Port Arthur, Texas


As of the 2000 census
A census is the procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population. It is a regularly occurring and official count of a particular population. The term is used mostly in connection with national population and housing censuses; other common...

, there were 57,755 people, 21,839 households, and 14,675 families residing in the city. The population density
Population density
Population density is a measurement of population per unit area or unit volume. It is frequently applied to living organisms, and particularly to humans...

 was 696.5 people per square mile (268.9/km²). There were 24,713 housing units at an average density of 298.0 per square mile (115.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 43.70% African American, 20.02% White, 0.45% Native American, 5.89% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 8.88% from other races
Race (United States Census)
Race and ethnicity in the United States Census, as defined by the Federal Office of Management and Budget and the United States Census Bureau, are self-identification data items in which residents choose the race or races with which they most closely identify, and indicate whether or not they are...

, and 2.06% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 25.45% of the population.

There were 21,839 households out of which 33.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.6% were married couples
Marriage is a social union or legal contract between people that creates kinship. It is an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate and sexual, are acknowledged in a variety of ways, depending on the culture or subculture in which it is found...

 living together, 19.7%

had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.8% were non-families. 29.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.61 and the average family size was 3.25.

In the city the population had 28.7% under the age of 18, 9.7% from 18 to 24, 26.2% from 25 to 44, 19.9% from 45 to 64, and 15.5% who were years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 91.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.8 males. The median income for a household in the city was $26,455, and the median income for a family was $32,143. Males had a median income of $30,915 versus $21,063 for females. The per capita income
Per capita income
Per capita income or income per person is a measure of mean income within an economic aggregate, such as a country or city. It is calculated by taking a measure of all sources of income in the aggregate and dividing it by the total population...

 for the city was $14,183. About 22.9% of families and 25.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 35.2% of those under age 18 and 14.4% of those age 65 or over.


Communities in Port Arthur include:
  • EL Vista
  • Griffing Park
    Griffing Park, Port Arthur, Texas
    Griffing Park is an area of Port Arthur, Texas, United States that used to be a separate city in Jefferson County.In 1929 Port Arthur began its attempts to annex Griffing Park, which incorporated on November 13 of that year. In 1983 Port Arthur annexed Griffing Park. Handbook of Texas describes the...

  • Lakeview
    Lakeview, Port Arthur, Texas
    Lakeview is an area of Port Arthur, Texas, United States that used to be a distinct unincorporated community in Jefferson County.In 1929 residents successfully opposed Port Arthur's attempt to annex Lakeview. By 1980 Port Arthur had annexed Lakeview....

  • Pear Ridge
    Pear Ridge, Port Arthur, Texas
    Pear Ridge is an area of Port Arthur, Texas, United States that used to be a separate city in Jefferson County.The city incorporated in 1935. By 1986 Port Arthur had taken control of Pear Ridge....

  • Port Acres
    Port Acres, Port Arthur, Texas
    Port Acres is an area of Port Arthur, Texas, United States that used to be a distinct unincorporated community in eastern Jefferson County. The community is between Texas State Highway 73 and Farm to Market Road 365 and west of Downtown Port Arthur....

  • Sabine Pass

Government and infrastructure

The Mayor of Port Arthur is Deloris "Bobbie" Prince.

The county operates the Port Arthur Sub-Courthouse in Port Arthur.

The United States Postal Service
United States Postal Service
The United States Postal Service is an independent agency of the United States government responsible for providing postal service in the United States...

 operates the Port Arthur Post Office, the Port Acres Post Office, and the Sabine Pass Post Office in Sabine Pass
Sabine Pass, Texas
Sabine Pass is a neighborhood of Port Arthur, Texas, United States. It lies on the west bank of Sabine Pass, near the Louisiana border.Originally known as Sabine City, the original date of settlement of Sabine Pass is unknown, but is estimated at 1836...


Primary and secondary schools

Most of the City of Port Arthur is served by the Port Arthur Independent School District
Port Arthur Independent School District
Port Arthur Independent School District is a public school district based in Port Arthur, Texas .The district serves most of Port Arthur and a portion of Groves....

. The portion around Southeast Texas Regional Airport
Southeast Texas Regional Airport
Jack Brooks Regional Airport , is a public airport located near Port Arthur, Texas, United States, nine miles southeast of the central business district of Beaumont and northeast of Port Arthur...

 is served by the Nederland Independent School District
Nederland Independent School District
Nederland Independent School District is a public school district based in Nederland, Texas .In addition to Nederland, the district also serves the communities of Central Gardens and portions of Port Neches and Port Arthur....

. The Sabine Pass community is served by the Sabine Pass Independent School District
Sabine Pass Independent School District
Sabine Pass Independent School District is a public school district in Sabine Pass, a community in Port Arthur, Texas . The school serves sections of Port Arthur and unincorporated Jefferson County....


The Bob Hope Charter School is located in Port Arthur.


Lamar State College–Port Arthur
Lamar State College–Port Arthur
Lamar State College–Port Arthur is a community college located in Port Arthur, Texas, United States. The college has around 2,500 students.-History:...

, located in downtown Port Arthur; celebrated its 100th birthday in 2009. Offering a full variety of basic core curriculum classes that are transferrable throughout Texas public universities, Lamar State College is recognized for associate programs in Commercial Music, Nursing, Legal Assistant and Process technology. Lamar State College also fields competitive teams in Men's Basketball and Women's Softball. The section of Port Arthur within the Sabine Pass School District is assigned to Galveston College
Galveston College
Galveston College is a comprehensive community college located on Galveston Island in Galveston, Texas, United States. GC is led by a president who answers to nine member publicly elected Board of Regents....

 in Galveston
Galveston, Texas
Galveston is a coastal city located on Galveston Island in the U.S. state of Texas. , the city had a total population of 47,743 within an area of...


Public libraries

The Port Arthur Public Library, at 4615 9th Avenue at Texas State Highway 73, serves as the public library system for the city.


The Southeast Texas Regional Airport
Southeast Texas Regional Airport
Jack Brooks Regional Airport , is a public airport located near Port Arthur, Texas, United States, nine miles southeast of the central business district of Beaumont and northeast of Port Arthur...

 in Port Arthur serves Beaumont
Beaumont, Texas
Beaumont is a city in and county seat of Jefferson County, Texas, United States, within the Beaumont–Port Arthur Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city's population was 118,296 at the 2010 census. With Port Arthur and Orange, it forms the Golden Triangle, a major industrial area on the...

 and Port Arthur.


Local bus service is provided by Port Arthur Transit. Bus service between Port Arthur and Beaumont is operated by Beaumont Municipal Transit.


After decades of stagnation and neglect in the area economy, Port Arthur is in the early stages of an economic boom. Several large projects involving the energy infrastructure are underway or proposed, the two largest being the Golden Pass
Golden Pass
The GoldenPass Line is a train line in the Swiss Alps which connects Montreux to Lucerne. The line is served by three companies with panoramic trains:*Montreux-Oberland Bernois: From Montreux to Zweisimmen via Gstaad...

 and Sabine Pass
Sabine Pass
Sabine Pass is the natural outlet of Sabine Lake into the Gulf of Mexico. It borders Jefferson County, Texas, and Cameron Parish, Louisiana.Two major battles occurred here during the American Civil War, known as the First and Second Battles of Sabine Pass....

 LNG terminals. These separate projects under construction in neighboring Sabine Pass have brought cumulative initial investments of $2 billion, and will employ thousands at peak construction.

Home to a large portion of United States refining capacity, Port Arthur is now seeing renewed investment in several key installations. Motiva Enterprises
Motiva Enterprises
Motiva Enterprises, LLC, is a 50–50 joint venture between Shell Oil Company and Saudi Refining...

 is undertaking a major addition to its western Port Arthur refinery, expanding capacity to 600000 oilbbl/d. This $10.0 billion project is the largest US refinery expansion to occur in 30 years. Premcor Refining (now Valero) recently completed a $775 million expansion of its petrochemical plant, and BASF/Fina commenced operations of a new $1.75 billion gasification and cogeneration unit on premises of its current installation, which had just completed its own $1 billion upgrade. These operations are supported by the Port of Port Arthur
Port of Port Arthur
The Port of Port Arthur is a seaport in Port Arthur, Texas .-2010 tanker collision:Main article: 2010 Port Arthur oil spill...

, one of Texas' leading seaports.

The city was the site of an oil spill
2010 Port Arthur oil spill
The 2010 Port Arthur oil spill was the result of a collision between two vessels in the Sabine-Neches Waterway at Port Arthur, Texas on January 23, 2010...

 in 2010, when an oil tanker
Oil tanker
An oil tanker, also known as a petroleum tanker, is a merchant ship designed for the bulk transport of oil. There are two basic types of oil tankers: the crude tanker and the product tanker. Crude tankers move large quantities of unrefined crude oil from its point of extraction to refineries...

 and barge
A barge is a flat-bottomed boat, built mainly for river and canal transport of heavy goods. Some barges are not self-propelled and need to be towed by tugboats or pushed by towboats...

 collided, causing 450,000 gallons of oil to spill into the Sabine/Neches waterway alongside the city.

Central business district disintegration

Long past its heyday in the early 1900s, successive waves of economic recession have delivered a nearly vacant, boarded up, and sometimes dangerous central business district. The Hotel Sabine, the tallest building in Port Arthur, was abandoned and purchased by the city. An attempt to sell the building failed in 2005, with no interested buyers. Hurricane Rita struck a direct hit on the Proctor Street Seawall, and damaged many downtown businesses and homes. As economic activity picks up in the region, calls for downtown revitalization have been advanced. The true center of commercial activity has gravitated towards the junction of US 69 and Texas State Highway 365, with larger white-collar businesses moving to downtown Beaumont. As of 2008, the last downtown banking establishment, Capital One
Capital One
Capital One Financial Corp. is a U.S.-based bank holding company specializing in credit cards, home loans, auto loans, banking and savings products...

 will relocate to Texas 365, which coincides with the closing of the last pharmacy, Walgreens
Walgreen Co. , doing business as Walgreens , is the largest drugstore chain in the United States of America. As of August 31st, the company operates 8,210 locations across all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Founded in Chicago, Illinois in 1901, and has since expanded...

, and the last grocery store, Lucky 7. Several municipal and county offices have moved in to fill the void.

Air pollution

Port Arthur also has a significant air pollution
Air pollution
Air pollution is the introduction of chemicals, particulate matter, or biological materials that cause harm or discomfort to humans or other living organisms, or cause damage to the natural environment or built environment, into the atmosphere....

 problem that some believe has an impact on the health of its residents. There are 4 large industrial complexes in the southern part of the city. These factories can have upsets, incidents where a dangerous situation at the plant necessitates the release of thousands of pounds of air toxins, often volatile organic compound
Volatile organic compound
Volatile organic compounds are organic chemicals that have a high vapor pressure at ordinary, room-temperature conditions. Their high vapor pressure results from a low boiling point, which causes large numbers of molecules to evaporate or sublimate from the liquid or solid form of the compound and...

s or nitrogen oxide
Nitrogen oxide
Nitrogen oxide can refer to a binary compound of oxygen and nitrogen, or a mixture of such compounds:* Nitric oxide, also known as nitrogen monoxide, , nitrogen oxide* Nitrogen dioxide , nitrogen oxide...

s, the two major contributors to ground-level ozone
Ozone , or trioxygen, is a triatomic molecule, consisting of three oxygen atoms. It is an allotrope of oxygen that is much less stable than the diatomic allotrope...

. The chemicals are run through flares
Gas flare
A gas flare, alternatively known as a flare stack, is an elevated vertical conveyance found accompanying the presence of oil wells, gas wells, rigs, refineries, chemical plants, natural gas plants, and landfills....

 that incinerate almost all of the substance through combustion
Combustion or burning is the sequence of exothermic chemical reactions between a fuel and an oxidant accompanied by the production of heat and conversion of chemical species. The release of heat can result in the production of light in the form of either glowing or a flame...

, but may still infrequently emit dangerous amounts. Any such releases are reported to the TCEQ and EPA, and are typically reported to the media through Sabine-Neches Fire Chiefs or the Jefferson County Local Emergency Planning Committee
Local Emergency Planning Committee
Local Emergency Planning Committees are quasi-governmental bodies, generally at the county or municipal level, in the United States. They do not function in actual emergency situations, but attempt to identify and catalogue potential hazards, identify available resources, mitigate hazards when...

. The high incidences of asthma
Asthma is the common chronic inflammatory disease of the airways characterized by variable and recurring symptoms, reversible airflow obstruction, and bronchospasm. Symptoms include wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath...

 and cancer
Cancer , known medically as a malignant neoplasm, is a large group of different diseases, all involving unregulated cell growth. In cancer, cells divide and grow uncontrollably, forming malignant tumors, and invade nearby parts of the body. The cancer may also spread to more distant parts of the...

 among residents in western Port Arthur is often attributed to the frequency and magnitude of the upsets, but could also be attributed to low general health often observed in poor areas.

Tropical cyclones that affected Port Arthur

Hurricane Rita

In September 2005's Hurricane Rita
Hurricane Rita
Hurricane Rita was the fourth-most intense Atlantic hurricane ever recorded and the most intense tropical cyclone ever observed in the Gulf of Mexico. Rita caused $11.3 billion in damage on the U.S. Gulf Coast in September 2005...

, Port Arthur sustained major wind damage and some flooding.

Hurricane Humberto

Struck in the early hours of September 13, 2007. It formed in the northwestern Gulf of Mexico and intensified faster than any other tropical cyclone on record before making landfall at High Island, Texas. The path of the eye continued northeastward and passed over Port Arthur, Nederland, Port Neches, Groves, and Bridge City, Texas at Category 1 hurricane strength. This was the second time within two years (following Hurricane Rita on September 24, 2005) that these cities experienced a direct hit from a hurricane. Hurricane Hunters reported sustained winds of 85 mph (140 km/h) about two hours after landfall. However, post-storm analysis later determined that the winds were a bit stronger—about 90 mph (150 km/h).

Tropical Storm Edouard

On the morning of August 5, 2008, Port Arthur saw the effects of Tropical Storm Edouard. The tropical storm made landfall to the west of the city, and wind speeds of 55 mi/h were recorded.

Hurricane Ike

In September 2008, Port Arthur again sustained major wind damage, with several areas experiencing major flooding. Ike made its final landfall near Galveston, Texas as a strong Category 2 hurricane, with Category 4 equivalent storm surge, on Sept. 13, 2008, at 2:10 a.m. CDT. Hurricane-force winds extended 120 miles (193 km) from the center. Due to its immense size, Ike caused devastation from the Louisiana coastline all the way to the Kennedy County, Texas region near Corpus Christi, Texas. The hurricane also resulted in the largest evacuation of Texans in that state's history. It became the largest search-and-rescue operation in U.S. history. The seawall of Port Arthur protected the city from the storm surge that devastated surrounding communities such as Bridge City, but water did overtop the seawall for about 30 minutes, flooding some of homes along its length with over a foot of water.

Notable residents (past and present)

  • Jonathan Babineaux
    Jonathan Babineaux
    Jonathan Joel Babineaux is an NFL defensive tackle for the Atlanta Falcons. He was drafted with the 59th overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons.-High school career:...

  • Jordan Babineaux
    Jordan Babineaux
    Jordan Jude Babineaux is an American football safety for the Tennessee Titans of the National Football League. He was signed by the Seattle Seahawks as an undrafted free agent in 2004 out of Southern Arkansas University....

  • G. W. Bailey
    G. W. Bailey
    George William "G.W." Bailey is an American stage, television and film actor. Although he appeared in many dramatic roles, he may be best remembered for his "crusty" comedic characters such as Staff Sergeant Luther Rizzo in M*A*S*H ; Lieutenant—and later, Captain—Thaddeus Harris in Police Academy...

  • Zachary Breaux
    Zachary Breaux
    Zachary Charles Breaux was an American jazz guitarist, influenced by George Benson and Wes Montgomery and best remembered for his soul-jazz work...

  • Ted Dunbar
    Ted Dunbar
    Ted Dunbar was a jazz guitarist, composer, and educator. He published four volumes on jazz. He trained as a pharmacist at Texas Southern University, but by the 1970s only did pharmacy work part-time. He was also a trained numerologist and had studied other aspects of mysticism...

  • Jamaal Charles
    Jamaal Charles
    Jamaal RaShaad Jones Charles is an American football running back for the Kansas City Chiefs of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Chiefs in the third round of the 2008 NFL Draft...

     (NFL Player)
  • C.J. Chenier
  • Mitch Gaspard
    Mitch Gaspard
    Mitch Gaspard is the head coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide baseball team. The 2010 season was Gaspards first season as the head coach of the Crimson Tide. He has been on the Alabama coaching staff for ten years, and was given the head coaching position when Jim Wells retired...

  • Danny Gorrer
    Danny Gorrer
    -First stint with New Orleans Saints:Danny Gorrer was signed as an undrafted free agent by the New Orleans Saints in the 2009 offseason. He was released, however.-St. Louis Rams:...

  • Stephen Jackson
    Stephen Jackson
    Stephen Jesse Jackson is an American professional basketball player for the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks. Jackson is a 6'8" guard-forward.-Early life, high school, and college:Jackson was born in Houston and grew up in Port Arthur, Texas...

  • Jimmy Johnson (American football coach)
    Jimmy Johnson (American football coach)
    James William "Jimmy" Johnson is an American former NCAA and National Football League head coach. As of 2010, he is currently an analyst for Fox NFL Sunday, the Fox network's NFL pregame show. He was the first football coach whose teams won both an NCAA Division 1A National Championship and a...

  • Aaron Brown
    Aaron Brown
    Aaron Brown is an American broadcast journalist most recognized for his coverage of the September 11, 2001 attacks, his first day on air at CNN...

  • Janis Joplin
    Janis Joplin
    Janis Lyn Joplin was an American singer, songwriter, painter, dancer and music arranger. She rose to prominence in the late 1960s as the lead singer of Big Brother and the Holding Company and later as a solo artist with her backing groups, The Kozmic Blues Band and The Full Tilt Boogie Band...

  • Donald Narcisse (Canadian Football Hall of Famer)
  • Robert Rauschenberg
    Robert Rauschenberg
    Robert Rauschenberg was an American artist who came to prominence in the 1950s transition from Abstract Expressionism to Pop Art. Rauschenberg is well-known for his "Combines" of the 1950s, in which non-traditional materials and objects were employed in innovative combinations...

  • UGK
    UGK was an American hip hop duo from Port Arthur, Texas formed in 1987 by the late Chad "Pimp C" Butler . He then joined with Bernard "Bun B" Freeman, who became his longtime partner...

     (Chad Butler
    Pimp C
    Chad Lamont Butler , better known by his stage name Pimp C, was an American rapper, singer, and producer...

     and Bernard Freeman
    Bun B
    Bernard Freeman better known by his stage name Bun B, is an American rapper and was one half of the southern hip hop duo UGK . He is also a guest lecturer at Rice University located in Houston, Texas...

  • Lucian Adams
    Lucian Adams
    Staff Sergeant Lucian Adams was a United States Army soldier during World War II who received the Medal of Honor for single-handedly destroying enemy machine gun emplacements to re-establish supply lines to U.S. Army companies...

  • Joe Washington
    Joe Washington
    Joe Dan Washington, Jr is a former American football running back in the National Football League for the San Diego Chargers, Baltimore Colts, Washington Redskins, and Atlanta Falcons.-Early career:...

  • Bobby Leopold
    Bobby Leopold
    Bobby Leopold is a former American football linebacker who played five seasons in the NFL, mainly for the San Francisco 49ers. He also played with the New Jersey Generals of the USFL....

  • Kevin Everett
    Kevin Everett
    Kevin Everett, is a former American football tight end who played for the Buffalo Bills of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Bills in the third round of the 2005 NFL Draft...

  • James Johnson
    James Johnson
    -Artists, authors, and musicians:*James B. Johnson , author of science fiction novels*James Johnson , English artist*James Johnson , late 18th-century Scottish musicologist*James P...

    (NFL Player)

External links

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