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|Nolan County, Texas|
Nolan County Courthouse
Location within the U.S. state of Texas
Texas's location within the U.S.
|Named for||Philip Nolan|
|• Total||914 sq mi (2,367 km2)|
|• Land||912 sq mi (2,362 km2)|
|• Water||2.0 sq mi (5 km2), 0.2%|
|• Density||17/sq mi (7/km2)|
|Time zone||Central: UTC−6/−5|
Nolan County is a county located in the west central region of the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, its population was 15,216. Its county seat is Sweetwater. The county was created in 1876 and organized in 1881. It is named for Philip Nolan, one of the first American traders to visit Texas.
Nolan County comprises the Sweetwater, TX Micropolitan Statistical Area.
From 1921 to 1925, the Democrat Richard M. Chitwood of Sweetwater represented Nolan County in the state House. As chairman of the House Education Committee, he worked in 1923 to establish what became Texas Tech University in Lubbock. He had first tried to obtain the institution for Sweetwater as the central location of West Texas. After the institution was established, he resigned from the House to move to Lubbock to become the first Texas Tech business manager. He served in that capacity for just 15 months; he died in Dallas in November 1926.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 914 square miles (2,370 km2), of which 912 square miles (2,360 km2) are land and 2.0 square miles (5.2 km2) (0.2%) are covered by water.
Nolan County is in the Cross Timbers region for wildlife management. Geologically Nolan County occupies part of the Rolling Plains in the North and South, separated by an isolated part of the Edwards Plateau in much of the center. The uplifted plateau, rising up to 500 feet above the surrounding plains, gives Nolan county an advantage on production of wind energy.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2000, 15,802 people, 6,170 households, and 4,288 families resided in the county. The population density was 17 people per square mile (7/km²). The 7,112 housing units averaged 8 per square mile (3/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 78.45% White, 4.68% Black or African American, 0.49% Native American, 0.24% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 14.02% from other races, and 2.07% from two or more races. About 28.04% of the population was Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Of the 6,170 households, 32.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.00% were married couples living together, 12.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.50% were not families. Around 27.10% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 3.01.
In the county, the population was distributed as 27.10% under the age of 18, 8.50% from 18 to 24, 25.40% from 25 to 44, 22.60% from 45 to 64, and 16.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.70 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $26,209, and for a family was $32,004. Males had a median income of $28,674 versus $19,335 for females. The per capita income for the county was $14,077. About 18.30% of families and 21.70% of the population were below the poverty line, including 29.50% of those under age 18 and 18.50% of those age 65 or over.
Nolan County has established itself as a center for wind power generation. As of July 2008, Nolan County generated more wind energy than the entire state of California, and would have ranked sixth in the world for wind power generation if it were counted as its own country.
Wind energy investments in the county of about $3 billion US dollars since 1999 have resulted in about 1,330 direct wind-related jobs which were created in Nolan County alone (in 2009), with almost $18,000,000 in annual landowner royalties and over $12,000,000 in annual local school taxes (2007), and about $1.7 million more in county property taxes. The majority of investments come from Epplament Energy, E.ON, Invenergy, Lestis Private Capital Group, NextEra and Lattner Energy.
Nolan county is a hub of the Public Utility Commission’s $5 Billion CREZ wind energy transmission line expansion project in Texas.