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Corpus Christi is a coastal city in the South Texas region of the U.S. state of Texasmarker. The county seat of Nueces Countymarker, it also extends into Aransasmarker, Klebergmarker, and San Patriciomarker counties.MSA population in 2008 is 416, 376. The population was 277,454 at the 2000 census; in 2006 the US Census Bureau estimated the city's population at 285,175, making it the eighth-largest city in the state. It is the principal city of the three-county Corpus Christi Metropolitan Statistical Area as well as the larger Corpus Christi-Kingsville Combined Statistical Area. The translation from Latin of the city's name is Body of Christ, given to the settlement by the Spanish, in honor of the Blessed Sacrament (Eucharist). The city has been nicknamed The Sparkling City by the Sea, particularly in literature promoting tourism.

The city is home to the Naval Air Station Corpus Christimarker and is served by the Corpus Christi International Airportmarker.


Corpus Christi was founded in 1839 by Colonel Henry Lawrence Kinney as Kinney's Trading Post, or Kinney's Ranch, a small trading post to sell supplies to a Mexican revolutionary army camped about 25 miles west.In July 1845, U.S. troops under General Zachary Taylor set up camp there in preparation for war with Mexico, where they remained until March 1846. Then about a year later the city was named Corpus Christi and was incorporated on September 9, 1852.The Port of Corpus Christi was opened in 1926 and the Corpus Christi Naval Air Station was commissioned in 1941.


Corpus Christi is located at (27.742857, -97.401927).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 460.2 square miles (1,192.0 km2), of which 154.6 square miles (400.5 km2) of it is land and 305.6 square miles (791.5 km2) of it (66.40%) is water. Drinking water for the city is supplied by two reservoirs, Lake Corpus Christimarker and the Choke Canyon Reservoirmarker. Through an effective regional partnership with the Nueces Rivermarker Authority and the Port of Corpus Christi Authority, a pipeline was built which transports water from Lake Texanamarker to the city's O.N. Steven's Water Treatment Plant. It was named the Mary Rhodes Pipeline, named after the late Mayor Mary Rhodes. All reservoirs are outside the city limits, but are managed directly by public utility of the City of Corpus Christi.


Corpus Christi has a marine climate, enjoying similar temperatures to those of other Gulf Coast regions, but lower precipitation as it is located in a semiarid region. Average high temperatures in the summer months exceed while average nighttime winter lows in January, the coldest month, are a little less than . The city's largest recorded snowstorm was on Dec. 24, 2004. The city's record high temperature is , on September 5, 2000, while its record low is . In December 2004, the city experienced snowfall on Christmas Eve. The snow stayed until Christmas Day and melted the day after.


As of the census of 2000, there were 277,454 people, 98,791 households, and 70,437 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,794.2 people per square mile (692.7/km2). There were 107,831 housing units at an average density of 697.3 per square mile (269.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 71.62% White, 4.67% African American, 0.64% Native American, 1.28% Asian, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 18.58% from other races, and 3.13% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 54.33% of the population.

There were 98,791 households out of which 36.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.9% were married couples living together, 15.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.7% were non-families. 23.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.75 and the average family size was 3.27. Same-sex couple households comprised 0.5 % of all households.

In the city the population was spread out with 28.1% under the age of 18, 10.6% from 18 to 24, 29.2% from 25 to 44, 21.0% from 45 to 64, and 11.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 95.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $36,414, and the median income for a family was $41,672. Males had a median income of $31,863 versus $22,616 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,419. About 14.1% of families and 17.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.9% of those under age 18 and 15.5% of those age 65 or over.


Various sections of Corpus Christi maintain distinct senses of identity and community from the city proper, especially the Calallen and Flour Bluff areas, and, less prominently, Clarkwood and Annaville. These areas are sometimes mistakenly believed to be separate municipalities.

The city has many demographic groups, ethnicities and sub-cultures, each giving it a distinct flavor: the defense bases and the people who work there; the large Hispanic community; the oil related professionals and workers; the cowboy culture; and the surfers.



One Shoreline Plaza from Heritage Park
The city is home to a number of popular destinations for both tourists and residents. Some of the most visited attractions are on North Beach, where the Texas State Aquariummarker and the USS Lexingtonmarker Museum on the Bay are located. The USS Lexington was also part of the set for the 2000 film Pearl Harbor. Nearby is Corpus Christi's museum district. Located there are the Museum of Asian Cultures, Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History, the South Texas Institute for the Arts, and the Harbor Playhouse Theatre, one of the oldest continually operating community theatres in the State. Heritage Park is also in the museum district, where a number of older restored houses can be found. The downtown area, of which the museum district is a part, is home to skyscrapers such as One Shoreline Plaza, companies, various shops, a very popular center of marinas, and Mirador de la Flormarker. Downtown also is home of the Texas Surf Museum, which explores the history of surfing and focuses on surf culture along Texas' coast, as well as K Space Contemporary,a non-profit art organization dedicated to promoting and presenting local, regional and national contemporary art.Also in the city is the Corpus Christi Botanical Gardens and Nature Center which hosts gardening programs from time to time. On Oso Bay near the Pharaoh Valley subdivision is the Hans and Pat Suter Wildlife Refuge. The Refuge is known for sea bird watching. The nearby Pharaohs golf course also serves as a haven for coastal and migratory birds.

Directly east of Corpus Christi are Padre Islandmarker and Mustang Island, home to various municipal, state, and national parks, most notably Padre Island National Seashoremarker. The city is also near King Ranch, one of the world's largest ranches, upon which the movie Giant was based.

Yearly the city also celebrates the Buccaneer Days Carnival, which is typically held downtown.

South Padre Island Drive (locally abbreviated as "S.P.I.D.", with the letters pronounced individually), is the city's main retail corridor, with two shopping malls, La Palmera (formerly Padre Staples Mall), and Sunrise Mall. Also, a number of other large shopping centers, small strip centers, and restaurants can be found throughout the city. Just to the west of Corpus Christi in the town of Robstownmarker, Texasmarker (USAmarker) will another retail power center be constructed that will serve the entire 14-county Coastal Bend Region. As of May 14, 2008 the project is just one step closer to approval. Once approved construction should start as of late Fall 2008. The major retail project is to be named The Outlets at Corpus Christi Bay

The city is accessed by two major bridges, the Harbor Bridgemarker and the John F. Kennedy Causewaymarker. Both bridges are maintained by the Texas Department of Highways and Transportation.


Downtown Corpus Christi
With the majority of the population employed in the Services, Wholesale and Retail Trade, and Government sectors, Corpus Christi enjoys a low unemployment rate of 4.0% (May 2007).

The Port of Corpus Christi, which is the sixth largest U.S. port and deepest inshore port on the Gulf of Mexicomarker, handles mostly oil and agricultural products. Much of the local economy is driven by tourism and the oil & petrochemicals industry. In 2005 it was ranked as the 47th largest in the world by cargo tonnage.

Corpus Christi is home to two installations of the United States military, the Corpus Christi Army Depot and Naval Air Station Corpus Christimarker. Combined, these installations provide 6,200 civilian jobs to the local economy, making them the single largest employer in the city. Corpus Christi Army Depot, located on NAS Corpus Christi, is the largest helicopter repair facility in the world.

Corpus Christi used to be the headquarters of Whataburger, a fast food restaurant operator and franchisor with 650 stores in ten states and Mexico which has since moved to San Antonio. Other large employers include the Corpus Christi Independent School District with 5,355 local employees, Spohn Health System at 4,500, Stripes Convenience Stores at 2,500, and the H.E.B. Grocery Company at 2,200.

Corpus Christi became the first major city to offer city wide free Wi-Fi, in order to allow remote meter reading after a meter reader was attacked by a dog. In 2007 the network was purchased by Earthlink for $5.5 million, and stopped being a free service on May 31, 2007.

Sister Cities


Corpus Christi is served by Corpus Christi International Airportmarker and Interstate 37. U.S. Highway 77 connects the city to Brownsvillemarker and Victoriamarker. Texas State Highway 44 is a main thoroughfare that connects Corpus Christi to the western part of South Texas by way of U.S. Highway 59, Interstate 35, and U.S. Highway 83. The inner city public transportation is provided by Corpus Christi Regional Transportation Authority with its 28 bus routes. Corpus Christi once had a streetcar system functioning from 1910 to 1931 and a railway station (passenger service ended in 1965). Despite the convenience of a large harbor, the city does not have a passenger port.

Major Highways


The city is home to the Corpus Christi IceRays of the Central Hockey League, Corpus Christi Hooks of the Texas League who are a Double A affiliate of the Houston Astros. The Hooks hosted the 2007 Texas League All Star Game. The city also supports the Corpus Christi Sharks of arenafootball2. The Corpus Christi metropolitan area is also home of the Coastal Bend Thunder of United League Baseball and theCorpus Christi Hammerheads of the Intense Football League. As one of Corpus' best held secrets, sailing races are held weekly off downtown's T-heads every Wednesday, where spectators can watch beautiful vessels flying their spinnakers during sunset. Corpus is also home to the Corpus Christi Rugby Football Club, which is a member of the Texas Rugby Union, an affiliate of the Western Rugby Union and of the United States Rugby Football Union.

Club Sport League Venue Established Championships
Corpus Christi Hooks Baseball Texas League Whataburger Fieldmarker 1968(Relocated in 2005) 1(2006)
Corpus Christi IceRays Ice hockey CHL American Bank Centermarker 1997 1(1998)
Corpus Christi Sharks Indoor Football AF2 American Bank Centermarker 2006 0
Corpus Christi Hammerheads Indoor Football IFL Central Pavilion Arena 2003 0
Corpus Christi Crabs Rugby Texas Rugby Union Dewey's 1973 N/A


Colleges and universities

Corpus Christi is home to several institutions of higher learning: Del Mar College [23345], Texas A&M University-Corpus Christimarker (formerly known by the following four names: Corpus Christi State University (CCSU), Texas A&I Universitymarker at Corpus Christi, and University of Corpus Christi, but now a component of the Texas A&M University System), Our Lady of Corpus Christi, a private, Roman Catholic university, a branch of the Coastal Bend College education program, and numerous vocational schools including Southern Careers Institute,South Texas Vo-Tech, Career Centers of Texas- Corpus Christi, and Vogue Cosmetology School. Corpus Christi is also home to the South Texas School of Christian Studies located on Ward Island alongside Texas A&M Corpus Christi. The school serves as an extension campus on the undergraduate level for Howard Payne University and on the graduate level for Logsdon Seminary of Hardin-Simmons University.

Del Mar College is a local community college begun in the 1940s at a location behind Wynn Seale Jr. H. S. The main campus began with the administration building which was constructed after World War II on Del Mar. The college grew to encompass a good portion of a residential addition called Southmoreland built from the Bohemian farm lands in the late 1930s. Del Mar now includes a West campus located in area of Corpus Christi that once was Cliff Maus Airport.


Five school districts provide primary and secondary education for area residents: Corpus Christi Independent School District (CCISD), Calallen ISD, Flour Bluff ISD, Tuloso-Midway ISD, and West Oso ISD. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Corpus Christi provides the primary and secondary education for Catholic schools.


High Schools

Middle Schools
  • School of Science and Technology (SST)
  • Baker Middle School
  • Cullen Middle School
  • Cunningham Middle School
  • Discoll Middle School
  • Grant Middle School
  • Hamlin Middle School
  • Haas Middle School
  • Kaffie Middle School
  • Martin Middle School
  • South Park Middle School
  • Tom Browne Middle School
  • Wynn Seale Middle School


TexShare Card holders have limited borrowing privileges at the following area libraries:



With the city being next to Corpus Christi Baymarker, the Gulf of Mexicomarker, and Laguna Madremarker, it has turned into a booming economy for fishing guides, bait merchants, fishing supply retailers, watercraft retailers, and even research of marine biology. Shark attacks are typically limited to the South Padre Island area.

Kayak Fishing

In the past few years kayak fishing has become a popular alternative to fishing from motor boats.


Because of the abundance of fish, waterfowl hunting has become popular in the region. Duck, geese, coot, and teal are just some of the many birds hunted for on the water. There is also a huge interest in white-winged dove and mourning dove in these areas, but most of the birds are hunted on private leases.

Wind sports

The city has one of the highest average wind speeds of coastal cities in North America Combined with the Bay Front area along Ocean Drive, this makes Corpus Christi one of the premiere destinations for wind sports such as kite boarding, wind surfing, and kite flying. The city is also well known for having one of the best bays in the country for sailing.


The Corpus Christi Skatepark was the highly anticipated attraction which opened on February 17, 2007. It is located in Cole Park on the shoreline of the Corpus Christi Baymarker near downtown. It is free and open to the public from dawn until 10PM. The concrete park includes a skating bowl, and a street course with stairs, railings and flat surfaces.

Notable people from Corpus Christi

This list is in alphabetical order by last name.

Films Made In Corpus Christi

Year Title Status Notes
1978 Tilt Filmed stars Brook Shields and Charles Durning
1985 The Legend of Billie Jean Filmed stars Christian Slater and Helen Slater
1985 Target Filmed stars Gene Hackman and Matt Dillon
1997 Selena Filmed stars Jennifer Lopez
2001 Pearl Harbor Filmed stars Ben Affleck and Josh Hartnett
2008 The Open Road Filmed stars Justin Timberlake and Jeff Bridges





Broadcast television


Internet Radio



See also


  1. US Census change list
  2. Census population Estimate 2006 Factfinder
  3. [1]
  4. [2]
  5. 2000 Census Data on Same-sex couple households
  6. Corpus Christi, TX Economy at a Glance
  7. Wilson Plaza
  8. EarthLink Dedicates Wi-Fi Network In Corpus Christi
  9. TexShare Card Program - Patron Information Page. Accessed 7 Apr 2009.
  10. Wind Average Data: University of Utah:

External links


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