Zapata, Texas

By | April 9, 2023

According to countryvv, Zapata, Texas is a city located in the southern part of the state, just south of Laredo. It is situated on the banks of Falcon Lake, which is a large lake that stretches for miles and offers plenty of recreational activities. The climate in Zapata is hot and dry with temperatures ranging from 70-100 degrees Fahrenheit during the summer months. Winters are mild with temperatures ranging from 40-60 degrees Fahrenheit. The history of Zapata goes back to 1828 when it was founded by a group of Mexican settlers. It became an important trading center during the Mexican-American War and later served as a port for cotton exports in the late 19th century.

The politics of Zapata are dominated by conservative values and it has a strong economy based on agriculture, oil production, and tourism. There are several educational institutions in Zapata including public schools, private academies, universities, and vocational schools. The area has several landmarks including Falcon State Park which provides access to Falcon Lake for swimming, fishing, boating and camping activities; as well as San Ygnacio Historic District which features old adobe structures from the mid-19th century. There’s also Fort Ringgold which was used during the Mexican-American War as well as several other historical sites throughout the city.

Population: 4,856
Males: 2,330 (48.0%), Females: 2,526 (52.0%)

Zapata County

Zip code: 78076

Median resident age: 32.4 years
Median household income: $24,136
Median house value: $49,700

Races in Zapata:

  • Hispanic (89.1%)
  • Other race (12.4%)
  • White Non-Hispanic (10.3%)
  • Two or more races (3.1%)
  • American Indian (0.5%)

(Total can be greater than 100% because Hispanics could be counted in other races)

Ancestries: United States (2.6%), English (2.1%), German (2.0%), Irish (1.6%).

Elevation: 404 feet

Land area: 7.7 square miles

Zapata, Texas


The population of Zapata, Texas is estimated to be around 11,000 people as of 2020. The majority of the population is Hispanic or Latino, making up over 90% of the total population. The median age in Zapata is 26 years old and the average household size is 2.7 persons. The median household income in Zapata is just under $30,000 and the poverty rate is estimated to be around 25%. There are a variety of educational opportunities available to citizens, with public schools ranging from elementary to high school and a local community college. Additionally, there are several churches and other religious organizations in town that serve as important social gathering places for the community. Aside from educational institutions, there are also many outdoor recreational activities available such as fishing, hunting and camping that attract visitors from all over South Texas. Additionally, there are several restaurants located in town serving traditional Mexican fare such as tacos and enchiladas that add to the unique cultural experience of living in Zapata. All these factors make living in Zapata an enjoyable experience for those looking for a small-town atmosphere with plenty to do and explore!

For population 25 years and over in Zapata

  • High school or higher: 54.7%
  • Bachelor’s degree or higher: 8.8%
  • Graduate or professional degree: 2.9%
  • Unemployed: 11.0%
  • Mean travel time to work: 18.8 minutes

For population 15 years and over in Zapata CDP

  • Never married: 24.9%
  • Now married: 58.6%
  • Separated: 3.3%
  • Widowed: 6.8%
  • Divorced: 6.4%

19.7% Foreign born (19.7% Latin America).


Hospitals/medical centers near Zapata:

  • MERCY HEALTH CENTER (about 35 miles; LAREDO, TX)


Airports certified for carrier operations nearest to Zapata:

  • LAREDO INTL (about 45 miles; LAREDO, TX; Abbreviation: LRD)
  • MC ALLEN MILLER INTL (about 88 miles; MC ALLEN, TX; Abbreviation: MFE)
  • VALLEY INTL (about 122 miles; HARLINGEN, TX; Abbreviation: HRL)

Other public-use airports nearest to Zapata:

  • ZAPATA COUNTY (about 5 miles; ZAPATA, TX; Abbreviation: T86)
  • RIO GRANDE CITY MUNI (about 46 miles; RIO GRANDE CITY, TX; Abbreviation: 67R)
  • JIM HOGG COUNTY (about 48 miles; HEBBRONVILLE, TX; Abbreviation: HBV)

Colleges and Universities

Colleges/universities with over 2000 students nearest to Zapata:

  • LAREDO COMMUNITY COLLEGE (about 45 miles; LAREDO, TX; Full-time enrollment: 4,449)
  • TEXAS A & M INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY (about 47 miles; LAREDO, TX; Full-time enrollment: 2,107)
  • THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS-PAN AMERICAN (about 85 miles; EDINBURG, TX; Full-time enrollment: 9,651)
  • SOUTH TEXAS COMMUNITY COLLEGE (about 86 miles; MCALLEN, TX; Full-time enrollment: 7,142)
  • TEXAS A & M UNIVERSITY-KINGSVILLE (about 106 miles; KINGSVILLE, TX; Full-time enrollment: 4,860)
  • TEXAS STATE TECHNICAL COLLEGE-HARLINGEN (about 120 miles; HARLINGEN, TX; Full-time enrollment: 2,167)
  • THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT BROWNSVILLE (about 139 miles; BROWNSVILLE, TX; Full-time enrollment: 6,044)


Public high school in Zapata:

  • ZAPATA H S (Students: 815; Location: 17TH & CARLA ST; Grades: 09 – 12)

Public primary/middle schools in Zapata:

  • ZAPATA MIDDLE SCHOOL (Students: 703; Location: 17TH & CARLA ST; Grades: 06 – 08)
  • ZAPATA SOUTH ELEMENTARY (Students: 593; Location: 17TH & CARLA ST; Grades: 01 – 05)
  • ZAPATA CENTRAL ELEMENTARY (Students: 503; Location: 17TH & CARLA ST; Grades: 01 – 05)
  • ZAPATA NORTH EARLY CHILDHOOD CENTE (Students: 461; Location: 17TH & CARLA ST; Grades: PK – KG)
  • BENAVIDES EL (Students: 88; Location: 17TH & CARLA ST; Grades: PK – 05)

Private primary/middle school in Zapata:

  • FAITH ACADEMY (Students: 37; Location: PO BOX 577; Grades: KG – 11)


Library in Zapata:

  • ZAPATA COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY (Operating income: $97,456; Location: 901 KENNEDY ST; 25,033 books; 563 audio materials; 1,576 video materials; 31 serial subscriptions)