, San Antonio was the largest Spanish city in Texas, it became the capital of Spanish Texas and later of the state of Coahuila y Tejas of Mexico. The city belonged to Mexico between 1821 and 1836. After that it was part of the Republic of Texas, an independent country that was annexed by the United States in 1845. In 1860 San Antonio had 15,000 inhabitants. In 1877 San Antonio was connected to the rail network. Texas’ major cities grew primarily as rail hubs in the latter half of the 19th century, unlike other states up to that time, where cities grew mainly on rivers. Shortly after 1910, San Antonio crossed the 100,000 population mark, being a larger city than Houston at the time. In the 1950s, San Antonio crossed the half-million mark, and in the late 90’s reached 1 million. The San Antonio metropolitan area has shown a more linear growth since the 1970s, often growing by about 300,000 inhabitants every 10 years between 1980 and 2010, in contrast to Dallas and Houston, which grew faster and faster. San Antonio is therefore less booming than other large Texan cities, but is still a sizeable city.

Population growth

It stacks between I-410 and US 281 in northern San Antonio.

Rounded populations of the eight counties that make up the San Antonio metropolitan area. The other five counties are predominantly rural in character, some have small towns that are not considered suburbs of San Antonio, but are in the area of influence.

Year Bexar Guadalupe Comal remaining* total grow
1920 202,000 28,000 9,000 50,000 289,000
1930 293,000 29,000 12,000 56,000 390,000 +101,000
1940 338,000 26,000 12,000 62,000 438,000 +48,000
1950 500,000 25,000 16,000 62,000 603,000 +165,000
1960 687,000 29,000 20,000 61,000 797,000 +194,000
1970 830,000 34,000 24,000 64,000 952,000 +155,000
1980 989,000 47,000 36,000 83,000 1,155,000 +203,000
1990 1,185,000 65,000 52,000 106,000 1,408,000 +253,000
2000 1,393,000 89,000 78,000 152,000 1,712,000 +304,000
2010 1,714,000 132,000 109,000 188,000 2,143,000 +431,000
2020 2,014,000 174,000 163,000 216,000 2,567,000 +424,000
2021 2,028,000 177,000 175,000 222,000 2,602,000 +35,000

* Other counties: Atascosa County, Bandera County, Kendall County, Medina County and Wilson County

Bexar County is large enough to accommodate most of San Antonio’s population growth, only modest population growth began in neighboring counties in the 1990s. In 2019, Bexar County crossed the 2 million population mark. In the future, Bexar County still has enough space in the south, west and east to accommodate a significant population growth.

It is argued that San Antonio and Austin are gradually becoming one major conurbation, due to the rapid growth of jobs and residents around New Braunfels and San Marcos. In 2021, Comal County, Guadalupe County, and Hays County will have a combined population of 607,000.

San Antonio, Texas